Specially for www.MeetingVenus.com
by Sherif Awad
When I was young I asked my Mum to take me to dance classes in Qatar and the local community theatre was putting on plays at the same venue. And so, I asked to be in their shows. I was cast around aged seven I think and I just loved the magic of the stage. There is an energy and excitement to a performance that entranced me. Later at boarding school in England, I was singing a lot in musicals like THE CARMINA BURANA and IN THE CHOIR. We toured Germany, singing at the Churches there. I also was in many school plays, several greek tragedies such as MEDEA and I played Mary Seton in a MARY QUEEN OF SCOTTS production. I also started making films in front of my dad’s video camera on school holidays and acting in them. They were sci-fi and a lot of fun!
I remember watching STAR WARS and loving it! Also an animated cartoon called G-FORCE and a lot of American TV shows like THE A-TEAM and FRIENDS. I also was inspired by the Oscar-winning film SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE… Shakespeare’s writing is just brilliant and that movie, reminded me to read more of his work. My favorite Shakespeare plays include MACBETH, and TWELFTH NIGHT. Other films that stuck in my mind are RUN LOLA RUN and THE MATRIX. I love movies!
While doing a play in Miami, I mentioned to the Director Jim Tommaney that I felt I wanted to study acting more and he said I should study in New York, as they have the best schools. And so I did and went to The Lee Strasberg Institute there for two years. How was it to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre? Fantastic, I was there full time and I really immersed myself in the program, learning as much as I could as well as auditioning and acting in independent films in New York and doing some theatre off Broadway. I have many friends from there, and have been happy to work with some of them again in LA. As for the role of agents, they submit you for roles and if a casting director thinks you are a fit they bring you in or ask you to submit a self tape. I didn’t have an agent until later, so a lot of my earlier work was through self-submissions. It’s both, I always keep an eye on the trades to see what films are casting and also what my network of contacts is filming. I really like making films, short films are easier because it’s less time filming and less cost. Again I’m interested in lead roles, dramatic and ones that I haven’t done before. Qatar was home to me, at least for ten years. I would love to work there! I haven’t found a project yet but I would like to film there. The desert is incredibly beautiful and cinematic and there is always great light.
The expressions entrepreneur/empowering surface in media nowadays. According to me, an entrepreneur I think is someone who creates a company. I created a nightlife website with partners which we sold, which really taught me that you can create what ever you envision. Empowering is what ever it takes you to feel like you can do anything, I have a lot of strong friendships which I think are empowering. I also listen to coaches like Anthony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk. Sometimes just a few seconds of a video can put you in the right frame of mine.
Currently I am filming a short called I AM NOT A ROBOT’ about an A.I. robot that comes to earth in search of herself and humanity. I am very interested in science so I am loving this project. I have also written a screenplay called HORIZON about a NASA Scientist who discovers that she is from another world.