DEBRA SKELTON is best known for her eight seasons on FOX's late night sketch comedy, MADtv. She also worked for three months as a motion capture performer on James Cameron's AVATAR and was originally used as the model for the lead character, Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana. She'll be co-starring in a new film project alongside Andy Dick, slated for production in March 2010. When not working or riding her motorcycle, SKELTON volunteers and hosts events for non-profits.
What is your job? I'm an actress/comedian
What social causes are most important to you? Animal welfare and at-risk-youth.
What charities do you support? Create Now, New Leash On Life Animal Rescue, The Four Legged Friends Foundation, Last Chance For Animals, Strangest Angels Animal Rescue, The Ozzy Foundation, Animal Acres Farm Rescue, Farm Sanctuary, The California Sickle Cell Disease Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, and The Young Storytellers Program. Create Now really tops the list!
Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?
I am passionate about supporting CREATE NOW, because our greatest resource is our youth. What will we leave them to inherit? What will be our legacy as a race and as a species? We all must be cognizant of what we cultivate and what we grow, from spirituality, to behavior and attitude. Unlike the planet, this type of damage we CAN undo.
Create Now, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1996, helps transform the lives of high-risk and at-risk youth through creative arts mentoring, education, resources and opportunities. The organization serves vulnerable kids ages 2-25 who have been abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned (foster youth), are left homeless, runaways, teen parents, substance abusers, victims of domestic violence, children of prisoners, gang members or incarcerated. They've reached over 20,0000 of the most troubled youth in Southern California during the last fourteen years.
Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
Everyone has a talent and many organizations will utilize you around your schedule, so VOLUNTEER. If your time is valuable to you, imagine how valuable it is when you share it with someone in need.
How would you define social responsibility?
I believe social responsibility has the same meanings to most. It's using it everyday and making yourself beholden to something greater than yourself for the common good and civility of all. In there lies the challenge to apply it at all times, or at least most times.
Do you have any tattoos that relate to your charitable work?
My tattoos, or as I consider them, "sacred markings", have spiritual meanings, relating to the discover and celebration of your higher self. I've taken symbols from all religions and beliefs, and given them a permanent place on my "canvas". I embrace the philosophy of all religions, except satanism, without embracing the religions themselves. I am humbled by all manner of conscious vibration and place that understanding first, in order to connect to my purpose, and what I believe, is all of our purpose; to consciously validate, recognize and be of service to each other as sentient beings, which includes ALL living things.
Quick list of tattoos/mention artists:
My tattoos include Hindi sanscrit, lotuses, a sacred heart, adinkras (African symbols), celtic weaving and tribal work, both designed and from the Maori tribe in New Zealand. A good 85% of my work was done by Zulu of Zulu Tattoo in Los Angeles.