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What's up guys! It's Jeffrey :)
So today, I’m going to Draw My Life
It all began on August 31st, 1994
I was born in the small French city of Montreal in Canada
which is also where both of my parents met
I have an older sister named Karen
which completes my entire family of 4
Before I get into more details, I want to rewind a little
My dad is from Hong Kong so growing up
He spoke Cantonese
And my mom…
She’s from Madagascar
She also spoke Cantonese but she was even more fluent in French
since that’s what a lot of people spoke there
Because of that, I grew up speaking Cantonese but mainly French
That’s the language people speak here in Montreal
so my parents wanted me and my sister to adapt
The things is, MOST Asian parents didn’t speak French
So during my childhood, I hung out with EVERY ethnicity
EXCEPT Asians…
Because most of them usually hung out together and spoke Chinese
And… I couldn’t relate to that
Nonetheless, I made a lot of cool friends during Elementary School
One of my best friends invited over
And showed me his Game Cube & Nintendo 64
Yup! He had BOTH gaming consoles
I thought it was so fun I asked my parents to get me one
But they couldn’t afford that
So they would often drop me off at my friends just to play games
I didn’t really mind it. My friend was really good
And It was almost more fun watching him play and have him teach me
Later on, I found out my classmate Ralph lived across the street from me
He had this Basketball hoop
Joshua, another friend from school, just moved nearby at that time too
I’d often look outside my window to see if they were playing Basketball
And when I saw them, I’d go join and we’d play until sunset
When I didn’t hang out with friends though, I’d watch TV Shows
Animes to be exact
I found them so cool, I would draw them out
My parents only purchased English TV Channels
And that’s how they made me learn how to speak English
In school however, I wasn’t doing too well…
My grades were below average while my sister Karen always had straight A’s…
My sister was only 2 years older than me but she was really mature for her age
She was smart, well-mannered, talkative…
And because of that, my parents always compared me to her…
I quietly envied her…
In the meanwhile, my parents took ballroom dance classes every week as a hobby
Since they didn’t want to pay for a babysitter, they’d bring me along
I’d be on the side watching while doing this thing called: Origami
A friend taught me how to do that in school so that’s what I did to pass time
Since I wasn’t doing too well with my grades
My parents secretly enrolled me into ballroom dance classes to see if I could be better at that
When I learned the news, I cried for literally 48 hours
[Cry]
Je ne veux pas… [I don’t want to…]
To me, even though I was 8 years old, ballroom dancing was the LEAST manly sport out there
My friends played Hockey or Basketball so I never told them I danced
I was embarassed…
After a few classes though, I was performing really well…
I started entering dance competitions and won 1st place… Almost every time
[Applause]
Félicitation! [Congratulations!]
I was finally good at something and for once, it felt like my parents were proud of me
For High School, my parents enrolled me into a Private School
It was predominantly Caucasian
Yup! Majority of the students were White
It made no difference to me though since I was so used to hanging out with Non-Asians anyways…
But for many of them, having ME around…
Was different…
So… I got bullied
Verbally and Physically
During breaks or recess, students insulted me, Pushed me around…
I tried not to let that bother me
I fell in love with this girl at the time and that really helped cope with things
We were really close
SO close, people teased me about making it “Facebook Official”
But days later, she started dating this other guys who…
I guess was more popular
It broke my heart
To make matters worse, the boyfriend somehow learned I had a crush on her
He stopped me in the hallway and publicly shouted:
YOU’RE ASIAN! LOOK AROUND!
You will NEVER amount to ANYTHING!
Pfff… I… I didn’t cry or anything but
For some reason, I concluded that what he said was the reason why girls wouldn’t date me
During weekends, Joshua, Ralph and I still met up to play Basketball
Ralph’s parents just got a camera and he asked his sister to film us do Basketball tricks
He said he’ll upload the video on this site called YOUTUBE and send a link to me later
It was my 1st time hearing about this website
A few days later, Ralph sent me the video and I… LOVED IT
[Mouse click]
I immediately met up with the boys to tell’em and
they suggested me to watch these 2 other funny guys they just discovered
The 1st one was called: RYAN HIGA
And the second: KEVJUMBA
So I did… And I was BLOWN AWAY
Yeah! They were really funny…
But there was something EVEN MORE captivating that made me keep watching
It was the FIRST time I ever saw other Asians fluently speak English in all of my 12 years
So they became my Role Models
Until this point, I never told anyone I was a Ballroom Dancer
One day, my grades weren’t doing well so I had to stay after History class
The teacher asked if I had any hobbies and after hesistating…
I said I was a Competitive Ballroom Dancer outside of school
She seemed really passionate about it so I opened up even more
Few days later, in the middle of my French class, the intercom rang and my name was called
I thought I was in trouble
But it was actually to tell me that my history teacher
secretly signed me up to our school talent show
I immediately said “NO THANKS!” out of fear
All of a sudden, I was surrounded by the girls that were organizing the show
They insisted that I should so… I gave in
My sister attended the same school so I asked her to perform with me
People LOVED it
From then on, I was labelled as: The DANCER
Which I didn’t mind
Sadly, that gave my bullies another reason to mock me
Saying I was a girl for dancing but
Although their words were degrading, I noticed I wasn’t physically bullied anymore
So I guess things were getting better
I still had trouble finding my crowd though
One day, this guy I wanted to be friends with
pushed another student in front of me because he was in his way
Everyone around laughed…
I was confused but…
I concluded that, that’s what I had to do to be acknowledged
So gradually…
I became a bully…
A guy joked about me once so I pushed him so hard against the locker shouting:
SAY THAT AGAIN AND I’LL BEAT YOU UP!
