MAR PARIS »
by Sherif Awad
I was born into a humble family of teachers in 1988 in southern Spain, Almería. It is a city dominated by a huge castle, La Alcazaba, built by the Arabs when they controlled what is now Andalusia from the year 711 to the year 1492.Our city was given the name Al Mariyyat "Mirror of the Sea" or Al Miraya "Torre Vigía". For this reason, our culture, language and music have many Arab roots. We are surrounded by history, architecture, colors, art, dance, music, religious contests, bullfights, mountains and great landscapes, and we are taught to be proud and worthy of all this.What my family lacked financially was offset by their passion for knowledge and art. My father spent as much as he could on music, which filled the house. My mother painted and made handmade items. They both loved theatre and film. So I've always been immersed in art.When I was only two years old, I wanted to be a singer. When I was four years old, I started painting pictures and playing with clay. Then came the day I saw ballet for the first time. I was impressed. It was so beautiful! I started dancing ballet and flamenco. Years later I met and learned urban dance and even oriental dance.I can't tell if it was the influence of film or theater, all of a sudden, the day I turned eighteen, I felt like my life was being an actress.
-Federico García Lorca, Miguel Hernández, Valle-Inclán, Gloria Fuertes and some Shakespearean texts filled my imagination creating thousands of stories.In film I have always admired the incomparable Charles Chaplin, the great Meryl Streep, the Italian force of Sofia Loren and the art of Lola Flores or Sara Montiel. They have also been and continue to be an example for my film and theater actors such as Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson or the Spaniards Luís Tosar, Javier Gutiérrez and Blanca Portillo.In the world of dance I have always admired Pina Baush and the flamenco dancer Eva la Yerbabuena. They are both very creative and expressive artists.Musically, from a very young age, I was lucky enough to listen to music of different styles, thanks to my family: Beethoven, Chopin, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Boney M, Police, Ana Belén, Juanita Reina, Camarón, Paco de Lucía, Albéniz, Bob Marley, among many other artists who still accompany me every day.
-It was the best decision I ever made. When all my classmates knew they wanted to be teachers, doctors or engineers, I just felt the need to be an artist. But I couldn't choose what kind of art. I wanted to do everything And what better than to be an actress to play infinite characters with infinite lives and infinite possibilities...I entered the "Higher School of Dramatic Art" and since then I have not stopped training.I think for an actor and an actress it's very important to train her whole body because it's her working instrument. You should not forget to also train your mind and soul on an emotional level. The body must be agile and elastic, prepared to compose the physical appearance of any character. Dance gives you both characteristics and also teaches you musically and culturally. Next to body work is facial work. Eyes are a reflection of the soul and when an actor works in film, he must have this very in mind, for example.An actor's voice is another very important aspect. To know how to fill an entire theater with its voice, adapt the volume in cinema and tv, place the voice so that it is clean and clear, expressive, and able to transform to adopt the character construction. Voice training is very hard but essential.Musical training is very important too. Develop the rhythm, the melody, and get to be able to play an instrument.Culturally, an actor has to know the origin of his profession. This part has always been very interesting and satisfying. Research time travel to discover where this art comes from and follow its evolution throughout history.In short, anything an actor or actress can learn is always going to be beneficial to their work. Practice different sports, know society, politics, religion or the different arts. But there's certainly one thing an actor can't miss: watch. Train by observing, talking to different people, knowing them, empathizing and analyzing every detail of life.The actor as a student and the actor as a teacher. Because when an actor teaches everything he's learned, he again learns something new.
-About gender-related challenges:I think by this question you mean the fact that I'm a woman in my profession. In that case, I can only answer yes, because actresses tend to be chosen for their appearance. Older actresses rarely have romantic parts, while older men do. Until recently, women rarely had parts of action. There's always been better roles for men. But women start directing and I feel optimistic that things are getting better.
-Right now in my country, Spain, it's quite difficult to get good roles as an actress. There are many amazing artists but not so much real work for everyone. Hopefully, new EU regulations on domestic production and expanding production for the web will gradually create more productions that will give artists the opportunity and visibility. We must not forget the different film and performing arts festivals in which the work of new projects involving new artists is promoted.
-I am creating a new theatrical project with great professionals and good friends. We are very happy to be able to work from a common idea with a great social burden and with which we hope that viewers will reflect. The theatre must enter through each of the senses to enrich us. That's our goal.I have also been chosen to act in an interesting dramatic documentary by director and producer Peter Beale. It's an honor to be directed by him.I feel very fortunate to be a part of this adventure and I will always be grateful to Mar Venzal and Peter for trusting me as a person and actress.This is all for now, although as restless as I am, I'm sure they won't be the last ships I decide to board. I go where art takes me.