What Is Your Turning Point?

What is your turning point? What was your turning point? 


A little background on me... Charlie and Lucy Wedemeyer and their book "Charlie's Victory" left a lasting impression on me. I was 15. At age 19, I wanted to be a public speaker to impact multitudes. As an introvert, I desired to overcome "stage fright." A fear of being on stage impacted me for nearly my whole life.

 

When I caught Asian American beatboxer Elaine Chao's Showtime at the Apollo show stopper, that was it for me. It would be a matter of time, I mustered the courage to bring out my hidden beatbox talent and skills to the world.

I began beatboxing at the tender age of four, as a Kauluwela Tiger Cub kindergartner, to the song Michael Jackson Bad. By age six, as a Liholiho Warrior first grader, a family member recorded my beatboxing of Bad on analog music cassette tape. I returned to Kauluwela and continued to beatbox, behind closed doors, through my years as a Tiger Cub, Kawananakoa Aliʻi Warrior, and McKinley Tiger. 

 

My collision with a minivan that knocked me unconscious and left me with a concussion, head trauma, and recurring memory issues was the turning point of my life. At 21, I hit the stage as a beatboxer.

 

I went from being a Chinese school drop out who stuttered on the mic to becoming a Freeman Scholar at Beijing Foreign Studies University, to placing in four consecutive University of Hawaiʻi at Kapiʻolani Talent Shows.

Conquering fear, I've presented and spoken at TEDx Talks, KS EdTech Disrupt, Chevron Speech Festival, universities, community colleges, and conferences. I've performed and spoken on the "Music With A Message," "Say Yes to Purpose," "Not Even Once," and "Real and Powerful" school assembly tours.

I've opened shows for Michael Winslow, Jabbawockeez, Quest Crew, Blue Scholars, Reeps One, and performed live with Tom Thum, John Cruz, Jake Shimabukuro, Makana, Taimane Gardner, and Honoka.

As a fourth-generation American of Chinese descent, I've performed in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese for the ReThink Conference, Hawaiʻi International Film Festival, Chinese New Year Festival, Night in Chinatown Block Party, Moon Festival, International Hawaiʻi Chinese Cultural Arts Festival, and China Beatbox Tour. 

My Chinese name, in traditional form 譚志豪 and 谭志豪 in simplified form, means "will," "many aspirations" and "a person of outstanding talent." 

What is your turning point? What was your turning point? 

For me, my turning point was that minivan collision 16 years ago, a wake up call.

I am grateful for that turning point in my life.

I am grateful to God, for family, friends, health, beatbox, and memories.

7 comments

  • CHERRY-ANNE SATTERFIELD
    CHERRY-ANNE SATTERFIELD LA
    My turning point was when I was little and I found out that Jesus was coming back. I was your common their but somehow God sent sent someone on my life to tell me that.. I was determined to live according to his word. Times got tough as we were homeless at age 11 but im thankful for that person because if it wasn't for a praying mother I would be lost in jail not knowing how lost I was.

    My turning point was when I was little and I found out that Jesus was coming back. I was your common their but somehow God sent sent someone on my life to tell me that.. I was determined to live according to his word. Times got tough as we were homeless at age 11 but im thankful for that person because if it wasn't for a praying mother I would be lost in jail not knowing how lost I was.

  • Branden “Image” Nakamura
    Branden “Image” Nakamura Waipahu, Hawaii
    Very inspirational read about your turning point, JT! Much Love and Respect! Here’s my turning point: At age 16, I lost an Aunty who meant more to me than I knew at the time. A month after her passing, she and I had one last powerful dream that included an empowering conversation. While it was an emotional final goodbye, it was the start of “Image”, for me. Everything that Aunty was (kind, supportive, understanding, and so forth), was what I wanted to be; therefore, during my final conversation with my late Aunty, that’s where “Image” came to be. The goal behind being “Image” - to make that same impact on others that Aunty has on myself. It wasn’t set in stone on how I would take that approach; but, the next chapter wasn’t something I foresaw coming, until it happened. It wasn’t too long after that I found interest in hip hop lyricism, and learning more about the music business (growing up listening to hip hop & rap). A trip out to Kane’ohe and linking up with great people gave me the chance to become a part of one of Hawaii’s dominant record labels. That’s really where I put my name “Image” to use. From being a supporter of the company, to becoming an artist on the roster. Life truly does have its amazing ways of surprising us, for better or worse. If there’s something I learned with time - do good, and do the right thing, no matter how rough times get. It comes back to you, ten fold.

