“You can have all the tools in the world but if you don't genuinely believe in yourself, it's useless.” ~ Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong is an American comedian, television personality, actor, producer, writer, and licensed physician. He initially started off with a career in medicine, but he also chose to explore and see if he could find a career in acting and comedy, which was a passion of his since he was in medical school. Since 2008, Ken Jeong has transitioned to becoming a full-time entertainer, with his works including The Hangover series and Dr. Ken. But even with a successful entertainment career, Ken Jeong still keeps his medical license and honors his background in medicine. He was awarded the Visionary Award by the oldest Asian Pacific American Theater company in the United States for helping to raise "the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through [his] craft.”
“Comedy was always an escape for me; I just happened to be a doctor.” ~Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong’s path to success in the entertainment industry was not easy. He started off with his love for medicine, a common stereotype within the Asian community, but later realized he also had a passion for performing. He claimed he was a “late bloomer,” but this didn’t stop him from trying. Leaping out of this stereotype was difficult, especially at the time when Asian Americans were not widely represented in the American entertainment industry. But his hard work and dedication paid off, and now he is one of the most well known Asian-American entertainers in the United States.
“We're all conditioned to work hard, and it's not just an Asian thing: it's an Asian American thing. You maximize the little opportunity you have, and I've made a career.” ~ Ken Jeong
One of Ken Jeong’s lessons from his own journey was the idea that Asian teenagers and young adults should learn to think outside the box. They should find something they love and excel in and embrace it; every person is unique and should believe in themselves, even when no one else does.
Ken Jeong embodies the ideals of Creatively Asian because he rose from an Asian stereotype to pursue a true passion of his in arts and entertainment. Jeong embraces his identity of being Asian, and he knew his talents and creativity in the arts were something worth pursuing. Since his career took off, Jeong has worked tirelessly to redefine the way that Asian characters and actors are portrayed in Hollywood. Combining his talents and his roots as an Asian has paved the way for the younger generation of aspiring Asian American actors and entertainers to reach their dreams in the American entertainment industry.
Created by Kathy Ye and edited by Hannah Nguyen.