Transcript: Season 4, Episode 1

May Calamawy


Georgette Pierre:
What does it mean to make it big? Well, it depends on who you ask, and we did. Welcome to Making It Big in 30 Minutes, a podcast for, by and about the Emerson Community. You're about to meet an Emersonian who's making it. Making a living, making a difference and sometimes, making it up as they go. I'm your host and alum, Georgette Pierre. If you like what you hear, subscribe and share with your friends. And meet me and other Emersonians over on Emerge, the only digital platform exclusive to the Emerson Community. Go to Emerge.Emerson.edu for more.

Georgette Pierre:
May Calamawy is an Egyptian Palestinian actress. Before landing her breakout role as Dena Hassan on the Hulu drama series Ramy, she chose to initially study industrial design, although acting was in her heart. She vowed to her parents if she got into Emerson College, she would go full throttle on pursuing an acting career. We'll fast forward to landing her first major film role in 2013, to doing a stint of short films and guest appearances in various CBS series, including CBS's FBI and Madam Secretary, and NBCs The Brave. With a degree in acting from Emerson and having studied at the William Esper Studio in New York, May and I delve into the way she represents herself and her work. Including minor details on her upcoming role on Marvel's Moon Knight for Disney Plus. I give you May Calamawy on making it as an actor. Hi.

May Calamawy:
Hi. What an intro.

Georgette Pierre:
Let me tell you, I spent some time writing this. I was like, Oh. Okay, we're going to really get in this.

May Calamawy:
Oh, I love it.

Georgette Pierre:
Oh my gosh. So relating to the experience of having parents not born in the States that want you to pursue a career that feels more tangible in their eyes.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
What has the journey been like for your parents to see your success in a creative field versus a more traditional one?

May Calamawy:
So when I decided to go to Emerson, I feel like they still didn't believe it was going to happen. They're like, she's going to just get married and like stay on the right, some kind of path they wanted me to go on. But they were almost like entertaining me. I mean, they did start to support me. My mom would start showing me ... she'd start telling me to watch award shows. And I was like, "Why? I don't care about those." She's like, "You have to, if you want to be an actor." I'm like, "Now you are giving me acting advice? Like this is too much."

May Calamawy:
And then after college, I spent five months in New York and then my mom got sick. So I moved to Dubai where she was, they were living in Abu Dhabi in the UAE and I was between there and Dubai. And I was taking care of her. And then three years later, she passed away, but I was still there. And I remember my dad ... and there weren't really acting opportunities there. There was a movie and I had a small part in it, but it just didn't feel like things were really going to like happen for me over there. Which was sad, in some ways, because I really did want to act in the Middle East, where I'm from. And I quickly learned that wasn't probably going to be an option for me.

May Calamawy:
But I remember because not much had happened, I was just taking care of my mom and not really exploring any opportunities. My dad was starting to get worried about me.

Georgette Pierre:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

May Calamawy:
He like make comments and be like, "I still wish you were like a doctor." I was like, "Who says that?" I think I was like, "I still wish you were a Sultan." I always tell people that, I'm like, "That didn't happen for me. I've accepted you for who you are like, except me. I'm never going to be a lawyer or doctor unless it's in a movie."

May Calamawy:
And once I started to book the sort of like guest star roles, I want to say, my dad ... well, I booked a recurring first and then I booked a few guest spots. And once I had the premier for that recurring role and my dad came. And by the way, I was just kind of like a glorified extra on that, I was hardly in it. But my dad was just so proud of me and I think that was the first moment he was like, "Oh, she's really going to do this." And my family. And then it was really once I was like on Ramy that they're like, "That's it. She's an actor.' And I was like, "Thanks a lot, guys." I mean, I came back from Dubai when I was 28 and I studied at Esper for two years. And six months after I graduated, I booked Long Road Home, which was the recurring role. And for them, they were just like, "Okay, good. Like we're so excited." And I was like, "No, this doesn't happen this quick." Like, come on. But they just have these really high standards.

Georgette Pierre:
Absolutely. No, it was funny because when I read that, I was like, "Oh, that sounds like my parents." Like my dad was really encouraging, but my mom was like ... she's a nurse, nursing supervisor now. Anything creative, it didn't make sense to them because they just needed to see a career path that led to you making X, Y, Z money.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
And so when I saw that, I was just like, now she's on Hulu, now she's about to be on Disney Plus. What's her father and her family thinking-

May Calamawy:
They're very proud.

