Saturday, June 8, 2013

Adventures in Autograph Collecting with Jackie Chan

Last Monday evening, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - the folks who hold the Oscars - gave a salute to martial arts superstar Jackie Chan (Rush Hour, Kung Fu Panda, Rumble in the Bronx, Shanghai NoonLegend of Drunken Master). I was lucky enough to be in the second row for the onstage conversation between Jackie and founder of the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex film festival and EW's CapeTown Geoff Boucher. It was an incredible evening followed by a screening of the Academy's print of Police Story III - Supercop (1992). They showed the full version released in Hong Kong with 10 extra minutes - not the truncated version that was released here in the U.S.! Ok, I'm showing my true "film nerd" colors here. However, what really made it all so special was Jackie's engaging storytelling during his onstage interview. Jackie Chan is so naturally personable, so funny, so animated - it was a blast to see him in person.

What touched me the most was his answer to the question about his favorite movie. Was it some kick-ass martial arts flick? No, it was the classic Hollywood musical The Sound of Music. He said that he'd seen it countless times. When he was a child, even though he didn't understand the English dialogue he could still follow the story. He loved the music, too, and started in with a rendition of "Do-Re-Mi". He even had a poster from the film in his office, which he wished he could get autographed by the cast. He didn't think that was possible, though - he didn't have any idea where they all were. Were they even still alive? I almost jumped out of my seat! I had just the thing for him!

Last year, all of the actors who played the Von Trapp children got together for a reunion at The Hollywood Show in Burbank, CA. Collector's Shangri-La still had one cast photo left signed by all 7 - Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, and Kym Karath.

Sound of Music Photo Signed by Cast of Seven
I thought of approaching him after his talk, but he was mobbed by autograph hounds and quickly ushered backstage. I think he may have had time to sign something for a couple of children in the audience, but certainly didn't have the ability to chat with me.

Coincidentally, I had a friend working on set with him the next day for a film shoot, but she wasn't in a position to approach him. Luckily, the Academy was able to connect me with his agent over at the William Morris Agency, and we arranged to trade a few of Jackie's own autographed photos for The Sound of Music photo. I dropped it by Jackie's hotel today in Beverly Hills, just in time for him to head back to Hong Kong tomorrow. I like to think of it hanging up in his office next to his prized poster. That's the mission of Collector's Shangri-La - connecting people with their passions. I hope I made Jackie's day. He certainly made mine.
Jackie Chan Autographed Photo

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