Los Angeles, CA
“I think people who are gonna be successful, who are gonna do great, they always have someone in their life who tells them they’re gonna be great. And when [my grandmother] died, I didn’t know where my life was gonna go. My life could have gone up or gone down. I felt like I had lost the one person in my life who really believed in me.”
“I grew up and was born in a Muslim home. Both my parents are Muslim, which has been a different kind of upbringing than most people. My Dad came from the hood; he did the hard work, the grind. He doesn’t want to see me squander that, so he hasn’t always been so keen on the acting thing, but he was the one who put me in the position to succeed.
“My grandmother lived with us. She was always the most positive person in my family. She always told me I was gonna do well. She passed away in summer 2002. That was really difficult for me because she really did have the biggest impact on my life, constantly encouraging me. She was gonna look down one day and say ‘that’s my Amir.’”
After Amir’s grandmother died, he started his junior year of high school and began taking drama classes. “This lady came to the school, Miss Jan Wikstrom, who was the person [who took] the place of my grandmother. This lady’s spirit was my grandma. She took me under her wing and really gave me direction in my life. I love this woman. I can honestly say if I hadn’t met her, I really don’t know what I’d be doing in my life. I really don’t. I did work for her. I did hard work for her. She, her and Miss Shirley Sacks, those were the two ladies who really pushed me forward with acting.
“All of a sudden I’m in something that I like doing. Getting on stage and doing something that could possibly move people and move the world. Making people think about things. You can move people, you really can. I’ve learned so much about different topics that I really wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been in acting. She pushed me towards doing this thing. I was able to find a purpose.
“I’ve been grateful to find people that I could talk to. I’ve always been able to find that. I’ve always had that. As I look into the future, I don’t know who else is gonna pop into my life. Someone will come in and help lead me to the next place. That’s what’s always happened. I’m happy with the opportunities I’ve been given. Life in itself is a gift. I learned that at a pretty young age.”