We had the good fortune of connecting with Azize Erim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Azize, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’m gonna be hones! I tried so many different industries. And I do not like the corporate environment, because I always think outside the box and in most corporate jobs they do not allow a lot of creativity. I always put an extra time for my creative work however it’s different when you are surrounded by artists and creative people and you can only do that with being in the creative environment. While I was working in a corporate office, I realizes that, my artistic spirit is fading away and I did not like the feeling. I get super excited when I’m with my artist friends and find joy in every moment. I cannot think about my life without creating.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Stand Up comedian, writer, filmmaker and actress. I was born in London but grew up in Adana, a city in the southern part of Turkey. It is still hard to be a woman and a foreigner in the industry. It’s a big struggle, and it is difficult to prove yourself. Also, there aren’t many Turkish actors/writers in the industry who could open doors for the other Turkish actors.
I don’t think living or pursuing your dream is a smooth process for anyone. I definitely struggled and continue to struggle with this process. Being a foreigner, coming from a different culture and speaking a different language all make this process even more challenging. In addition, moving to Los Angeles at the age of thirty-five had its own challenges. But it is part of the dream, right? Nothing is easy. I believe hard work and persistence make you get to where you wanna be. I always say “successful people are the ones who never give up”. So, the struggles and challenges have their own benefits. It makes us grow and see how much we can handle. So far, I’ve been handling it pretty well. I still have a very long way to go, and as I move forward the challenges and struggles get more difficult, but I get stronger.
Another struggle I experienced was finding a creative partner. I love collaborating with others; however, everyone has a unique path, and it is really difficult to find your creative twin. I tried to collaborate with several different people over the years. They were all amazingly talented and hard-working people, and we created great projects together. However, we had to say our goodbyes after a while because of our goals and the path we were on ended up being different. I have a very loyal personality, and if I commit to someone as a creative partner, I would like this to continue for a long time like Ilana and Abbey (Broad City), Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and Key and Peele. After five years of trial and error, I’ve found an amazing creative partner, Yasemin Isil, with whom I wrote several project and continuing to create. She is also Turkish and we both had similar experiences in our journey.
Both Yasemin and I are huge fans of quirky comedy so we bring that to our stories. We like to write about anti-hero stories, which is usually inspired by our stories, and put a fun, quirky twists. Both of us love art so we try to bring art, visuals and magic of filmmaking to our project. We like to be different. We watch so many shows, films, reality shows, documentaries and we fuel ourselves with information. Our projects usually bring some from every corner of life.
I think what I’m really proud and learned along the way is to be able to create with a partner. This is an industry where people want to be stars and shine alone, and they forget about team work. A lot of people want to take the credit for themselves and betray each other in a heart beat. However, both Yasemin and I are patient and our ambition is more on the kind and team work side. Learning to create with a partner, trusting each other and each others’ work, respecting and loving each other is the most important thing I learned during this process. Together we create magic and we are stronger and bring the best in each other. I feel super lucky!
Currently, we have just filmed our short film/promo video amazing director Eli Sokhn and producer O.Z Ozmen. So, stay tuned!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is an amazing question, because I always have guests visiting me and love doing an itinerary for them!!
I love showing people around. I used to do that when I was living in Istanbul as well. I had so many international friends coming and visiting and I’d love to show them around. However, I never liked doing the “cheesy touristy” stuff. That, they can do themselves. With me, my guests experience a local life. Things I’d like to do in the city. Most of my guests are like me, so they always enjoy my guidance.
I definitely take my guests to Alcove and Home in Los Feliz. I love Alcove for the food and desert and Home for the ambiance. I love hanging out there and creating.
Definitely Silver Lake for more restaurants and cafes such as Intelligentsia, La Columbe, Dinosaur Cafe. These are my favorite places to sit, hang out and write.
I love hanging out in the Arts District in DTLA. There is Wisdome LA (I hope it’s still there) which is an Art Gallery where they have immersive art. It’s amazing. Definitely a must see. And since weed is legal here, I definitely suggest my guest take some edibles as well 🙂
Of course, since I’m a comedian, I’d take them to comedy shows in comedy clubs. Also some improv shows. There are great shows at UCB! However, during the pandemic, they have closed one of their theaters so I’m hoping they continue to have their shows in the other one. I think one of my favorite shows there is “I’m too Effin High”, where the audience is hit, the host is high and the guests are high and they do improv shows. Only in LA, so I definitely take my guests to have this experience.
I also take them hiking. I love Studio City, so we have great hikes here. Hike is a must!
LACMA, Broad, Getty Museums are must if it’s their first time in LA.
I love second hand book stores. There is one here in NoHo, Illiyad. I love that place and can spend hours there.
If we have time for a brief road trip, I’d love to take my guests to Idyllwild. Rent a cabin for a couple days and enjoy the area.
My husband is a ceremonial magician, so he knows all the good crystal stores. We definitely give our guests a little crystal show tour. And my husband gives them suggestions of what kinds of crystals they can buy.
If our guests insist on beach (usually they do) we take them to Zuma beach. I think it’s one of the most peaceful beaches out here. And after the beach, on our way back we definitely stop by Lake Shrine.
I also love Malibu and Malibu Farm Cafe at the point of the pier. That place is amazing and nice to have lunch.
Hanging out at the park, having a picnic and reading our books is also a must for me.
Definitely hanging out in my favorite spots in my neighborhood, Studio City, NoHo arts district, Toluca Lake and Tujunga Avenue. Drinking “Lavender-Elderflower lemonade” from Lemonade, eating burgers at Stout, desserts at Aroma Cafe and Tea, anything at Fat Dog, sandwiches at Daves Chicken, and all you can eat Sushi places are must in our neighborhood.
I have musician friends here, so if there is a nice concert of course I’d take them to see my friends.
Like I mentioned, I’d like my guests to have a local person experience.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to three important people! One of them is my writing partner, Yasemin Isil. Without her I wouldn’t be this confident! She makes me a better person and together we create magic. She is my creative partner for life! Second person is my best friend Ece Yildirok, who is a self thought artist. Her dedication, determination and hard work always inspires me. She is always right by my side. And last but not least is my sister, Ayse Kadayifci Orellana. She always supported me, fought for me if necessary. I’m so glad I’m creating with all three of them!
Xenia LeBlanc Nick Acosta