Many comedians have been victim to depression. Stars such as Robin Williams, Wayne Brady and Stephan Fry many have been masters of the laugh, but in reality were or are broken inside.
They could bring an immense amount of joy to the world but not to their own lives. However, this was the total opposite for Jason Goliath. Comedy saved him. The art made him a better, happier person and he couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to make people laugh every day.
He started his professional career as an in-store announcer and subsequently became the youngest marketing manager Massmart had ever had at the time. However being the go-getter that he is, Jason wanted more. He left the company and started his own business in the insurance game. But things soon took a turn for the worse. His company tanked and was ultimately blacklisted, his parents filed for divorce for the second time and his girlfriend at the time left him to marry his best friend.
This was the moment when Jason lost control of his life.
“Your business becomes your child, so when you see it spiraling down, you make irrational decisions because you want it to prosper,” Jason admits. “As a young man in my 20’s, I wanted to dodge the embarrassment of a failed business. I was paying salaries with my credit card – literally digging a deeper hole to keep the business afloat.”
With no direction, an immense amount of debt and without a glimmer of hope, Jason started suffering from severe depression. So much so that he started contemplating suicide. “I felt worthless and that the world would be a better place without me; the reoccurring thought that I had was driving into a bridge on the freeway. I remember thinking that I could just put my foot on the accelerator and take a sharp right. People know that I’m a petrol head and love speed. My friends and family would think it was an accident.”
Adamant to rebuild his life, Jason signed to a talent agency.”When I went to auditions, I gave it my all – I literally got every audition I was sent to,” he admits. On July 3, 2011, Jason Goliath opened the second half at Cool Runnings in Melville – and it saved his life. Jason performed at the Wish Cafe shortly after and his love for comedy grew on a daily basis.
“The reason for my success today is that I see the financial gain as a side effect – not the driver. I truly love this industry. However, comedy taught me that happiness equals success and not the other way around,” admits Jason.
“I want to show people that happiness is a choice. I have had a hard life. If you truly understand my past, you would know that I have every right to be depressed and unsuccessful. I chose to be happy, I chose to move forward, and I found what makes me happy and then monetised it.”
Jason Goliath will be co-hosting the 2017 Nickfest along side Minnie Dlamini.
(Article first published in People Magazine)
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