Instead of answering each question individually, I'm going to attempt to answer most of them at the same time with a short story of an ordinary fellow from midwestern America named Philip Ng (or Phil, as he is referred to by his friends) who decided to drop everything he was familiar with to start a new life as an entertainer in a crazy little city called Hong Kong.
Having graduated with a masters degree in education, Phil started his career as a school teacher in a suburb of Chicago while at the same time taught (among other martial arts) Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) and Choy Lay Fut at his father's (who's an accountant by day) martial arts studio in Chicago's Chinatown.
Whilst training to further enhance his Ving Tsun skills in Hong Kong, he was exposed to the entertainment industry there. After much thought and deliberation, he decided to take a chance and moved to Hong Kong with a determination to succeed in an industry virtually unknown to him. While there, he was immediately overwhelmed by all the complications and background politics behind something seemingly as harmless as making movies. Succeeding was going to be harder than he thought.
However, Phil was fortunate enough to have met an accomplished singer/actor named Joe Tay (Chang Ging Kei), who would be the man that would change the fortunes of Phil's then uneasy start in the industry. Joe was kind, and became a sort of surrogte older brother to Phil, and would eventually introduced him to a friend who was to be Phil's sifu (mentor) in the ways of martial arts choreography and film making in general. Chin Ka Lok was that friend. Chin Ka Lok, a well-known actor and martial arts choreograher in his own right, gave Phil a chance to be his assistant martial arts choreographer in the film Star Runner, where he would meet his best friends, Andy On and Vanness Wu. While working on Star Runner he met a man named Roger Lui who would later introduce him to his current artiste manager, Mon Ng. From that point on, Phil went on to work as a lead in his first TV series (Dragonfly: Invincible) and would continue to act in films/television and work as a martial arts choreographer in productions all around Asia.
Hope that story answered a few of your questions. And here are the answers to a the rest.
Favorite Martial Arts -
I enjoy all martial arts. Though my backgound is mainly in the traditional Chinese martial arts, I have a black belt in TKD and am active in arts like catch wrestling, Judo, escrima, western boxing, and Thai boxing. I love watching stuff like K-1, Pride, Heroes, UFC, etc. I also really enjoy working on and learning new martial arts trickz and pakour/free running (fun, challenging, and good for film).
Injuries happen all the time on and off the set, it's just the nature of my job. But I'm fortuate enough to not have anything too serious happen to me. I guess the worst would be partial hearing loss in my right ear from a ruptured eardrum that I earned from a new actor in a film I did in China a few years back. I wrote about that experience in a previous blog entry (it's on here, moved from it's orginal place from Myspace.com)
Honestly, I will always consider myself as an actor and film maker, rather than a "celebrity" (I'm really not on that level anyways). Since one's works are exposed to the public eye on a regular basis, one will expectedly become recognizable, but it's still just a job (one that I love, nonetheless). We all put our pants on one leg at a time (so to speak), and it's not cool to take ourselves too seriously (nothing lasts forever). But being the public eye does have its disadvantages. For instance, because of the nature of the Hong Kong media, normal stuff like hanging out with friends and (God forbid) dating is sometimes difficult if one minds public scrutiny. As for me, my friends and family are proud and supportive of every achievement that I accomplish, and I love them for that since it can get difficult in this industry at times.
I actually wrote an article last year for a US martial arts publication call Kungfu Magazine dubbed, Punching To Miss, dealing with this topic. I'll post it here sometime. Martial arts (in my opinion) was developed, first and foremost, as a method of combat, while movie fighting is more of a dance designed to look like combat. Lots of things have to be learned and adjusted before one can transition from real martial arts to reel martial arts.
実際、去年僕はこのテーマに関して、”Punching To Miss”って記事を”Kungfu Magazine”というアメリカの武術に関する出版物に書いたんだ。今度こっちにもUPしとくよ。武術は（僕の意見では）、何よりも先ず、戦闘の方法として開発された物だ。一方、映画のファイトシーンは、むしろ闘いを模したダンスと言える。現実の武術から映画の武術へと変換することが出来るようになるまでには、多くの事が研究、調整されてきたんだ。
Non-Action Acting -
An action-actor is, first and foremost, an actor, so the skill and art of acting takes prominence over any action. A fight scene without the proper story and motivation to back it up is nothing more than a martial arts performance, Drama is of utmost importance to make the fight more than just a fight. I have done a few roles where I'm not fighting, most notablely, Marriage With a Fool, where I play a shy toilet paper/tissue CEO who goes after a girl named Bo (played by Stephy Tang). I really enjoyed that role. Got some good reviews and gained public notice as an actor who can act in addition to kicking people in the face.
アクション俳優は何よりも先ず俳優だ。だから演技の技術と技能は、あらゆるアクションより優先される。適切なストーリィと裏を取った動機付けの無いファイトシーンは、演武にすぎない。ファイトシーンを作る為にはドラマが最も重要なんだ、ファイトそのものよりも。僕は闘わない役も幾つか演ってる。一番知られてるのは”Marriage With a Fool”で演じた、Boって名前の娘（ステフィー・タンが演じた）を追っかけてるシャイなトイレットペーパー会社のCEOだ。ホントに面白かったよ。好評もそこそこ得たし、人の顔を蹴る事"も"できる俳優として皆の注目も得たしね。
I love being behind the camera as well. Being able to choreograph involves knowing about editing, camera angles, and the abilities of each actor involved. There are many skills to learn, but the most important is knowing how to control and manage your rhythm and tempo, as I said eariler, movie fighting is a dance designed to look like combat.
I got my bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign. I loved it there, I even started a university martial arts club called the Illini Ving Tsun Assocation (I think it's still around, though who's teaching now, I'm not sure)
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