Ronny Chieng

After his performance last night, Ronny stuck around and greeted guests to thank them for coming. The venue was quite small, so it was easy to approach him and chat for a bit. I’m always so surprised when I find that people who perform for a living in front of crowds of hundreds or thousands of people are shy in real life. They’re happy to have millions of eyeballs watch and critique their every word, but when one-on-one time comes, they almost clam up. That’s kind of how Ronny was. I got behind another couple to say hi to him while Chris was paying the tab, and he seemed almost embarrassed that I wanted to talk him to him beyond just saying thank you. The more questions I asked and the more I wanted to engage with him on everything from his time in Australia to Malaysian food outside of Malaysia and Singapore, he seemed more and more awkward. It was kind of cute. There’s no way I’d ever be able to do what he does for a living; it’s even more exciting that he’s an Asian comedian in a white/black dominated comedy world.

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