Thursday, July 16, 2009


After Seven Little Fortunes had a firm footing at the Lai Chi Kok Amusement Park sixth theater, Yu Jim Yuen decided to lead Seven Little Fortunes out of Hong Kong. Finally the children made a name for themselves in Taiwan and the U.S. and built a solid foundation for their future on the world stage.

Fearless Youth, Pride And Exaltation

Yuen Biao recalls the reasons for Seven Little Fortunes' visit abroad. "In 1969 Master felt that we pretty much have learned all we could in Hong Kong, so he brought 20 some disciples to study in Taiwan. Master heard people over there demean us. He really didn't like it. So he wanted us to perform for two days in Taiwan. Finally the twenty some of us on stage made the act looked like 50 or 60 people and became an instant sensation in all of Taiwan. The next day not even a needle could get through the crowd. Many people couldn't get tickets and were stuck outside the venue. Some people in order to watch our act broke windows for a peek. That performance really was pride and exaltation in Taiwan for Master."

Beijing able to win back respect in Taiwan, Seven Little Fortunes' confidence was strengthened as they set up for their U.S. trip later. Yuen Biao continues, "Then in 1973, at the time I already completed my training and was working as a stuntman. One day an U.S. real estate company contacted Master about bringing a group of people to perform there. Master approached me and the other disciples, around 20 of us went to perform in the U.S. At first the response was great, then something happened later."

Although Yu Chau Yu in AUDIENCE PSYCHOLOGY quoted Schlegel "opera is created by this race, very few is able to make other races like it completely", Seven Little Fortunes indeed had both Chinese and Americans under their spell. Perhaps only Beijing Opera was able to break the border barrier, whether the performer was the master level Mei Lanfang or the young and fearless Seven Little Fortunes.

Journey to The U.S., Farewell

Unfortunately good times did not last. Behind all the glory overseas lay an extreme tragedy. Second brother Yuen Tai sighs, "At first we performed a tour that crossed towns and states, the response was great. Wherever we went it was sold out and the shows could not be more profitable. I remember when we performed the final stop in Los Angeles, the person responsible suddenly took off with all of the money. At that time we learned that the person has already owed Master money for several years. Master was at a loss and embarrassed. This embezzlement made Master decide to stay and live in the U.S. Also because of the journey to the U.S., Seven Little Fortunes officially broke up." (29)

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