I recently had the opportunity to exclusively interview Michael John Benzaia about five random facts about himself, what inspired him to go into entertainment industry. Plus how he stays in the moment during the pandemic . Check out my interview with Michael John Benzaia below:
Loryn: What inspired you to go into the entertainment industry?
Michael John Benzaia: While working overnight in the hospital morgue I actually found myself seeking more. I truly loved x-ray but I felt restricted stuck in the hospital setting. Something in my soul wanted more, it wanted to be challenged. I've always had a love for acting, originally on the stage but as I grew older I wanted to make my voice heard for specific injustices I was seeing around me. I guess what pushed me first to the acting career was the excitement of discovering new characters and their struggles. Being able to jump into someone else's life for a while. I've been an empath my whole life so I feel this muscle was finely tuned. The overall reason on top of my love for acting was my love for activism. Actors are often given a voice, for their art but also to speak out and bring attention to social issues.
Loryn: What advice would you give someone who's interested in changing careers?
Michael John Benzaia: Be still first. So often today we are running a mile a minute, we are being bombarded by marketing at every turn. Telling us what we should like and what we need to feel complete. Social Media speeds up our minds and that's why I would ask someone looking to transition careers to sit down and shut out the world and be still. What does your soul tell you when the noise stops. That's where our answers are waiting to be heard.
Loryn: How do you stay in the moment during the pandemic?
Michael John Benzaia: Coming from the medical field originally I feel my training has helped me stay calm during this uneasy time in our history. I keep myself active and on a daily routine. I use a lot of the techniques I've gained from Stella Adler like effective listening. Lastly, I ensure that I turn off social media and the news for a few hours a day and I get outside into nature. Nature has a calming energy to it and it reminds us of how small something might seem, it grounds us.
Loryn: What have you've learned since bringing both of your passions together on TV?
Michael John Benzaia: I was surprised to find out both my professions require both sides of my brain. I allow my creativity to run wild while also staying organized and thoughtful. Both acting and radiology require attention to detail and a listening ear. My patients need to be heard and feel the warmth of my empathy, while in acting I must find depths of empathy for the characters I take on. I must also listen attentively to the other actors in the scene to keep things organic and real to life.
Loryn: What's something not many people know about you?
Michael John Benzaia: Not too many people know I speak arabic. Growing up I would visit my cousins in Spain and Italy but I never really felt connected to my Jordanian side. Just two years ago I decided to hire a genealogist. During this time I discovered a lot more about my middle eastern side. I decided to see a personal tutor as well to learn the language. I'm so thankful I took this on, it has helped me connect with another side of my heritage which I truly am enjoying.