For many – if not most – people, an unavoidable part of life is reaching a turning point that not only means a big decision to make, but also a sacrifice to take. For Ernest Prakasa, it was leaving his job. He was a manager, working in the music industry for six years prior to his transformation into a comedian. Then in 2011 he entered a stand-up comedy competition, and ended up resigning from his job to focus on competing. Ernest finished third, which was quite disheartening considering what he’s sacrificed. Of course, his story didn’t end there.
The relationship between Ernest and comedy goes all the way back to his school years where he found joy in making his friends laugh. While in college, he worked as a radio DJ which further spurred his interest in comedy. Basically, persistence and consistence became his keys to success in the realm of comedy.
Following his journey as a stand-up comedian, Ernest has also showcased his acting skill in several movies. He is now also a scriptwriter and director, having directed comedy titles such as Milly & Mamet, Imperfect, and Cek Toko Sebelah – the latter which earned him a Piala Citra award, one of the greatest achievements in his career. Together with his comedian friends, he also co-founded Stand Up Indo, a community where people are empowered to develop their career through their prowess in comedy.
For Ernest, stand-up comedy is more than just a form of entertainment; it serves as a therapeutic medium, allowing him to make peace with his past and deal with trauma, particularly as a Chinese Indonesian who experienced bullying and discrimination. Presenting his stories in a clever, funny way, he invites his audience to laugh along with him which, in the end, becomes a powerful antidote for himself and others.