With smiling eyes, quick wit and good humor, Jia Ling seems like a natural born crosstalk comedian - except for her gender and age, that is.
The 28-year-old female crosstalk, or xiangsheng actress shot to stardom at the 2010 Spring Festival Gala when she performed on television before an audience of millions.
Thanks to her unique style and a distinct female sense of humor, Jia Ling's crosstalk is original, fashionable and attractive and the audience loved it.
She even coined a term "cool crosstalk," which she explained was "crosstalk with modern elements."
Traditional crosstalk is sketches featuring two performers, often two men, who try to outdo each other with puns and wordplay.
Cool crosstalk described the style that shot her to fame and which used slang and popular culture to make xiangsheng relevant to a younger audience. But she has continued to develop that style to incorporate more elements.
The audience's recognition of her performance is return for years' effort - since graduating from the Central Academy of Drama in 2003.
Having studied acting since she was 11, Jia went to the nation's top drama college to learn crosstalk when she was 19.
"My acting experience has given my crosstalk more creativity and inspiration", she said.
Always a believer in crosstalk Jia doesn't consider her fame a product of the Spring Festival Gala performance. "I've been learning and performing this for ten years. My success is natural."
However, she still went through days when she despaired of ever being a good female crosstalk comedian.
"There were times when my jokes received almost no applause or laughter on stage," she recalled.
In 2003 she was living in a room in a basement that was just eight square meters and without a bathroom.
However, one of her teachers, Feng Gong, who is the country's top crosstalk actor, opened the door to her success.
He provided her with opportunites to perform -unimportant roles in various short comedies - that helped her to hone her art.
Crosstalk, or xiangsheng actress Jia Ling shot to stardom at the 2010 Spring Festival Gala when she performed on television before an audience of millions.
Jia seized the chances she was offered and worked hard to realize her dream of inheriting and developing the essence of cross talk.
Now successful she is grateful for the love and support she received during that period from her teacher and partners.
Jia has since founded her own cross talk group called "New laughter Inn", which she said updates xiangsheng to reflect the outlook of her generation, and she confirmed she will continue to write new content and perform in the future.
She said there are two rules for being a good comedienne:
"First, don't to be a silly or funny actress without good ideas; second, don't be a wall flower on the stage."