by Sherif Awad
-I was born in the Drenica region, a beautiful place with beautiful nature and historic heritage in Kosovo, a small country in Southeastern Europe that gained its independence back in 2008. I was the second child in a family of five children who all grew up in a great harmony until we had horrible war happening in front of our eyes. Before, during and after the war, our parents wanted to make sure that, while growing up, we get all the love, education and support to pursue our dreams. I am happy and very thankful for that.
-As long as I can remember for myself, I have always had an interest in art, music and acting. It all started when I was just a little girl. I always performed in front of my family, later on at school as well. I started participating in all the school and city activities that had to do with arts. Also, I enjoyed watching a lot of great movies as my parents had a good artistic taste. Seeing all these actors playing their parts had a great impact on me and so I found myself dreaming that this is a future for me.
-I wouldn’t say I want to be like anyone because I think every person is special in his/her own way. However, while building my profile as an actress, of course I have had my own role models that I got inspired and they continue to inspire me. I’d single out Meryl Streep and Daniel Day Lewis. Music inspired me a lot too: Whitney Huston, Beyoncé and Rihanna just to name a few gave me great confidence and helped me shape my music taste.
– I started studying acting at the age of thirteen at the Odhise Paskali School of Art in Peja. I got involved as a very young, happy and enthusiastic girl but I realized that studying or acting wasn’t just fun: it was way more deep and it does require a lot of work and experience. Yet this made me love acting even more. Then, I went on to continue my graduate studies at the Faculty of Arts in Prishtina where I received my Master’s Degree. Overall, it was one of my greatest journeys of my life. I was lucky to have great teachers and then went on to become my best friends. Learning and reading all the plays, books and watching lots of shows shaped me to have more confidence and helped me shred all those backstage fears and let me become who I am today. I can distinguish two important segments of this path. First, on the personal level, it made me more familiar with the acting world. The demands and opportunities that opened up for me. Secondly, on the artistic level, made me view life and art in a different unknown view till then. However, during my artistic path I have faced a lot of challenges related to gender. Growing up in today’s world, for women in general, things are far better than before. However there is still a lot to get there, where the society should be.
-I live in the USA now. This country offers great opportunities for any aspiring talents to shine. My favorite part of my job is to build and bring to life different characters. I want to go deeper into their world to get a good analysis of the motives they have, how well they know themselves. Who they are and what they are made of. With their perfect and or unhappy pros and cons. I like to analyze even the smallest details about them. Only after knowing my character well enough, then I get to bring that character to life.
-Being an actor really does require a lot of work and commitment. Not every time you can have enough time for your personal life. While working as a professional actress in Kosovo theaters, different film shootings, traveling around different festivals around the world, sometimes, regretfully made me miss very important personal life events, but in general I have tried to enjoy as much as I can, my family life and be with my loved ones and enjoy life outside of acting. Luckily almost all my best friends are in the same profession and we get to talk a lot about acting life. However, currently I just finished a long break from acting while I was enjoying the most extravagant things that life has offered me. The love I have for my husband and our dear newborn boy. I just became a mom, a few months back and took a break to enjoy every moment with my son, who truly made me see life in another dimension. He is definitely the most beautiful and powerful thing that made me realize how beautiful life is.
-It’s been almost two years since I moved to Los Angeles and my focus is to have a career here. Fully aware of difficulties that I am about to face but on the other hand, also i see it as a great opportunity for my artistic path. The dream will always go on for me.