When Aasif Mandvi’s mother placed him in a children’s theatre class at the age of seven, she had no idea she was igniting a passion that would turn into an acting career.
Had she known, she might have signed him up for soccer practice or piano lessons.
“My parents — being the good Indian immigrants that they are — did not want their son to pursue a career where he would probably end up having to come live in their spare bedroom,” said Mandvi, a contributing correspondent on “The Daily Show,” acclaimed actor, comedian, and author, at a recent LinkedIn event.
An acting career was unprecedented in the Mandvi family, and his parents pushed for him to seek a more stable and secure career. “I went in the absolute opposite direction,” he told LinkedIn executive editor Dan Roth on stage.
Part of this desire to follow his passion for performance came from watching his dad having to sacrifice his dream job of being a doctor.
“He was never able to go to medical school even though he got the grades because his father couldn’t afford to send him,” Mandvi told Roth. “I saw that my father didn’t get to pursue his dream. I didn’t want to do that in my life. I wanted to do the thing that I loved, and so I decided, I’m going to pursue my dream no matter what.“
His advice for others is to find their own, unique path to success. “You really need to carve out your own journey and your own path,” he said. “And that really means coming from your own truth, and that might be a different truth than mine — a different journey.”
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