Four years ago, Nasiba Ikramova Cassidy left her hometown of Tashkent in Uzbekistan at age 19 to pursue her dream of becoming an actress in the United States. After a brief stay in New York, she moved to Hunters Creek in south Orlando, where she is a student at Valencia Community College, pre-majoring in theater, drama and dramatic arts. "Aside from modeling, I have always dreamed to be an actress. I have done some work in the past movie extra, hair show, print," she says. Now married to a Spanish-Irish American (hence the Cassidy last name), she is following that time-honored path of so many aspiring actors: She is working part-time as a waitress. "At this time I am looking for an opportunity to expand my experience in TV commercials, runway, modeling, acting, movie extra and/or anything that would assist me in getting catapulted to the big screen," says Nasiba, who speaks near-perfect English. She also is fluent in Russian and Spanish, all three of which she studied during her school years, and has lived for four years in Turkey and Moscow. What she misses most about her native land can be summed up in one word: Food! "We have the most delicious fruit and vegetables. Everything is organic, everything is fresh. The tomatoes, the peaches delicious!" Aside from acting, her passion is ancient history, and she spends long hours on her computer, reading up on ancient civilizations: "So I can argue with my husband," she says. "He knows so much!" And btw if youre wondering where on Earth is Uzbekistan find Afghanistan, then look north. Nasiba sure is a long way from home! Makeup by Leslie Christin, Sudio Cara, Maitland. Photographed at the Maitland Art Center, Maitland.
RICARDO RAMIREZ BUXEDA/ORLANDO SENTINEL