    Very inspirational read about your turning point, JT! Much Love and Respect! Here’s my turning point:

    At age 16, I lost an Aunty who meant more to me than I knew at the time. A month after her passing, she and I had one last powerful dream that included an empowering conversation. While it was an emotional final goodbye, it was the start of “Image”, for me. Everything that Aunty was (kind, supportive, understanding, and so forth), was what I wanted to be; therefore, during my final conversation with my late Aunty, that’s where “Image” came to be. The goal behind being “Image” - to make that same impact on others that Aunty has on myself. It wasn’t set in stone on how I would take that approach; but, the next chapter wasn’t something I foresaw coming, until it happened.

    It wasn’t too long after that I found interest in hip hop lyricism, and learning more about the music business (growing up listening to hip hop & rap). A trip out to Kane’ohe and linking up with great people gave me the chance to become a part of one of Hawaii’s dominant record labels. That’s really where I put my name “Image” to use. From being a supporter of the company, to becoming an artist on the roster.

    Life truly does have its amazing ways of surprising us, for better or worse. If there’s something I learned with time - do good, and do the right thing, no matter how rough times get. It comes back to you, ten fold.

  • Jaky
    Jaky Perú
    Bueno saber de ti que lo estas logrando, eres una persona talentosa. you are an amazing person and I think you will be succesfull in all things. God bless you. 🙏💯😃

    Bueno saber de ti que lo estas logrando, eres una persona talentosa. you are an amazing person and I think you will be succesfull in all things. God bless you. 🙏💯😃

  • Gale
    Gale Oahu
    I would say that a person can have many turning points in their lives. For me, it was when I got married, when I got pregnant with my first child, when I got divorced and when I got my Bachelor's degree later in life. All were a significant part of my life. These turning points shaped the person I am today. However, there is one more turning point in my life that supersedes the rest and that is when I gave my life to Jesus. My life has never been the same and it is so much sweeter.

    I would say that a person can have many turning points in their lives. For me, it was when I got married, when I got pregnant with my first child, when I got divorced and when I got my Bachelor's degree later in life. All were a significant part of my life. These turning points shaped the person I am today. However, there is one more turning point in my life that supersedes the rest and that is when I gave my life to Jesus. My life has never been the same and it is so much sweeter.

  • Marilena
    Marilena Romania
    Aș usual, your article is very good. My turning point was back in 2001 when I've decided to change my life completely, and going back to finish my highschool after a 4 years breaking. Before that, I had a job and I was interested only in having money. But while working, I didn't felt satisfied, I wanted more from life. I felt like I can do more than to be stuck with a boring job that i hated it. The only satisfaction i had was my salary. But for a short while because the money that i gained that time, i spend it fast on clothing and other things. After i graduate that highschool, I went to university and it was the moment when I opened my eyes about the world. I wanted to know more and more things. I started to invest all my money in myself, in my education, buying books, going to take English lessons, and traveling. I will never regret my decision in going back to school. I was so determined that day that even now I remember what day it was - July 21, 2001, and i was standing on the beach, contemplating the Black Sea and thinking at my future. And it was a very beautiful blue sky. 💙

    Aș usual, your article is very good. My turning point was back in 2001 when I've decided to change my life completely, and going back to finish my highschool after a 4 years breaking. Before that, I had a job and I was interested only in having money. But while working, I didn't felt satisfied, I wanted more from life. I felt like I can do more than to be stuck with a boring job that i hated it. The only satisfaction i had was my salary. But for a short while because the money that i gained that time, i spend it fast on clothing and other things. After i graduate that highschool, I went to university and it was the moment when I opened my eyes about the world. I wanted to know more and more things. I started to invest all my money in myself, in my education, buying books, going to take English lessons, and traveling. I will never regret my decision in going back to school. I was so determined that day that even now I remember what day it was - July 21, 2001, and i was standing on the beach, contemplating the Black Sea and thinking at my future. And it was a very beautiful blue sky. 💙

  • Miley
    Miley Mililani
    Hi, Jason. you have unlimited potential and Pursue breakthroughs in your life.I am very proud of you. Your efforts and achievements inspire me much .As people say “ Never too old to learn.“ my understand for turning point is keeping learning and I can realize all my dreams. Never stop studying, Let us make a difference in this world.

    Hi, Jason. you have unlimited potential and Pursue breakthroughs in your life.I am very proud of you. Your efforts and achievements inspire me much .As people say “ Never too old to learn.“ my understand for turning point is keeping learning and I can realize all my dreams. Never stop studying, Let us make a difference in this world.

  • Glenn
    Glenn Long Beach
    My turning point was at Mt Hermon where a preacher spoke of Noah’s last day before the flood. This was in the year of 1975. I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and reborn!!!

    My turning point was at Mt Hermon where a preacher spoke of Noah’s last day before the flood. This was in the year of 1975. I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and reborn!!!

Add comment