56 minutes | Apr 15, 2021

Jona Xiao | From Gambling Addiction and Bulimia to Successful Actor & Stand-Up Comedian.

Jona Xiao was born in China but grew up in the United States, specifically St. Louis, Missouri.  Her father was 1 of 5 people to receive a scholarship to Cornell University, which led to them relocating to the US permanently.  This where she eventually coined her comedic phrase “Made in China, Raised in The U.S.”  She experienced a lot of racial inequality while growing up, this would shape the way she perceived society at a young age.  She starting learning English as young as 5 years old, and this led to her having nightmares about speaking English in front of her class. She would fight a ton with her dad, she and he were very smart and stubborn and they would constantly butt heads.  One of the things she experienced early on was the color “yellow” and the derogatory meaning behind it for Asian Americans.  She found herself repulsed by the color, which she says now was a subconscious reaction to racism at the time.  She also remembers getting beat up at school. As she got older in High School, she would face these racial inequalities head-on.  She became involved in the leadership roles in her school, seeking to make a difference.  She wanted to change the world but realized that it started with analyzing herself and her own environment more closely.  This was a shock at first but led to more openness and understanding with her peers. Next was college, where she developed an eating disorder, bulimia, that coincided with a new addiction to poker.  She was going through depression and body image issues.  She would constantly degrade herself and her body parts, for being too big or too small.  She got to the point where she had $200 left to her name and contemplated selling her car and riding her bike to the casino, so she could continue her gambling addiction.  She lost her friends, her money, and her respect.  She tried going through a 12-step program but was unsuccessful.  But while she was there, she learned of another lady who had a friend that was gambling for 30 hours straight and actually died at the table.  She thought that could’ve been her & this turned out to be a major wake-up call for her to change her life.  She embraced NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) as a form of psychotherapy, to help her deal with these issues.  Now she stars in the Disney Plus epic “Raya The Last Dragon”, which is Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess.  She also has an upcoming starring role in the Starz channel drama “Hightown”.  She is also a stand-up comedian, active in women’s flag football, and an advocate for gambling and eating disorders. This is Jona Xiao in her own words on Knockin’ Doorz Down. For 51FIFTY use the discount code KDD20 for 20% off! https://51fiftyltm.com/ https://www.facebook.com/51FIFTYLTM https://www.instagram.com/51fiftyltm/ For Carlos Vieira's autobiography Knockin' Doorz Down   https://www.kddmediacompany.com/   For more on the Knockin' Doorz Down podcast and to follow us on social media  https://www.kddmediacompany.com/podcast https://www.instagram.com/knockindoorzdown/ https://www.facebook.com/knockingdoorsdown/ https://twitter.com/kddmediacompany https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUSJ5ooBFqso8lfFiiIM-5g/ For more information on the Carlos Vieira Foundation and the Race 2B Drug-Free, Race to End the Stigma and Race For Autism programs visit: https://www.carlosvieirafoundation.org/ https://www.facebook.com/CVFoundation/ https://www.instagram.com/carlosvieirafoundation/ For more on Jona Xiao www.jonaxiao.com https://www.facebook.com/jonaxiao www.instagram.com/jonaxiao/ https://twitter.com/jonaxiao https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonaxiao/
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