Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I can’t remember a time I wasn’t performing. Whether it was dancing, singing, or acting, I have always wanted to be an entertainer. At a young age, I realized that I felt most alive when I was on stage. I loved performing because it provided the opportunity to share the joy and connect with my community. As I got older and acting became more of my focus, the importance of storytelling and sharing the stories of people whose voices often go unheard, became very important to me. Sharing experiences, and creating a more empathic world through storytelling inspires me daily and continues to fuel my passion for acting. Furthermore, being a storyteller inspires me to continuously educate myself so I can be a highly engaged, informed, and vocal member of society as an artist and as a human being.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
I have a lot of unique stories, but I think one of the most interesting stories about my career is the time when my job in the fitness industry crossed over with my acting career when I played a character who was a fitness instructor on the Emmy Award-winning show, GLOW, on Netflix. It was so much fun playing a Jane Foda type of character in an 80s setting! I had such a bright-colored costume, a huge personality, and even bigger hair! I had so much fun with the cast members I worked with on the episode. Also, this opportunity truly demonstrates the power of speaking your dreams into existence because I loved the show GLOW and truly could visualize myself on it, even though I knew that they only had one more season to film. I made an active effort to vocalize and write about how I will be on that show and…. it ended up happening! When season 4 is released on Netflix, keep an eye out for me!
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Pursuing acting can seem like a very daunting endeavor at times, partly because it is commonly believed that everyone in Los Angeles is pursuing acting. While there certainly are a lot of people in LA trying to pursue this craft, something a master acting teacher said, is that “eighty percent of these people should go home today, because they are not willing to put in the work”. He said that in order to call yourself an actor who is pursuing this as a career, you need to be putting in at least forty hours a week. Whether that means, reading books, reading scripts, staying on top of what is being cast right now, staying in acting classes, working on your own promotional materials, engaging with other creatives to create your own content, etc. So, to make this dream happen, you need to consistently be willing to put in the work that others won’t. I live by this philosophy, therefore my journey has taught me how to better calm my nerves, trust my abilities and communicate feelings and thoughts in a more free manner, which allows me to remain creative and feel liberated while working on my craft, thus keeping me from “burning out”.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
While I feel very fortunate to have the support and have gotten incredible advice from mentors, teachers, and members of the entertainment industry, the one particular person who I am so grateful for, who has helped and continues to help me achieve my dreams, is my mother. Yes, corny I know, but seriously, I don’t know what I would do without her. When I graduated from high school and I made the decision that I was going to take a gap year before attending college, she and my brothers moved their lives from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles so that I could work towards my dream. Later, when I began my academic journey at UCLA, my mom would drop me off at school and then have to sometimes take me straight to an audition on the other side of town as I changed in the car and reviewed my sides. Sometimes, I would even get an audition for the same day while I was in class and I would tell her and she would help get an outfit together that I needed and then come pick me up. Without her, I would not have been able to pursue a college education while simultaneously laying the groundwork for my acting career. I am so grateful to have a mom who not only respects my dreams and my desire to chase them but does everything in her power to help me make them happen.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
As an Arab American woman, who realizes how fortunate she is to have been born in the United States and has the ability to pursue her dreams, it is critical for me to give back. I am so fortunate to have a family that has always supported my dream of being an entertainer and has taught me to never give up. My dad, who immigrated to the United States as a young adult from the Middle East, always says that my family, generations before me, has sacrificed so I could passionately and fearlessly pursue what I want in life, as long as I never forget where I came from and give back. For years I have actively supported UNICEF and it is my dream to one day, use my platform as an actor to be an ambassador for them and work closely with them on projects, specifically for refugee children in the Middle East since that is so close to my heart.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“There is power in speaking your dreams into existence.”- Elaine Welteroth
This quote is extremely relevant to the way I live my life. I am a huge believer in the law of attraction and the power of putting what you want out into the Universe. In my opinion, truly being positive and grateful for what you have, opens the door for so much more. I know this to be true because whenever I am truly focused on further developing my inner world, I see the most positive return in all aspects of my life.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
The readers can follow me on Instagram “@imankarram”.