From Penn State, Ty Burrell Stumbled into the Real World

June 15, 2017 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Ty-Burrell

Ty Burrell’s portrayal of Modern Family‘s Phil Dunphy has earned a number of accolades, including a pair of Primetime Emmy Awards. One of Dunphy’s endearing traits is the nervous, nutty energy that Burrell ’97g displays.

As it turns out, that energy is something that followed Burrell as he pursued a career in acting. He wrote a column this week for The New York Times recalling the first time he met with an agent, which involves him soiling himself and looking at the McDonald’s golden arches “the way I imagine immigrants spotted the Statue of Liberty.”

But before he got to that point, Burrell explained how fear impacted his desire to put off finding a job and continue his education, which led to him enrolling at Penn State.

So off to grad school I went. I spent three incredible years at Penn State, working very, very hard and accidentally doing what I’d said I was doing it for in the first place, which was convenient. I did actually dig very deeply into theater and very deeply into acting. After graduation, I discovered, to my horror, that I had no more options to put off the real world. “Really? There’s no Ph.D. in acting? No acting think tank? No heavily funded acting research focused on one day finding the cure for blinking?”

Burrell appears in the film Rough Night, which comes out nationwide on Friday, June 16.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

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Entry filed under: Alumni. Tags: , , .

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