Faculty and Staff

Teaching Beyond the Craft

Lance Pauker
January 12, 2024
Pace Performing Arts Professor Ka'ramuu Kush

Ka’ramuu Kush is busy.

In addition to an active career as an actor, writer, and director (check out his IMDb page), Kush has had a long, successful career in teaching. After spending a decade as a faculty member at Howard University, Kush recently made the move back to New York—where his career in show-business began—to become an Associate Professor at the Sands College of Performing Arts.

How does Kush juggle it all? In his words, teaching the craft is energizing in-and-of-itself

“To see the students every day for class is just a lift,” says Kush. “No matter what’s going on in the world or in my life—when I see them and I know we have some work to do, or films to watch, it’s always a lift.”

Kush joined the Sands College of Performing Arts Faculty in Fall 2022, and has hit the ground running. He’s primarily teaching courses in the Acting for Film, Television, Voiceover, and Commercials BFA program, leveraging his considerable experience as a multi-hyphenate artist to impart both grounding theory and practical, actionable lessons to his students. Like many other instructors at Pace’s College of Performing Arts—and at Pace in general—Kush being a working professional in the very field that he is teaching adds an extra level of insight to the classroom setting.

“The students keep me fresh and buoyant and charged-up, so that when I go into the industry, I’m reminded of my purpose, why I’m doing it.”

Kush, furthermore, believes that his professional and teaching careers go hand-in-hand—that they symbiotically build off one another, and provide extra motivation for him to be the most focused and purposeful artist possible.

“The students keep me fresh and buoyant and charged-up, so that when I go into the industry, I’m reminded of my purpose, why I’m doing it,” notes Kush. “You have a number of eyes on you, and you’re making impression on young minds who will be carrying whatever it is you impart or show in terms of your work.”

In addition to teaching the craft, Kush also believes it is his duty to offer practical wisdom he found lacking when he was a student—spending time teaching his students about how to approach a career in the arts from a business perspective—to know their worth as an artist, to manage their money, to translate their skills into multiple income streams. Kush hopes that these lessons will eventually form the foundation of a course—one he believes is both under-emphasized in traditional performing arts schooling, yet absolutely necessary.

“We have this stereotype of the starving artist. Who said the artist had to starve?”

Although he’s only been at Pace for a short while, Kush’s outlook on both teaching and the profession—one that blends big picture thinking with meticulous attention to detail—is a unique combination that has already, and will certainly continue, to inspire performing arts students for years to come.

“Life is too abundant and fruitful to not be benefiting, especially as an artist—and as an artist, you’re responsible for a lot of that abundance and fruitfulness because you bring vicarious experiences to the masses—the plumber, the doctor, the banker, the elementary school teacher. They can see their experiences, their problems, and challenges reflected through you."

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