Why didn’t they just call me directly on my cell phone you might ask? Well, this was 2001, I was nineteen and cell phones were still for wealthy! Needless to say, I didn’t have one yet!
“WHAT?!?” This wasn’t happening. I rushed to my room with the message and dialed the twelve digit number. It obviously had too many digits to be a North American number so I figured it must be an international number, possibly Hong Kong? It was only now that I realized that nowhere in the conversation I had with Jackie earlier did he ask me my name…so at first I thought it was Master Chang calling again, but why would he be calling from this number? I mean…it couldn’t possibly be Jackie’s people…could it? How could they find me without even knowing my name??
“Hello?” so far so good, it was a man with a Chinese accent.
“Hello, my name is Allen Keng I met Jackie earlier today-“
“Oh yes, hello. I’m Solon, I’m one of Jackie’s managers, how are you?”
“I’m good,” HOLY MOLY! I was talking to one of Jackie Chan’s managers!
“Good, do you speak Cantonese or Mandarin?”
“Uhh…Mandarin,” I wasn’t really sure why he asked me that, but I went with it.
“Okay, hold on,”
“Sure,” It seemed like forever until he came back.
“Wei (‘hello’ in Mandarin)?” I thought the voice sounded a little different, but I could’ve been hearing things – there was a lot of static because it was an international call.
“No, it’s Jackie,”
WHAT?!?! This was JACKIE CHAN!! I was talking to JACKIE CHAN on my phone, in my house where I grew up, the same phone I used to talk to my friends about homework, girls, AH! I can’t believe this is happening!!!
“Oh, hi! My name is Allen we met earlier today,” I spoke in Mandarin.
“Yes, I remember, how are you?”
He continued to ask me about my training and what my goals, hopes, and ambitions were. I tried to tell him everything I’d done and how he was my hero and that I wanted to be a movie star just like him! But the reception wasn’t clear and he asked,
“Are you free to have lunch tomorrow?”
“Ummm…I’ll have to check my schedule, and see if I have an opening, maybe I can push some things around…” PSSSHH, yeah right! Like I really said that!
“Yes, of course!”
“Okay, I’ll put Solon back on and he’ll give you the details.”
Solon came back on and gave me the address to the restaurant I was to meet them at.
“Oh, and do you have any sort of video of yourself for Jackie to see?”
“Uhh…nothing professional, but I have some videos of shows I’ve done before in high school.”
“Okay bring them. I will see you tomorrow. Bye bye.”
“Okay thanks bye!”
A video!? Geez, I WISH I had a demo reel or something, but I was still young and didn’t know how to make one. All I had was some crummy video footage of a show I’d done in Chinese school. I quickly searched for the tape and called Master Chang and told him what had happened.
“Wow, that’s incredible,” he said in his usual gruff voice. “Congratulations, do you want me to come with you?”
“Yes sir, please, thank you.” I’d never had anything like this happen to me before and I was thankful that I had someone who had worked in “the biz” with me for this.
“What time are you supposed to meet them at?”
“Twelve noon sir,”
“Alright I’ll pick you up tomorrow, at eleven fifteen,”
“Great, thank you sir!”
What was going on here?? Could this really be happening?? I told my sister, called all my friends, I was bouncing off walls! I was going to have lunch with THE Jackie Chan TOMORROW!!
The Story Continues! Chapter 3: “The Lunch”