Maysoon is a comedian, author, disability advocate, and self-confessed hustler. Maysoon has been facing into challenges in her life from the very beginning after being born with cerebral palsy. She was treated the same as her sisters growing up and never saw the disability as something to hold her back from following her dreams. We talk about her career, tap dancing, acting, comedy, work as an advocate for Muslims and Arabs in the US as well as her work helping people overcome the stigma with disabilities.She has a new audio book called Find Another Dream coming out through Reese Witherspoon's company, Hello Sunshine. The book has been on the best seller list for weeks and is beating Donald Trump Jr’s book.We cover a lot during this interview and here is a summary of it:
Facing challenges from the very start
Dealing with Cerebral Palsy & how to approach life with the disability
Growing up without any discrimination or bullying
Feeling discrimination for being disabled when going to college
Becoming an advocate for disability
Her first advocacy work focusing on creating positive images for Arabs in America post 9/11
Using the word disabled destigmatizes its it – there is no shame!
Tap dancing on Broadway changing her entire life!
How comedy emerged through her study of acting in college
Starting to audition after college
Signing up for a comedy class and finding a natural talent for it
Now teaching comedy as it’s something that can be taught
Being cast on General Hospital
Writing Comedy every single day – no matter what – write jokes
Don’t memorize jokes, more freestyle
Using stable jokes that Maysoon knows work
Making comedy as a conversation
Get half of the room to laugh, the other half will be drowned out
The evolution of her comedy and now knowing words matter
In 2003, starting an Arab comedy festival, now 16 years on!
Combatting the negative image of Arabs and muslins in media
Inspiring others through the festival
A Big break – Countdown with Keith Olbermann
The inspiration behind the book Find Another Dream – not making the acting dream come through and switching to comedy!
Know when it’s time to quit….when you don’t love whatever it is anymore!
Dealing with fear?
Planning ahead and what the future looks like?
Being a hustler and always juggling many roles
Who inspires Maysoon?
Getting to know and learning form Adam Sander while working with him in the movie ‘don’t mess with the Zohan’ and seeing
Maysoon’s book – Find Another Dream can be found on any online book store. You can get it through the site from this link -