Episode 51: Laid Off from Disney Due to COVID-19 - Shereen Kassam | FunnyBrownGirl

This week, host Shereen Kassam, chats about being laid off due to COVID-19 and why now is the perfect time to start or continue pursuing your creative passion.  Shereen also chat the importance of maintaining a schedule and not allowing yourself to be BORED.  Other topics discussed: how to make this the best time of your life, how to stay sane, and how to balance all the emotions you may be feeling.

Shereen shares free resources for creatives also available on the Facebook group.


This week’s guest: Tissa Hami,

Who is Tissa Hami?

Activist. Idealist. Smartass. In fall 2002, just a year after 9/11, Tissa Hami dared to do something that no one in America had ever done — step onstage veiled and tell jokes. At a time when Muslim-Americans were advised to keep a low profile, she chose to stand up.

Tissa’s groundbreaking humor quickly caught the attention of audiences, bookers, and the media. She earned a reputation for making people think as well as laugh.

Due to increased demand for her voice and perspective, Tissa branched out into speaking engagements, classroom workshops, and writing. She has traveled to 25 states, bringing her show to diverse audiences. From prominent universities like Harvard and Yale, to small towns where she’s been told that she’s “the first Muslim they’ve ever seen,” Tissa has connected with audiences across the country.

Tissa grew up in a traditional Iranian family in a predominantly white suburb of Boston. The daughter of a pediatric dentist and a software engineer, she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Ivy League universities. Her parents were “thrilled” that she wanted to pursue a career in comedy.

Tissa has been featured in media around the world including the PBS documentary “Stand Up,” ABC’s “The View,” NPR, BBC, and the Washington Post. The San Francisco Chronicle named her one of the Top 11 female comedians in the country.

Tissa Hami recently opened her own boutique consulting firm focused on diversity, equality, and inclusion.  She works with corporate clients on creative ideas to advance D&I in their organizations, including training programs that feature interactive theater, stand-up comedy, and storytelling. She regularly speaks and performs at D&I conferences nationwide. This is a great story of how Tissa was able to pivot her time in unemployment to discover her creative passion!

Key Questions answered by Tissa Hami:

  • How did your creative journey begin?
  • Why Tissa left a well-paying job on Wall Street to pursue stand-up comedy

Tissa Hami Discusses:

  • Dealing with unemployment and a recession
  • How she made the jump in to comedy full-time
  • Challenges to being a full-time creative


Key Takeaways from Tissa Hami:

  • Your creative life could surprise you
  • Don’t be afraid to deviate from a standard career
  • Don’t be scared to try
  • It’s a life experience even if it doesn’t work out
  • If you love it, do it. Don’t give up.

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Social Media Info

Connect Online:  

Shereen Kassam – www.funnybrowngirl.com


Tissa Hami – @tissahami

Shereen Kassam – @funnybrowngirl


Shereen Kassam – @funnybrowngirl

Connect on Facebook:  

Tissa Hami – @tissacomedy

Shereen Kassam – @funnybrowngirl

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