I’ve been a fan of Jackie Chan from a very young age. Growing up in a Chinese family he was a house hold name and I remember the very first movie I saw him in, which was of course, Rush Hour. From there I continued to be an admirer of not just his work in his movies, but as a person as well. From seeing the way he conducted himself in interviews to his generous acts in charity he somewhat became a figure that I’d look up to, which made me really excited when I found out that he has an autobiography out.
The book turns out to be a bit older than I anticipated as it came out in 1998, right around the time the first Rush Hour movie came out. I’m not even sure if it’s in print anymore because I had to buy it used but none the less I was happy to get started on it. The book itself is a real page turner and full of action much like his movies. I love how it is written in such a way that you could really hear his voice through the writing. Throughout the book Jackie goes into many details of his life that is often not talked about in the media. One example of this is how his parents moved to Australia when Jackie was at a young age in order to find a better job.
My biggest take away from the book came from when Jackie was trying to make a name for himself as an actor. He had already made a name for himself as a stunt man then and landed a stunt role in one of Bruce Lee’s movies when Bruce Lee was one of the biggest stars around. After the death of Lee, the movie community tried to mould Jackie into the next Bruce lee, but all the subsequent movies were flops and never scratched the surface of the Bruce Lee originals. Jackie became quite frustrated at this because he never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee, he wanted to be the first Jackie Chan. Although they are both amazing at martial arts, their styles were vastly different. Jackie worked extremely hard to make a name for himself for the way he wanted to be seen; and as we know that hard work has surely paid off.
Don’t be like brick, be like clay. Mould yourself in what is authentic to you and what you truly want to be.