I began following Mariam Sobh’s instagram page and immediately realized her unique comedic technique. She sounds like a broadcast journalist and the viewer is immediately taken by the seriousness in her tone of voice. Much to the viewer’s surprise, within this tone, lies a comedic twist. Mariam Sobh is a Muslimah, a hijabi and a comedian! She is funny…period. Let’s get to know her:
R. Tell us how you got into comedy. Is this your full-time profession?
M. When I look back, I realize I always enjoyed comedy and entertainment. I
used to put on shows for family and friends, and eventually women’s events
in the Muslim community. As I got older, I would make funny clips with my
friends on video. But life took over and I was moving along in my
journalism career. There was still that feeling that I wanted to perform,
and I dabbled in auditions, but always felt nervous. So to be more
comfortable singing or performing or speaking in front of people, 10 years
ago, I decided to take improv classes. And I enjoyed it so much, I
realized I wanted to pursue it further. From there onward, I tried many different
versions of comedy, so I got into sketch and from there, I moved to stand up.
I quit my job last year to pursue the arts full time, but art is not a
money maker, so you have to have passion and drive to keep pursuing it. On
the side, I do have my own business where I work with organizations and
individuals who want to learn storytelling and performance and how those
skills can help them in their professional and personal lives.
R. مَا شَاءَ ٱللَّٰهُ, you can even take political issues to the next level and
twist the words until they make us laugh when we are frowning! What
M. I’ve always loved taking things and flipping them around. Sometimes, we
get so stuck looking at things one way that it can be funny to look at it
from another perspective. The more absurd, the better! When it comes to
news, because I worked in the industry for over 15 years, I know the ins
and outs, and love to find ways to joke about it. Perhaps, it’s a form of
R. Who is your role model or who are your role models and why
M. I always feel awkward when people ask me this question, because I can
never really think of a good answer. My guiding light is following my
faith and not people. But, if I had to choose a role model, it would be
people who are successful regardless of material things. And people who
are authentically themselves. I want to be happy and at peace no matter
what I do with my life.
R. Tell us a little bit about your upbringing and background. How did it
contribute to who you are today and what you do?
M. Growing up as an American Muslim woman, I never saw anyone that looked
like me in the media or entertainment industry, and so I feel passionate
about being part of the change that is needed. I create things because I
enjoy it, but I also create content so other young women, including my own
daughters can see that women can do anything.
R. How can we follow your journey?
M. Feel free to check out my website mariamsobh.com or follow me on social
media. I’m everywhere, but nowhere at the same time!