Due to the recent "Our Century Concert," Ron Ng Cheuk Hei held an express ticket to perform at the renown Hong Kong Coliseum. It was Ron’s first time to perform live before 10,000+ audience members.
Many people may consider Ron to be luckier than most singers, but Ron said that his success was not due to chance. Starting as a background dancer, Ron’s bitter history is plentiful. When Ron fell into financial trouble in the past, he had to borrow money to pay for his debts.
A common characteristic among youths is their rashness; Ron is not an exception. When Ron was 19 years old, he wanted to take charge of his life. Not listening to his mother, who wanted him to find a comfortable job, Ron pursued his interests and became a dancer. Thus began his strenuous years….
"My mother said I will be held responsible for my own financial profits and losses. Since I was young at the time, I did not think things through adequately."
After becoming a dancer for a short time, I realized the strenuous nature of the job. Each day, I had to go through the arduous routines, but I could only keep the formidable experiences to myself."
Sweating and Suffering Pain as a Dancer
In front of the audience, a dancer seems to have a glorious facade. But the arduous training even left 5 ft 10 inch Ron Ng uneasy. "Stretching exercises are very important in dancing practice. The dancing instructor wanted us to do leg splits. If you could not complete the requirement, the instructor would jab his foot on your buttocks to force you down."
"To be even more cruel, the instructor can grab your leg and force you to do a ‘fly high.’ It is so painful that tears would come to your eyes. I was considered lucky as some my colleagues burst their blood vessels due to the rigid exercises. Their legs had big contusions and required anesthesia shots to relax the muscles."
"The dancer training classes started from 9 AM to 6 PM. We had to learn all styles of dance, including ballet, Hip Hop, ballroom dancing etc. The first month was a difficult adjustment for me. After class each day, my back was coated with sweat and my whole body drained completely."
"I recall one night, I returned home from practice in such a tired state. I called out to my mother and went straight to my room. Without taking off my backpack, pants, shirt, and sneakers, I collapsed and fell asleep immediately. Waking up at 8 AM the next morning, I showered quickly and had to go to class again."
Earning Only $6,800 Each Month, Ron Exceeded Credit Card Limits
When Ron was still a novice dancer, it was common to be yelled at by the choreographer. Gaining more experience over time, Ron became more adept with his timing and positioning. "Over time, my dancing experience and skills improved. I had no problems lifting a female dancer with one arm only. But I was still anxious during the practice sessions, requiring my male colleagues to lend assistance."
Ron suffered from his worst financial imbalances while he was a dancer. He often used his credit card to pay for expenses, amassing large debts. "I earned only $6,800 (HKD) per month. I had to eat, pay for my car, etc. which would cost at least $3,000 (HKD). Since I was working in the entertainment industry, the rest of my income had to be spent on clothes."
"At one point, my credit card debts exceeded $8,000 (HKD). I realized that amassing growing credit card debt was foolish, so I cut up my cards and slowly paid back the debt through installments."
Under a good twist of fortune, Ron was offered to film an electronics ad. At the time, the endorsement fee was very extravagant for him. Ron was able to pay off all of his credit card debts in one payment. But Ron had to suffer from one day of backbreaking work. "At the time, ‘Mission Impossible’ was the craze. The ad sponsors wanted me to imitate Tom Cruise and hang from wires for 14 hours in order to film the commercial. My back and spine hurt. However my credit card debts could be paid back in full, so it relieved my anxiety."
Without any more debts, Ron felt much lighter. Under Louis Koo Tin Lok’s encouragement, Ron turned to acting. At first Ron thought his chance had come, but he did not have any filming jobs for one year. His manager had to be switched and he felt like an abandoned orphan, without assistance.
"My temper was explosive at the time, but I didn’t know how to share my feelings with other people. I would always stay home and my only release was to go jogging in the middle of the night."
Grateful to TVB’s Producers and Virginia Lok
Ron is grateful to TVB producers, Tommy Leung Ka Shu and Poon Ka Tak, as well as TVB executive, Virginia Lok Yi Ling for turning his career around. "In the past, I did not like attending social network events. I naively thought that producers would offer me filming opportunities from the posted roster list of new actors. However if they [the producers] don’t know who I am, then why would they offer me filming projects?"
"It wasn’t until my manager accompanied me to meet with Tommy Leung that I was able to gain a travel hosting job. Tommy introduced me to Poon Ka Tak afterwards and I was cast in ‘Triumph in the Skies,’ increasing the audience’s familiarity with me."
"In recent years, I was able to appear in numerous series and release a music album. But I have to thank Virginia Lok Yi Ling for finding talented people to write good songs for me. This has allowed me to tread another step forward." Behind Ron Ng’s success, it was definitely not just a stroke of luck.