This is high on my list because it brings us back to our roots. Art and performance to me is human expression of life in the raw, expression of the soul, and most importantly (on a practical note) the foundation of good communication. Bottom line, people listen when they are entertained. Half, if not more, of the quotes that we hear from people in conversations come from some sort of public media. Whether it be Rocky saying it’s “not about how many hits you take, but how many hits you can take and keep on moving forward” or Borat saying “very nice”…our minds like to pay attention when the message can spur our emotions.
So I believe I owe it to myself to learn how to communicate effectively, empathetically, and expressively. It’s also a lot of fun to be an artist, you get to trust yourself, try new things, take risks, and understand the world around you. As the beauty of being artist is that we can be reactive to our environment, express ourselves subjectively but society always tends to judge the art not the artist. However the artist has to seek to understand what is to be judged.
Best of all, the performing arts is a great way to test a market. If we bring a far fetched concept to a market it would be hard to accept and adopt by society. Yet, if we make a movie about our ideas, about education reform, about injustice, about coming of age, we can see if people can relate, if they keep talking about it. That entertainment kept society safe from the effects of the concept but now I know that since you are interested, the “far fetched” idea may actually work in real life. I know some may be thinking about the negative effects of media, but that is whole other topic that has to do with balance that I may address in my blog.
So what do I do and how can I keep up?
I’ll address the keeping up part first, as one can see I have a lot of projects going on at once. Initially the thought is simple: if Ronald Reagan can go from Hollywood to president, if Arnold Schwarzenegger can go from Terminator to Governor of California, if Bill Cosby can do stand up and get his Doctorate in Education, if George Clooney can make movies be a Goodwill Ambassador and advocate for justice in Darfur, and if John Travolta can act and pilot a 747, then I do not see why I can’t do business, advocate for educational reform and perform music and act. I just need to strategize a little bit and the best way I can describe that is analogous to stop reading a book after a chapter before going to another book versus stopping in the middle of a chapter to read another book. (I’ll talk more about this concept of multi-tasking in my blog).
As for my mission in communication and performing. I am on a mission to learn how to speak well and I’m not stopping until satisfied. I used to be a nervous reck, to the point that my teeth would tingle whenever I had to do anything in front of a live audience. Yet, the more I push myself the easier it gets and gets. What I’ve realized is that people often don’t have the tolerance to keep pushing forward during a difficult period, I seek to keep raising my threshold and fighting my fears. If I screw up for one audience (audience is used figuratively and literally) then I learn from the mistakes of that screw-up and apply them in the next presentation. Currently I joined to Columbia University debate to get me to think quick on my feet, I train with the Meisner technique at the William Esper Studio, and I perform monologues with The Actor’s Project NYC. The goal is to grow and grow as the years go by with my ability to speak effectively and express honestly.
Oh yea, and I love music and love to dance and play my drums…
To get more about my artistic side (right brain) go to my website. You can click on the link above or here: ShafikNabil.com. (This site will be redone as soon as I finish the website you are on now) Also you can find me on the Internet Movie Database.