Georgette Pierre:
About this career path?

May Calamawy:
Yeah, yeah. They're very proud now. I mean my nephew definitely likes me a little bit more. And I was like, wow.

Georgette Pierre:
Thanks, nephew.

May Calamawy:
He's obsessed with Marvel, so he's always asking me questions and I'm like-

Georgette Pierre:
Right.

May Calamawy:
All right. Okay. I'll take it.

Georgette Pierre:
What surprises you most about the work you're doing now?

May Calamawy:
Like acting?

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah. Just like even kind of with some of the roles that you're doing and just kind of what you're navigating in your career.

May Calamawy:
I find that the roles that I get ... not so much like the guest spots. But it's interesting how they influence where I'm at as a person. And like whatever I'm sort of exploring in myself, I seem to find the role either accentuates it and I can really live that or helps me sort of move through it. I'm not allowed to speak about my role on the Marvel show.

Georgette Pierre:
Of course-

May Calamawy:
Unfortunately.

Georgette Pierre:
That, I wasn't even going to ask you about.

May Calamawy:
No, I mean, but that role really gave me a lot. I mean just the experience in itself, really helped me step into myself more because it was quite challenging and I had to learn to trust myself. And I wouldn't say I'm fully there, but it shows you areas where you have weak footing and you're like, "Oh, okay. I need to work on that." And somehow that also ends up being something that really helps you in your everyday life. I feel like acting it's ... I never thought that it was going to be like a form of therapy, in a way.

Georgette Pierre:
I love that. Well, perfect segue because wanting to stay close to your roots of being an Arab Muslim woman, what do you look for in the roles that you choose to play? Knowing that Hollywood tends to stereotype specific cultures and communities on screen.

May Calamawy:
Well, with the guest spots, I think I knew going into this, I'd have to like capitalize on being an Arab and speaking Arabic. And whatever trauma people here identify Arabs with. Which I learned, I can't blame people here. How would they know? They're not living there and we don't have ... I mean, it's growing, but a lot of Arab writers. And so yeah, those roles were just sort of like, "Okay, I'm playing like the wife." More just like, living in a country that's experiencing terror and it's like dramatic and whatnot. And then I remember telling my agents and I was like, "I just want to play myself. That's what I want to do."

Georgette Pierre:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

May Calamawy:
And then Ramy came along five months later, I booked the pilot and I still had to wait a year to film in. But I was like, "This is exactly what I was calling in."

Georgette Pierre:
I love that. Yeah. And I know it's probably so early in your career, like I guess a rarity to see, in a sense.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
To be able to find something that you [crosstalk]-

May Calamawy:
I mean, it was just the right time.

Georgette Pierre:
Yes.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
Timing is everything. Now what's one piece of universal advice you don't agree with that we could actually do away with? That you're always hearing people share with other people. Like any type of advice that you've ever heard that you're just like, "No, that's not ... no, we don't need to be telling people that."

May Calamawy:
I mean, whenever anyone tells someone how to be, I get annoyed. Because I think that just strips you from finding who you are and trusting who you are. And at the end of the day, that's what's going to make you offer your service is to just really know who you are. And so sometimes like the noise from outside is just silly.

May Calamawy:
Like if we look at acting, like I came and people were like, "You have to get a really good headshot." And so I went and I spent so much money on a head and I never used it because I didn't like it. And then a friend of mine came over and took a photo of me and that ended up being my headshot. Like I found someone who knows me, who I'm comfortable with. And it's all these kind of hacks that you can do without, especially in this industry. It's just really the work is learning to be comfortable being yourself-

Georgette Pierre:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I love that.

May Calamawy:
And not pleasing other people.

Georgette Pierre:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

May Calamawy:
Because I see it so much. I mean, I would feel it in myself in the beginning, if I was like, "I feel like I don't feel good enough to be here. And so I'm trying to overcompensate or please." As I worked on it, I was really starting to spot it in other people. And the more you can just trust that you deserve to be there, not because you're special, but just because we're all different. With difference comes another perspective. Like you don't have to think of like, "How can I be creative in this role?" It's like, just be you. No one has been born the same, something's going to be different there. But if you are trying to do what someone else wants, then you're really just going to be the same. And you're stripping yourself or robbing yourself of what would make you interesting in the first place. Like we have it all and then we're just insecure and we don't feel enough.

