I will NEVER forget what happened next! As we approached the group I noticed an empty seat next to Jackie. I greeted them and introduced myself along with Master Chang. I figured that one of Jackie’s crew had gone to the bathroom so I went to get some chairs for Master Chang and myself when the older man, wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt to Jackie’s left said, “You sit next to Jackie,” and motioned for me to sit…RIGHT NEXT TO JACKIE CHAN!!! They had purposely saved a seat right next to him for me to sit in!! I almost wet myself.
I was a little taken aback at first, but quickly obeyed, barely able to believe that I was about to sit next to the man I’d only seen in movies, the man whom I idolized, the man who I aspired to be! I sat down and was introduced to everyone. I was sitting on Jackie’s right. To his left was Willie Chan, the man with the Hawaiian shirt. Willie was not only Jackie’s agent, but managed Jackie’s entertainment company and was the top agent in all of Hong Kong! To his left sat Solon So who I had spoken with on the phone yesterday. He seemed to be a little more serious. To Solon’s left sat Dorothy Wong, who I later found out to be one of three personal assistants who handled everything from buying Jackie’s toiletries, to preparing his food, to keeping track of all his paperwork and everything in between! I guess they weren’t anticipating Master Chang to be with me so they shifted over and he sat down next to Dorothy. To Master Chang’s left sat Andy Cheng of the JC stunt team and then a guy they introduced to me only as “Exy” (which I later found out was short for Xavier). He was a photographer/writer for a prominent Chinese Magazine. There was a little space, and then me.
“You hungry?” asked Willie. We were late, and I noticed several empty dim sum dishes on the table. It looked like they were just finishing their meal.
“No, I’m okay, thank you,” I was too nervous to eat and I didn’t want to trouble them or have them think I was the type of person to take advantage of a free meal.
“Okay, so tell us a little about yourself,” his English had a Chinese accent to it but he had a warm energy about him. I liked him instantly.
“Ummm,” what did they want to hear?? “Okay, well, of course I’m a HUGE Jackie Chan fan. His movies have inspired me very much. I’m a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and I’ve been training for seven years. I’ve also been train in gymnastics for about six years now.”
“Oh…good, good. Do you have a Chinese name?”
“Yes,” I told them my Chinese name which actually sounds like ‘adding gas’ to a car or ‘you can do it!’ but I told them that it wasn’t either of those.
“Do you know how to write it?” Willie handed me a pen and I wrote both my full English and Chinese name on a napkin. They looked at it and nodded their head. He gave the napkin to Dorothy and she folded it up and put it in her purse.
“How old are you now?”
“Nineteen.” Willie sat back and nodded, then asked, “What do you hope to do? What are your goals?”
“Well it’s always been my dream since I was little to be train hard and eventually be a movie star just like Jackie Chan!”
“Of course, have you ever worked on a movie before?”
“No he hasn’t yet, but he will soon,” Master Chang chimed in.
“Actually,” I looked at Master Chang earnestly, “I have done a music video where I had to do some martial arts and fight a little,”
“I see…” then possibly one of the longest silences I’ve ever had in my life followed. Everyone just sat there looking at me as if they were deep in thought. It seemed like they liked me and were thinking, “What should we do with this guy?” Then finally Willie broke the silence and said, “How would you like to come to island and train with Jackie for a month?”
WHAT?! Jackie Chan has his own ISLAND where he trained up and coming stuntmen for his team!? I’m THERE like YESTERDAY!
“Sure! Yes of course!”
“He’s too young,” Jackie said as he nodded his head back and forth. All heads turned to Jackie. My heart sank a little…Jackie didn’t think I was old enough or maybe mature enough…well that’s that…
Willie ignored him and continued,“Are you sure you’re not busy or anything?”
My heart jumped again, “No, I’m free!”
“Okay then, we’ll talk about that later,” another pause.
“Are you busy now?”
“No,” I turned to Master Chang “sir, are you okay?”
“Sure,” he turned to Willie and asked, “what do you have planned?”
“We’re just going to walk around, maybe do some shopping, see Toronto.”