Ami B. Shroff is breaking the Gender stereotype in Juggling and Bartending
"The sexist environment that people are surrounded with today sadly, makes it quite unique when a woman works in a male-dominated profession. But, unique is what I liked. So, I went for it. I was always a rebel for many causes."- Meet Ami Shroff, who is a professional flair bartender and juggler making her way in the creative field with her immense art. I got 'Aww Struck' when I first saw her playing with the heavy alcohol bottles like a toy. I mean, you need a certain amount of balance and a lot of concentration to do such a risky art. The best thing about her flaring skills was, that they seemed really effortless. So wouldn't you be interested in knowing the root of this art?
I was always restless, fidgety and wanted to find interesting things to do since childhood. I enjoyed sports; I remember spending most of my childhood outside the home, playing different sports and getting my knees and elbows scratched. To be honest, I never enjoyed studies much because of how the education system has made it very boring. The schools never encouraged sports as much as the academics. Flair got connected with me since my childhood in a certain way and it gave me a little sense of discipline that is required in sports, it’s just about connecting the mind and the body with your soul. So, I used to juggle with everything I used to get my hands on, be it a ball, bottle or any other thing. I was always a typical ‘townie party freak’ kid and I don’t come from a filthy rich background, so after completing my high school, I started working at the events promoting different brands to suffice my lifestyle. Somewhere around that time, I watched Tom Cruise’s, Cocktail. I was so fascinated with that movie that I pictured my future as Brian Flanagen. (Tom Cruise’s character in Cocktail)Eventually, I got to know about the profession of bar tending and I applied to it at that particular moment. Little did I know that I am going to get selected for the profession. When I started working behind the bar, I just loved it. I felt like it was everything that was missing from my life. I loved the training period of it and started working as a full time bartender in Mumbai.
So, Ami sure has an immense amount of talent that has kept her going till now. But, it was a male dominated profession back then when she started, so let’s understand her take on this. When I started in early 2000’s, there were no female bartenders at all, not at least in Mumbai. The society sincerely obeyed it’s historical duty of filling the ears of my parents with negativities related to the profession, especially for women. Like, it’s unsafe for your daughter to come home at 5am, wear such clothes, blah blah and blah. But trust me, people in this industry are very accepting and look past just your gender. I’ve rarely had any unethical experience as a bartender, instead there are even people in the society who gets really amazed when I reveal my profession and appreciates the talent. So, I always look at the positive side of the society and that’s what has really kept me going. I’ve won a lot of juggling and bartending competitions, which has actually made my mom proud of me.
Currently, I am working with London Taxi and I am also invited at other clubs in Mumbai on their special nights. The journey has been really amazing and I wish to do more and more of it. I also keep on experimenting with the cocktails and come up with some unique cocktails some of which eventually ends up in the menu of the bar.