We had the good fortune of connecting with Nazanin Sadé and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nazanin, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Iran and moved to India at the age of 6. After living there for five years, my family and I moved to the U.S. as refugees when I was 11. I’ve lived in Idaho, Nevada, California, and now, Texas. I was exposed to a variety of cultures, religions, languages, and ethnicities growing up, and that has definitely shaped me and how I see the world. Being raised Baha’i has also influenced my beliefs of the world, universal law, spiritualism, and divine order. I’m grateful for my experiences because without them, I truly don’t know where or who I would be. For instance, as much as race continues to be a divisive issue in society, I grew up learning children’s songs with words like “we are flowers of one garden, we are leaves of one tree”. I grew up being taught that world peace isn’t just a dream, but a goal that is attainable if all people can unite. This seems like such an impossible concept to us, but I remember being a hopeful and sensitive child, really believing this can and will happen someday. I think also, my multi-cultural experiences taught me early on about getting along with different types of people and how similar we are, regardless of how differently we may eat food or speak. On the other hand, I think that frequently moving from one community to another from such an early age while also being a quiet and sensitive child, made me feel isolated the older I got and the more I saw that other children seemed to have friends they grew up with and had known since they were toddlers, meanwhile I always felt like the outsider, the foreigner, the one who stood out. This is something I’ve had to come to terms with as an adult. At this point in my life, I look at it as a necessary component of the person I’m destined to be. In a way, feeling different and isolated can have a bittersweet way of making someone see the humanity in all people. This is why I feel it’s very important for all kids (and adults) to be able to travel and experience different types of communities and cultures. It not only opens our eyes to privileges that we have and for which we aren’t always grateful, but also to the fact that people are really people everywhere you go.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I think being an artist or creative of any kind involves alternating between periods of serious self-doubt and moments of fulfillment and pride. I’m certainly not an exception to that. I’m only as unique as any other artist who is being their authentic self. Any artist who is operating in authenticity and truth will have an inherent uniqueness to their work, because no one life is exactly like another life, so if we’re creating based on our truth and our experience, we’re all going to have different ways of expressing that. I believe all creativity comes from a Divine source, from the ultimate Creator. Our job as artists is to channel that and mix in our personal lived experience and interpretations of life. I think the main challenge for many creatives, myself included, is balancing the real world and day to day life stuff with our art and creativity. It can be very hard and overwhelming, and especially if we’re on survival mode, because survival mode and creativity do not like to co-exist. That’s why it’s important to take care of ourselves, mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Connecting with nature even if it’s five minutes a day, taking a few moments here and there to breathe deeply and meditate, taking time to express and create, especially when we don’t feel like it. These have been helpful for me. Recently, I’ve found ways of expressing and playing with creativity by collaborating with local photographers and styling my own shoots, writing short films, writing demo reel scenes for other actors and myself, and watching more films. Most recently I was able to write and act in a scene that was filmed as part of the Reel Weekend series by Rising Artists Houston, a local group that is helping actors hone their craft. I’m excited to continue writing, as this is something I haven’t focused on much until recently. I’d love to work with more creatives in the film industry, and find new ways to connect and create. Film is truly a community thing, it can’t be done individually, so I’m looking forward to building more of a community around that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I’ve only been in Houston for about three years, so I don’t consider myself an expert on H-Town activities. I’m not much of a going out person, but I do consider myself a foodie though, and I’m plant-based, and I’ve found that Houston has some amazing and diverse vegan food! I would definitely make a list of all my favorite restaurants and food trucks, including (but not limited to) Houstatlantavegan for some burgers, KornyVibes for cauli wings and sandwiches, Veegos for some loaded nachos, and Vegan Donut Gelato for some donuts and kolaches. Out of all the areas around here, I think Montrose and that whole area has a fun vibe, so I like to go to coffeeshops, museums, or random stores around there. Buffalo Bayou park is nice for the views & vibes as well.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All credit for my life goes to God. I thank God for where I am in life, my safety, my privilege, being guarded from evil, being protected in all ways and all things, for the safety and health of my family and loved ones. I also must thank my mom for being a divine channel of love and protection in my life. Without her unconditional love and enormous self-sacrifice, I have no idea where or who I would be right now. I also appreciate her so much for being supportive of my creative pursuits. As Persians, I know she wanted me to become a doctor or something, and yet I dropped out of college twice to go after film. I’m so proud of her for how much she strives to grow as a human being and parent. Thank you mama, I love you!
Myon Morgan of MM32 Photography Xpert Wizard @xpertwizard