Ainsley Chong is an entertainer and emcee.
What’s your story?
I was captivated by magic at a very young age and ever since then; I have wanted to be a performer to make a difference in events while captivating my audience’s attention. I picked up magic then and hosting naturally found its way to me, as I had to constantly think fast enough for a good comeback while performing.
I had my fair share of corporate world experience but I felt that it wasn’t the best version of myself and I wanted to be better, I wanted to take pride in what I do. And so, I pursued my journey to be an entertainer!
What excites you most about your industry?
What I love most about what I do is that I am in direct contact with the audience – I get to interact with people and talk to so many people. This is when organisers place their trust in me to run their event well for them. It is my job to make sure that every person in the audience is captivated from the start to the end.
To some, an emcee is a glamorous job. To me, an emcee is the glue that binds all the glitter together to ensure the event runs smoothly.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I would like to learn the nuances of every other country and understand what makes them laugh, what keeps them engaged. Only then will I come to realise that what I have in Singapore is not that portable – I can’t possibly tell our local jokes overseas, it wouldn’t go as well. It is my dream to know my market well, starting from the ASEAN market before moving into North Asia.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore will always be my number one choice because of its proper infrastructure, full connectivity and its ease of access to information.
Plus it is easier to do business in Singapore; it only takes you 1-2 days to incorporate a business in Singapore. What that means are more opportunities stemming from new business incorporations and start-ups, which means more business for emcees. Singapore is very vibrant and people thrive on that energy; and I am just a conduit to channel that energy.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Guiding light, path, time and tide waits for no man, so I need to make sure that I capitalise on every minute of everyday to be the best that I can be. Knowing well in life there are no free lunches, I strive to become the best that I can be.
Who inspires you?
My biggest inspiration in life is my mother; she is my number one fan that comments on all my pictures and my most encouraging champion. I came from humble beginnings and growing up, I always knew how hard was it to earn money. Mummy always had to work 2 jobs just to make sure we had a comfortable life.
Most importantly, I knew how hard it was for my mother and I just wanted her to be proud of me.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The world we live in today is very different from the world we once knew. It’s hard to find good news in the local papers. When you pick up the news, you read of atrocities that happen all around us. I’ve come to realise the difference I make to a person’s day.
If can get the audience to set aside their worldly cares, if only for a little while and make them laugh with me. That would have been a good day. If I can make someone’s day a little better, I have done my job.
Smile and the world smiles with you.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Someone wise once said, that happiness is not a destination but it is a journey. If I wound back the clock, I would have tried to enjoy that journey a little more and paid more attention during mandarin lessons. Life itself is that journey and looking back, I would have taken it head on, been less afraid and have a little bit more faith in myself.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with that rewind button and every mistake I made growing up and every little success I celebrated has became a part of me and made me who I am today.
Not flawless, not without scratches but a stronger individual knowing that I can make a difference.
How do you unwind?
There are a few ways and a nice cold beer is one of the best antidotes. But seriously at the end of everyday, I look back at what I did and see how I could have done things better. I look back at how I could have improved my show quality. I am also constantly thinking of new ideas and jokes that I can use on stage.
I believe in being able to laugh at myself and not let any mistakes ruin my day. Tomorrow is another day as I put myself in the shoes of my customer and wonder if I would be satisfied.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I am probably torn between Bali and Bangkok. One gets you a relaxing holiday by the beach while the latter makes you just want to seize every moment to shop and eat.
When I do get a couple of days off, I usually prefer to just take a drive up to Kuala Lumpur or even as far as Penang for a short getaway.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. This is a great book with lots to think about. It’s like a book with many case studies that can be applied to life. He also introduces us to particular personality types and analyzes fashion trends, children’s television and direct mail for example.
Shameless plug for your business:
Emcee Ainsley Chong has over 8 years of entertaining audiences of different nationalities. His versatility has won the hearts of audiences around the world. From large-scale national events to intimate corporate dinners, Emcee Ainsley Chong definitely injects life into every event he takes on.
How can people connect with you?
For any corporate enquiries, please request me through your friendly event company or visit my website at www.ainsleychong.com or drop me an email at [email protected]
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>