By Arlina Yang, AsAmNews Intern
Laughter is a universal language. Beyond the humorous anecdotes lies a story of passion, culture, and recognition, Wayne Chan manages a bustling career in real estate investing and development. Yet, amidst the hustle, writing has always been his escape into the world of words and laughter.
Chan’s journey into humor began in the halls of academia. From crafting witty pieces for his high school paper to honing his skills at the University of California, San Diego, his love for humor writing found its roots.
A memorable turning point occurred during a college creative writing course, where Chan’s unique perspective on an essay about plagiarism led to his professor, encouraging him to pursue humor writing.
Chan’s work can be found on AsAmNews’ Wayne’s World column. Most recently, Chan won the San Diego Press Club 50th annual competition’s 1st place in the Multicultural category and 2nd place in the overall “humor” category.
“It’s a nice sentiment, and I appreciate the recognition that goes with it. Not so much for the honor itself, but more because in some way I must be on the right track!” Chan said in an interview with AsAmNews.
Chan recognized the richness of everyday experiences that set Asian Americans apart, and these cultural nuances quickly became the foundation for his columns, offering readers a humorous lens through which they could see the world.
“Yet those differences are places where you can find common understanding, and often a shared humor,” Chan said.
Humor columns exist in newspapers to provide readers with a break from serious or hard news, and they serve as a means of connecting with the audience on a personal level by eliciting laughter and shared experiences.
“Finding a humorous take on Asian American culture seemed like an untapped market,” he remarked. “For example, when I write about a Chinese banquet and mention that in Chinese cuisine that culturally, we like to serve a duck, chicken, or fish as a whole dish (instead of fileted), I might describe the dish as serving the “carcass” whole. I like the blending of words and culture that can change your perspective and yet be funny at the same time.”
With his works published in multiple papers and a family of five, Chan has many personal and work experiences to draw inspiration from for his column work.
“When I sit down to write a column, whether it’s about Asian American issues or in the mainstream, I usually have an idea, and I think of the idea from various perspectives and angles, which might lead me to some absurd yet still logical conclusion,” He explained. “The fact that the conclusion or perspective might be absurd, but still have some resonance of truth to it, is what makes for a column I’d like to write.”
Publishing his work on AsAmNews since June 2021, Chan enjoys writing as his lifelong “passion and joy” outside of his professional life.
“I wanted to reach more people who might enjoy my brand of humor and maybe even leave a smile on their face,” Chan said.
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