Tobeileh stumbles into acting after writing comedy show with friends

Jordanian actor Wisam Tobeileh
Wissam Tobeileh (Photo: Handout from Wissam Tobeileh)
AMMAN — Popular Jordanian actor Wissam Tobeileh did not originally set out for a career in acting; he just wanted to write a comedy show with his friend, but they found it challenging to find young actors for the show. اضافة اعلان

“Because of our good energy together, we decided to take part in acting," and it seems that it has worked out for the best, Tobeileh told Jordan News in a recent interview.

A writer, content developer, sound designer, and violinist, Tobeileh said that his career “was always music-based.” He started his music career at the age of seven, and later in college, he majored in both music and business administration.

In 2005, Tobeileh started a film production and service company called "Fluid Productions,” with the goal of “creating great content.” The company went on to craft commercials for some of the top brands in the region.  

“After acting in my show, I really loved the experience because it was new. My advice to everyone was always to not let anyone convince you that you're not good at something until you try it,” Tobeileh said.

“Because when I tried acting, I truly loved it (so much) that it became my career move. … Love and ambition drive you to give your best, and at the end, the results will speak for themselves.”

Despite his dedication to his work, Tobeileh encountered challenges in the start of his career. "Family and friends were always like ‘What are you doing?’ because being an actor was not really that popular,” he recalled. His parents questioned and objected to his new career path.

"When we posted our work on YouTube and it became known, people started to acknowledge the fact that acting is a promising career, because until now, people think of actors as persons who do not have an actual career.”

However, he pointed out that this sentiment is changing. “There are faculties at universities and degrees in acting, sound design, production, and filming. This change led people to believe that acting is a brilliant path and gained their acceptance,” he said.

As the case has been with many other artists and creators around the world, the pandemic has had a serious impact on Tobeileh’s career. “My main source of income was from performing live at comedy shows and playing violin at events,” he explained. “However, due to COVID-19, those events were completely halted, and that part of my life stopped with them. It was something that I financially depended on, and still it has not changed. Hopefully, it is going to start up again in the summer, but still, there are no concerts or live shows."

But he hasn’t stopped working. “Currently, I'm working on a show of my creation,” he said, which will air on Roya TV next year.

The actor, who also teaches drama at the Modern Montessori School, said that he takes his platform as a role model seriously. During COVID-19, “I felt like I had an opportunity and that I owe it to these kids to tell them what is happening, and to be able to spread awareness,” he said.

“I used to post stories on Instagram and talk about wearing a mask and being very careful and safe during COVID-19,” he said. He added that he has also used his platform to spread awareness on other topics important to him, such as Palestine.  “It is a great opportunity for us to express our feelings and spread awareness. I feel that this platform can really help us speak up.”

Despite the lack of funding in the beginning, “I did my best, produced out of my own money, just because my belief in acting went beyond limits,” he said. “So, if you believe in something, purse it, challenge whatever obstacles you face, because at the end, people are going to feel and notice the difference.”

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