by Sherif Awad
-I was born in Colombia and raised there until I was six years old, then my family moved to South Florida. I was always a very “odd” child: I never felt that I fit in and was always told I was “weird”. I enjoyed making people laugh and making up stories when I played with my friends. I realized in High School that I really had a feel for acting and enjoyed it very much. I think fear is what led me to actually stay so long without pursuing the industry. So I left after college, after I realized one day how unhappy I was with my choices. And so, Los Angeles became a new chapter in my life.
-I always admired Johnny Depp. I thought he was pretty versatile as well as Brad Pitt, although I will admit that my choices were also based on how attractive they were. I never really had role models growing up, not even in cinema, it was more of a liking of their work or how good looking they were, shallow life style on my part I guess. As I got older, High school and such, I started seeing Cinema different and the actors differently. I started admiring women for their talent as well especially Meryl Streep who wasn’t a traditional Hollywood beauty yet she was wonderfully someone I wanted to emulate. I also find Gillian Anderson to be underutilized and under appreciated, great actress.
-I never took any formal schooling for acting. I studied Journalism and photography. I did take acting classes in Los Angeles when I first moved here. I didn’t stick to just one form of teaching, I felt I would learn more if I saw different perspectives and tested out each and see which I could mold myself more to.
-I won’t say I am satisfied now but I don’t feel I need worldwide stardom. I am still pursuing those elusive doors into the industry where I am fully immersed in it. I still have an outside source of income so once I have eliminated that and am fully in the industry, that’s when I feel satisfied. Stardom would be icing on the cake.
-I am constantly seeing features and shorts and even series announce their casting, and most of the time it is always a large amount of men they are looking for and the few women are either the Amazonian model types or someone who is meant to be the odd one out. Yes I encounter a lot of that still. The whole equality in the industry and giving minorities an opportunity hasn’t really trickled down to the nobodies like me in this industry. We can think of it like trickle down economics, a lot of people are fooled by it, but the only ones that benefit are above everyone else.
-I currently live in the US, Los Angeles to be exact, the supposed Entertainment capital of the world. That hasn’t been true in years. All the red tape and all of the people taking advantage of low budget and even the high prices to film here, have made it only beneficial for the A and B listers who live here and are immediately called in for auditions without submitting.
-About the works offered to me: first of, the works offered to me are very little. But when I do get something, I look at the work as a whole. I read the script and see if this is something that I’d like to lend my talents too. Despite the small amount of work I get, I still choose which projects I want to align myself with.
-I try creating that balance by giving myself a certain amount of time during the week for my family. I might even spend time with family at the same time as going to an industry event. It’s not easy especially when you have family telling you to get off the computer…But I’m always working. I use my time to write screenplays to produce and it’s time consuming. It is definitely a balancing act, maybe not always the best but I try and make it work.
-I am currently working on a comedy TV Series (where I am the lead). I’ve written the first season already and working with my partner to polish up and film the pilot soon to shop it to online content creators. I am also looking for investments for two features in the future. I star in the first while I will only be serving for the second as producer with my partner.