Shining In The Spotlight: How Stepping Out Of His Comfort Zone Created A Quantum Leap In His Acting Career
Paul Karmiryan has performed all over the world and is a familiar face to millions of fans, having been a dancer on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars.
I met Paul when he was a student in my recent Success Breakthrough Workshop. He wanted to transition from dance into the acting world. (Something I did myself, over 20 years ago!) He was a shining light for sure, but he didn’t know what steps to take + felt overwhelmed it all.
Recently, he booked his first acting credit on Network TV. I was so excited to find out what had helped him make this quantum leap.
Read his inspiring story of how he “leaped” from dancing into acting + the doubts + insecurities he overcame along the way…
I was thrilled when you became a part of my Spotlight: The Mindset of the Month Club after taking my Success Breakthrough Workshop? What made you join Spotlight?
I loved your workshop so much Wendy! And joining Spotlight was a way to stay connected and continually refresh and remember all of your teachings!
On top of that I look forward to your weekly Morning Mindset Meditation emails. I find myself going back to the emails you send out over + over again because they truly are so inspiring.
You just have a way of hitting the bull’s eye on various things that are going on in my life. Its almost like you can read my mind.
Thanks Paul! I love knowing that. It proves we really are all connected.
What are the inner shifts you’ve noticed from being in the Spotlight group?
When I first started dancing at 17 years old I had a very different mindset than I do now. I started off with a very confident and positive outlook which I brought me much success in my dance career.
I always had an inner knowing that good things were going to happen in my dancing and that if I continued to work hard, visualize, not let anything change my inner joy + happiness, everything would work out for me and it did.
While changing course and getting into acting, I started to feel the pressures of all that came with it, including:
1. Letting go of something comfortable (dancing) and transitioning into something unknown to me (acting).
2. Life and the difficulties which came as I grew older + had no control over. (Unfortunate passing of family members + unexpected circumstances.)
3. Art forms which strive for ‘perfection’ when there is no such thing + constant battles of rejection and unfair results.
4. The financial instability and the stress of a job that has you woking a LOT one week/month/year and not working at all the next.
5. Bringing truth to the darker sides of a character and being able to step away from it after, can be difficult.
I think all of this created a sense of insecurity and loss of confidence in me for a long time. I wasn’t truly happy and I didn’t feel like myself.
But jumping into your Success Breakthrough Workshop really made me realize that none of that could control me.
I really connected to your workshop because, along with a lot more amazing new teachings, it also made me remember why I was so happy when I was first started in the dance industry, compared to now.
It helped remind me of the gratitude and appreciation for all I already have, that great things are going to happen (positive expectation), the importance of taking things lightly, the inner knowing that I am amazing, and that when all my actions are guided by love, I always attract fortunate forthcomings into my life.
Your Spotlight Club refreshes this inner knowing every month.
Where might we recognize you from in the dance world?
I was on So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 and an All-Star on Season 12. I have performed on the Dancing With the Stars Tour, So You Think You Can Dance Tour + Derek and Julianne Hough’s Move Live on Tour, to name a few.
I was assistant choreographer and Ed Sheeran’s Dance instructor for his “Thinking Out Loud” Music Video which just reached over a billion views on Youtube and received an grammy award! I also performed for Ed Sheeran at the EMAs in Glasgow.
And I recently choreographed and performed for Andrea Bocelli in his international “Cinema” concert.
Amazing! You’ve created an huge leap from dance into acting, tell me about your recent acting success?
When I first stepped into your Success Breakthrough Workshop months ago, I was still new to everything (I had trained a lot theatrically, but I did not have representation and I had never been out on an acting audition)
Reps would often see me as a dancer and wouldn’t give me a chance as an actor.
That’s exactly what happened to me when I was transitioning from dancer to actor. So glad you kept going!
In the midst of taking your workshop, I got offered a commercial, a music video job, and a role in a web series, which were amazing transitions into acting and helped me build a reel.
Throughout the year, I continued to see great things happen in my dancing but transitioning into acting still seemed at a stand-still.
