BELLO IT GUY
Paul Karmiryan: Where Passion meets Purpose
By Alexandra Bonnet
Paul Karmiryan always knew that dance was in his blood and it was at the age of 17 that he pursued his dream. Having started with Latin Ballroom dancing, the talented artist found himself diving into many different forms of dance, prepping him for something big. After four years of “blood, sweat, and tears,” Karmiryan starred in So You Think You Can Dance and was crowned “favorite dancer” in Armenia. He found his passion in dance but also found himself taking on the role of actoras he played in the mini series “Veronica Mars” and starred in “In the Vault.” The accomplished artist will have your feet moving and your heart melting, so stay tuned for more with Paul Karmiryan.
You have played in the mini series “Veronica Mars” and starred in the series “In the Vault.” Tell me more about your experience on set.
Being on the set of Veronica Mars was very memorable. For the role, I had to learn how to speak Arabic because there are many instances where I communicate with my ‘on-screen’ family in the language. It was very challenginging to learn in a short period of time, but also a very fun process to take on. I have so much respect for many of the actors attached to the series. I mean, there are so many talented and experienced people involved! And I was lucky enough to work with many of them and absorb any pointers I could. I also got very close with my on-screen family and the other ‘spring break’ kids on the show. A lot of in-depth life talks, friendly pranks, games, photo sessions, and dance parties in the trailers for sure haha. We had a bunch of days where we filmed at the beach so we took advantage of the scenery as well. I was lucky to have such a cool cast and production throughout the process. Some of us still hang out outside of the show a bunch. We’ve hit up Karaoke and have even jumped into a few dance classes together haha *cue music*
Playing Omid in the series “In The Vault” was one of the most enjoyable characters I have had the opportunity to create and play. He had so many layers to him. He is an entitled Persian prince with a dark secret, but also juggles many personalities. Not only did I have to prepare a British accent for the role, but I had to learn how to speak Farsi. We just finished Season 2, and he is a full 180° different character from Season 1. Stay tuned for the release! For season one, we were filming in Utah for 2 months and for season 2, we filmed in Portland. This has been among the best on set and cast experiences I have ever had in my career! Getting to know these people and essentially living with them and exploring the city together was so fun! This talented cast not only was a pleasure to share the screen with, but also knew how to have a good time during our time off!
I am a big riddle / game guy! So you will always see me bringing everyone together with a riddle or a game to pass the time when things are slow on set!
Did acting come first or dance?
I started training in dance first, at the age of 17. But my passion for acting had been boiling in me since I was very young, I never had the opportunity to act on it until I was in my mid 20s.
How have you evolved as a dancer? What type of dance did you start with?
I started my dance training with Latin ballroom, which includes the Chacha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble, and the Jive! After I did So You Think You Can Dancein Armenia, I fell in love with movement as a whole, and I started training in all styles of dance. (Hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, ballet,etc.) I enjoyed and respected dance as a form of movement and wanted to master it all and become as well-rounded and versatile as possible as a performer. I feel there is always more to learn and opportunity to grow when it comes to being a dancer. You can be great, but you can never be perfect. Especially with the evolution of the different genres/styles of dance, the techniques are ever-changing. I am lucky to have had great training and am fortunate to have gained a lot of experience from the different sets, choreographers, and jobs I have worked on throughout my career. But all-in-all my passion and interpretation has kept my style unique from every other dancer out there.
What would you say is your favorite part about acting? Dancing?
My favorite part about performing, in general, is something very hard to explain unless you feel it for yourself. It is the place I escape to. It is an incredible feeling that is very empowering. At times, I forget what happened during my performance because it feels like I left my reality and world for the time being.
Besides that, I love the escape I provide to the people watching my performances. I know people go through a lot in their lives and if I can release some of that stress and tension even for a second, to feel something, put a smile on their face, or even to inspire someone to pursue their dreams, it makes me very happy and fulfilled as a performer.
Share with us a moment where you overcame an obstacle.
The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was my journey to becoming a working dancer. I remember when I started dancing at age 17 I was also a full time student in college, working 3 jobs to support all my finances, and I was training in dance everyday for many hours at a time. I was a zombie and practically had no sleep/ was exhausted for more than 2 years. But my passion to fulfill my dreams pushed me to overcome all of the hardship that came with it. In just 4 years I put my blood, sweat and tears into becoming the most well rounded and prepared performer I could be. Thereafter, I took my chances in So You Think You Can Danceand I was crowned “favorite dancer” in Armenia, and a couples years later I was crowned top 3rd male finalist in the US. I gained exposure in the industry and quickly began working and making a living doing what I loved. My career has taken me all around the world, and I have met so many amazing people in and out of the industry. I could not imagine how different my life would have been if I didn’t pursue my passions. That is why I always advocate others to do the same! Let go of your fear of the unknown, it will change your life for the better, I promise.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned so far?
I have always been a perfectionist. And it has created a lot of unnecessary stress in my life. Because of this, through the course of my career and life experiences, I have learned to let go more and try to not control everything; ultimately, practically everything is out of our control. I do my best in everything I pursue but let the rest up to the forces that may. It has made my life less stressful.
Are you working on any new projects?
I have a bunch of fun projects coming out soon, most of them I unfortunately cannot reveal anything about just yet. But you can catch me on social media for any updates. But until then, I just finished shooting a lead role in the Snapchat Original series “Dead Girls Detective Agency,” and did a guest star on Season 2 of the CBS show “FBI.” I also just came back from Europe, where I was filming a music video!
If you could move to any country for its music/dancing culture, which one would it be?
Argentina! I love the music and dance culture there. And the food is a completely different story too; but I won’t get into that right now. Also, Tango is among the most passionate dance forms around the world. I would love to immerse myself in the culture if I had the chance!
What is your favorite era and why?
The 50s! From the style, to the music, it is a vibe that I amalways drawn to! I truly feel like I should’ve been born around that time period!
Message to your future self: GO!
“This is a reminder to just take a second, breathe, and give gratitude in the present moment”
Featured in BELLO issue #191.
Talent: Paul Karmiryan @paulkarmiryan
Photographer: ARIYA AKHAVAN @ariyastudios
Creative Direction: ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC @alekandsteph
Styling: ALEX CLOUGH @alexclough.style
Grooming: NICOLE WALMSLEY @nicolewalmsley
Production: @BELLOmediaGroup x @MaisonPriveePR_LA x @bonnetalex18