Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Azar.
Hi Michelle, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I wear many hats in my story! But I suppose it started as a kid who grew up in Chicago, singing and dancing and went to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU for acting. Worked off-Broadway in several musicals, got tired, moved to Israel for a while, and… met a guy. He was studying at the reform Jewish seminary in LA, so I moved out here to be with him. While he was gathering degrees as and educator and then as a rabbi, I formed a theatre company that went on to win awards and recognition in the LA theatre scene and started working in film and on TV. Wound up also getting my Master’s in Drama Therapy and while doing lots of episodic TV, I also worked with groups to help explore their inner lives through drama as a therapeutic tool. Had a couple of beautiful babies, continued to work on TV and film and then got itchy for more schooling! Got my certification as a Yoga teacher and also performed my first solo show. Since then, I continue to work as a writer, actor, yoga teacher, singer, voice-over artist, cantorial soloist, synagogue volunteer and always, as a mamma.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
NEVER is it a smooth road! Not sure if that even exists for the life of any artist.
Many struggles – of integration, balance between passion and priorities, obligation and authorship of your day.
Financial and familial.
And an overarching sussing out of the limitations of the past – as the eldest daughter of a Middle Eastern man, I struggled, and still do, with the assumptions that his history holds on me, and how I can continue to peel it away so I am only richer from my background, rather than buy into the insecurity that sometimes surrounds being a female in that arena.
Holding myself accountable, taking myself seriously, and remaining unconditional in my love for myself.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I think something that sets me apart as an actress is my willingness to inhabit a character. I love rehearsal – I love the experimentation that comes through the text and then through the people/person who live and breathe the text with you. I think this kind of psychology is what I use too as a yoga teacher – the postures are one thing, but how they live and breathe within each person independently of the framework itself is what draws me into the practice itself and helps me help others find comfort, less pain, more flexibility of mind, body, and spirit. This integration of spirit, psychology, and text is always the framework for my writing as well.
What were you like growing up?
I was fairly shy in groups. I was always comfortable being on stage, so people thought I was bold but really, I felt quite insecure – about my looks, sharing my thoughts… I felt best if I had a script in front of me!. I did love my Jewish summer camp – Habonim Dror is the umbrella organization – Labor Zionist Youth movement – and I went to camp in Three Rivers, Michigan. It gave me a place to be myself, to feel accepted and not as judged, and it tempered my other passion which was a huge driving force in my life.
- My yoga Zoom classes are $15 suggested donation, as are the individual classes on my YouTube page.
- Private/Semi private yoga sessions are $100
- Voice lessons $80
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: michelleazar.com
- Instagram: @michelleazar
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michelle.a.aaron
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjBV1zoKsaA5v7nEa93gzZg/discussion
AlyBlue Photography Marjorie Salvaterra Cayla Pennenberg