Dilruk Jayasinha: From full-time accountant to Logie-winning comedian
When Dilruk Jayasinha first moved to Australia for university at the age of 19, his goal was to work for one of the big five accounting firms.
Little did Dilruk know that 15 years later, he would become the proud winner of the 2018 Logie Award for Most Popular New Talent for his work as an actor and comedian.
For many who may have moved to Australia for a chance at a better life, the dream of working and studying hard to score a position in a well-paying job is hardly uncommon.
Unfortunately, Dilruk never felt fulfilled once he had achieved his goal, so when he was let go from the position he had once dreamt of, he saw the opportunity as a blessing in disguise.
“The big thing about goal-driven motivation is that once you achieve your goal, it can sometimes not be how you imagined it to be and you start to feel really suffocated,” he explained.
Having all those negative thoughts about something that was such a secure and well-paying job, made me question if I was doing the right thing and whether it was worth me doing something I didn’t like, purely for the money.
“So, when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do on a day-to-day basis, I kept thinking that stand-up comedy was a cool job so I told myself that I would have a crack at that and see how I go in that world.”
This was a huge moment for Dilruk, as it were these thoughts that set the course for his next journey.
While working at a smaller accounting firm for a family-friend, he began taking part in the occasional stand-up comedy event in Melbourne City.
“I finally did the first gig and all those fears of being bad at stand-up came true, but the difference from my old job was that it was something I truly enjoyed the process of,” he said.
I remember thinking to myself that if I can love stand-up now, while I was bad it, imagine how much I would love doing it once I got good.
“My parents were very supportive and when they saw how much I lit up when I would talk about comedy, even though it didn’t make complete sense to them, they realised they had to support me because they knew my happiness was more important than anything else.”
Despite his parents living on the other side of the world, Dilruk maintains a very close relationship to his family in Sri Lanka, ensuring he visits the island nation around three times a year.
His parents also made the trip to Melbourne in 2017, where his father made sure he watched Dilruk perform four times in a row, despite it being the same material each night.
“That was definitely a career peak for me – having my parents here in Australia and having them watch me perform meant so much to me,” he said.