A star in both speech and choir, Jenny Xin is hilarious, no doubt about it. Other than her famous faces and her perfectly terrible Advanced Placement U.S. History puns, what don’t we know? Hailing from New Jersey, she was the first Paly student to advance to the State Championships for Speech. Xin sat down with Verde Magazine to discuss her life.
Verde: How many faces can you make?
Jenny Xin: At least 14.6 — maybe more. It’s really useful when somebody says they want to have a “face-to-face” with you and you end up making enough faces that the cosmetic surgery industry gets jealous.
V: What do you do in your free time?
JX: Usually I sleep a lot, I eat, sometimes I cry. That’s basically it. I don’t think I do anything else other than that.
V: Tell US about your APUSH puns.
JX: So Mr. Bungarden had this extra credit option at the end of first semester where we had to make some multiple choice questions for the end-of-year review session, and one of the available topics was “puns”. He required six, so I wrote down six, including my most prized possession “What do you think of when you think meat lingerie? A-bra-ham, Links-on.” And then I figured he might get so angry that he’d accidentally set those six on fire, so I made 12 more, just to be safe. This semester, he didn’t have ‘puns’ as a topic, but I handed in eight with my extra credit on Prohibition for fun. I don’t have a social life.
V: Can you tell us about Speech and Debate and Choir?
JX: I do this a cappella group called Vikapella and we just do pop songs, mostly really badly, and I think people have died trying to hear us. It’s been three years … I just went to the [State] Championships in speech actually, in original prose and poetry, which is basically anything you want it to be, and I just kind of went for a stand-up comedy kind of route. Yeah, that was really great. There was a snow cone truck.
V: So we heard you were the first student ever to advance to state in Stand-Up comedy?
JX: A lot of the pieces that I’ve seen in league are acting, and they have a 10 minute block in which they cry really really dramatically as someone else, so it’s an acting spiel … I kind of figured I couldn’t pull off the 10 minute weeping for my dead son thing, so I just kind of went for stand-up comedy.
JX: It’s mainly just a compilation of the jokes I’ve made in the past 16 years. It’s jokes about my name, my heritage and the place I came from. I moved from New Jersey when I was a freshman, the summer before freshman year. Then there were a lot of things I had to do to adjust, like I had to take the ESL [English as a Second Language] test for one. California is pretty different from New Jersey, so I kind of capitulate upon that in the stand-up comedy, and make fun of what people think of New Jersey and what people think of California. So it’s like an origin story … with bad jokes.
V: Can you tell us about your snapchat habit?
JX: My parents are always telling me that I run out of time to do things, so I subscribed to Time Magazine and regularly tell them that I’ve got too much Time on my hands. They also wanted me to get them that annual college map, so I bought a world map, pasted different shapes on top, and glued it to the bathroom wall. I tell them it’s a “collage map.” They’ll probably excommunicate me sometime in the near future. But yeah, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the magazines and the large six-foot world map because I can’t really read, so I figured I might as well do the other thing people usually do with magazines and take ten-second pictures of various Rosetta Stone advertisements that sound a lot like Napoleon’s path to European dominance such as “First, France. Next, the world.”
V: How do you stay grounded with all this twitter fame?
JX: I have a few yoga-pilate-stretch-barre classes with my publicist and Michelle Obama, a sprinkle of conscious uncoupling exercises with Gwyneth Paltrow, five course meals involving champagne and caviar l’orange mignon parsley cash money a la mode and an entire house on Capitol Hill to keep myself from becoming too rich and famous from my renowned 74-follower Twitter account. It’s really difficult sometimes. I have to tell myself to not immediately drop out of school.
Here is Xin’s stand-up comedy routine that brought her all the way to states.