At the suggestion of actor Morgan Freeman, Shiek decided to learn as much of the business as possible. He enrolled at NYU - taking classes in film production, cinematography, and writing. In August 2002, Shiek portrayed Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in a play he helped develop called 'The Way Out'. The New York Times said his "run, unfortunately, is a mere six performances at a small Lower East Side theater as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, but it will be remembered". The New York Daily News said that Shiek's "fierce performance as the former boxer convicted of a triple homicide goes a long way toward making audiences forget Denzel Washington". Shiek's work earned him a place as a 2002 New York International Fringe Festival Winner in the Performance category.
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