sheetal sheth

sheetal sheth

The Business: Reframing the Conversation of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian Characters

1mo ago
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Description

Actors often deal with the dilemma: play into a stereotype or act against it? With the growth of diversity in entertainment, particularly in television, there’s also been an increase in the depiction of Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian characters. But this increase includes characterizations that many consider to be one-dimensional and lacking nuance. How does an actor up for the role of a “Convenience Store Clerk" or “Terrorist Number 4" avoid adding to negative stereotypes of people with these backgrounds. And alternatively, what happens when typecasting is so pervasive that casting directors dismiss actors who don’t look the stereotype? With a small range of roles, is it possible for these actors to help reframe the conversation, while creating and sustaining their careers? Panelists will share their real-world experiences in creating a different narrative, as well as moments they were able to transform portrayals into more complex, multidimensional characters – from comedians, satirical newscasters, ingénues, and yes, even terrorists. By bringing a solutions-based approach to this discussion, these panels will empower SAG-AFTRA performers how to achieve multi-faceted and dynamic characters, while still getting work. Panel includes Amr El-Bayoumi, René Ifrah, Sheetal Sheth, Mourad Zaoui and Maysoon Zayid. Moderated by Adam Moore, National Director of EEO & Diversity for SAG-AFTRA.