He almost teared up…
I thought acting tough and cocky was what made people cool
I think deep inside I just wanted to prove myself or others
That I could be loved…
But, I was wrong…
Honestly, I was more scared that people would see through my fake image and fight back
Ironically, instead of making more friends
I pushed the ones I already had and other students didn’t want to be near me
Even this girl I had a crush on avoided me
So one night, I messaged her asking:
Can you be honest and tell me what’s wrong with me?
She answered:
You’re just not a nice person anymore…
You’re not being yourself…
That left me speechless
Truth is…
I didn’t know who I was…
I just wanted to fit in…
I thought the person I was before was the reason I was rejected in the 1st place
What I thought defined me…
Well… My bullies ridiculed
I didn’t know how to express myself anymore
From that point on, I thought if I couldn’t make myself happy
I’d try to make others happy
I started to socialize and say Hi to people I found more quiet, bullied or rejected...
Unexpectedly, that was the first time I ever saw any of them smile
Seeing that made me really happy for some reason
So I kept doing it just for that…
To see them smile
I didn’t realize the impact at the time
But at the year end Gala
I was voted as the “Most Respectful and Social Person” by my classmates
Maybe that’s what life’s all about…
Happiness doesn’t always come from Receiving but… from Giving
When I turned 15, my sister kept nagging me about getting a job and
to start paying for my own things
It was annoying but I admired her for being responsible
So I applied around and got my 1st job at a restaurant as a “Salad Boy”
I made soup, cut fruits and made salads
I worked there during the summertime until school restarted
In my last year of High school, a friend told me to audition for the school musical
because he didn’t want to do it alone
I never sang in front of people before but auditioned anyways to try something new
I’ve never been so nervous but
Eventually, I was chosen as the 2nd lead role
and my friend, he got the Lead
The experience was life changing
I found out I loved singing
Simon, a friend in my school bus, heard I liked to sing
so he invited me over to his house where he had built his own little music studio
He started improvising some crazy jazzy music on his keyboard
I was FASCINATED
Turns out, he was ranked as the best piano player in Canada within his age category
While he was playing, I would sing on top of the music
and he would always yell at me saying:
WOW! This could be a HIT on the radio. Keep going!
Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing but his comments made me feel good
So almost every night, I’d go over to his place and we’d play music
While I was in the musical, I met this girl...
I thought she was out of my league so I didn’t think much of it
But we got along so well, we started dating and
she became my first girlfriend…
An amazing one too
She did a really good job at making me feel loved
and I thought our relationship would last a very long time
However, I too often let my insecurities get the best of me
which led to unnecessary conflicts
So after a few months…
We broke up…
I learned Love is a HUGE responsibility
So from that point on, I told myself
I’d make sure to heal my wounds before getting into another relationship
Now throughout my entire High School years
I never had a dedicated group of friends I’d hang out with
From math class to lunch, recess and even outside of school
I’d jump from one group of friends to the other
I was always the guy on the side listening on conversations
And have that occasional awkward smile when I saw the others laugh
I never had a voice…
I was always…
The follower…
I think that’s why by the end of the school year, I yearned to express myself
So, with the money I saved up from working at the restaurant
I bought my 1st HD Camera
and decided to start making videos on YouTube for just myself to watch
Days later,
Comments from people I didn’t know started coming in
I couldn’t believe being myself was okay for once
I couldn’t believe people listened
I started to imagine people smiling from watching my videos
Just like the students I’d say Hi to
That made me really happy
So yeah! Through these videos,
I slowly healed my scars and accepted myself again
Joking and talking about my insecurities always felt like 1000 pounds lifted off my shoulders
Call me weird but watching myself felt like I was meeting the REAL Jeffrey for the 1st time
And that’s what motivated me to keep going
I just wanted to know more about me
Thats why, you might have seen a common theme throughout ALL my videos
They’re either personal stories I connect to OR insecurities I’ve encountered
For college, I didn’t really want to sign up
because there wasn’t a program I liked
I just wanted to be a performer at that point but
my parents really wanted me to get a degree
so I enrolled into the closest thing I could find
FILM CLASS
In the middle of my 2nd semester,
This TV Show called CANADA’S GOT TALENT came along and
I convinced my sister to audition with me for Ballroom Dancing
Crazy enough, we made it pass the Semi-Finals
The day we got back home, I received a call from The Ellen Degeneres Show
They said they loved 1 of my YouTube videos and
wanted to invited me to be on their show in Los Angeles
I said “No!”
