Farah Bala

Photo Credit: Raj SarmaA two-year recipient of the Fezana Performing Arts Award, Farah Bala is another performer on the rise! She just completed a triumphant run in "Tales From The Tunnel," playing multiple characters and nationalities to perfection (Farah was captivating as she embodied each character she was playing). Her one woman show "To The Death of My Own Family," has toured both stateside and internationally. Her other theatre credits include "Macbeth," "Two Gentlemen of Verona," "167 Tongues," "Letters to Baghdad," and "Fear Up." On television and in film, Farah has lit up the screen in "Entre Nos," "The War Within," (Independent Spirit Award Nominee), "Karma, Confessions and Holi," and has been seen in a number of TV Series on the South Asian Channel, HUM TV.

When not performing, Farah can be found bringing her expertise and experience to the classroom. Over the past 10 years Farah has designed, developed, and facilitated workshops in the NYC Public schools through various arts organizations, specializing in programs such as Drama Therapy, Violence Prevention, Literacy and Playwrighting, and most recently, bringing Shakespeare into the classroom!

Up next, Farah will be starring in "Around The World In 80 Days" directed by Aaron Posner at the Delaware Theatre Company in Wilmington, Delaware from December 1-19. For much more on Farah be sure to visit http://www.farahbala.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? That would be my brother. I grew up watching him star in his annual school plays in Bombay and remember looking at the mirror the next day imagining I was on that stage! My mother has this great story of when I was a kid and we would watch movies or TV shows at home, she says it was always more entertaining watching me coz I would be so involved emotionally that my facial expressions were more interesting than what was happening on screen.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Oh gosh, where do I start? Its hard to pick just one. I'd love to work with Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi, two amazingly talented Indian actors who I grew up watching on stage and on screen. And I'd probably freeze and become completely immobile, but it would still be worth doing something with Meryl Streep.

3. Do you have any rituals that you must perform before a show? Hmm, I don't know if its a ritual, but I do like some quiet time to run through the show in my head. It also helps to do some light stretching and a good vocal warm up. How do you decompress after a show? After a show it really depends . . . During the run of 'Tales . . .' I noticed I was always starving after every show, so a big meal was essential! Sometimes a drink with the cast and friends is the perfect end, and then there are times when all I want to do is go home and read or watch TV.

4. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Put an American, an Indian, and a British person in front of me and I will have a conversation with them and switch accents according to who I'm talking to. Its crazy and most often I'm not even conscious of it. People point it out to me. Carla Corvo, who is also in Tales From The Tunnel says my accent is a rainbow!

5. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What do you order? Neither. I'll be at the cute corner coffee shop that has the most delicious cupcakes! I don't drink caffeine but my sweet tooth is TROUBLE!

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? In my ideal world, the best way would be to dance the nights away to my favorite tunes. In the real world I enjoy yoga, spinning and what I call 'The Laine Workouts' - Laine D'Souza is a dear friend and also the best trainer EVER.

7. Favorite skin care product? Philosophy has some divine body emulsions!

8. Favorite kind of shoes? The kind that are 3 inches or higher! Farah in a shoe store is like a kid in a candy store!

9. Favorite website? I absolutely love www.radioparadise.com. Its an online radio site with a live DJ and awesome mixes all day long.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman!

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I would love to be in the same room as some of the kids I've taught over the years, and see if the miniscule time we spent in their lives exposing them to the arts and the theater, has had an impact on who they are today, and has shaped what they will become.

12. What is the best advice you've ever received? There have been many, but as an artist, this one resonates with me the most - "Go after your dream, but don't forget to live life to the fullest and in the present moment."

Michael Roberts

Adam Rapp