Dr Ja­son Leong

Time Out Kuala Lumpur - - Dare to do -

THEN Doc­tor NOW Co­me­dian

Many would think that upon be­com­ing a doc­tor you’re set for life – money, pros­per­ity and hap­pi­ness would come nat­u­rally. Be­sides, who in their right mind would leave such a no­ble pro­fes­sion, let alone for a small (but grow­ing) and un­cer­tain in­dus­try like comedy? Well, Ja­son Leong did it, and he’s been quite suc­cess­ful at it too.

When Ja­son first started dip­ping his toes in comedy he was still a doc­tor. In fact, for his very first per­for­mance – a five-minute slot at Time Out KL’s Comedy Thurs­day [which has been dis­con­tin­ued] – he drove all the way from Pe­nang where he was based at the time to KL to per­form his show. As he started to gain more at­ten­tion, Ja­son had to make a choice. ‘Bu­reau­cracy and in­hu­man work con­di­tions’ ac­cord­ing to Ja­son were among the rea­sons he left medicine – as well as for ‘the chance to be god­like rock stars’.

Ever since leav­ing his job, the lo­cal fun­ny­man has reached new heights – he re­cently rep­re­sented Malaysia for Laugh Fac­tory’s Fun­ni­est Per­son in the World and has per­formed on stages all over the world. He said the big­gest chal­lenge for him was get­ting used to re­jec­tion – some­thing he wasn’t used to back when he was prac­tis­ing medicine. ‘I had to de­velop a thick skin and push through. It was a mind­set change that was most needed,’ he said.

How­ever, be­ing a doc­tor wasn’t a com­plete waste of time. Apart from help­ing peo­ple out, it taught him some skills that helped in be­ing a good co­me­dian, es­pe­cially in de­vel­op­ing an em­pa­thy and con­nec­tion with the au­di­ence. And when asked for his ad­vice to bud­ding co­me­di­ans, Ja­son’s an­swer was em­phatic: ‘Please don’t do it, be­cause I don’t want com­pe­ti­tion.’

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