by Sherif Awad
-I was born in Los Angeles, but spent 4 months every year in Germany, Switzerland and Austria among literary legends and politicians. My father, Dr. Cornelius Schnauber was an author, professor and cultural liaison. I was exposed to German cabaret and circus arts in Europe which are themes that I incorporate in my work
-I was around so much theater, cabaret and circus in Europe. I was especially impressed by the “Kinder Zirkus” or “Children’s Circus” in the Red Light district of Zurich, Switzerland. As a teenager, I was a Rocky Horror Picture Show fanatic. I even performed in the “shadow cast” in front of the screen. I was also very influenced by David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”. Being a classically trained flutist, as a teenager, I was playing 1st flute for the Junior Philharmonic of Los Angeles, and the California Junior Symphony.
-I got my degree at USC (University of Southern California) studied theater at Oxford, University, England, German language at the Goethe Institute in Berlin, French at the Euro-Centre in Paris, and dance in Dakar, Senegal. For my look at the future of my career, I think: whatever feels fulfilling is satisfying.
-Yes, there definitely can be gender challenges. In general, I have been lucky being a woman in Los Angeles. But recently, while making my first short documentary “Guantanamo Circus”, an older married man helping me with the project starting harassing me sexually! It was distressing. It turned in to stalking. I didn’t expect that in the documentary world.
-The art situation here is mixed. There is so much superficiality in Hollywood. And so much lack of educated programming. Reality TV caters to the lowest common denominator. But then, there are some intelligently written shows. Really smart shows on streaming. About the casting, it is mercurial. The good thing now, is casting is open to “real people” so it isn’t as youth and beauty driven. Real life stories are of interest, and I have many of them! In all cases, I approach new projects with integrity and interest. Each job is as important as every other job. To each job, I give my complete professionalism.
-So far, my highest accomplishments were my two solo CDs “Circus Sanctuary” and “Voodoo Princess”, available on iTunes and Spotify in addition to my documentary “Guantanamo Circus” which won the Hollywood FAME Award and is available on Amazon Prime. Also, the theater as therapy I do with the mentally ill, Alzheimer’s patients and recovering PTSD homeless veterans. I work with the mentally ill using theater, music and poetry as therapy. Also, I volunteer at local food banks and speak ad plat trees for TreePeople… My lyrics are all inspired by deep inner psychological exploration. Sometimes from a lot of pain. As to promoting both my aforementioned CDs, I also have a lit of fun creating music videos for me songs. All of which are up on YouTube. I mostly do Hawaiian Hula and Irish all traditional dances for educational shows.
-For the new generations, I advise them to find their niches. Find a specialized market. Work hard but also let go to flow. Find fulfillment in the smallest accomplishments. don’t judge your success by money, but by the people you have touched.
-I am currently working on a couple of books, just performed with the Persian pop star Aref and working on a few docu-series. My recent music video filmed I Prague and Dresden.