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A conversation about the intersection between theatre, spiritualityand ritual as HiC is joined by this month's (r)Evolutionary guest, MAJD MURAD-AL-SHAIKH, actor, director, writer, maskmaker.
Born in into a Chaldean (Catholic) family in Baghdad, Iraq, Majd's earliest memories are of the Gulf War before his family fled in secret to Jordan and then made their way to the United States. His sophomore year in high school, he came out as gay, but didn't tell his parents because his brother threatened to kill him (an « honour killing ») if he did. While majoring in theatre at UC Riverside (California), his parents put a « Yes on Prop 8 » sign on their lawn, prompting him to come out to them, even as his brother once again threatened his life. Fear caused him to escape into sex, and while still in his early 20's, a man he trusted intentionally gave him HIV. Subsequent health complications caused him to drop out of a professional training program in theatre and move to LA.
Majd wrote a one man show, Blood Fruit, about his story of coming out to his family. The show was well received and got accepted into the Best of the Hollywood Fringe festival. He returned to school and completed his theatre degree, graduating in 2013. He then moved to SF where he currently resides, working in theatre and preparing to bring Blood Fruit to the stage once again. The late Eddy Gutierrez became a friend, mentor and « brother » to Majd, supporting him in his coming out process and helping him get in touch with his spiritual side, eventually initiating him into the Unnamed Path, a shamanic path for men-who-love-men that Eddy founded.
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