by Sherif Awad
-My family was a very outgoing family, we were playing outside a lot and there was always adventure. My mom’s eldest brother was a Latin percussionist, and had many any instruments in his room and would disassemble them and put them back together. I was amazed at all the parts, pieces, it took to make sound, I wanted to play the clarinet, and he gave me my first instrument. I instantly became an artist.
-Growing up I stayed with my dads mother a lot, and she watched all the old tv sitcoms. I would set all my toys up in front of her 42-inch wood floor TV set and fell in love with the characters of The Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeanie, The Three Stooges, Gilligan’s Island. I related to them because I was naturally that silly, and I was an only child, so I assumed these guys were friends in another place. I also loved dance on screen and my cousins danced and I would attend their recitals, and they were my heroes. I wanted to be them.
In studying to become a creator I say know what you would like to do first. And then go and do it. There is no other way. All one must do is be brave enough to have time with the art, ask questions to your art, and allow it to help you create it. Art is the life that is ideas from another realm. So. One must first be open to discovering every piece, layer, and cell in their entire body that creates their beliefs, thoughts, actions, reactions, and the unknown. A deep journey of self discovery, or to be open enough spiritually that the reflection of the art might help you uncover another unknown layer of yourself. Art is a conversation between you and the universe, and energies that govern it.
It is satisfying to see that through this craft I am able to connect to different parts of the world emotionally. Stardom was never a focus for me because I was an only child until I was 13 so, I was always the wacky one entertaining my friends so now I feel like I finally have the tools to sculpt that energy into specific projects. I’m very blessed and grateful.
I think the entertainment industry has come a long way in terms of gender equality, but in terms of our major networks, they have some serious work to do, I auditioned for a huge show last year and was trying to represent THE LGBTQ community by putting my color on the network. So I dyed my hair pink, work flashy blinked out finger nails, mixed baroque styled fashion with modern ballet wear and they didn’t cast me. Too much color! Lol
In my country there’s a ton “Fast-Art” like “Fast-Fashion” so a lot gets spit but not much is sustained or reveled in your heart. Social media has its own standards of art so its a very washed out time. But. The ones that make a difference. Really make an impact.
The casting biz for me has been ok. I have been treated respectfully and not had to wait for too long. But it is a very hard seat to be in. It takes hours and so much emotional strain and is literally one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. Even the casting directors that didn’t book me. I am empathetic on how hard their job really is.
Well I would like more works from around the world offered to me now. I am very much into producing now, and so I have been stepping into that seat as I wave projects. It’s important to me that we translate culture and ideas to each other and to future generations. For my latest movie it was important to me to figure out how to bring the story to life of the man who wasn’t able to be himself, got married, had kids, but is in love with a younger guy in his 50s? In America, there was and still is a time when you CANNOT be gay. It’s astounding but, there are men like that all over the world who need a voice, empathy, and hope. So we really pushed for a worldwide release.
Due to COVID-19 the arts are impacted and mostly live performances but I think there is a silver lining to this. I don’t want to say much but let’s just say I think artists will appreciate their dancers much more after this pandemic. And maybe pay them what they deserve.
My biggest artistic achievement in 2012 I wrote a 55-minute modern ballet called Tranzyt Wenus, The Transit of Venus, for Kielecki Teatr Tańca in Poland and the last city it toured was in Warsaw at the Science Museum on the day of The Transit of Venus.
My parallel activity to the arts is having many plants, and I cook many foods and recipes, I visit family, I try to be a good person, and I explore my emotional capacity regularly.
I’m choosing music for choreography it varies. Different projects call for different things. But my favorite is working with artists and their own music or choreographing a project to my friends music or supporting a new artist. It changes.
My advice to new artists is that if you truly choose to live the life of an artist, know that a piece of you that you are looking for is somewhere inside of everyone else and it’s our job to make sure that they are heard, validated, and reflected, in order for our vibration to be elevated. Through elevation comes openness and ability to create anything in any form of art you want. We are all creators, just decide what you want to create from there.
I make equilibrium with my private and personal life a 60-40. My personal life is first. The deeper I go and the more I understand my whole self, the more I am able to give back and it comes naturally. It’s a cosmic conversation.
Currently, I am wrapping up two music videos I’m very excited for, I directed one and produced the other, and I’m writing a tv series that I want to release in every country. A blending of many things. I’m really excited.