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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

March 29, 2007

Written by C.N.

The Quest to be the Next Bruce Lee

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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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

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/> ().

Short URL: http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/?p=397