We had the good fortune of connecting with Danish Farooqui and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danish, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
After completing an entrepreneur coaching series, I realized that separating work and life creates the problem. Work is part of life. Life includes: family, hobbies, vacations, non-career goals, etc. Each of those things deserve a place in my schedule. As long as each part of my life is getting the time it needs to grow, there is balance.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think many actors will agree that standing out from the sea of other actors and hearing “no” almost 100% of the time is the most difficult part. Really what separates a consistently working actor from an a occasionally working actor is focusing my time in the form of specifying and developing my strengths/skills and getting in contact with those that searching for them. We never know when we will get our next booking but we can control our efforts and focus. The way I did this first recognizing my challenges: very little money starting out, competing in one the most expensive cities, in a very saturated market and age category amongst other actors. So I tackled each issue at a time by: sharing rooms with my acting classmates, cutting costs anyway possible, working on my specific skills (martial arts, multilingual, singing, strong natural charisma) to stand out from thousands of others. I learned very quickly that most will not agree with me or even believe in me, but those that do make amazing collaborators and we end up helping each other with our goals. The “Hero’s Journey” tends to be a recurring theme in most of the characters I play. Particularly a young, naïve, or even rebellious young man gets into trouble, overcomes huge obstacles and develops as a person. Those characters are the most fulfilling roles for me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would absolutely love to take my best friend sight seeing around the city. If it’s in NYC (where I’m working currently): Times Sq, Lincoln Center, Radio City, World Trade Center, Met Museum, Downtown Brooklyn, Bronx Botanical Garden, Empire State Building, Coney Island, Staten Island Ferry, Central Park and a Broadway show when they open up again. If it’s my hometown Houston: Houston Grand Opera, Hobby Center, Herman Park, Space Center Houston, Museum of Natural Science and road trips to Galveston, Austin and San Antonio.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give my agents a shoutout. They have been working so hard at getting auditions for over 500 actors on their rosters and keeping us motivated during lockdown. Shout out to the TV/Film/Theatre staff at TAKE 3 TALENT AGENCY and the Commercial/VoiceOver staff at BUCHWALD TALENT AGENCY. Thank you for taking care of yourself, your team and us actors.
Photographers: Ali Iqbal, Ben Esner, Ryan Metcalf, Joseph Lavender