Hah, just kidding!
I said: “Yes Please!”
Being on 1 of the BIGGEST talk shows in America is a Dream Come True
I was freaking out!
It would be my 1st time in LA and my 1st time taking a plane on my own
After these few trips, I’ve missed so many days of school
I couldn’t keep up anymore
I also wasn’t happy with the program I was in so I decided to quit and
concentrate on YouTube Full-Time
This one quote kept resonating in my head
The BIGGEST risk you will ever take…
Is not taking one at all.
One of the friends I met in film class named BEN told me to go for it
But… That was it
The rest of my family and friends were disappointed and mad
at the idea of not getting a College Degree
Even my friend’s parents got skeptical after hearing the news
My bestfriend’s dad scolded me saying:
IF I DON’T SEE YOU IN SCHOOL NEXT SEMESTER,
YOU DON’T COME BACK TO OUR HOUSE ANYMORE!
A week later, my film class teacher called
Apparently, the word got around that I wasn’t coming back to school
I actually performed Above Average in his class
So I was interested to hear what he had to say
He was no different though…
Saying I’m making a HUGE mistake
I stopped opening up about my feelings and vision at that point...
I couldn’t reason with anyone
But truth is…
They weren’t wrong…
My career choice is risky and I barely had results
Soon after, me and my friend Ben from Film class
Signed up for this online competition to find the next Internet Icon
We convinced 2 other friends to join us
It was in Los Angeles though so we had to pay from our own pockets
It was a HUGE opportunity to me
It felt like my chance to prove my peers I made the right decision
To top it off, the main judge on the show was also a very successful YouTuber whom I looked up to
And also, he’s the first one I ever watched
Ryan Higa
I couldn’t believe that after all these years
He would now be on the other side of the screen watching one of my OWN videos
Unfortunately, the judge’s comments were mostly negative
We didn’t even make it pass the 1st round and flew back home
I never felt so much like a failure
Not only did I fail in front of a guy I looked up to
I let my friends down for making them invest in this too
To make things worse,
All the money I saved up…
Gone…
I coulnd’t take any other risks
So for the following year, I applied to find jobs
A LOT of them…
At one point, I was balancing 4 jobs, working 60-70 hours a week
During the day, I was an Apple Computer salesman
At night, I did customer service for another company
I taught students how to Ballroom dance, I was a part-time extra on a TV Show
On top of that, I tried to make videos on YouTube
Some would say that’s absurd
But for some reason,
Dealing with clients wasn’t as bad as facing
friends and family who looked down on me
Because of the lack of time, I didn’t practice Ballroom Dance as much
My ranking started dropping and…
After 10 years of Dancing…
I stopped
It was December 6, 2013
I remember it like it was yesterday
I was taking a walk for some fresh air and my phone nudged
It was a notification
@KevJumba is now following you on Twitter!
A few seconds later, a message followed
“Been watching ur vids for awhile, someone tweeted me ur last one.
Wanted to say thanks and to keep the dream alive.”
I started shaking
My ALL TIME Role model has been watching my videos this WHOLE TIME
and I didn’t know?
I took a breather and messaged him back asking
if we could hop on a video call to get some advice for my career
He agreed
I said a lot of nonsense but after half an hour
We’ve talked about the Ups and Downs of being an artist
After that call, I had a weird idea
to try revisiting Los Angeles but I put that thought in the back of my mind
I also wanted to improve my singing
But didn’t want to pay for vocal lessons because it was expensive
I saw auditions being held at a local church
To be in their Youth Choir
I auditioned, got accepted and every week
That’s how I practiced my vocals
A few months later, the choir was invited to serve food
And sing for the homeless
And I was chosen as the lead singer
I thought we’d be performing for about a dozen of people
But…
Over 100 showed up
To think that we were all innocent babies for once
No different
That experience was really touching
It gave me a feeling of purpose
And made me feel so thankful for what I had despite the hardships
It also made me rekindle the idea of moving to Los Angeles
So weeks later, I quit all my jobs and moved to LA
I guess the media also falsely convinced me that
That’s where the dream was
Unfortunately, I miscalculated my plans
LA was a lot more expensive then I expected
I ended up sleeping on a bunkbed in a small room
with 3 other friends for over a month
Eventually, me and 1 of those roommates found an apartment that fit our budget
It was in a small city not too far from LA called:
Hawthorne
At the time, I somehow connected with this more established YouTuber:
Lamarr Wilson
He was one of the rare YouTubers that believed in me
And when he learned I was struggling with my move
He often paid me Uber rides and invited me to have dinner at his apartment
He also had game consoles so that kept my mind off things
We’d talk a lot about what I could do next
and he’d try guiding me with my future goals
I’m really thankful for him…
However, 4 months went by and…
Well nothing really happened
I didn’t have any plans
I cried and questioned my move more than anything
Out of desperation, I messaged this 1 person
whom I thought could give me some mentorship
He happened to be my favourite YouTuber…
Ryan Higa
Yeah…
He also happens to be one of the most successful
And that’s seen me fail on the show he was a judge on a year back
Remember?
