'True Life' Check-In: Justin Wants To Turn His Book Into A Screenplay

Tonight's "True Life" explored the stories of two young men whose family disapproved of their career dreams. Justin wanted to be a comedy writer despite his conservative parents' desire for him to pursue medicine, and Carlos aimed to become a successful music producer and DJ. We had an opportunity to check in with them to find out how their lives have changed since filming wrapped--take a look at the follow-up Q&As below:


What are you up to now?

I'm moving away from comedic writing, dabbling with entertainment TV and radio through internships with E! Television and KROQ-FM. While my current hope is to be a wild television and radio rock star personality, I’d also be interested potentially working behind the scenes in production.

Have you made any progress marketing your book?

Honestly, due to its controversial content, my book has marketed itself through word of mouth. Many Persians in my intimate Beverly Hills community recognize me, but beyond the notoriety my book's experienced, it's being featured on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. "I Used to be Persian," my little-book-that-could, has actually received genuine propositions to be developed into a film screenplay. My parents, though embarrassed by the general popularity or infamy of my book, still love me the same.

What was it like sharing your story with us?

I was motivated to share my story with MTV by a desire to represent the young people torn between their conservative upbringings and more liberal personalities. Ultimately, I've succeeded with my own goal of publishing my crack-crazy book, in spite of occasional backlash from my old school Persian parents. I hope viewers who suppress their identities and aspirations within their homes in fear of judgment or disapproval feel empowered.


Have you found a day job or are you still hoping to develop a successful producing career?

Shooting the show was a really eye-opening experience for both myself and my family. I've decided to slow down on my DJ bookings and put my full time in the studio for my new project "Knight Crime" with my friend Jesse. Shortly after shooting the show we released some remixes and got amazing feedback from huge artists.

How is your relationship with your mother? Are you looking to move out of her house anytime soon?

My relationship with my mom is still not exactly where I would want it to be, but it's gotten significantly better. She now understands that for me to have any sort of artist image I need to first make the music that I love with my heart, and make the money I need with my brain afterward. It was really tough to get her to listen, but I must say that filming this episode really helped her understand that she needed to make a tiny change in the way she demanded what I did with my life.

What was it like sharing your story with us?

At first I was a little worried about putting my story out there for everyone to see, but I really put thought into it and I know I'm not alone so I felt people needed to see that its not easy for everyone early on trying to get support from family. I'm proud to be an example to anyone else going through the same thing.

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