March 29, 2007
Written by C.N.
There are schools and academies to train musicians, singers, dancers, even models to succeed in the entertainment industry, so why not a prep school that trains boys to become the next superstar kung fu action hero:
They may not kick like Bruce Lee, pack a Jet Li punch , or even act like Jackie Chan. But for 18 teenage boys living at the Heng Xing Ying Shi Kung Fu Acting School, becoming a kung fu star is their dream.
Their largely poor, rural families are staking much on that dream – sending the boys off to this bare-bones, but pricey, school run by Master Guo Shao Heng. They hope that the master – a prizewinning fighter in his teens who has been kicking and punching his way through movie sets for 12 years as a movie-fight choreographer – can help them hone their fight-acting skills enough to break into kung fu films. . . .
On referrals from local kung fu teachers, rural families ship their sons off to Beijing and pay up to $1,000 a year for a rigorous three-year program of early morning and afternoon training six days a week.
I suppose this is another example of how traditional Chinese culture and American-style entertainment culture and capitalism is coming together in China. There’s certainly nothing wrong with having big dreams and trying to improve your life. But that is certainly a lot of money for poor rural families to spend on the faint hope that their son will become the next Bruce Lee.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "The Quest to be the Next Bruce Lee" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2007/03/the-quest-to-be-the-next-bruce-lee/> ().
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