‘Twas the night before the long-anticipated World Cup match between USA and Slovenia. I met with an Iranian-American man late at night at a cafe in Hollywood, while the rest of Los Angeles was still out celebrating the LA Lakers 2010 Championship win.
This man wanted to tell me all about his “plot” to overthrow “the government” while everyone was “sleeping behind the wheel” watching the soccer match the next morning at 9:30 AM. When I asked him “which government” he had in mind, he responded, “all the governments, so no one feels left out.” Sound scary? Not if the man doing the plotting is comedian/actor Maz Jobrani.
I got into UCLA’s Ph.D. program for political science, but at the same time I started auditioning for plays at the UCLA theatre department. I got into a few of their plays and realized that acting was my real passion. It had been a few years that I hadn’t really done any because I had followed the path my parents had wanted me to follow. But by the time I started grad school at UCLA I was mature enough to realize I had to do what I wanted to do with my life and that meant acting. I dropped out of grad school and started auditioning for independent films in LA. I then got a job at an advertising agency to help pay the bills. I decided I would act as a hobby and I got into a play. It wasn’t until I was 26 when I decided that I was going to pursue acting professionally. My parents were worried at first but did not stop me. My dad lived in Iran, so, he did not have much to say about it. My mom recommended that I also study automobile mechanics as a backup because I could always be a mechanic in any country as opposed to a doctor or a lawyer who would have to study and be licensed locally.”