Good Indian Girl, Sort Of: Fawzia Mirza
QUEER-ARTIST, RECOVERING LAWYER, DOWN WITH THE BROWN
I currently reside in: Chicago, IL
What’s your favorite hangout in Chicago: Uncommon Ground Cafe
I currently work as an: Actor, Writer, Producer
I do this because I: Didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore and acting connects me to my true energetic and creative self. And I love it. I crave it.
What are some Indian traditions you still follow? Daal is one of my favorite foods and I love eating with my hands. I speak Urdu so I stay practiced. I love having my language intact.
Bollywood or Hollywood, and why? Both. I create work that evokes both sides of my self, American and Desi, and connects all my traditions, even the movies I watched as a kid. So I draw from both those worlds to write, to give voice to my experiences. And as an actor in the U.S., I mean, Hollywood is one of the places where things get made. And so is Bollywood. So I love them both. I’d live in both as an actor.
Favorite movie? How about I give you my favorite “what i watched recently” – which is actually a television show: Seasons 1-4 of “Breaking Bad”. Wow.
What’s your favorite thing about Indian culture? South Asia is in my skin. It colors my senses and my soul and my experiences. I love the food, the music, the movies, the language, the spices, the clothes, the embroidery, the sense of connection to history.
What’s one piece of advice your parents have given you that should probably be or are abiding by? Ha! Just one? Come on! I was given boatloads of advice and rules (like every brown kid). But I didn’t follow a lot of them. In fact, I did the opposite. And when you ask what advice I “should be” abiding by, I don’t think I should have been doing a lot of the stuff I was “supposed” to do. I think a lot of the rules I broke, are rules that weren’t the rules I wanted to live by or who I wanted to be. But, OK, if we’re talking about something I should be doing, I’d say I should always follow my Papa’s advice. He said to have always have patience, “sabr”. I had none. I’ve gotten so much better, but I have to remind myself now and then.
So are you a Good Indian Girl? According to whose definition? And what part of “being” Indian are we talking about? I would say I am the perfect Pakistani Wife and Mother. Although I’m not married, nor do I have any kids. But I have those qualities. As far as what Uncles and Aunties would think of me? Well, I mean, I’m a Desi, Muslim, Queer-Identifying Actor who abandoned my career as a lawyer. I’d say they would think I was DEFINITELY NOT a Good Indian Girl. 😀
We hope you come to a theater near us very soon, Fawzia! Check out this hilarious spoof by Fawzia that cracks us up every time. You can also follow Fawzia Mirza on Twitter at @thefawz or like her on Facebook. Her new series “Kam Kardashian” can be found on YouTube.