EPISODE 19: AZITA GHANIZADA
On Dharma, Neuroplasticity, and Mentor-Angels.
Actor and educator Azita Ghanizada is known for her lead role on the SYFY series, Alphas, and you’ve also seen her in Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, Veronica Mars, The Mentalist, Psych, Castle, and Up All Night to name just a few. On the big screen, you saw her playing opposite Michael Shannon in the film, Complete Unknown.
She’s also the founder of the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, an advocacy group in Hollywood that fights for the advancement and visibility of Middle Eastern, North African performers on-screen in Film, TV, and Streaming Platforms. Her work has raised awareness that led to the creation of a new demographic category in Hollywood – The first time this has happened in 37 years. Upcoming, you can see Azita in the films, Kilroy Was Here, The Friend, and in the new season of the show, Ballers on HBO.
QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
14:09 ~ "We better cultivate the consciousness that we need to live life instead of having life live us." - KF
14:44 ~ "Let's all get conscious enough so that you know we can take whatever shit happened to us in our childhood with our shitty parents or our amazing parents but our shitty teachers or our amazing teachers but our shitty friends or whatever trauma we had as kids, so we can really take that and use it as grist for our mill - as a way of maturing and advancing and expanding, rather than [letting it be] terrifying and paralyzing." - KF
5:39 ~ “if we can really be our most authentic self then we're not worrying about if other people like us.” - KF
21:47 ~ "I chose at a very early age not to be religious, but to find the truth in what was real for me. I felt comfortable in any house of God. I felt comfortable in churches I felt comfortable in temples I felt comfortable in mosques I felt comfortable anywhere. And so I knew that there was a guiding force for me all along. I knew that early... I knew that there was something outside of me that was going to keep me where I was supposed to be.”
44:20 ~ “The thing that really has helped this work is that I come from a place of experience. And so my story is vulnerable and it's authentic. And what I experienced and the way that I've experienced it, I'm able to convey and that affects people. They feel that and they understand it and because I come as a storyteller and as an educator.”
1:04:24 ~ "When I'm upset or unsettled or scared, I have to be close to water or trees."
55:24 ~ "The only time things were ok was when we were watching TV. That's when everybody connected. We connected watching the WWF with my dad, action movies; We connected watching Dynasty with my mom. Nobody was arguing. Nobody was talking about politics. There weren't fights. We weren't disappointing them. Everybody was just happy. The TV gave them joy. It gave us peace. It gave our family something to come around. And I knew that that was the seed of what I wanted to recreate to give to others, because it was my survival mechanism. And so the seed, to me, has always been how do I repay into the consciousness what was gifted to me? And so there are so many layers to what I think my dharma is and I hope that it's both. I hope that I can continue to rise as an actress and a woman from Afghanistan that is not afraid... Doesn't have shame about where she's from... doesn't have shame to stand up for a culture that has some dark sides, a religion that has faced a lot of dark sides. I'm not afraid to stand up for that. And I hope that that ends up being a dual dharma for me. And then I get this stand and rise in that and that people accept that. And with that acceptance, that it helps heal pieces of the consciousness that I am not even aware of."