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Bilal Syed – Journalist / Model / Actor

Bilal Syed is  a Journalist by profession with experience in theatre. I completed my education from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Today, he is the guest with Rohail Amjad on his show.

Q.You are an investigative journalist by profession. Isn’t modelling difficult for you?

A. As in investigative journalist, my job is literally 24/7 and the same goes for modelling. Balancing them, with the other things I do in media, it was a bit difficult in the start, but then when you realise this is what you’re really passionate about then you schedule your tasks accordingly. This is the reason I have a tight schedule. I do these jobs simultaneously; For example, when if I am at a photo shoot and I have a few minutes break, I put my journalist cap on and I’m on my laptop researching or writing, and then as soon as break is over, I’m in modelling mode and in front of the camera again.

Q. I have gone through your entire website. You give reviews and have plenty of other. Don’t you think that bloggers are under rated in Pakistan?

A.Bloggers used to be very under-rated at a stage, however in this decade, bloggers are an important tool for us actors and models. Bloggers are the people who make us known in the market. Without them sharing our work and sharing our appearances, it would be quite difficult. Bloggers are like walking-talking promotions, they spread the news of what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, and where we are. So, I don’t believe bloggers are under-rated in Pakistan anymore.

Q.You have been working at many places as per your profile. What has been the lesson that you learnt a lot?
A.The most important lesson I’ve learnt over time is that you must grab every opportunity that hits your way. I can’t stress enough, don’t let an opportunity slip, as you never know, your big break might just be around the corner. Also, in Pakistan specifically, you make your own space, and make opportunities.

Q.What is the difference between Fashion and Style, as many don’t understand?
Fashion is what’s going on in the current season and has been going on for years. It is not necessary to follow nor is it something that everyone can carry. Fashion is what brands are portraying regardless of whether it fits all. Whereas, style is something people make and is personal to everyone. You can style yourself in any way that suits you and also can make you stand out.

Q. You have been modelling for many brands locally and internationally. Do you feel that Pakistan lacks professionalism?
A. Pakistan honestly doesn’t lack professionalism, to be honest, it’s all about who you’re dealing with. Believe me, I’ve seen people who are so professional that they make sure everything is done so systematically. For example, I know if I have a shoot, I make sure to go to every fitting session, and then be on time for the shoot and complete the work within the time specified.

Q.We have been quite impressive in our drama industry, but the cinema industry hasn’t flourished yet. Why is this so? Do we lack strong story, directors and actors?
A.I honestly believe it’s the contrary, due to the fact that our movies have now started to get a better storyboard and better direction. As an actor, I think the industry has some incredible directors and world-class productions. Our cinema industry will flourish more if we focus on stories that are a bit more out of the box, rather than only centring around social issues. Highlighting social issues are quite impactful, but at the same time the reason we need to realise we go to cinemas to watch a movie that takes us in a whole new world and out of our reality; That is what the audience needs to see more. In addition, more Pakistani films need to be released.

Q. Stand-up comedy and theatre are not very common as mostly people consider it not to be a good activity with the family. Despite the fact that they like cinema that has been revamped. Don’t you think the nation lacks intellectual taste ?
A. I don’t think that’s the case, in fact the amount of people going to theatre plays are increasing. Originally the reason people never went to watch theatre was because to attend such a performance one must have a particular mind set, and this awareness didn’t exist in Pakistan too long ago. Now I’ve noticed people actually look forward to theatre plays coming up. Some amazing plays I’ve recently seen include; Jhanjar Di Pawan Chankar, and Apka Mutlooba Number. Cinema has revamped itself, yes, but theatre will always remain a classical way of demonstrating stories. As a theatre student, I always was intrigued by the freedom to express on stage and that’s something you don’t see in cinema. You see a person’s true personality and originality during a live performance. When it comes to intellectual content, cinema still needs stories that pose a more intellectual side of Pakistan, although currently movies are doing well but a slight improvement is required.

Q.What do you enjoy doing the most as you have got different shades of yourself?
A.I enjoy it all to be honest because writing comes naturally to me, modelling and acting also just flow out of me due to my passion in the industry, and because of my journalism background, anchoring is something I’m always ready for. But if I really had to choose, I’d say acting. The reason is that I can put my shoes in someone else’s life and be that someone for a day, which means I’m out of my comfort zone and out of reality for a bit.

About Interview Scripted by Rohail Amjad

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