The rise of a Pakistani actor and influencer : New York’s Franklin Livingston: Franklin Livingston received training in filmmaking and directing from New York University, and Yale University. Franklin then went on to study at a world-renowned institution, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, where he was trained in Shakespeare and contemporary acting. In addition to studying at institutions, Franklin got trained for 3 years in classical and modern singing by Melania Maldonado, Speech and Voice by Shane Ann Younts and Lenore Harris, and Acting for American Sitcoms by David Ross. Franklin is a trained dancer, he learned Latin and Ball Room Dances at various studios in NYC and Chicago, as well as Bollywood dances by Pooja Narang in New York City. Legendary dance teacher Saroj Khan trained Pooja. Read additional info at Franklin Livingston.
Franklin Livingston is an American actor who gets busy filming comic content for people of diverse backgrounds. He aims to enhance the free viewership of his humorous content on all social media outlets for free viewership worldwide. Franklin Livingston can be visualized in blue suits and silver cars, supposed to be enjoying winters in Dubai on a yacht or in the blue oceanic waters or the Bahamas and South Asia’s blue beaches. Instead, he’s been working day and night to create content that will make people laugh.
Franklin Livingston grew up as a religious minority in Pakistan. He constantly faced persecution and prejudice, which shaped him to be a unique human being. He is a wounded healer — someone who embraces the people from all walks of life, empowering them to be whoever they want. Like Pakistan, in the United States, Franklin is once again a minority. But this time, it is not because of his religious affiliation but his ethnicity, where he has experienced terrible racism and discrimination on all levels. Livingston utilizes these experiences to evolve into a humanitarian advocate, share his struggles, and much more through his films, plays, and social media content.
And to finish this section, please tell us what is the one major key to your success? I am very disciplined and do not believe in shortcuts. If you want to achieve your goals, you need to put in the work. It always disappoints me when I see an actor that has completed their training, and then they think that is the end. Really, with any career you should be continuing your training up until the day you retire. I do acting exercises constantly to stay sharp. I also love to talk with strangers, or at least I used to a lot more pre-covid, and get to know their stories. I will often take an afternoon drive along the countryside and stop to talk with someone I have just met. Going into Manhattan on the Subway just to people watch is something I find very enjoyable too. These things not only keep me connected to my fellow human beings, but it is also like building a real-life character catalog of all the different people I meet that I could draw inspiration from whenever needed.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? Al Qually has been a tremendous help on my journey in New York. When I first arrived in the Big Apple, I was angry and depressed because I had so many negative experiences. I believe that it was my growing and learning phase, but I met Al in 2016 who collaborated with me on numerous projects. He always went out of his way to help me with scripts, filmmaking, and much more without any expectations or hidden agendas. We have shot several short films in and outside of his apartment in Queens (including “Down-Range”) where he would be making coffee and running around trying to make sure all actors and crew were taken care of. Since our initial encounter and through Al’s network, I have met many great professionals who have helped me become a better human being and a compelling storyteller.
Even still, most of these actors tend to be from India or other southeast Asian countries and not from Pakistan. Although Pakistan and India share some commonalities, their culture, language, human behaviors, and social etiquette make them distinctly different nations, which Hollywood has yet to present in its productions. This difference is not in contrast to those that the British and Americans have in terms of their anthropology. Countless people of color in the United States and a significant community of Pakistani immigrants in the United States have waited long to see themselves in Hollywood movies and television shows with a true representation. Franklin Livingston is ready to face this challenge, and that day is not far away when Franklin will tell stories about Pakistani Americans through his inimitable work in films and television.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career? I hired an acting coach presuming that he was impressive because he was heavily connected with local television industry in New York. However, he would continually squander time talking trash, discussing my fees, and reminding me that because of my looks that I couldn’t possibly be the kind of actor I desired to be. One day he referred to an ethnic actor and said since he is ugly and a bit fat — that is why he got hired. He cautioned me that if I wanted to be fit and charming I still will not be hired because I could never live up to the American standards of good looks to be cast in any worthwhile projects. He told me light skin and light eyes are mandatory for popular lead roles and I had neither.
With possibilities comes challenges: Like many people who have been affected by the pandemic, Franklin is no exception. He mentions that during quarantine, he developed a couple of health conditions. He gained weight, became depressed, and started showing signs of aging. He, therefore, suggests an acting technique that supports the actors and can empathize with their emotional and cognitive state so they can have well-balanced lives. Franklin goes back and reflects on all the popular American acting schools and realizes that they affect actors emotionally or disrupt their mental well-being negatively. He mentioned it’s time for classic acting schools to revisit their curriculums and research why most actors who survive their training are introverts. They after two or three years of training, their actors end up becoming socially awkward, emotionally closed off, and distant from those community members who are not from the same professional backgrounds as them.