Torkom Movsesiyan is an Armenian who was born and raised in Bulgaria. He has been serving as a dynamic representative of the Armenian community in his home town, Bourgas, since his childhood. Torkom is representative of what is today a rare breed: he is a Renaissance man. He is an actor, a dancer, a singer, a model, a scholar, and a polyglot. Not only is he gifted in many arenas of life, but he inscribes his talents into the greater social context of his community and society. He participated in several theatrical plays, and concerts during his years in elementary school. At the age of 16, Torkom started taking opera voice classes with the famous Bulgarian opera singer, Naiden Borodgiev, who discovered that he has the talent and potential to become a singer. After some time Torkom decided that he did not want to be an opera singer, but a pop-singer and was influenced by some of his all time favorite stars like Madonna, George Michael, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Elton John, and many others. Then he met his new vocal coach – Neli Chervenakova, who inspired him to finish his secondary education at a music school where he majored in voice and piano. Needless to say, thanks to his extraordinary talent he was accepted at “Dimcho Debelianov” High School in Bourgas. Torkom became one of Neli Chervenakova’s prior students and started performing all over Bulgaria and later on went on performing in Germany, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. While he was making a tour in his country, he joined the mixed Bulgarian choir, “Rodna Pessen,” in Bourgas, which was followed by another European tour. He became the favorite of his teenage fans, who would follow him to his classroom, even harass him over the phone and wait on line for autographs. “I’ve always wanted to have crazy fans all over me, begging me for autographs, or telling me that they are crazy about me,” he recalls later. Voilà, his dream came true. After graduating from high school, Torkom was accepted at college to study hospitality management.
As an inspiring artist Torkom has always dreamed of going to New York City, and becoming a successful singer. However, getting a U.S. visa in Bulgaria is not that easy. In 1999, every Bulgarian man who graduated from high school, had only two choices: either go to study at a college, or go straight to the army. “They ain’t making me go the army. Hell, no!” says Torkom. On one hand, that left Torkom with only one option: to go to college. On the other hand, studying at a college was the easiest way to obtain a U.S. visa. Because he did not have the financial ability to go and study in the U.S.A., he was accepted to study hospitality management in a Bulgarian college in his home town, Bourgas. “I had no choice, but to go to a Bulgarian college, and then apply for a U.S. visa, because I really wanted to go to the Big Apple.” During his second year in college he was granted a U.S. visa, and decided to leave Bulgaria. “Leaving my family, relatives, friends, and my sweet dog, was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” says Torkom. On June 08, 2001, at the age of twenty one, Torkom arrived in New York City. “I took a bus from JFK airport, and arrived with my suitcase on Times Square. I did not know what to say. For a moment, I felt like I was in a jungle. It was almost midnight, very noisy, and Times Square was packed with people. All I had was $160 in my pocket. I did not know anybody, and I did not know where I was going to stay,” Torkom recalls later.
After some time of struggling to survive, Torkom started auditioning for movies, record label deals, musical theater, and many other interesting projects. He currently freelances with several talent agencies and managers: CESD Agency, Atlas Talent Agency, Kolstein Talent Agency, Mary Anne Claro Talent Agency, and HH Talent and Entertainment. His multilingual and oriental dance skills make him stand out in front of his agents’ rosters of successful actors. Torkom is proficient in eighteen foreign languages. The proficiency of his tongue, has helped him audition for some major projects starring actors of the highest caliber: "Sex and the City-2" starring Sarah Jessica Parker, “The Kingdom” starring Jamie Fox, “The Producers” starring Uma Thurman, and Matthew Broderick, “Everything is illuminated” starring Elijah Wood, “Law and Order: SVU,” “Guiding light,” “Chicago,” the musical, “Bombay Dreams,” and many others. Some of his acting credits include: TV: "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," “Guiding Light,” "Damages," “Law and Order,” “Be Youself As Well As Art,” “The Iyanla Show.” Film: “The Child Within,” “The Gate Of Fallen Angels,” “The Demon Shells,” “Count Gaylord: Vampire,” “Human Portrait,” and “The Panss Institute.” Commercials: “New York Lottery,” “Mercedez Benz,” and “Toppik.” Print: “Everyday with Rachael Ray,” “Microsoft,” and “Toppik.” Theatre: “The Three Penny Opera,” and “The Glass Menagerie.” Voice-overs: “Cambridge University Press,” “Nissan,” and many foreign language voice-overs.
Besides an actor, Torkom Movsesiyan established himself as a very talented Raqs Sharki dancer. When he moved to New York City, he got a job as a stockboy in a women’s clothing store and had the chance to work with Moroccan and Egyptian people. “My co-workers would constantly play Middle Eastern music, which I adore to this very day, and I would get up and boogie with them while working in the store. Then they would tell me how impressed they were with my dancing skills and some of them didn’t even believe that I am not from the Middle East. As one of my co-workers, Souad, would say: You dance so professionally, honey. I don’t believe you. You are Turkish,” Torkom recalls later laughing. Torkom decided to start taking oriental dance classes and ever since he realized that he wanted to be a dancer. He fell in love with Middle Eastern music, dance, and culture, and began studying Middle Eastern dance with the best dance teachers on earth—Morocco, Raqia Hassan, Amel Tafsout, Tarik Sultan, Sabuha Shahnaz, Tayyar Akdeniz, Joe Williams, and many others. Consequently, Torkom began teaching and researching on the trajectory of Middle Eastern dance, also known as Raqs Sharqi, at the Middle Eastern Dance Initiative for Cultural Diplomacy, a subdivision of TORKOMADA, Inc. Torkom Movsesiyan has been featured in the Daily News, Time Out New York, and The Indie Flava Magazine. He performs and teaches authentic Egyptian style, Raqs Sharqi, in New York and around the country. He has appread in numerous dance shows at Lincoln Center, The Lafayette Bar & Grill, The Tagine Dining Gallery, The Sullivan Room, art galleries, private events, and family celebrations.
Torkom holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs with a focus on Raqs Sharqi in cultural diplomacy from the City College of New York. In February 2009 Torkom graduated with honors from the City College of New York earning a Bachelor of Arts in international studies with a concentration on Turkey and the Armenian Holocaust. When he met with the coordinator of the Honors Program, Lee Linde, in August 2006, she asked him: “Torkom, in what language do you dream when you go to bed?” Lee Linde was impressed with his linguistic skills as a polyglot and welcomed him to the Honors Program. Being one of the top students at City College earned him the Peter Jay Sharp Scholars Award, which is a full scholarship given only to students who show outstanding academic achievements. “City College pays ME to go to school, not the other way around,” Torkom proudly says. Some of his other outstanding academic achievements are: The Italian Teachers’ Association Award, The Oxford University Book Prize Award in the study of Latin, The Dean’s List, The Organization of Istanbul Armenians Scholars Award, The Constantinople of Armenian Relief Society Scholar Award, The Richard Tufenikian Scholars Award, The Armenian Relief Society Award, The Armenian-American Students' Association Award, and the Armenian General Benevolent Union Scholar Award for Excellency in Hospitality Management Studies. Torkom is also a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.
Torkom Movsesiyan is the founder of TORKOMADA, Inc., an organization that provides educational services to students and professionals around the world. He is also a New York City accent reduction coach and an acting career coach. For more information, please visit TORKOMADA's website at www.torkomada.weebly.com.
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