“It wasn’t until I said NO to various big dance jobs which would have me leave Los Angeles for months and take me away from focusing on acting, that I saw results take place.”
Starting at the beginning of this year I got a great manager + I went to my first auditions and gradually began going out a lot for pilot season.
Knowing that good things are to come, going into each room with confidence, prepared with my best work, and enjoying it all, I was fortunate to be receiving amazing feedback.
The 3rd co-star audition I ever went on I booked, for an ABC show, “Switched At Birth.”
The day after I shot “Switched at Birth,” I was called in on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” to dance in the finale episode.
I now feel it is just the beginning and I am excited for whats to come!
How has being a professional dancer prepared you for making the leap into acting?
Being a professional dancer was a huge gateway into my acting career.
I had always wanted to get into acting but I never knew how or what steps to take to do so.
Because my dancing took me all around the world, it really forced me to learn a lot about myself and others and to mature as a person.
It connected me with a lot of people from all over which gave me a great sense of perspective and knowledge, it gave me discipline and life lessons which I would not have learned in any other way.
Dancing and the shows/competitions I was a part of have pushed me beyond limits emotionally, physically, intellectually, and socially. And also it gave me an awareness of body control which I feel is very important in acting.
What is your advice for dancers (or anyone) who want to go into acting?
I think a lot of dancers feel comfortable with where they are and are afraid of the unknown when it comes to acting, as was I.
So many of my dancer friends tell me that they really want to get into acting, but from their actions and the way they put things off, I can tell they are afraid to take a leap into something that’s not familiar.
Don’t get me wrong, when you are just getting the ball rolling there is a lot to think about. Finding the right classes and training, getting good reps, the expenses, new networks you have to create, the reel, the website,… it goes on and on.
But trusting that everything will unfold on its own gradually once you take the first steps, will definitely take a lot of stress off your shoulders.
I would say nothing is impossible. It is about truly knowing that it will come and having that positive expectation.
But also gearing yourself 100% towards what your end-goal is and taking actions which support it.
I know saying no to a job in the dance world is an insane thing to do, especially something like a national tour, but if I hadn’t I would never have met my amazing managers and I wouldn’t have extended the process of transitioning into acting.
One of my most favorite mantras that I learned from you, Wendy, and that now I live by is, “Everything always works out for me.” It truly does!
I also think that as dancers we have a certain level of discipline that not everyone has.
Using that to your advantage and attacking the industry and every opportunity you get with the best work ethic will give you the best results.
Such excellent advice! What are some words that best describe you?
Where can we see you next?
You can see my appearance on ABC’s Switched at Birth and Crazy Ex Girlfriend.
And also something great I recently found out coming up in the near future which I cannot reveal just yet! So stay tuned.
Tell us which of Wendy’s audios are on “Paul’s Favorites” playlist?
My favorite’s list is constantly changing because every so often I connect with a new audio differently depending on whats going on in my life, but my main ones are:
Where can we find you online?
Is there anything you’d like to add?? A favorite quote, what keeps you going or parting words…
I think the thing that keeps me going is that I just love life and all it has to offer. I never skip on a chance to learn something.
I studied Psychology and Quantum physics at my university and it made me understand that homo-sapiens are limitless and how powerful we really are as beings. Thereafter, I knew nothing is impossible.
And if I wanted to be a successful dancer starting at 17 years old and only training for 4 years, while I was a full time student and working 3 jobs, it was possible.
My best advice is this….
- Life is like a piece of clay, you can mold it, add on to it, take away from it, and shape it however you want.
- You are the artist, so dont judge or blame anyone or anything else for what you create.
- Always be grateful for where you are, comparing ourselves can never help us, because life is constantly changing.
- Visualize and bring into existence your goals, and keep that positive expectation
- Show gratitude in your life as you move forward, and everything will eventually fall into its place.
- The only person that determines it’s a good day or a bad day is you.
- Just know that, “Everything always works out for you.”
This was so inspiring, Paul. Thanks for taking the time to dive so deep into your amazing journey. I know that the best really is yet to come + can’t wait to see what’s next for you.
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