Interview With PAUL KARMIRYAN | All Things Are Possible
Every physical manifestation starts with an idea. Our thoughts trigger our emotions which determine how we feel. This, in turn, influences how we act and shapes our perspective on life. When we are aware of this, we can tap into our inner power to deliberately choose where to direct our attention. We all deserve to experience exactly what we dream of. Understanding the power of our mind, having faith in ourselves, and seeing and expect the best in everything will bring emotions that feel good to us.
Actor and dancer Paul Karmiryan celebrate his life, acting as his own example of the limitless possibilities he found within himself.
“ I am one to always advocate that the mind is a powerful thing and that nothing is impossible. We see time and time again of that being true. You can have anything you desire. The only thing stopping you from what you want is yourself, “ says Paul.
In this uplifting conversation with the actor, who can be seen as Alex in the fourth season of the series Veronica Mars, you will discover his unfolding path towards the life he dreams about…
- Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Paul Karmiryan?
Paul is someone who has a passion for life and all the beautiful things that come along with it. That includes all the lows as much as it does the highs. And he is someone who loves to learn, observe, and feels like he always has room to grow. He is someone that always strives to be the best version of himself and to just be a good human being. He sees the best in people and always gravitates towards making people smile and feel better. He loves his family, his friends, and the people that surround him unconditionally. He definitely has a sweet tooth. An ideal day for Paul is a beautiful day where he is surrounded by his close friend and family, playing board games or at an escape room, with cookies and cream ice cream sandwich in his belly.
- You began appearing on television at a young age and spent many years in front of the camera as part of your career. How have you balanced becoming your best self when you felt the pressures of being in the public eye?
I started appearing on television as a performer around the age of twenty. Starting late brought its own pressures, but the personal growth I have experienced throughout the years has been incomparable and I wouldn’t take any of the hardships back that I had along the way, which helped me become the person I am today. My goal is to be my best self and strive to be a great human being. That includes accepting failures and mistakes; moving past them and learning from them. Being in the public eye definitely was difficult at first, because I felt an urge to not be myself, because I struggled with my self-confidence. But after I overcame my personal obstacles, I broke out of my shell and realized that no one is perfect and all we can do is be the best version of ourselves and continue to grow.
- You have been featured on television in Armenia and the United States; what is your experience of working in and representing both countries?
My experience in Armenia is near and dear to me because it is what started it all for me. Prior to doing Armenia, I was a psychology major in college focused on my studies and I didn’t have any plans of being in the industry I am today or living the lifestyle I do. It has exposed me to being a performer and made me fall in love with the world of performing. Along with that, I ended up living in Armenia for six months to do the show. I had never been to the country before even though my family roots are from there! So, it brought me closer to my culture, allowed me to explore my ancestry, and helped me speed-learn the language. It made me understand, explore, and fall in love with a part of me that had been hiding away for so long! As for the US version of SYTYCD, I gained exposure and got to work with the best of the best in the industry which allowed me to pursue a lifestyle and career as a performer. I got to travel the world, do many fulfilling performances/gigs, and meet many inspirational and talented human beings from all walks of life. The show was a speed course in bettering myself as a dancer, but also helped me grow as a person and find my voice.
- In the highly anticipated fourth season of Veronica Mars, which premiered on Hulu on July 26th, you are playing Alex Maloof. How was the process of becoming Alex and what resonates most between you and him?
Becoming Alex was very interesting. There were some things that I connected with and some that I didn’t. Alex is an entitled athlete who comes from a wealthy family and he goes through the hardship of losing his fiancé, whom his family didn’t approve of. Oh, did I mention, Alex speaks Arabic with his family (a language I had to learn from scratch for the show). I definitely connected to my relationship with my family in the show because middle eastern families have a certain dynamic about them, which I grew up with. But I didn’t connect with his entitled nature and losing someone you love in a disaster, especially when your family doesn’t sympathize. So, I had to do a lot of research and work to get me there. Besides that, the MOST important thing and all I can say is… Shaka (you have to watch to find out).
- When you auditioned for the show, you hadn’t watched it or known what it was about. What compelled, you to audition and can you describe the casting process?
Honestly, at first, I had never heard of the show and had no idea what the series was about. But I very quickly became a ‘marshmallow’! I thought it was so cool that the show had such a strong fan base and that the fans raised around six million and funded the return of the show through Kickstarter! After watching the previous seasons and being a part of this newest season on Hulu, I totally get it. It’s such a great show and I can’t wait for everyone to see the revival!
- Veronica Mars is a noir-style crime show. What is Alex’s role within the network of events in the series and what is his connection with Veronica?
THIS ANSWER INCLUDES SPOILERS- Alex is the sole survivor in the first bombing that happens. Unfortunately, he loses his fiancé, his three fingers, and his family’s heirloom (the wedding ring). Alex’s older brother, who is a congressman, takes this as an attack on the family and himself and hires Veronica Mars investigations to find out who did the bombing.
- Veronica Mars has a devoted fanbase which has crowdfunded the show’s reboot from the 2004 original series. Why do you think the audience will be excited to tune into the fourth season?
I feel like this season checks a lot of boxes. I mean each episode is definitely jam-packed with many instances that will have you guessing/ on your toes and things that will catch you by surprise. But also, there are many moments that will have you laughing. Another thing to keep in mind is that the characters have grown up, Veronica is not in high school anymore, and the show itself is darker and more mature. Many relationships and character dynamics are still intact, they have just evolved. So, you still get a lot of comedic bickering, sentimental moments, and instances where viewers will connect back to the previous seasons/movie. Overall, even with just eight episodes, it’s a very full season and not only are there so many favorites coming back but a bunch of new characters and talented actors that I’m sure the viewers will absolutely appreciate and fall in love with! And I mean.. Kristen Bell… (a star) ’nuff said (smiling).