Georgette Pierre:
I love it. Come on, we have it all. Yes. Yes. I think we were in school at the same time, you graduated in 2009.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
I was in grad school and I graduated in 2009.

May Calamawy:
Really?

Georgette Pierre:
Dead serious. And when I looked at that year, I was like, "Oh my gosh, May and I were in school at this same exact time had no idea."

May Calamawy:
Wow.

Georgette Pierre:
What stood out to you about Emerson's acting program, specifically?

May Calamawy:
I'm going to be so honest. You have to understand, I grew up in Bahrain, it's an island. I loved it. I mean, it's amazing. I love it there, I love all the people. Like it's a bit more reserved in ways. And so I'm alone in Boston in college, I think I partied a bit too much. Like that seemed to be a lot of where my interest was going because I suddenly had all this freedom that was a lot of fun.

May Calamawy:
Emerson was just like ... for me, it was like free. And I could explore different things and I took different classes and I really saw where I needed to work. I remember I took like a musical theater class for non-musical theater students and I was like, "I am so bad at this." And it's not because I'm like, "Oh, I'm a bad singer." It's really just like having the confidence to be. And I'm like, "That's an area that I'm just not there yet." I noticed a lot of that. I was like, "Wow, so many people here are so open and like they can just share what they're feeling." And I didn't grow up in that way.

May Calamawy:
And so in some ways, I almost feel like I went to the school too soon. Like if I had gone a few years later, after I experienced a bit more outside of the bubble that I was raised in, I would've maybe been a bit more invested. Yeah, I was kind of all over the place. And I enjoyed it a lot, I met a lot of international people and a lot of people and I'm still friends with so many of the people that went there. It was a really safe area and space to be in. And for me, Emerson was just me saying to my family and to myself, I want to be an actor and it's like this much that I'm going to transfer from another school. Now like did I milk it? And like really study every play? No, I kind of wish maybe I did. But it's just where I was at.

Georgette Pierre:
It's funny, you said the safe space. So I went to an HBCU, so it was predominantly black. And then I knew I had to mix it up. And when I found Emerson, Emerson gave that same energy, I was like, "It just feels so liberal here." Even though Boston, the city isn't so much. And I agree, I don't remember any of my classes. I do remember eating blueberries because I was falling asleep a lot-

May Calamawy:
The random stuff.

Georgette Pierre:
At night. Like I had snacks and everyone knew I would have Fiji water and blueberries.

May Calamawy:
Oh, you were that person.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah, I was that person. But there was something about Emerson and the energy of Emerson that made me feel more connected to a school than I did for my undergraduate experience. So I could definitely relate to that, absolutely.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
It still sounds like you needed to be there at the time that you were there because-

May Calamawy:
Yeah, I guess so, everything happens, right?

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah, yeah, Yeah. And then you went off to William Esper Studio. I've heard of this studio, but what makes William Esper Studio in New York like this, you got to attend if you want to be this actor and make it in the business, type of vibe?

May Calamawy:
When I went to New York, I finished my studies at Emerson at the end of 2008, but I graduated in 09.

Georgette Pierre:
Okay.

May Calamawy:
And so I spent those like five months in New York and I took part in the New York, Arabic American Comedy Festival. I'm not sure if it's still going on. And it was just like, we had some sketches that we put up. And I met someone who plays the Uncle on Ramy and he's one of my best friends. And I met him then. And then I remember when I was in Dubai and I was 28, I was like, "I need to go back and I need to study this. I don't want to just go to New York and float." But I didn't have the means to do like a graduate program.

May Calamawy:
And so I reached out to [inaudible] and I was just like, "I don't know what to do." And I didn't ... I mean, he might have mentioned it, but it didn't stick with me. He's like, "May, I work at William Esper, why don't you come here?" And so I sort of familiarized myself with Meisner and like Bill Esper had a book and read it. And I was like, "Yeah, I think this is something that I want to do." And in a way, it came to me and it made like me going there, it just made sense. I really didn't sit and research a bunch of schools. It's just like what popped up? And I said, yes.

Georgette Pierre:
And so with Emerson, kind of taking it back to your younger self or yourself during that time, what would you say to her?

