Hi! I'm Zero Pilnik (they/er/elu)
I'm a gender-bending, accordion-playing storyteller. As an actor and writer I aim to provoke audiences by breaking taboos and subverting norms.
I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where the coffee is strong and so are the women. My mother was a ballerina and my grandmother was a pianist, so I have been on stage my whole life. A nomad at heart, I have lived in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Český Krumlov, and Berlin – where I have been based since 2018, acting in and writing for both theater and film/TV.
Recent projects include: The Trouble Out There (Short film), Gasoline Queen (Ballhaust Ost), Political Voice Institute (Maxim Gorki Theater), and 27 Club (Wein Salon, Framed) – my imagined rock'n'roll funeral, developed with support from Fonds Darstellende Künste and LABA: a Laboratory for Jewish Culture. In the fall of 2021 I was a literary resident of Goyki3 Art Inkubator, where I wrote the pilot of Brutes, a queer dystopic Western TV series. You can also catch me performing regularly in the bars and cabarets of Berlin as my alter ego Mojo, the Sword Swallower of Switzerland - part of the Drag performance collective Venus Boys.
I'm a recipient of the 2017 Tim Disney Prize for Excellence in Storytelling Arts for my original play People Who Love Move Mountains, as well as fellowships from Akademie der Künste (2021), LABA Belin (2021), and flausen+ Young Artists in Residency (2020). I hold a BFA in Acting with a minor in Creative Writing from California Institute of the Arts, and I'm an alumnus from the National Theater Institute.