Sean Ahmed Sharif is a senior VAPA major with a focus in Theatre at UCCS. Apart from performing, he is a huge fan of rock climbing, wine/whiskey nights, The Weeknd, and will not say no to camping in the mountains. He can almost accurately mimic the sound of a helicopter droning near and flying in the distance.
Sean Sharif: Suleimani, Kurdistan (Iraq)
TW: Home now?
SS: Colorado Springs, Colorado
TW: How are you doing right now?
SS: Confused and worried but not letting idleness take up precious time.
TW: What are you listening to on Spotify (iTunes, Sirius, etc) or watching (on Netflix, Hulu, etc)?
SS: My music taste has been all over the place since quarantine began, so I'd switch from the Weeknd to classical artists like Liszt or Chopin. I’ve just started listening to Jimmy Wilson a lot more and I can’t say I’m able to resist. As far as shows, I’ve sticked a lot to ones I’m still finishing up on. So, Peaky Blinders, the National Geographic documentaries, What We Do in the Shadows, and Slings and Arrows (recommended) are at the top of that list.
TW: Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
SS: “Right on”, “Always”, “Easy”, and “Give me a break”.
TW: Which talent would you most like to have?
The talent to sing and dance without giving out in the first 10 seconds.
TW: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
SS: Being selected for a 3-week internship at New York’s Public Theater with a close friend through the UCCS Theatre & Dance department.
TW: What is the best gift you have ever received?
When I was in the third grade, my father brought from his deployment a picture of me pasted on a cutout cardboard frame with the signatures and well wishes of all the people he worked with, including troops from multiple countries. I’m sure there’s another present that ties with that, but it was by far the coolest one I remember receiving. Some retired veteran in Europe knows of my existence. I am honored by that.
TW: When and where were you happiest?
SS: Tough one, but there was a cabin my father reserved for a whole day by this gorgeous lake in my homeland. My brothers were there with some other relatives, and I remember the dancing and eating and drinking that was going on. It was this loud lakeside party, and I knew I wasn’t going to see many of these people after that night, so I cherished as much as I could.
TW: What is your motto?
SS: Grief is like snakes. I hate snakes.
TW: What is Hair all about in one sentence?
SS: The capacity for loving yourself and your fellow man is infinite.
TW: Why does Hair matter now, especially in the age of COVID-19?
SS: There is a lot of hostility between nations, states, and people. We do not know who to blame, and from the fearing of an uncertain future, we are dividing ourselves further into groups. If Hair preached anything to my colleagues and I, it was the long-evolving question of “How are you an activist, and what will you do to provoke change?”, and the prerequisite of living freely and knowing to love was a huge ingredient in answering. So, if anything, the show speaks a lot in these times of loneliness and fear in that it drives us to unite against a cause we do not fully understand. As long as we are understanding, loving, and accepting of our positions and circumstances, there is no reason why we cannot triumph.
TW: What's one line from Hair which really speaks to you?
SS: At some point, Claude (the show’s focal point narratively) breaks into a number, “The Flesh Failures/Let The Sunshine In”. One of the lines goes “Silence tells me secretly everything.” I feel that is what these past two months have been. An abyss of silence, and despite what we are hearing, a lot of us can’t help but work through all that has happened and not know why we are in this predicament. A truly heartbreaking piece, and the actor that played Claude sang the song with such magnificence, it is that much harder to forget why I am stuck on that line.
TW: One thing we should be doing to foster the next generation of theatregoers?
SS: Education is a huge thing for me. I mean everything from the rudimentary to the specifics. I am not necessarily asking people to be “woke”, but rather to be inquisitive, be bold in your learnings, and most importantly to be patient. These are, after all, major foundations for artists.