18 & over
Many claim that college is the turning point in one’s life, when one finds his or her future. This was the case for San Francisco Bay Area comedian Rex Navarrete, when Navarrete’s college professor told him he was wasting his talents.
“He told me, ‘Get out of my office-we shouldn’t be joking here, you should be taking those jokes to the stage,” recalls Navarrete of his Asian American Studies professor Dan Gonzales, the teacher who encouraged his dream to be a comedian in 1989.
That spring, 19 year-old Navarrete was baptised by fire, entertaining a crowd of 800 at the annual Asian Pacific Islander Student Union conference at UC Santa Cruz.
“I was looking for my identity then just as everyone else was at that age,” says Navarrete. “Much of my material was very serious, it lacked comedy. I figured that I had some important stuff to say, so say it in the format of stand-up. This is where I started to take comedy as a vehicle seriously.”