May Calamawy:
Like, don't be so hard on yourself. It's like the one way I think people need to just focus on to be an actor is to learn to really be yourself. And I think I was just stuck in like, how do I be what everyone else wants me to be? Like if you're going to work on anything, just work on accepting yourself.

Georgette Pierre:
And with the industry, especially Hollywood, it's almost kind of like ingrained that you have to be all these things. And then when you show up, you're just like, "Wait, so I didn't have to be anything but who I was the whole entire time?"

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
And so like trying to unlearn that.

May Calamawy:
Yeah. I mean, my boyfriend was taping me for a Marvel gig that I didn't get in the beginning of 2020. And I remember I was like, "Am I even pretty enough to be on Marvel?" Like, it's fine if I'm not. I'm not like, "Oh, am I pretty?" I was just like, "I'm not bothered to audition if they're not." And he was just like, he got so annoyed at me and was just like, "Don't even think this way. Like don't even allow that to be a thought that like comes ... don't invite that energy. You don't even want casting directors to think of that when watching you. You don't want to attract the roles where you would need to look a certain way." So he's like, "I'm not even going to say like, you're pretty, I'm not even going to go there. I'm just going to say like that shouldn't even be a thought."

May Calamawy:
And something in that just kind of clicked. And I just started booking things after that.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah.

May Calamawy:
Like I had booked another job and I passed it, and then I booked the Marvel gig and I took it. And I was like, oh, it's such a shift. It's like what we think they need us to look like or to be like. And if we let go of what we think they need, then they actually just accept us for how we are.

Georgette Pierre:
What's a mistake that you're glad that you made?

May Calamawy:
It's funny, I never look at things like mistakes. Yeah, they're just lessons, really. I once signed with a manager who I wasn't like 100% with. And I went in there and he really sold it and something in me was like, "I just don't know." But I needed that validation and it was like my first manager or second, but the first one didn't even really count, nothing really happened there. And immediately when I said yes, I was like trying to convince myself, I'm like, "Yay, I have a manager."

May Calamawy:
And then after a month I was like, "I just don't know that I feel good here." And for five months I was just like, "I don't feel good here. I don't feel good. I don't know what to do. I mean, he is really nice, but I don't know why I don't feel good." And then I left and it was like really hard conversation, and he got really annoyed at me. Because again, I was like, "It's just a feeling." And he's like, "What is this feeling?" And I was like, "I don't know." And I've realized, I work in a large way through my feelings and how I feel about something. And that is very difficult for a certain kind of people.

Georgette Pierre:
Yes.

May Calamawy:
Who are more like logic based and whatnot. And so I learned from that experience that it's good to take your time. And I mean, maybe even if you're like 100% about someone, just say, "I'll get back to you." Like thank you.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah.

May Calamawy:
And it's like having the confidence that you mean enough that they're not going to be like, "Okay, bye." Because then if they do that, they're not for you. But it's like, I needed to say yes, because I was afraid, what if the opportunity goes? And I was like, "Wow, this person sees me. And it's hard to get a manager and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." This industry makes you a bit desperate in the beginning.

Georgette Pierre:
No, because I related to that. I actually almost signed with someone just for the simple fact of saying, I had somebody. And then when I had a coworker, he's an entertainment lawyer. He was like, "I'm not going to give you legal advice, but I would not sign this contract as is. Like, this is not a contract that you would expect I would sign, personally. And I wouldn't advise anyone else that work with you to sign it." And when I told him, I was like, "I'll pass." Of course, he didn't get back to me, like he didn't respond back.

Georgette Pierre:
So I do agree and I feel you on this idea where you're told, like, "Get an agent, get a manager, move here, do this." And it's just like, "Wait, wait, wait, wait." Am I a full body, yes? Like that's how I operate now, May.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
I didn't operate that way.

May Calamawy:
We should, we should.

Georgette Pierre:
I took job where I had all the feels, similar to how you felt like, I got to leave this manager. I took a job and I was miserable in that job for the 11 months that I was there.

May Calamawy:
Oh my gosh.

Georgette Pierre:
Because my body was like, we just don't [crosstalk]-

May Calamawy:
That's a long time. It's a long time.

Georgette Pierre:
But leaning into trusting your intuition and really listening to that. Because this industry will make you feel like, as a woman, that you shouldn't listen to your intuition.

May Calamawy:
Yeah. Yeah. Completely.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah.

