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Meet Faheem Rashid

Today we’d like to introduce you to Faheem Rashid.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Faheem. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Growing up, I have always loved films. Some of my best memories involve watching TV and movies. I would always imagine what it would be like to be part of what I am watching and allow people to feel different emotions through something I created. As I got older, I took some classes in high school on filmmaking. I even got a small award from my high school because of my work in the class. However, after listening to others, I did not pursue it further after high school, but it was always in my mind. I told myself, “I could always come back to it” or that “I am young and I have time.”

As the years passed, it never left my mind. If anything, the urge intensified until I had an epiphany. “Why am I waiting?” This is what I want, why am I delaying it?

I decided to take a trip to LA. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to be in film. I set up some studio tours and appointments with different film and acting schools out there. It strengthened my conviction. After I got back to Dallas, I started to look for teachers. That was five years ago. Through my journey, I have met some amazing friends. I am grateful for there support and guidance, and this is still just the beginning.

Has it been a smooth road?
Everything in life worth pursuing is never easy. My biggest difficulty in becoming an actor was and still is myself. I sometimes have a pessimistic view of myself. There is something known as the “imposter syndrome,” where a person has a great feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt. Where they do not feel like they deserve things that they have and/or that they can’t do something because it won’t be up to a standard of “perfection.” I definitely fall victim to this. This leads to procrastination due to fear of not being able to do things “right” and frustration from the lack of progression. I also did not like myself for a long time. I didn’t like the way I looked, the way I act, the way I did things, I just did not like me. I would always compare myself to others and say why can’t I be like ___, or do ____. It would lead to a downward spiral of more self-hatred and loathing.

I had to stop doing that. It took a long time and I’m still working on it, but I’m moving forward. I was able to change the way I looked by losing over 60lbs, I was able to change the way I view myself, and I realized things do not need to be perfect I just have to try. It turns out I’m pretty good when I try. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of over 30 projects, and I’m doing things that just a couple of years ago, I thought it would be impossible. I’ve taken classes to hone my skills. I’m constantly trying to learn and put myself out there outside of my comfort zone.

Everything else is part of the process for me if I don’t get a role, that’s fine. If I’m not the right ethnicity, the right height, the right fit for the role, that’s fine. I’ve auditioned and heard “no” hundreds of times, but I’m still moving forward. I learn from my mistakes and keep going. The only thing that can stop me is me.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am an actor and filmmaker. My job help moves people, to evoke emotions and reactions that they did not even know they had. Its to tell stories that need to be told, and help someone forget about there busy lives for a little while.

I realized with filmmaking that I needed to learn more. So I went back to school at the University of Texas at Arlington, to broaden my knowledge. Right now, the short documentary I did for one of my finals, “COVID Nurse,” is submitted to multiple film festivals nationwide. It tells the story of what it’s like to be a nurse during the peak of the Coronavirus, in what is considered to be the epicenter in the US. I am proud of this project, not only because it is telling a story that needs to be told. But, because it is telling the story of one of my family members.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Where the industry is going is a difficult question to answer. The year 2020 has been unpredictable for everyone, and I personally believe that there will be some permanent changes to the industry. Everything that follows is just my own opinion from what I have seen, and I have no insider information.

Before 2020 there were already shifts in the market. Traditional forms of media were on a decline and streaming was increasing multi-folds. Even though movies have been setting records in profits over the last couple of years, the overall attendance to theaters is down. The profits were mostly from films that were tied to an existing Intellectual property, and the cost to make the films have been going up. Mid-budget films were almost nonexistent in theaters, only lower budget (these terms are all relative) films and big-budget films were making money. The number of streaming films has increased at the same time and many of them were of the mid-budget and independent. International films and productions were also on a rise. More Americans are watching content that was created in other countries and foreign investors were funding Hollywood productions. This has lead to an increase in more diversity in American films.

Now in 2020, it seems like everything is going to be accelerated. Corona caused a force shift to change everything to streaming. Even some movies that were going to be shown in theaters were released as a video on demand and other films were delayed-release. There are new guidelines on how productions should shoot because of Corona. Many auditions went from in-person to recorded.

Due to the unfortunate events that have lead to the nationwide outcry for equality, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has announced changes to increase diversity in productions. All this in conjunction with evolving technology. I don’t know what changes are going to be permanent and which ones are temporary. The only thing I am sure of is things will change and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

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Image Credit:
The AMS picture is one form an episode of murder made me famous

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