You can probably imagine what it's like -- what do we see when we frequent the theaters? Lots, and lots, and lots of terrorists. That means good things for the amount of available roles open to these actors, but not so good things for type-casting -- and lots of roles doesn't necessarily mean lots of quality. The LA Times put up a piece today that explores the plight of Middle Eastern actors to make a career for themselves in Hollywood.

The article begins with a story from a young actor starting out in the biz. When his voice coach saw his name, and heard that he was from Middle Eastern descent, the teacher said: "Look, I see big things for you, but if you tell people this, you will not work in this town." Attack of the scary name! Arrrrrr! Sorry ... anyhow, of course, the overall scenario is not quite as cut and dry as that, but chances are, if you're Arab or Arab American, you get the terrorist or other bad-guy parts. Some, like Ismail Kanater sees it as progress, noting that there is more work out there, regardless of what the work consists of. Others aren't so big on that whole professional track.

There's men like Tony Shalhoub (perhaps the most recognizable in the mainstream) who says of terrorist gigs: "I did it once, and once was enough." He's one of the few who has made a great career outside of expectations, and is looking to widen the field commercially -- first with his upcoming film AmericanEast. But this is only the tip of the iceberg -- check out the article; it's a good read. And, just maybe, we'll get to see some quality work without the beards and typecasting.