Jackie Chan is working with the Active Conservation Awareness Program to influence consumer attitudes toward nature and wildlife. After watching ACAP's video of tiger killings, Chan vowed, "I must help to end this!" As an international ambassador for ACAP, Jackie Chan is using his celebrity status to draw attention to ACAP’s mission and help spread awareness about the mistreatment of wildlife.
Jackie Chan is arguably the biggest non-Hollywood movie star in the world. Chan has been instrumental in creating the genre of kung-fu comedy, which transformed the Hong Kong film industry. Inspired by legendary film clowns such as Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Chan has invented his own unique film style, combining humor and death-defying stunts.
Jackie Chan was born Chan Kong-Sang (meaning "Born In Hong Kong") on April 7, 1954, in Hong Kong. He was the only child of Charles and Lee-Lee Chan. Rumor has it that he spent 12 months in the womb and was finally removed surgically, weighing 12 pounds. Charles borrowed money from friends to pay for the operation, turning down the doctor's offer to take the child in payment. Though the family lived in a mansion in the exclusive Victoria Peak district, they didn't own it -- Charles worked as a cook for the French Ambassador, while Lee-Lee was the housekeeper.
Chan attended the Nah-Hwa Primary School on Hong Kong Island, often spending his travel money on food and walking home, fighting on the way with Caucasian kids attending special schools in the area. He was not academically bright, failing to pass Primary 1 as his peers moved on to Primary 3. Charles decided to enroll the 7-year-old boy at the Peking Opera School, operated by Shu Master Yu Jan-Yuen. Walking in with his dad, Chan saw kids somersaulting and playing with swords and sticks. He recalls that he felt like kids must feel today on entering Disneyland. He would never return to academic education. Though he speaks seven languages, he still cannot read or write with great proficiency and has someone else write his scripts for him.
An amazing martial artist and acrobat, Chan underwent rigorous training at the Peking Opera School, where he studied acting, singing, dance, mime, acrobatics and martial arts for 19 hours a day for a period of 10 years. Being something of a prodigy, he was introduced to public performance early. He belonged to a school troupe known as The Seven Little Fortunes, other members including Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung and Yuen Wah, all of whom would go on to be big names in Hong Kong cinema. At age 8, he was cast in "Big And Little Wong Tin Bar," with the great Taiwanese star Li Li-hua as his mother. She took to the boy and had him appear in her next series of features.
Chan's extraordinary athleticism and inventive stunt-work quickly brought him a lead role, in "Master With Cracked Fingers." But for the next couple of years, he would play second fiddle to the man credited with bringing kung fu to the West -- Bruce Lee -- appearing as an extra in both "Chinese Connection" and "Enter The Dragon."
After several attempts to break into American cinema from the Hong Kong market, Chan finally met with success with "Rumble In The Bronx," widening his heroic characters and consciously making them more international.
In addition to being a world-famous action hero, Chan has received a host of prestigious awards: a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the British Government for Hong Kong/ Commonwealth, a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture and Communication and a Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) from the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The Active Conservation Awareness Program, or ACAP, is a strategic communications campaign that seeks to protect endangered animals and their habitats. Since 1996, ACAP has been working to end illegal wildlife trade and to reduce consumer demand for threatened wildlife products on a global scale.
In order to promote wildlife welfare, ACAP works with governments, media, celebrities, non-profit organizations and global corporate leaders -- those with the power to influence and change existing laws and practices. But more importantly, ACAP seeks to educate and engage the average consumer, since consumer demand for endangered species products is ultimately what drives the illegal trade.
ACAP’s goals are accomplished through various political and communicational efforts. ACAP strives to increase environmental consciousness among political leaders by educating and equipping them to enforce wildlife-friendly laws in their respective countries. ACAP encourages responsible behaviors among consumers through its advertising campaigns, spanning print, broadcast, online and offline media.
One easy step you can take is to visit the ACAP website and sign the Global People’s Pledge for Wildlife. You too may participate in the fight to end the illegal wildlife trade by personally pledging never to knowingly purchase or consume endangered species products. ACAP is seeking 25 million signatures worldwide by 2008 to urge our leaders to work together to preserve our world's wildlife and habitats.
ACAP is also recruiting volunteers to help spearhead community-based initiatives to collect local signatures for ACAP’s Global Pledge for Wildlife.
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