Like picket signs.
Exactly. We were so pumped, you know. It perked my interest in engaging my creativity. But I never, I still didn’t think of it as a professional career to pursue. But yeah, then I finished college. By the end of my college career, I started getting into photography. I started doing some slam poetry.
Oh really? Wow. Was it politically charged stuff?
No, it was, like, girl material. I think I won some Berkeley… like a school poetry slam.
I bet Berkeley has a pretty competitive slam poetry scene.
Might have been an off year. But I won one year. So four of us went to some national contest in Cleveland. It was just girl stuff for me. After college, I stuck around. I stuck around Berkeley and got a job at a photography store. And I was thinking, “I am going to try to be a photographer.” Try to figure something out. But then, maybe six months after college, I took a joke-writing class in San Francisco. At this place called Kearny Street Workshop. Like, an Asian American organization. After that I got onto the open mic scene, and then I started pursuing comedy. So that was about it.
What do your parents think? Because you do comedy full-time.
Yeah. Now it’s full-time. It’s been full-time for, like, four years. They never pushed it too hard. I’m sure it would have been cool for them if I went with engineer/doctor/lawyer. Any of those they would have been happy with. But once I started doing this comedy thing, they were like, “Oh, how about a news anchor?” Something on TV. And even after, she’s like, “It’s not too late to go back to medical school” or something.
Was it one of these situations where, like, once you could support yourself, they were like, “Oh he must be good enough to have people pay him?”
Yeah… kind of. For a few years now, they haven’t really suggested alternative career options anymore. They’re OK. My mom’s like, you gotta get your shit together. And make sure you’re, whatever. They’re thankful I haven’t asked them for money in a long time.
That’s what happened with this band. I did bum around for 5 or 6 years. And then once this started up, I was like OK, this seems interesting. Let’s see what happens. And once two years passed without me having to ask them for anything or living in their apartment, they’re like OK. You’re jumping down the rabbit hole.
That helps. And now and then you show them something.
Something with your name on it. Yeah, that’s huge. “I’m not selling drugs.”