How Unrealistic was I…
But within seconds, he replied
and asked if I would like to play as an extra
on a video he was working on
I immediately said yes and went to his place
After that, I went back home reminiscing what just happened
The following day, I called my dad
I admitted to him that I wasn’t really happy in LA
and I was barely getting any results
He suggested I should try moving to Las Vegas
To be closer to Ryan
and learn from him
So I did
A month went by learning from Ryan
and my time was up!
See because I’m Canadian, I can’t stay over 6 months in the United States
Or else I’d run into legal trouble
So I returned home to Canada
From there, even though my family didn’t fully understand it
They slowly accepted my career choice
I think they saw how much I went through and sympathized
Turns out, they were so hard on me because
They were just worried and ultimately,
That’s because they loved me
I kept making videos from that point on but
had a lot of Ups and Downs
I wanted to be a successful artist but thought
How can I become a big fish in the sea if…
I’m not even in the same sea…
Also, from those 6 months spent in the United States
I once again spent most of my savings
I felt stuck again
A lot of people were curious about why I never
asked Ryan to Collaborate with me while I was with him
Well although it could have helped,
after seeing him work,
I knew I had to work 100 times harder to even
think about being in the same league
To have immediate recognition
For something I don’t feel like I earned
makes no sense to me
I think trying to be the best artist is what matters
So I reconnected with my friend Ben from film class
He happened to be getting started with his own YouTube channel
So we’d encourage each other
The only thing we could do is to try doing our best work
Despite that, I still had a lot of mood swings
I figured it was because I wasn’t growing into the person I wanted to be
You see, with this Full-Time YouTube journey,
I let go of a lot of things I liked
And when I realized that,
I signed up for a Chinese School I saw in the newspaper to learn Mandarin
I figured it was time to reconnect with my roots
since I rejected it for so long
I then signed up to learn Hip Hop dancing
It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for a while
I restarted taking singing lessons,
playing the guitar and even tried acting
It was hard going back into student mode but
It was a fun challenge to me
I learned education will follow you forever
whether you’re in a school or not
It kept me humble understanding that
It also made me have a better vision on what artist I want to become
And on May 28, 2016
I uploaded my 1st live cover to YouTube
Very quickly, it became 1 of my most positive talked about video of the year
I think it was exactly what I was missing in my life
To perform again
Fast forward to today,
I now realize that what defines me
was never about the medals,
people’s approval or making the least amount of mistakes…
What defines me is how I chose to confront every situation I faced
and learned something from it
Oh, Remember some of the people that bullied me?
I got in touch with several of them
I learned, they never had bad intentions
They were just blinded by their own insecurities
and acted in ways that didn’t define them
So how could I not forgive them…
They were no different than me
How ironic…
Although few more wounds appeared,
I think the bigger ones healed
I don’t know what challenges are ahead
Nobody knows…
All I know is that if God put it in my path
It’s because He’ll give me the strength to face them
And you know what?
I’m excited to suffer again
Growth will never be easy
But I also believe it’s life’s biggest gift
Who knows…
Maybe you’re the one someone desperately needs right now
Anyways, this video is called a “Draw My LIFE”
But I feel like…
My life just barely started
I truly believe that everyone of us has a purpose
Everyone has a Voice
You just wouldn’t know until you actually start using it
So why am I making this video… Now?
Well there’s still a lot of things I want to learn and improve
And… I guess that’s scary to me
So this video…
Eum…
Is it one of those insecurities I want to let go of?
Maybe…
OR Maybe
It’s just that I can imagine someone smile for the 1st time while watching this one
And perhaps…
That’s life’s purpose after all :)
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畫自己的人生 (Draw My Life - Jeffrey Chang)

239 分類 收藏
clara.english.0001 發佈於 2017 年 1 月 23 日

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