with how much of my true self I would share. I listened more than I spoke and absorbed more than I shared. Many times this brilliantly worked in my favor and enhanced my performances. Anyhow, acting is mostly about reacting and listening. Sometimes I not only would hide who I am, I would lie about who I am in order to prove that I was castable for a role and was a good fit for that role. Many in the industry struggle to cast an LGBTQ actor in a straight role, or a Jewish person for a non-Jewish role. That often is not the case the other way around, though. How interesting. Insert commentary here about playing a caricature type instead of an authentic person. So, I played that mysterious card. I took pride in being that chameleon actor. I actually still do. I enjoy exploring my characters and proving the universality of it all. How confusing and conflicted . . . I know.

But where I take most pride is in representing the characters I

actually know and presenting the narratives I actually know. It gave me an opportunity to not only represent my people, but it gave me an opportunity to advocate for my people. This translated into my work as a host, director and filmmaker.

Representation matters. It is important for me to share authenticity and vulnerability. To share characters of different identities, and

especially those who are marginalized, and do so in a “mainstream” manner. I want to normalize those who are not seem as the norm. Because, to me, we are all the norm. When I am not acting, I am still sharing characters and narratives.

It is important for me to create that safe space, which is also a brave space, for all people involved to feel seen, to be represented, and to have the space to explore creatively and authentically. This approach to my work completely applies to my advocacy and activism in support and on behalf of LGBTQ, Jewish and other marginalized communities, and within the arts communities. Representation matters. By empowering ourselves and others, we allow for that space to be a safe space and a brave space to authenti- cally share. We can be who we are, we can share who we are, and we all have

a place in this narrative of life. It is time we are allowed to be how we want to be, to be seen for how we want to be seen, and to not be limited by how others wish to define us. If people do not create the space for us to do that, then we must create the space for ourselves.

That is exactly what I do. Join me. For more on Yuval and all his work, go to

Yuval David is an actor, host, director and filmmaker whose work is seen in television, film, theatre, web and social media content, and theatre and film festivals across the globe. His advocacy is within major social and political platforms. Yuval’s most recent documentary Wonderfully Made - LGBTQ+R(eligion), is now entering the film festival circuit. It has been met with praise and controversy, as it represents the challenges of the intersection of LGBTQ and faith-based identities. It is the first of a docu-series, with this film focusing on LGBTQ+ Catholics and the Church’s acceptance or lack thereof.

More about the film can be viewed at or

16 | JANUARY 2021

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