by Sherif Awad
-My mother is half-Lebanese and my father is half-Dutch, both immigrants. I grew up in a lovely arts and crafts home in Hightstown, New Jersey. My father is a brilliant pianist and so I grew up singing and dancing and acting to his music. We would all sit in the living room amidst the roaring fire in the fireplace, candles lit, and we'd sing to my father's rollicking piano playing. So, I began quite naturally - with my family in a very relaxed and loving environment. In other words, I was born excited to perform. It's in my blood and my childhood was the perfect canvas for a budding actress/writer/director.
- In cinema, I loved Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep along with E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial), and Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore, and Rob Lowe – a typical 1980's kid I was. In theatre, I loved A Chorus Line and 42nd Street on Broadway, but especially Ain't Misbehaving'. Dance, I loved Twyla Tharp and Martha Graham. TV, I loved Three's Company and repeats of older shows like The Rockford Files and The Brady Bunch.
-I ask a lot of questions and I put my dreams out there on Facebook a lot and also to friends and family - and I always say: "The universe hears us". Make sure you know exactly what you want - because you will get it. I studied acting in Manhattan with one of the greatest teachers I have ever known, Freddy Kareman. And when I came to LA, I had a few great teachers - they are still my friends. But I believe that I have learned a lot about being a creator by putting my body where my heart is - attending theater, reaching out to people for advice, getting cast and inviting the world, posting my dreams on social media, writing, and rehearsing - I think you first need to have the dream, then share it, and it will come. So, be prepared!!
-I am happy now and excited for what's to come - because I see a very bright future for myself and I am smiling just thinking about it.
-There might be challenges related to gender, but I pay them no mind. I am on my way to a spectacular career and those who are meant to be in my experience will be. There are a lot of diverse voices and women's voices that are poking through the glass ceiling of Hollywood - I find this very inspiring and refreshing.
-If it feels good, it's right. I trust myself. I meditate every day and it truly helps me to be in touch with myself and what I am focusing on in my career.
-I find that I love acting and writing and directing and so, the flow into my private life is organic and fun - just like my childhood and if I need to step away for a break, I will do so. But if you love what you are doing - which I do - there is just a flow between the two and everyone in your life becomes a part of that flow.
- I am currently writing a TV series which is a vehicle for myself. And I am passionate about selling my award-winning short film to a streaming service. I am excited to act again when this pandemic cools down and the industry starts up again.