Avan Jogia: A Journey from Teen Star to Accomplished Actor and Author

Avan Jogia: A Journey from Teen Star to Accomplished Actor and Author

Canadian-British actor Avan Jogia embarked on his acting journey at the tender age of 13, dropped out of school to move to LA at 17, and landed his breakthrough role in the immensely popular sitcom Victorious at 18. Over the past decade, Jogia has evolved into one of the most prominent actors of his generation and, as it turns out, a talented author as well. With his first book, Mixed Feelings, receiving rave reviews, it’s time to delve deeper into the multifaceted world of Avan Jogia.

1. A Bold Decision at 17

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Jogia is the middle child of three siblings. His older brother Kelan is a music producer, while his younger sister Melissa is an actress and model. After studying at Killarney Secondary School until the age of 17, he made the bold decision to drop out and move to LA, with the strict ultimatum that he either find an acting job within six months or return to school.

2. Inspired by Tim Curry and Ben Kingsley

Like many aspiring actors, Jogia sought inspiration from the performances and careers of more experienced actors. British actors Sir Ben Kingsley and Tim Curry have been particularly influential for him. Curry’s portrayal of Long John Silver in the 1996 musical comedy Muppet Treasure Island ignited Jogia’s passion for acting as a child. In 2015, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of working with one of his heroes when he appeared alongside Ben Kingsley in the TV miniseries Tut. A year later, he had the opportunity to work with the acting legend again in the short film Of Dogs and Men.

3. Teen Choice Award Nominations

While Jogia has yet to secure any prestigious Golden Globes or Emmys, it’s only a matter of time before he does. In the meantime, he can take pride in the two Teen Choice Award nominations he received for his performance in the teen mystery thriller TV series Twisted. Jogia played the lead role of Danny Desai in the series, earning award nods in the categories of Summer TV Star: Male and Actor: Drama.

4. Advocating for the LGBTQ Community

In 2011, Jogia, a long-time advocate for the LGBTQ community, founded the online organization Straight But Not Narrow, alongside Heather Wilk, Andre Pochon, and fellow actor Josh Hutcherson. “There was no one making straight youth responsible for their apathy. When you see a bully beating up a kid and you stand idle, that’s as loud, or louder, than the actual oppression,” Jogia explained to Out about his reason for starting the organization.

5. A Passion for Body Art

Jogia is no stranger to pain when it comes to adorning his body with decorative art. As he revealed to Harper’s Bazaar, he has amassed an impressive collection of tattoos over the years (five, to be exact), most of which hold special or personal significance. “I’ve got a chest piece, I’ve got something on my leg, my upper leg, I’ve got a shoulder, and a back, and something up my lower arm,” he said. “They’re all different–I’ve got a pocket watch on my back that has the Tudor rose in it. My mother’s a Tudor, and my father’s family are all watchmakers, so that’s for my parents. Then I have the motto of the Nautilus on my left arm, which is ‘mobilis in mobili’, meaning ‘movement within mobility’ or ‘changing within the changes.'”

6. A Memorable TV Debut

In 2006, Jogia landed his debut TV role in A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story. In the TV feature film, he played the part of Danny Araujo, the younger brother of teenage transgender Gwen Arauju, who was murdered after her relatives discovered she had male genitalia. The film received critical acclaim upon its release and even won the GLAAD Media Award in the “Outstanding Movie for Television” category at the 18th GLAAD Media Awards.

7. Stepping Behind the Camera

After several years in the industry, Jogia took his first steps behind the camera with his directorial debut, Alex. A few years later, he followed up on its success with the 2016 web series Last Teenagers of the Apocalypse, a show he not only directed but also wrote and edited.

8. A Spiritual Connection

Jogia hasn’t allowed the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to distract him from his spiritual side, maintaining a passionate interest in all things spiritual. “I’m a spiritual person,” he told Out. “Like my character, I’ve spent months as a Buddhist, and I have roots in Hinduism. I’ve looked at all kinds of ways of being because I’m curious about what it takes to be human.”

9. Rejecting Labels

In Mixed Feelings, Jogia’s recently released collection of poems and imagery, he explores the concepts of race and identity in a way that isn’t afraid to tackle sensitive questions, such as “Where are you really from?” “It’s like asking a woman if she’s pregnant. You could do that. But if you’re wrong…,” he told the audience at a book signing at Penn Bookstore.

10. A Millionaire’s Success

Given that he’s been acting since 2006 and has starred in some of the biggest TV shows of the last decade, it’s no surprise that Jogia has amassed a considerable fortune. Thanks to his success in shows such as Victorious and Twisted, he’s now worth a cool 1 million dollars, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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