May Calamawy:
I booked a role at the end of 2020 and it was the first lead role and it was like big show on a big streaming network. And I like loved the script, so I was really happy when I booked it. But there was something in me that was like a little like, "Hmm." And like they told me where I was going to film and I was like, "Oh." And like I'd learned different things about it and I was like, "Why am I annoyed at these things? This is the first lead, lead that I'm getting. I don't know why." And then I was like, I was willing, at one point, to just accept it where it was. And my manager, I love her, was like, "No, we want a certain amount and we should stick to that." And I trusted her.

May Calamawy:
And then, they finally came to a point where they're like, "Okay, we'll pay her what she wants. Will she do it?" And we have to get approval from Hulu for me to do another show. And we're like, "We'll tell you end of day, like on Monday." And then at noon on Monday, they're like, "We need to know right now." And my manager was like, "I'm not comfortable with this because they said they'd give us end of day." And then we were like, "Well, let's just pass." And in my head, I was like, "It's fine. We could pass. Like when they say, yeah, I can always come back and be like, yeah, I'll do it." They never got back at the end of the day, it just like was not meant to be.

May Calamawy:
But I found out that they gave it to someone else like that same day. And I was a little sad because I felt like I let go of something scary. Like I said no to something scary and I was like, "I should have just said yes. And I went back on it." I was like, "Oh my God, this is so weird." And then two days later, I made peace with it, I was like, "It obviously wasn't mine." Like if it can just go like that, it wasn't mine. I got attached to the idea of being on a show and being a lead and being whatever. And it's like, I'm human and I just have to like let these feelings pass.

May Calamawy:
And then two days later, I got contacted by one of the directors on the Marvel project. So I was like, "Oh." I feel like it's really important to say no when something is like a little wrong. And to trust yourself and it's scary. It's so scary because you're like, "Am I ever going to get anything again?" But it's knowing your worth and what-

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah.

May Calamawy:
Feels right. And I said to myself, I was like, "I want to feel so excited. I want it to be a hell yes. I want everyone around me to be like, yes." And it wasn't like that with the first one. And so, it's important to look at why we accept things. And I think if we're going to be artists and start to accept things just for the money or just because we're afraid and we let fear control us. Then we might not go down a path we want to go down.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah, no, it made me think about ... I was taking some business coaching classes with this dope woman. And she was like, "No's clear the path for the yeses that are supposed to be coming your way."

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
She knows, she's like, "Georgette, you always blaze through." And she always tells me, "Slow down."

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
When making a decision. So I love that you kind of tied the bow with like, and then I got a call about the Marvel project two days later.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
Because had you said yes, what if something happened on that project and it got shelved or whatever, you know how things-

May Calamawy:
I don't know if I would've been able to do three shows like that's-

Georgette Pierre:
Right.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
And then I just thought about it, Hulu and Disney Plus. Disney owns Hulu, so it kind of worked itself out, so that's awesome.

May Calamawy:
It all works out, but it's really like listening to your body.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah, yeah. Full body yes is how I am moving in 2022, for sure.

May Calamawy:
Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
Now we both, wax poetics about how we felt like Emerson was a safe space and just kind of like free. And we know Emerson students and grads are known for speaking up and making our voices and opinions heard.

May Calamawy:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Georgette Pierre:
What's one thing you have a real strong opinion about that you lean into in any area of your life?

May Calamawy:
Well, I would say equality, like gender equality, is a big thing. I'm Palestinian, so standing up for Palestine is another important thing. I find that when people who are not Palestinian advocate for it, they get in trouble. So I'm like, "Okay, cool." So then as an Arab, I should have every freedom and right to stand up for it. And it's not about like standing up for one group against another, it's just let people live where they've been living. People who don't even have a lot of money to begin with. So Palestine is something thing that will always be dear to me.

May Calamawy:
And for now that's kind of it. But it is an area I obviously want to grow and learn about more. And I feel generally like the areas I stand up for and help, as a person from where I am, who knows where I'll be in a few years. But like, I prefer to help in ways where I'm like helping and not everyone has to know. I feel like that's just kind of what speaks to me. I'm not big on social media, I'd rather not have one. I have one activated, but it's like, I don't always want to have it.

Georgette Pierre:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

May Calamawy:
Yeah, it's just kind of like this side journey where I want to help, where my name doesn't have to be attached to it.

