Emigrating to the U.S.A.

Army Demonstration...The Iranian Islamic Republic Army demonstrates in solidarity with people in the street during the Iranian revolution. They are carrying posters of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian religious and political leader. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale to Persian parents. My parents emigrated from Iran after the revolution and they decided it would be best for us to be as far away from Iran as possible. We first moved in with my aunt and uncle because we didn’t have anywhere else to go. My father and mother both spoke very basic English. My father became a taxi driver and on the weekends he worked in a restaurant. My mother worked in a bakery and we went to public school. My Dad sold the house we had in Iran and used the money as a downpayment for a house in Fort Lauderdale. My brother, sister and I loved the new home, but we still felt like outsiders. My brother, Kamran, was thirteen at the time, my sister, Nousha, was eleven. I was only eight years old at the time. Oh, and I’m Afshin by the way.

5244_1We had a tutor who would come to our house and teach us all English. We were all put a year behind because we didn’t speak much English. I caught on the quickest because I used to watch a lot of western cartoons when we were in Iran. We would watch a lot of movies so that we could grasp the language. And a year in, we all were learning quite well. My brother was part of the soccer team at school. My sister became a mathlete. And I just lingered around. I didn’t find my place until I was twelve. I starred in a play at school. I was Hamlet. And that was where I found my passion. I wanted to be an actor. My parents laughed when I first told them because they didn’t think it was a practical job to have. And I told them well we came to America because we all had a dream and this was mine. My brother scoffed and said that it would only be a dream

actor+on+stageI fought hard and practiced accents and different roles in my room all the time. I was adamant that I was going to be an actor. I also started writing. I first wrote poetry for a class assignment, and I found that I really enjoyed it. I moved from writing poetry to writing fan fiction of TV shows that I was watching like  or even the soap operas my Mom watched. I entered a poetry competition at school when I was in my freshman year of high school. I won the competition and I was asked to read my poem at the talent show. I decided that it was going to be more than just a poem. It was going to be my soliloquy. My parents came to the show and they waited for me to show up. The lights turned off and there was only one stage light on. I walked right into it and performed. I got a standing ovation and even my parents were proud to see me perform and they were even prouder that I had written the piece myself.

Once I graduated high school, I decided to move to NYU to study theater. My brother had gotten a full scholarship to Florida State University, and my sister got into Stanford. She was obviously the parents’ favorite for that very reason. My parents hired Top Notch Movers to help me move out of Fort Lauderdale and they wished me luck. And so, I am off and spreading my wings to try my hand at acting.

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