Over brekkie this morning I decided to check the Facebook feed (1st screen-time resolution of 2019 already broken) and fell upon an interesting Bruce Lee post by Mike Leeder – or should I say Bruce Li, Dragon Lee and Bruce Le post – the Bruce Lee impersonators who, it seems, made a mint after the passing of the Little Dragon.
It made me ponder what the actors motivations were to do this. Was it simply just a by-product of the times, a huge superstar the studios were not quite willing to let go of, or a money making scheme to capitalise on Bruce’s success. Or a bit of all of this.
The actors starting their careers, as imitators, how did they really feel about this, did they want something more unique to them. Did they not want to imitate Bruce, but pressure from studios made them do so? Would anyone be tempted to go this route, just to get a foot in the door – after all Jackie Chan didn’t, he very much found his own niche and style. It seems from Mike’s response today, that some regretted it, some profited from it and for another it paved the way to more serious work.
How far as a new writer, director or actor are you willing to go to get that foot in the door. When you look back are you ashamed at losing your uniqueness at the need to get your work recognised. I am still struggling and scrambling myself with squeezing my own story for Bertie into the ‘proper’ formats required and stipulated as ‘industry recognised’. It’s a battle and ‘finding your own voice’ in writing seems to be the last element of yourself standing within your story.
Back to the impersonators though, I wonder how Bruce himself would have felt, would he have found it quite humbling or would he be horrified that his wise words and teachings had fallen on deaf ears for a quick buck.
At what point do you decide to slip on someone else’s fingerprint to make your stamp in the world?