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Revel HQ
September 15, 2021

How She Revels: Jade Wong

I started taking dance lessons for the first time in my 50’s.

I’ve become an older Asian woman comic - there’s not nearly enough of us to meet popular demand.

Name: Jade Wong 
San Francisco Bay Area

What do you do for work?

I recently retired after 30 years of being an eye surgeon. I miss my patients a lot and think about them when cutting grapes. For months I searched for something meaningful to do, something that would fill a real need in the world. So I’ve become an older Asian woman comedian - there’s not nearly enough of us to meet popular demand. Standup is so different from ophthalmology - first, it’s much easier to spell. And while a standup comedian spends years learning to write and deliver jokes, an eye surgeon spends years learning the art of medical billing. Either one can be heckled but only the ophthalmologist wields sharp instruments at close range.

Who do you admire, and why?

Mother Nature is so creative, gracious, resilient and relatable. With the proper PR team, she could achieve the rock star status she deserves. On the comedic front, I worship Dave Chappelle and Ali Wong. They are fearless masters of their craft and one looks great in leopard print latex. And, jeez, Chappelle gets to vape onstage. Eye surgeons don’t even get to chew gum.

What trends do you find challenging?

I tried a guided imagery app that’s supposed to help with anxiety. I found myself on a calm, peaceful beach. Until a tsunami hit. Then I tried intermittent fasting, eating only for 8 hours each day. My Chinese aunt sent me a sympathy card saying, “So sorry for the loss of your appetite.” The Marie Kondo decluttering method should have been a natural fit right? I mean I’m Asian and have bangs too. But apparently 99% of my belongings bring me joy. And how about the Gen X fascination with multiple ear cartilage piercings? I haven’t had even a single ear piercing, which makes me a 64 year old virgin. But I’m getting up to speed by listening to piercing screams.

What do you like to do with your free time? 

I do yoga by myself outside at a park. The last time I took a yoga class, another student dislocated his shoulder. All of his inconsiderate writhing gave me PTSD. Oh, and making single-panel cartoons is mostly lots of fun. I was getting hung up on drawing hands but now all of my characters wear mittens. I’m not a total introvert, though. I do like sharing the blame. Some things are best not done alone.

Tell us something surprising about yourself? 

I started taking dance lessons for the first time in my 50’s. I have flat feet and asked my fiery flamenco teacher which shoes work best with arch supports. She wailed something in Spanish which I won’t translate. Then I joined my girlfriend’s ballet class. I went crazy with the turnout which led to bilateral hip surgery. (Note to self: Beware of trading mental/physical health for pale pink leotards, no matter how cute.) Surgery on the right hip went smoothly. Surgery on the left hip provided great material for standup!

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