Costumes and props are parts of performance. If right before show time the black official robe was discovered missing, Justice Bao had to wear a red face with a halberd in hand without any face left. Thus Master Yu was very intense about costume and prop security as he assigned personnel to take an eye on such important properties.
Guard Captain, Major Responsibility
Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park was Seven Little Fortunes' key performance stage. Second brother Yuen Tai expresses, back then the costumes and props that China Drama Academy had were piled up like a mountain. Just costumes alone reached 50 to 60 crates, but not a single piece could be missing. Thus Master Yu every night would assign one disciple to stay at the Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park sixth theater backstage as "guard captains", without any room for mishap. "Guard captain" was major responsibility. Master Yu was the most concerned about assigning it to the wrong person. Thus the disciple who joined at the "high age" of 13 with a honest personality, Yuen Bun, was named to the task.
Yuen Bun recalls, "I was the biggest, tall, most of the time I was responsible to guard backstage. However being backstage was pretty bad. When everyone else was back at school, I alone was left to stay overnight and had to sleep on a very small crate. I had to bend my legs to be able to sleep on it. When I was sleeping I couldn't even turn."
The other Seven Little Fortunes were not spared just because someone was at guard duty. Actually for every stage performance the disciples would be assign duties, each with their own to properly prepare the props and costumes to be used during the performance. Yuen Bun says, "Back the time I was mainly responsible for the boots. It wasn't as easy as it sounded because each character's boots were different. I had over 170 pairs in boots alone. (Corey) Yuen Kwai was responsible for weapons. Yuen Tai helped with the crate move, Yuen Qiu was responsible for the make up utensils."
Stealing Turtle Egg, Unforgettable Moment
Backstage was a boring place. Seven Little Fortune there had their own responsibilities. After awhile, this group of children has familiarized themselves with the new turf and gradually they were able to have a little fun. Remembering the days of stealing turtle days, Yuen Bun recalls it like it was just yesterday. "We at the time every night would steal turtle eggs. The turtles eggs were the size of ping pong balls. We would even steal bananas from monkeys, which made the monkeys realize us. Every time the disciples walked back they would call us because they knew we were competing for food with them, haha!"
Yuen Bun's Seven Little Fortunes days were not considered long. After a few years he left school and the costume and prop guard duty went to Yuen Kwai. Whether they were "guard captain" or just a foot soldier who guarded a pair of boots, Seven Little Fortunes since childhood have already learned "administration management". They not only were agile but also capable in handling matters. No wonder after they grew up, none appeared to be a slouch with everything hanging out. (26)
Monday, July 13, 2009
[2009.07.14] SEVEN LITTLE FORTUNES 50TH ANNIVERSARY: BACKSTAGE FUN, PASSING BANANA WITH A MONKEY
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