Inside The Unplugging: Umed Amin

With previews of The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan (March 14 – April 5, 2015) underway, Native Earth and Factory are excited to introduce a newcomer to the Toronto theatre scene: Umed Amin.

Recent graduate from the University of Windsor Acting Program, Amin is thrilled to be making his professional debut in a Toronto premiere on the Factory mainstage.

Umed Amin as Seamus; Photo by Akipari

Amin’s role in Nolan’s post-apocalyptic story is that of the threat to the two exiled women’s new life – a role he was happy to take on.

“I’m incredibly excited about almost every aspect, but I’m most excited to explore the questions that the play asks.

“We’ve become a culture that has adopted technology into our lives without a second thought; this play asks questions that an audience member has to ask himself or herself so that they can examine their dependency and whether it’s healthy or not.”

With so many power outages in Toronto’s recent history,  imagining a world where the power never does come back on may not be so difficult.  And what would life be like to be on the outs of The Unpluggings post-apocalyptic world?

“…what gives them the strength they need to keep surviving even when there’s no hope.”

“I think everyone is going to walk out of the theatre asking themselves what gives them the strength they need to keep surviving even when there’s no hope. Being able to try and wrestle those questions with others is why I’m in this business,” says Amin. “God knows it doesn’t always pay that well!

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Umed observing rehearsal.

The common struggles of working artists are not enough to deter Amin from his dream career.

“Honestly, my aspirations lie in film and television but my roots will always remain in the theatre. I plan on trying to build a name for myself in the film and television community while hopefully being able to meet new artists and work on new productions in the theatre.

“It is my hope that I can build a career where I can do film to feed my stomach and theatre to feed my soul: But nothing else. My ultimate goal is to just be a working actor.”

Catch Umed Amin as Seamus with Diana Belshaw and Allegra Fulton in The Unplugging by Yvette Nolan, directed by Nina Lee Aquino.
On stage now until Sunday April 5th.


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Getting Unplugged with Umed

What advice would you give to someone
who wants to do what you do?
My father thought I was majoring in History for the first two years of University (I was taking Acting), life is going to take you on a crazy rollercoaster ride, so if you truly want this, hunt for it. Just make sure that you’re aware of every facet of the job. And if you are aware of the hardships of merging art and business and what it means to be an artist and you’re STILL willing to chase the dream and try to work as an actor? Then focus on your goal, do what you have to do:
History will absolve you of your actions.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Become friends with the make up person. They’re usually in contact with almost everyone that has any power over your future and they can be really smart allies and very, very dangerous enemies.
I learned that in Michael Caine’s book on film acting.

Who is one of your heroes?
Superman has always been my favorite comic book hero. I think a lot of people overlook a couple very important things about Superman. People seem to say, and with some truth, that Superman seems to just punch his way out of every scenario. This is true, but this falls on the shoulders of the writing staff, in my opinion, for either allotting or being forced to adhere to a linear plot. However, the thing that I love about Superman is that even though he has the power to enslave or annihilate the human race, he chooses to put humans on a pedestal instead and tries to offer them hope and protection. Something that Superman does in many graphic novels on his free time is fly around saving people who decide to end their life by jumping off of buildings. He offers them a second chance and hope of redemption.
I think that’s pretty swell.

The one word your best friend would use to describe you?
Unique. I’ve never met anyone with the same first name as me.
I’m sure it’ll happen, but it’s forced me to be pretty unique.

Favorite childhood toy?
My brother told me at 8 years old that if I threw out all of my toys
and grew up, he would let me hang out with his friends: This never happened. Before that incident and well after, I had a plethora of wresting action figures that I owned and loved. I wanted to be a professional wrestler from the ages of 5-15. I quickly realized that the shortest wrestler in the league was an inch shorter than me with over 30 pounds on me. He could also do back flips.
I decided on a career change.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Dead or Alive?
Dead: Niccolo Machiavelli
Alive: Stephen Hawking

Follow Umed on Twitter


 

Select Theatre Credits: Charles in A Party To Murder (University Players), Tuzenbach in Three Sisters (University Players)