<p>Ariya, you want to be an actor? My family is not what you would call a typical family. They have always been opinionated, loud, and have no respect for my beliefs . Every four years the Ghahramani family gathers together for a well deserved family reunion. Aunts, cousins, grandparents, and uncles from all over the world, travel to join the two week celebration. There have always been certain rituals that take place, in order for everyone to be satisfied. My dads job has usually been to go pickup my Aunt Behnaz from the airport, and bring her to the hotel. Believe me, this is not the ideal way to spend an afternoon. Minutes after she sets foot into the car, she asks me the inevitable question, What are you planning to do with your life? I always shrug this off with the stock answer, Ill get back to you on that.
My passion has always been to have a professional career on the stage. Unfortunately, this is not a respected career choice for my high class family. They would rather see me as a surgeon, podiatrist, dentist, or something that involves me sitting in an office, and dealing with random body parts. We may not agree on everything, but I love them because they have always been there for me. This year was going to be the year that I would show them all what I am made of. </p>
<pre><code>The most important night of this reunion is the farewell night. This is the night where everyone cries, eats, and says goodbye to their loved ones. There are always Persian entertainers at this gala, but regrettably, this year there was no room in the budget for any performers. So of course, my mom suggested that I sing a song. While I was reluctant to perform, I eventually agreed. It wasnt that I was afraid to sing, it was just that I wanted to give them a performance that would inspire tears, joy, and pride in each of them. I wanted to prove to them that my love for musical theatre will never falter, and that performing is what breathes life into me. My parents have always been supportive of me, but convincing the rest of the family has been more difficult.
The night of my performance arrived faster than the speed of light. The crowds of people were dressed up for the night and there was an aura of excitement. I was more nervous than I had ever been. We were escorted into the conference hall and seated.
As I was sitting at the table, across from my cousin Victoria (who was on her fourth piece of cheesecake), I looked around the room at the glowing faces that were before me. I could see laughter, pleasure, rejoicing, and even a few tears. It was at this moment that I realized how much my family means to me. I heard my name being announced on the loudspeaker and headed for the stage. Eyes, from all directions, were fixated on my every move. The music began to play and my heart started to pound. Then I realized thatI had accomplished the ultimate performance. These feelings were reaffirmed when roaring applause from my loved ones. This heart-stirring reunion had a profound influence on my life, one that reaches beyond any achievement that I have received.