Today we’d like to introduce you to Chozy Aiyub.
Chozy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am an immigrant from East Jerusalem, Palestine where we live under occupation and opportunities are very limited in order for people like me to succeed. I knew that one day I will make my way to the United States to live the American Dream and become a star.
Born and raised in Palestine, at a young age I was already involved in performing arts, creating film and music since my father was so involved in performing arts and had a very famous band/dance group called “Al-Kawakeb” – translates from Arabic to English as “The Planets”. I was always involved in stage performances, dance, and music. Growing up, I got to learn how to play the piano, guitar, and drums by ear from being around my father.
At the age of 13, my father bought me my first video camera. That was when I began creating short films and casting my friends and neighbors as actors. I would also act in my short films as well. That is when I realized my passion for acting. I was part of a few plays and I was always interested in movies and imitating actors. I love Al Pacino and that’s a person that inspires me and that I can relate to since he’s racially ambiguous and can book several roles playing a different ethnic background each time.
At the age of 21, I made the decision to apply to study abroad and was accepted in the Computer Science program at Georgia Southern University. Coming to the South was a HUGE culture shock and I was not able to fit in. It took some time and lot of mistakes to understand the culture here and how I will always be different, but I’m glad I made that move since there were a lot of more opportunities in the US.
I used to be part of a big dance group in college called the BOOMSQUAD and we opened up for several artists like Cierra, Bobby Valentino, and Killa Mike. At a young age, I used to do Michael Jackson dances and was so much into breakdancing and pop’n lock.
I also made music with my friend Shaun where we infused Jamaican music with Arabic Music. I used to rap in several languages and he would sing/rap in patois. My music and film passion comes from my father who had a band and used to do plays and dancing. I used to go and play all the instruments he had. Fell in love with drums but self-taught piano and guitar.
I finished my Master’s Degree and worked while applying for my Permanent Residency card then eventually moved to Atlanta.
Last year, I decided to pursue acting and it was the best decision I have made. Within two months I was represented by Talent Direct Agency and was auditioning while taking classes in the span of eight months at Drama Inc, AMAW, and Get Scene. I was trained by Dustin Lewis on the Meisner technique which is a very good tool to have on your tool belt and Dustin is an amazing mentor. By the first year, I have already worked on 20 short films, one commercial, one tv pilot, and 1 SAG ULB film. Hard work pays off and if you want something really bad you have to work for it. I cannot wait to see what I accomplish in 2019 and I am truly blessed. I started my own audition taping studio TAPE2BOOK to help other actors save money while auditioning. You can book your next session at TAPE2BOOK.COM.
By day, I am a UX/UI and graphic designer who worked as a contractor for several companies like AT&T, COCA COLA, COSTAR, and many more. I do a lot of freelance design work and you can check my work at CHOZYDESIGNS.COM.
I also own a clothing brand named CHOZEN STYLE which offers activewear to men and women. I was able to sponsor some MMA fighters as well as boxers. You can check out my brand at CHOZENSTYLE.COM.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Coming from Palestine to the US was definitely a hard especially to adjust. Away from family and friends one can be very homesick and lose focus to what he or she is trying to achieve which is what happened to me. Also coming from a different background and culture can be hard to adjust and figure out where you fit in where nobody else looks or talks like me. But with persistence and determination, I proceeded to succeed and live the American Dream.
The road to success requires sacrifice and the biggest sacrifice was leaving my country, my family and my friends to start a new life here in America.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Tape2Book – what should we know?
Tape2Book is a place where actors are able to tape their auditions without breaking the bank. Most studios in town charge an arm and a leg, but I understand that artists need to save their money especially since taping auditions is a crucial thing to do to get booked. Since I am new in the industry, I immediately noticed how that can be a problem and how everything can add up so I decided to help people while giving them high-quality audition. Most studios charge a lot extra for direction and coaching while I do it for free as I love helping others. First audition is always free, and it’s $30 an hour after that.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Three years ago, before I even thought about pursuing acting, Frederick Nah IV – a friend of mine – cast me as a principal actor with a minor role in his film BREATHE where I had about five lines. I told him I never acted before, and he said I was natural and all I had to do is be myself. After we filmed and had our screening, a lot of people remembered my scene and told me that I was a great actor. Once I told them I was not an actor, they said: “Well you definitely should be pursuing it.”
Last year, an actor by the name of Jackson Beals, moved next to me and I eventually saw him in his yard one day and introduced myself where he then shared his story and told me that I have a great look and Atlanta has nobody like me and that I should consider acting. Not knowing where to begin, I asked him what he suggested and he said that I should take an On Camera class that will teach me how to audition and how to live within the frame.
I went to Drama Inc and took their On Camera class with Jason Macdonald and Catherine Dyer and the rest was history.
- First audition is always FREE
- $30 an hour
- Website: www.tape2book.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/tape2book
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/tape2book
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/tape2book