Thursday, March 19, 2009

If She Would Just Get Married

Shazia Mirza's parents aren't thrilled with her choice of vocation.

My mum has only ever seen me perform once in her whole life. Even then, she sat behind the ice-cream seller clinging on to the chair in front, in case I didn’t get any laughs. My dad has never seen me perform.

When I go home, it’s like being gay. Like when someone has a disease that everyone’s afraid of and can’t speak about. We all sit around the dinner table talking about everything apart from what I do. The word “comedy” is never mentioned – in my house, it’s the equivalent of “homo”. My parents stick to euphemisms, such as, “So Shaz, how are things in the office? When is half-term?” and “What’s happening with your pension?” Occasionally my dad will put a positive spin on things and use the phrase “show business” – at least half that expression is academically acceptable....