12/7/11

Huffington Post Interview With Amadou Ly



"When Amadou Ly from Senegal was abandoned by his mother at the tender age of 14 in New York City, life could not be more far removed from his current status as rising Hollywood Star.  Arriving on the foreign shores of the States at just 13 in quest of a better life and education, a series of stressing encounters awaited our young hero.  When hard times struck the pair, out of financial necessity and not from malicious intent, Amadou`s mother was forced to leave her son all alone in this foreign land.  Kicked out onto the Harlem streets by a supposed friend, he resorted to selling anything he could muster, such as flyers and DVDs to make ends meet.   Feeling somewhat of a misfit in this rigid American culture, Amadou had to swiftly learn to assimilate with his peers or face further ostracization and ridicule.  So embracing the art of robotic dancing, Amadou soon discovered he had a great talent that bestowed much positive attention upon him.  This was vital for just 2 years later at 16; he was embroiled in a highly publicised immigration battle.  But because he had lead his team to victory at the New Year Regional Championships, many high profile celebrities and politicians supported him in his plea against deportation and he was granted a visa.


During these trying and emotionally demanding times Amadou, whilst living in a two roomed flat with 18 other immigrants sought solace from music and positive role models such as Oprah Winfrey and Will Young.  The movie Dream Girls (2006) by Bill Condon, with the actress Jennifer Hudson was of particular inspiration for him, and gave him strength to survive and force him forward.


Acting was always in his blood, and Hudson was definitely a big influence for him, but it was engineering that Amadou studied and was training for.  But held back at interviews by suffering from the social handicap of severe shyness, a friend suggested that he take up acting classes to help him surmount this.  And that was it, catching the highly contagious acting bug; the fate and direction of Amadou was now sealed."


Read the entire article at Huffington Post via @AmadouLy

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