Jesse Appell Performance

On February 9, 2017, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center & the GW Confucius Institute co-sponsored an interactive student workshop & performance by American comedian in China and Fulbright Scholar alumni, Jesse Appell. 

Hopkins-Nanjing Center Photo-Gallery

GW CI Workshop & Performance Photo-Gallery 

ARTICLES:

STUDENT WORKSHOP

February 9, 2017 – 11:15AM – Conducting a workshop in DC, Jessie Appell, a renowned American comedian living in Beijing, China, met with a 25 Chinese language students from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and George Washington University.

Together, they performed various improv comedy games and activities – all in Mandarin Chinese! Participants had to think on their feet quickly for the activities, racking their brains for some less-used Chinese vocabulary. Although a bit nervous at first, all participants warmed up  and loosened up, thanks to Jesse’s friendly approach and passion for comedy.

To wrap up the workshop, Jesse led a discussion on the challenges of doing improv and specifically doing it in Chinese, from requiring a degree of creativity and spontaneity to dropping barriers of resistance and really acting the part. Students left the workshop knowing it’s okay to make mistakes when speaking a foreign language, something that foreign language students are often afraid to do.

Jesse will continue his tour on both the east and west coast of the United States.


PERFORMANCE

February 9, 2017 – 5:30PM – “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Fazhan” (a parody of Notorious BIG song) was one of the highlights when comedian Jessie Appell, an American living in Beijing, China, visited the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. The event, co-sponsored by GW Confucius Institute, helped deepen students’ cultural understanding of both traditional Chinese comedy (“Crosstalk”) and adapting western style comedy in China.

With more than 100 people in attendance, Jesse stood on stage in his traditional Chinese comedy outfit, first explaining the foundation of Crosstalk and its position in modern Chinese culture, and giving examples of the comedy styling for the audience to hear.

Jesse engaged with audience, relaying several humorous life lessons he’s learned living, working, and making people laugh in China. He continued on, sharing parodies he’s made of western songs, though with Chinese flare and modern-day application, that have made him a larger than life figure in China.

Following his performance at SAIS, Jesse headed down to Charlottesville, VA to perform at the University of Virginia and will later head back to China to continue making people laugh, expanding his comedy club in Beijing, and fostering positive US-China relations.
 

 

Speaker Biography

Jesse Appell 艾杰西

Fulbright Scholar, Intercultural Comedian
富布莱特学者&中美喜剧演员

Jesse Appell is a Fulbright Scholar Alumni whose research focuses on Chinese humor and performance. He is a disciple of master Xiangsheng performer Ding Guangquan, and regularly perform Xiangsheng, bilingual improv comedy, and Chinese stand-up live and on TV. Jesse creates comedic online videos intended for the Chinese audience; one of these, “Laowai Style,” gathered 2 million hits across several media platforms.

Jesse’s performances, writing, and commentary on Chinese comedy, media, and culture have been seen and heard on CBS, TEDx, PBS, NPR and PRI, as well as Chinese media such as CCTV, BTV, and CRI. He has performed Chinese comedy at Yale University, University of Washington, Brandeis University and more on his “Great LOL of China” North American tour. He was listed as one of the “People of the Year” by the Global Times in 2012. Jesse founded www.laughbeijing.com, with the focus of using comedy to bridge cultural gaps.

Jesse’s bilingual comedy writing aims to overcome cultural gaps by focusing on storytelling and character rather than surface differences and stereotypes.

作为中美富布莱特学者,艾杰西专注于中式幽默和表演方面的研究。他拜著名相声演员丁广泉为师,在全国各地定期进行相声、双语即兴喜剧、脱口秀等演出。他制作了一系列面对中国观众的视频作品,其中,最广为人知的“老外Style”获得了200万的点击率。他在美国经常做高校巡演,曾经在哈佛,耶鲁,布朗等学校给当地华人留学生做喜剧专场演出。

他曾经上过《谁能逗乐喜剧明星》,《非常了得》,《环球神奇炫》,等节目,经常在电视台脱口秀节目当嘉宾。他是全国最有经验的即兴喜剧演员之一,在中美两国演过十多年即兴喜剧,也在北京大学附属中学教即兴喜剧课程。

在CBS,CCTV、BTV、CRI、TEDx、PBS、NPR、PRI等各大中外媒体上,常可见艾杰西的身影及其关于中国喜剧、媒体和文化的著述和评论。他于2012年入选环球时报“年度人物”。2012年,杰西创办了网站www.laughbeijing.com,致力于用喜剧搭建中美文化桥梁。

    作为双语喜剧编剧,杰西的目的是通过角色和叙述跨越文化冲突,并不接受具有刻板影响和浅层文化冲突的故事。

Sponsored By:

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center
The George Washington University Confucius Institute

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