Welcome to our section where we bring you stories and conversations with inspirational women. These women have changed lives and given back to the community in their way. Today, Ami Shroff, flair bartender, juggler, and shares her story.
This wizard behind the bar started off bartending during her college days because it seemed exciting and fascinating. Ami Shroff, a flair bartender and juggler, was one of the first two women who took bartending as a profession back in 2003. At that time, flair bartending as a profession was only picking up and only a few people were in it. On her individual path, she proudly identifies as queer and believes that this has influenced her choice of profession, which in turn influences who she is as a person and the choices she makes.
In this insightful conversation, Ami talks to us about what made her pick up an unconventional career path, the change in gender diversity, over time, how she likes to serve people at the bar, and a lot more.
Timeline Of The Video
0:00 – Introduction
1:00 – Choosing an unconventional career path
“…When I started, it was because it was a fun thing to do. It wasn’t because I had chosen it as a career. I didn’t plan it too much and entered it. My friend and I started doing it alongside the college and we got to travel and meet interesting people. It was all very fascinating.”
2:19 – Differentiating a bartender and a flair bartender
3:40 – Realising that bartending could be a career
5:37 – Parents’ response to the career path
8:15 – Influences in early career days
10:42 – Changes in the industry, over time
14:13 – Having a non-sexist crowd
“…It’s not about having men and women in the crowd. It’s about the crowd that isn’t sexist. It isn’t such a big deal to see a woman behind the bar or for a woman to drink alcohol. It’s easier to be among that crowd, I can relate to them.”
17:32 – Being queer
19:04 – Her sexuality influencing her career choice
22:18 – Practising discipline
25:35 – Goof ups at the bar
26:51 – Rapid Fire
27:10 – A significant moment in her life
“…Karate was a major life-changing experience of mine, as a child, I went through it. It was one of the physical activities I had encountered. It had trained me in terms of discipline, endurance, and pushing forward. Pain is good; that is what it taught me. It was the first time I manipulated objects. In karate, we learnt how to manipulate a stick; twirling it around. And there is a nunchaku, which is two sticks with a chain in the middle. Just learning these two objects was my introduction to object manipulation. The juggling arts, flair bartending, all of these are connected and I think karate is what started all this when I was 9 or 10 years old.”
28:18 – Thing she truly loves about bartending
28:46 – One underrated cocktail
29:36 – Five wardrobe staples
30:43 – Three Indian women who inspire her
33:05 – A message to the audience
“Just go for it, whatever you feel like doing it. Even if it is absurd, weird, impossible. The journey is the special part and not reaching the destination; the journey itself is exciting.”
Listen to the podcast here.
All images used are the sole property of Ami Shroff and cannot be used without prior permission.