- Are you working on any upcoming projects that you are particularly excited about?
I just finished filming a lead role in Snapchat’s “The Dead Girl Detective Agency” Season three and four and was also a part of FBI Season two. I also did a Music Video for an artist that I, unfortunately, cannot reveal the name of! And you might see me back as an All-Star on SYTYCD Season sixteen!
- The beginning of your dancing career was at the age of seventeen, which is considered pretty late. Only within three years, you became a Latin Ballroom national champion.
I quickly gained a passion for dancing and I dedicated a lot of time and energy into my training. It wasn’t an easy period of my life and I faced a lot of hardship, but it was very worth it. I was working three jobs (to support my training, schooling, and other expenses) and I was a full-time student in college, aiming to balance my dance training in-between all of that. But after my continued fight for three years, I became Armenia’s favorite dancer on So You Think You Can Dance and began to see progress in my career as a performer in America as well. It is a chapter in my life that I will never forget, because it enforced the idea that I can do anything I set my mind to and that I should never put limits on myself.
- How has the awareness of the movement of your body in connection with a dance partner contributed to your acting?
Yes of course! I believe an actor being in tune with his/her body is very important. Body language and mannerisms are essential for refining a character and making it come to life. Not to mention the Choreography in a scene that is needed, especially when working with a scene partner in an intimate storyline.
- What does it feel when the dynamics of your body movement meets the rhythm and you can’t stop this flow within yourself?
Every dancer knows the feeling of being in the flow and having the music coursing through their veins/ their entire body. It is a moment of utter bliss and it almost feels like you’re in another world. I feel it most often when I am performing and sometimes I can’t even recall the moments during my performance. It’s hard to explain, but I also feel it when I am acting as well.
- After competing on So You Think You Can Dance: USA, you have returned to the show as an All-Star alumnus and mentor. How ready you felt when you did the transition from competitor to mentor?
I think I was ready to be a mentor because I had already gone through 2 different versions of the show and I had worked with various All-Stars/ Mentors throughout my time as a contestant. So, I knew what to expect going in as a mentor. Of course, there was the pressure of making sure the contestant I was paired up with was seen in the best light and had a great journey on the show. But I was also lucky to have chosen/been partnered with talented and prepared dancers who were ready to take on the challenges that were thrown at them! They definitely made my job easy.
- You are well-known for your role in helping to choreograph Ed Sheeran’s music video for Thinking Out Loud. What was the experience of working with such a beloved artist and helping to create a video with millions of views?
I was so fortunate to be able to have crossed paths with Ed. We traveled with him during his North America tour to teach him and perfect the choreography any chance we got in-between his shows. He is truly an amazing human being and not to mention so talented and incredible at what he does. Of course, bringing him into the dance world was very challenging and vulnerable for him at first. But I feel his hard work, persistence, and talent shined and he was able to overcome the obstacles that were handed to him. He fully trusted Brittany Cherry, NappyTabs, and myself and he absolutely shined in the short amount of time that he had as an end result! The music video now has over 2.7 billion views! We became great friends through the process and it was a very memorable chapter in all of our lives. We keep in touch now and then to catch up on each other’s busy lives.
- How does self-belief affect your existence?
I think it is essential especially in this industry to have self-belief, at least in moderation, or else you will go insane. We as people can never reach perfection. Although, wanting to reach perfection and the need to grow and be better is humbling and makes people strive to reach higher and be better in their lives and their craft. Eventually, self-judgment and never being satisfied or confident can cause a lot of stress and hardship in one’s life. You have to balance yourself with self-belief and “taking things lightly” in order to maintain your sanity. And that’s not to say, “have fake confidence,” but instead to understand that this is all a process, and no one is perfect. You will make mistakes and you will fail, but as long as you are accepting of that and learning from your obstacles/challenges, you will grow to be the best version of yourself. No one has ever reached great success without failure! You have to get really good at failing in order to succeed!
- Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian cause you would like to mention?
I have been involved with the Bridge of Health non-profit organization which helps underprivileged children in Armenia with cancer. Please check out their website and help in any way you can, even spreading awareness can make a difference!
- 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?
I am someone who aims to find joy at every moment of my life because I have no reason not to! Everyone has hardships, trust me I’ve been through a lot in my life myself, but I aim to see the positivity and beauty of life. I choose not to waste my time on this Earth with negative things that keep me stagnant or make me go backward. I love life and I want to live every second of it to the fullest, being the best version of myself, and spreading that joy and love to the people that surround me! And yes, I have bad days, but I don’t dwell on them, I quickly find the joy in every moment and look to the abundance of things that surround me that we all should be grateful for, especially the simple things that we take for granted. When you look at the grand scheme of things, we are so lucky to be alive and to have the ability to create, love, laugh, and enjoy. The hardest part of creative work in this industry and world is that at times we have to dive into roles, characters, and storylines that might be dark or saddening, but I actively fight to separate my work and my life and not fall into a hole of negativity or despair. I thoroughly enjoy the creative process whether it be dance, art, acting, or any type of expression and I let the joy of that guide me through my work.
- 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?
It is so true! I always go back to the story of how late I started dancing. It seemed nearly impossible to have a successful career in dancing when take your first dance steps and start training at seventeen years old compared to everyone else that started at two years old! But I was determined, didn’t limit myself, and I saw it manifesting. I am one to always advocate that the mind is a powerful thing and that nothing is impossible. We see time and time again of that being true. You can have anything you desire. The only thing stopping you from what you want is yourself. Following a path of least resistance and finding joy/satisfaction in every moment that you are alive is your best friend.