Georgette Pierre:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I can relate to that. I definitely understand that. No matter what we do, our experience at Emerson has influenced who we are today. Any institution leads its fingerprint on us. Whether we use it or acknowledge it, what mark do you think Emerson left on you?

May Calamawy:
Just kind of gave me permission to be myself. Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
I like that.

May Calamawy:
I'd see people at Emerson like dressed in all these ways. There was this girl who wore like a net over her face, with like a hat. In the beginning, I was like, "Why?" And then I'm like, "Cool, like good for you, just be you." And it gives that permission, whether you take it or not, it gives it.

Georgette Pierre:
That's funny. I wish I saw that person because years later, I end up seeing Rihanna doing kind of something similar to you and I'm just like, "Wait."

May Calamawy:
Oh wow. So that girl was like ahead of her time.

Georgette Pierre:
Yes. Because Rihanna did it, I'm just like, "Oh that looks so fly you."

May Calamawy:
It's funny when Rihanna does it, we're like, "Whoa, like, should I buy one?"

Georgette Pierre:
Right. So funny. That woman was ahead of her time, I love that. Oh man. What's one thing you like to try next and why haven't you tried it yet?

May Calamawy:
In the acting world?

Georgette Pierre:
Any world.

May Calamawy:
I mean, that's kind of where I'm at.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah.

May Calamawy:
I want to be in an animation. That's one thing I want to try. So, that excites me. I mean, I've been filming an animation that like, I'm a tiny ... like I thought that they didn't like me and cut me out, that's how small I am in it. And didn't hear from them in so long. But I've always wanted to be in one where I'm like an existential bug or some like something that's just like really conscious about self work, like that you wouldn't expect it from.

Georgette Pierre:
Yes.

May Calamawy:
Yeah. So holding out.

Georgette Pierre:
I will actually like to be in that show with you, like as your sidekick.

May Calamawy:
Yeah, we should just do it together, given that-

Georgette Pierre:
Okay.

May Calamawy:
We like keep having these aligned moments.

Georgette Pierre:
Yes, exactly. I would love to be there on the existential stage with you.

May Calamawy:
Putting it out there. Yeah.

Georgette Pierre:
And my very last question, May, what does it mean for you to make it? And how will you know when you get there?

May Calamawy:
I mean, I think learning to be satisfied where you're at, is making it. Like even knowing that you're like, "No, no, but I still would like a bit more money to buy a house or to whatever." But where I'm at is part of the journey, I think that's really important. I feel so grateful for where I'm at and the people I've met. And I've always said, I just want to work with friends.

May Calamawy:
And it means more to me for the universe to have put me in a situation where this has come later for me in life. Where I had time to like work on myself and align myself, so that I attract things that make me happy. Even just kind of like go in it and have a rough time or figure myself out while I'm doing it. That never ends, but I feel like I've figured out myself a bit more than where I was in my twenties. Yeah, I think just like finding that piece within you is making it and everything else will align to that.

Georgette Pierre:
Yeah.

May Calamawy:
It's easily said, right? Because there are systems in place. And like, when I think about people in Palestine, they don't have the luxury to like sit and find the peace within them because they're not living. And even in America, there are all these systems in place that like make it to difficult for people to be in that. And I have compassion for that, as well. And it's like, if you're in a place where you have the privilege to do that, do that. And then, make sure your work is always in service to something bigger. That's what I think. If you don't know what your service is yet, find it. I think that's more important than like just being like, "I want to be an actor."

May Calamawy:
Find out what you're in service to and I think then the universe will set your path out for you, so that you can actually do that. And so when I was once like, "How come I deserve to be able to be in these shows I love and take these classes and go to this healer and that? Like, that person doesn't have any money." I was like, "Well, it's also not easy to be in this position because it's a place of responsibility. But the responsibility is then to help that person." So don't then be like, "I don't deserve it. I just need to sit back and be where that person is." Like get up and help them. And hopefully along the way, you can also enjoy it.

Georgette Pierre:
Amen, ashe. That was so good, May. It was such a pleasure speaking with you.

May Calamawy:
So fun. Thank you so much.

Georgette Pierre:
Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you.

Georgette Pierre:
Making It Big in 30 Minutes is sponsored by the Emerson College Office of Alumni Engagement and supported by the Alumni Board of Directors. Stay in touch with the Emerson Community. Join us over at Emerge, a digital platform where Emersonians go to connect. Go to Emerge.Emerson.edu for more.