Interview with WESAM KEESH | The Art of Self-Discovery

By seeking approval from others, will make us dependant on what others think in order for us to feel satisfied. But also, what we think is right might be the opposite for someone else. Hence, when we allow ourselves and others to be and when we focus on reaching the best emotion within ourselves, we will most likely to experience a more fulfilling life. Even in the most challenging times, there is an opportunity for personal growth and self-understanding. Self-worth is our birthright and nobody can take away, it is always there in you, just look for it inside.

“One of the biggest challenges is for artists to realize that their self-worth is not dependent on booking a job. One of the best qualities about the industry is that through the toughest times, you can begin to see glimpses of who you really are,” says actor Wesam Keesh who can be seen as Jay Simmons on ABC’s series For the People,  airing its second season now.

In this interview, you will get to know Wesam from a more intimate perspective as he shares his thoughts about the entertainment industry, his career and aspirations.


INTRODUCTION

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Wesam Keesh?

Still trying to figure that out actually. I’m constantly changing and evolving, but at my core, I’m probably a Bengal Tiger. Maybe Siberian. Can’t be sure sometimes. Just kidding of course. I’m an eternally grateful human being living an extremely blessed life filled with challenges and blessings. And I act professionally from time to time.

  • How did you discover your passion for acting and decide to pursue it as a career?

Always love performing since I was a kid. But it wasn’t until college I decided that I wanted to make this a professional career.

ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

  • Working in the entertainment industry means more than taking on a job; it is a lifestyle that requires you to put in extreme amounts of time, effort and some rejections before you become successful. What have you learned from taking on this path?

Find your motivation as to why you’re doing what you’re doing or want to do. Your motivation will help get you through the really hard times. You gotta be cunning and diligent in the way you approach your work too. Always be respectful. Be kind to your fellow humans on the path. You never where they’re at in life or what demons they are fighting. Kill laziness. No room for it. Train constantly. If you’re not, someone else is. Aim for the top. Life is too short to be ok with mediocre. Make timelines and hold yourself accountable to them. There’s so much more to list…

  • The entertainment industry is changing rapidly. What do you think are the biggest challenges and best qualities you admire about the industry?

One of the biggest challenges is for artists to realize that their self worth is not dependent on booking a job. One of the best qualities about the industry is that through the toughest times, you can begin to see glimpses of who you really are. Sometimes they are positive qualities, sometimes they are negative ones. But even with the negative ones, it gives you an opportunity to better yourself.

Photography by Benjo Arwas

ACTING

  • Jay Simmons is the role your play on ABC’s Shondaland series For the People airing its second season now. Your character is confident but naive, and throughout the series finds his footing as a lawyer. What was the experience of becoming Jay and evolving in your portrayal of him?

I got to shadow a real public defender which was an incredible experience. To see what they deal with on a daily basis is incredible. They are handling somewhere between 60 to 120 cases at any given time. Insane. That was the most eye-opening experience for me when researching the job. I got to witness client interactions, good and bad, daily life with co-workers, and also judge and lawyer interactions. Plus, some personal life details on some of the lawyers which helped really humanize everyone.

  • Jay lives with a roommate, Seth Oliver, who is also a lawyer on the persecution side, which makes them also on opposing sides in the courtroom, so to speak. How does their relationship evolve and despite their differences they complement each other?

Like all roommate interactions, it most of the time starts off great and then certain things begin to weigh on the other and that’s where the fights begin. All I can say is that Jay and Seth go through some really challenging times and hopefully their friendship holds after those experiences.

  • Each character within the series represents a unique personality that brings to the team their own value in both, professional and personal relationships. In that aspect, how would you describe Jay’s contribution?

He’s very loyal, passionate about doing the right thing no matter what the circumstances are, and is extremely witty.

  • In the series, Jay and the other lawyers are involved in cases of fraud, drug trafficking, bribery, assault, and family separation. While the cases are fictional, these could be examples of real life. How do you feel portraying these issues and bringing them to light with a positive message?

It creates a positive discussion about these topics. That’s what is missing nowadays from a lot of discourse. An intelligent positive debate that promotes clarity and truth. In an entertaining way of course.

  • Are there issues dealt with on For the People that particularly resonate with you? What does being part of the show have personally taught you?

Don’t steal donuts. Especially a bear claw.

  • What other exciting projects are you working on at this moment?

I have my radio show Wesam’s World that airs on Idobi Radio Thursdays at 3 pm PST. I love it. I get to have these entertaining and inspirational talks with amazing people from the entertainment industry and beyond. It’s fun, casual, and we usually end up talking about everything from the meaning of life to Bigfoot hunting. It’s great.

Photography by Benjo Arwas

RADIO

  • You host the radio show Wesam’s World, in which you have “great conversations with great people,” on topics ranging from lifestyle, charity, and life in the entertainment industry. Why did you decide to pursue this project?

Always loved talking to people about anything and everything. You really get to know someone in long form casual conversations.

  • How does your career as an actor complement your work on the radio show?

It’s definitely helped me articulate my thoughts as well as see different perspectives on a variety of topics from widely different people.

LIFE

  • How do you feel where you are in your life at this moment, and how do you envision your future?

Extremely grateful. As for the future, I have plans… secrets plans.

GOOD SOUL

  • Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?

The Thirst Project. It’s a non-profit organization whose aim is to bring safe and sustainable water and water projects to the less fortunate all over the world. Clean water is something we take for granted here and millions around the world have yet to have access to clean water. The effects of giving clean water to communities branch out to better education, health, and a bright future.

CLOSE UP

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and in consequence the final manifestation of your actions?

The joy I receive during the creative process ignites a fire inside me that burns bright and lights the path of life not only for me, but for my friends, family, and community.

  • When you hear: “You can be, do and have anything you want,” words from the Abraham-Hicks teachings, what is your take on such a statement?

I must aim then, for the highest of highs. The greatest of greats. With Humility, passion, and honor.


Instagram.com/WesamKeesh/
Photography Benjo Arwas