We had the good fortune of connecting with Tarek Zohdy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tarek, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
In my personal life I have developed habits over time that I have found personally furthered my success. These range from the most practical to certain methods of carrying myself. Practically, I make my bed every morning without fail; I start every morning with a large glass of water and I have breakfast every morning to make sure I don’t start my day weak; I have set times and set days or exercise and I make sure to adhere to that; I am determined to get the maximum amount of sleep I reasonably can and prioritize that over such things as late night partying; I treat alcohol as an accessory when I am socializing and not as the purpose; and I don’t allow anything to languish (pay my bill son time, check my mail daily, respond promptly to emails, etc).

On a more philosophical basis (i.e. how I operate and carry myself) I also have certain habits. I never overstay my welcome. Leaving a party, dinner, event, etc earlier has always been my modus operandi. I try to listen to people before I speak. I respect others’ eccentricities, don’t judge and try to always find another person’s humanity. I never partake in violence or accept it, walk away. When I am amidst a disagreement, I always try to first find what I agree with the other person on and create a base understanding before discussing disagreement. And I always admit and apologize when I am wrong. The truth is always better than the alternative.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am still a work in progress in the acting realm. As a minority actor it is especially hard. Being a MENA actor, it is doubly hard. We are all fighting for crumbs, and there really isn’t enough to go around for us. It has been very difficult to have the little success that I have had to date. But I love the industry, I love this profession, and I am determined to succeed. I’ve learned that you really have to roll with the punches, have alternative methods of income and be prepared to fail, a lot. However, when you do have that little taste of success, it makes it all worth it. I am hoping that “big break” comes along, and I am excited to see it happen. MENA actors, like myself, are just as talented and fully capable of full colorful performances. We shouldn’t be shoehorned into “terrorist” roles. That’s what I want the world to know. We are here and we want those opportunities too.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I live in Los Angeles, so I am thankful to be surrounded by world-class entertainment. I’ve also had many of my friends come visit and I’ve had to show them around. I am not one of those people that look down upon the cliche. I think tourist traps are great actually. I would definitely take my friend to Hollywood & Highland. We’d see the Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian, The Walk of Fame, Ripley’s, the Museum of Death, Disney, Griffith Park, the Zoo, Venice Beach etc. We would buy 5 for $20 “LA” Baseball hats on Hollywood Blvd. We’d eat at Urth Cafe, see a show at the Wiltern and Hollywood Bowl, and much more. But obviously, there are more local activities I would take them on. For instance, we’d have family style thai at Palm Thai; grab pastries at Porto’s; get a cake at Sweet Lady Janes; have bbq at Baby Blue’s; hike at the Baldwin Hills Scenic/ Culver Steps; go to a smaller quieter beach. There’s a lot to do here. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are multiple books I would say have really helped me through. I’ve read all of David Sedaris’s books. His humor is transcendent. Jim Carrey, my hero as an actor. My dad, R.I.P., was a rockstar and I decided to pursue my career in Law from him. My family, mom, sister, brother and niece definitely have held me accountable. Hamzah Saman of Menasa Casting/Arab Actors has greatly helped me build my acting career. My friend and Casting Director Chad Michael Murnane introduced me to my current managers at Bohemia Group and has really guided me. My Agent Elton Bolden has always been by my side and, though I am still a work in progress, my Managers at Bohemia Group (Naomi, Jerrold, Susan, Allison, Kat, all of them) have been great.

Website: imdb.me/tarekzohdy

Instagram: Tarekszoooo

Twitter: Tarekszoooo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TarekHZohdy/

Other: https://www.facebook.com/tarekszoooo

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.