We at Assuré Magazine have interviewed Joanna Younes, a passionate actress in theater, commercials, and film both in the Middle East and the United States. Curious about her story?
Joanna is from Lebanon however she was raised in Kuwait. She started acting at six years old with a theater company called the British Academy of International Arts. Her mom enrolled her in some acting and dance classes with them, and then she started auditioning for their shows later on.
‘ I started with pretty small parts at first, however, with time and practice I’ve been able to play bigger roles, such as playing Tallulah in the musical Bugsy Malone and Hamlette, a comedy based on the story of Hamlet. Moreover, I participated in school plays, where I’ve played Nala in The Lion King and Mrs. Lyons, also known as the evil other mother, in Blood Brothers. I also earned my Grade 8 certificate in Acting from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts. Most of my background and training had come from the theater as there were almost no film opportunities in Kuwait, which is why I decided to move to San Diego, California! Since arriving there I’ve been cast in multiple short films, which has helped me gain some film experience! I am eternally grateful for every chance I’ve been able to portray a character as it’s helped guide me with where I’d like to be in life.
My biggest accomplishment so far would be winning the Best Performance award out of the many films submitted at Campus Movie Fest. It was during my first semester in college, I had just moved to San Diego, so in a sense, it felt incredibly welcoming and rewarding at the same time. I would say another accomplishment would be putting myself out there and getting as much on set experience as possible. Film is so different from theater – it was intimidating at first, but I was eager to get started! I look forward to learning and achieving more as I go.
As of right now, I have two music videos and a short film that are due to start filming pretty soon, so I’m super excited about that! The two different music artists that have asked me to feature in their music videos also happen to be people I’ve built incredibly close friendships with, so collaborating with them will be fun and inspiring as I get to see their own visions come to life. As for the short film, I’m actually going to be playing a character that is so out of my element – I’ve never played a character quite like the one I’ll be playing soon, so I look forward to walking in someone else’s shoes. What I am allowed to say is that it’s pretty eerie and creepy!
In the future, I’d like to go after any opportunity I can and not limit myself! However, if we’re speaking long-term, it would be a dream to be cast in a biopic. My favorite genre is horror/drama, and I see myself being cast in those types of projects.
Acting definitely comes before anything else, I’m pretty positive it’s my one true calling. But, I also do some modeling. It is a lot of fun and has given me experiences and lessons I wouldn’t have found otherwise. I still would like to expand my portfolio, but I’m happy to be able to say I’ve booked a couple of gigs with my modeling agent back in Kuwait. Modeling for different companies is always interesting because you have to sell things to different audiences every time. I’ve modeled for a salon & spa, a gym, and a clothing boutique and it’s fascinating to see the end result from the photographer’s end.’
Follow Joanna on Instagram, and follow her journey.