I was named after Jackie Chan. Before he became famous, the original spelling was a "y" instead of with "ie". My parents decided he was a good person to name me after.

The Spelling and Legend of Jackie Chan

This was when his kung fu action film audio was still being dubbed into English.
"Jacky" was the OG spelling of Jackie when he was still filming in Hong Kong. 

For roles he could not play in life, he would try to play one in a film. If you can't be a doctor, just play one on TV. He likely wanted to be a police officer judging from Police Story and Rush Hour.

Combining Multiple Skills

Jackie Chan always learned all of the skills, not just in martial arts but also in filmmaking. He improvised a lot! Even behind the camera, he was wearing many hats on set!

This was mainly out of necessity because his films had a much smaller budget than Hollywood.
So he adopted quickly and learned to operate his JC stunt team in Hong Kong like a start-up entrepreneur. He always stayed hungry and humble.

Pain never stopped him. He even did some of his own edits and songs!

Action! Selfie made with a backpack, self-timer, and some hops!

The audience usually doesn't appreciate all the weeks and months of training and practice that go into creating one magical moment that is over in just a slipt second. Exactly like professional tennis.

Jackie has done it all and broken it all (his bones and joints) through trial and error.
Here are some behind-the-scenes clips...yes, even during rehearsals and training, accidents happen. Jackie's always good at "physical pivots".

Mastering Footwork and Balance. Performance (prop) with young acrobats

Tennis and Michael Chang

I've always loved tennis. Being a professional tennis player was briefly a distant dream as a teen. Even when I first saw an Agassi-Sampras Final on broadcast TV, I always wondered why they kept the funny scoring.

After Michael Chang won the 1989 French Open, my dad registered me for tennis classes and wanted to model my game after his. He bought a Prince oversized Graphite (POG) to practice hitting with me. I kept playing as a teenager.

Later, I decided to keep my tennis hobby associated with a real business. I needed to find ways to combine what I loved with what I knew - and I'd figure out the rest or hire an A-team to collaborate.

TopCourt = Tennis + Movies

Filming on set with TopCourt

I am incredibly proud of our TopCourt team and film crews. I was at Indian Wells on March 7, 2020, when the music died. The tennis world shut down for covid, so we found a creative way to keep the industry alive. I began inquiring after seeing Facebook ads around the Summer of 2020. This is exactly the company I wish I had started if I had the right people and money. Their pitch deck and presentation looked very polished.

Making Partner at TopCourt along with Venus

By March 2021, I decided to take a cross-country red-eye to see TopCourt on the ground floor during their week of filming in Miami. I wanted to meet and talk to the core team in person. After the trip, I was convinced I wanted to increase my stake as an invested partner plus be an advisor to them in building the platform business. Ironically, this was the same week that Venus joined us.

My EdTech vision: combining the 3 T's = Tennis, Teaching, and Tech

If I can reach a few dozen students a year by feeding balls as a USPTA coach, with TopCourt, we could build the next "MasterClass of Tennis" and expand it to multiple sports over time. Spending time on the ground with them in Miami gave me a solid feeling about completing my due diligence, vetting the other angel investors, and my trust in the 3 founders.

Startups - Hard Work and Griding it out

TopCourt got seed capital from real tennis players like the Bryan Brothers, Lindsay Davenport, and Genie Bouchard. It is a company operated/taught by the pros and coaches together as a team.

Drawing and talking about the perfect tennis technique or form is theoretically easy. Demonstrating that perfect technique on the court in front of 4K cameras just before real high-stakes tournaments - now that's hard. This is the real proving ground of a true touring professional player behind the scenes.

Our all-weather film crew.

Whether it was the 105+ F afternoons of Indian Wells, the frosty breath of Laver Cup in Boston, or the near 100% humidity of Miami - our indy film team was like the US Post office. They all pushed for every take with each athlete for all the full shooting days to maximize our daylight.

Camera operators and their assistants on every shoot were walking the court, on the receiving end of ball strikes. Repeating for the best close-up footage possible.

"Schadenfreude" and the Blooper Reels

If you see the teaser video blooper reels, you'll see sometimes we have to do a lot of retakes. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong...as the saying goes. We save that for the end credits, blooper reel.

We've seen a racket fly off then cracked on a slippery serve, wardrobe malfunctions, cameramen bruised up or tagged hard on target practice runs, background wildlife cameos, and bleeped scenes we've had to cut.

People love it. Perhaps it is what the Germans called "Schadenfreude"

No CGI - No stunt doubles - All Action!

Even during the height of covid, the tennis tour was basically shut down. Anyone from Netflix (shooting films like Bullet Train) can tell you the shooting conditions those days. Our number 1 priority was finding ways to keep everyone safe yet keep filming.

Editing and post-production work was done whenever we could not shoot. Scouting players, signing players, and boosting their media presence; both young and old.

They are good at Tennis Moneyball: discovering the next Iga Swiatek before she wins her first French Open or Leylah Fernandez before she made it to the US Open Final.

Learn through Teaching: as a coach, I get better at the skill when teaching someone else. One reason I wanted to be a coach is how I think when have to explain it to a novice.

All live-action shots in 4K, with multiple high-speed cameras, body cams, and remote drones.

In the end, it's about sharing a story.
Building a tale that outlasts the career.
Crafting the lessons which echo our history.

Why do I also go by "Jack" or "JC"

Sometimes folks prefer to call me "Jack" for short. The more masculine form of my name.

As in Jack and Jill. Or Jack and the Beanstock.
Although Jackie Robinson was a famous and important American too.

While climbing the Matterhorn, a local asked me if I knew my name was short for "John"?

He informed me that "Jack" is an alternative spelling for "John" from old English.
As in St. John the Apostle, who lived for 88 years. Now, I understand the reference.

I was born a "Christmas Baby" among the 12 Days of Christmas.

JC is just my initials.
Some folks refer to me as a nickname.
It's also been entered on plenty of pinball and arcade victory screens from my youth.

JC + Tennis = JCtennis.

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