FuturED#2 Speaker Comedian Vivek Mahbubani – Understand yourself and think about what you like doing before you choose a career.
Born in Hong Kong Vivek Mahbubani is a bilingual Comedian speaking English and Cantonese. He has a host of awards to his name, most recently he was rated as one of the top ten comedians at the ‘Laugh Factory USA’. At Island School’s FuturED#2 he explains where he finds inspiration and happiness.
“My parents thought it was important that I should speak Cantonese so I went to a local school. I was always the odd one out. At school I grew a little facial hair, the teachers didn’t like it but I wasn’t hurting anyone so why not! I like to play with things and have fun and I don’t want to follow the crowd. Being different is what gives you a personality. My personality helped me to get the jobs I enjoy doing.”
“I get paid to do the following things; Comedian, Web Designer, Ring Announcer and Drummer with my [heavy metal band] Eve of Sin!”
“The silly things I did as a kid became my profession. When I was young I thought what my dream job should include and I came up with the list;
- Nothing before 9am! I always hated getting up early and going to school.
- Don’t force me to do something. I can’t get interested in a project if I am forced to do something which I have no control over.
- I don’t like rush hour. Getting crushed on the MTR every morning is not for me.
- Success or failure, it is all on me. If I do well at something then I am going to take the praise and enjoy it but at the same time if I fail I am going to take it and not look to blame anyone.
Think about the characteristics of a job you want, not the money but the actions you will be doing.”
“Comedy is like hosting a great party -you get that same feeling. It is not like going to a great party, it is that feeling of hosting people and they all have a great time!”
“Comedy is more than just jokes – you have to look out for things. When I first started comedy I try to look for things that were funny – I didn’t find anything so I looked for things that were interesting. For example I can tell how long someone has been living in Hong Kong by how they get in a lift. A tourist gets into a lift presses the floor button and waits for the doors to shut. Someone who has just moved to Hong Kong gets in a lift, presses the floor button and then presses the button to close the doors and waits. Someone who has been in Hong Kong a longtime gets in the lift, presses the floor button and does the ‘power push’ on the door close button, pressing until they get that door shut! I wrote all these interesting observations down and I use them in my act.”
“Success is not measured in money and it is important that you understand yourself. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I like doing before I went into comedy. I am a big believer in ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ looking at what is working well and taking it a step further. Try new things, what worked yesterday might not work today or tomorrow.”
“I would encourage everyone to read, The Art of Start – which urges readers to ‘make meaning not money’. Books; How to think like Leonardo da Vinci and Art of War helped me be curious, be more willing to embrace the unknown and connect what I was doing.”
“For example as a drummer with a band, if I go fast they go fast if I go slow they go slow, it is about team work, important when working with web design clients. Comedy is the study of people and you have to know your audience – so I think about what I should do not what I can do.”
“Finally enjoy life – smell the roses and try and do something stupid once in a while”!