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Dickson YUEN

Expert Dickson's 8-Year Ride: Transforming from Chinese Major to Internet Sensation
Expert Dickson, a character created by 100Most, a media company specializing in youth magazines has gained significant popularity. Mr Man-tai Yuen, the man behind Expert Dickson, graduated from Lingnan University in 2007 with a degree in Chinese. His career journey began as a Chinese language teaching assistant at a secondary school, followed by a three-year tenure as the editor of horse racing. He courageously applied for the editor position at 100Most's young magazine. His remarkable talent caught the attention of the content manager, who invited him to become a "love investment expert" despite lacking prior performance experience.  His debut appearance on the online program TVMost's News at about 6:30 made a tremendous impact, catapulting him into the public eye. His "homebody" appearance, characterized by a checkered shirt and metal-framed glasses, has contributed to his widespread recognition. Currently, his Facebook page boasts an impressive following of 14k fans.

Passion for Wuxia Novels Transforms into Writing Habit
Dickson's early fascination with wuxia novels, particularly the works of Louis Cha (Jin Yong), Gu Long, and the newer generation's Jozev Lau, deeply influenced his decision to study Chinese at Lingnan University. His admiration for the compelling characters and romantic dialogues in these stories fueled his desire to create his own wuxia narratives. By the time he was in secondary school, Dickson began to dedicate his nights to writing, developing a disciplined approach to his craft.

He initially believed that strict adherence to rules would hinder his creativity. However, a transformative encounter with a teacher at night school shifted his perspective. He learned the importance of balancing innovation with a strong grasp of sentence structure and grammar. This lesson was pivotal, guiding Dickson to refine his writing skills diligently.

Gratitude to Lingnan University Professors for Encouraging Creative Submissions
Reflecting on his university days at Lingnan, Dickson humorously describes himself as a student who was often in need of guidance, frequently turning to his professors and teachers. He extends his heartfelt gratitude to Prof. WONG Shuk-han, Mary, Prof. SI TOU Sau-ieng, and Prof. LAU Yin-ping, Grace, for their unwavering patience and invaluable support. "They were always there to encourage my creative writing endeavors. Even though more than a decade has passed since my time at Lingnan, I've realized that creativity alone isn't enough. It's crucial to also lay a strong foundational groundwork during our student years for all future pursuits."
Dickson also comments on how the digital age has transformed the way we share and consume content. He contrasts the past, when aspiring writers primarily sought publication in literary magazines, with today's landscape, where social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Threads offer new avenues for exposure. "Back when Xanga reigned supreme and Facebook wasn't the go-to for sharing works, getting noticed was tough without an established name. I used to submit my works to magazines but rarely received feedback."
During an interview, Dickson shares a defining moment in his writing career. He recalls submitting a love novel to a literary magazine and, to his surprise, receiving an HK$800 contributor's fee. This experience was particularly meaningful to him, marking the first time he was compensated for his writing. The editor's feedback on improving the article's structure was an added bonus, offering valuable insight into honing his craft.
Unexpected Journey: From Editor to Entertainer
"I have encountered many mentors throughout my life," expresses Dickson gratefully. After graduating from the University, he had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant and an editor through the recommendations of his teachers and friends. However, he eventually made the decision to step out of his comfort zone, so he joined a traditional creative company, he truly experienced the realities of working in an office setting. During the nine months, he often received criticism and guidance from his boss.

Later on, Dickson observed the emergence of new media and stumbled upon a job opening for an editor position at 100Most magazine. Seeking personal growth, he decided to make a unique and daring move by applying for the position with a love letter. This unconventional approach successfully caught the attention of the magazine, and he quickly received an interview invitation. At that time, he struggled with the decision of whether or not to wear a suit. He recalls,"100Most emphasis on creativity. While I believed the founders wouldn't be overly concerned about attire, but in order to show the importance of treasuring the interview chance,  I chose to wear a suit in the end. As expected, towards the end of the interview, when questioned about his formal attire, I humorously responded that I aimed to demonstrate myself as a "well-dressed beast". This remark elicited laughter, and he was subsequently invited to undertake a trial article. After that, I was offered the job."

In the beginning, he applied for the position of a magazine editor, but he soon discovered that almost all the staffs at the company appeared on video show.  It was then that the content manager, Jonathan, extended an invitation for him to be an expert on the program called "TVMost's News at About 6:30". He agreed to play the role just because I wanted to give Jonathan a hand. During the audition, he brought laughter to the team and their performance received an overwhelmingly positive response after the program was broadcasted. As a result, the character he portrayed "Expert Dickson" gained popularity and eventually led to him securing an artist contract with the company. "No one taught me how to act, and this role doesn't have any negative impact on me. That's why I don't worry about people questioning whether Expert Dickson and Yuen Man-tai are different. They are the same person."

Unlocking Achievements through Book Publishing, Striving for Self-Improvement
Despite being known as "Expert Dickson," he never lost sight of his dream to become a published author. His first book, "22 Shades of Dickson," was released at the height of his acting career, selling just over two thousand copies—a figure he initially thought modest. However, he later learned from his publisher that this was an impressive feat, as many authors are lucky to sell 500 copies to cover their costs. "Becoming an author is a tough journey, filled with challenges and moments of doubt, but the difficulty makes it all the more rewarding," he reflected.
Since then, Dickson has seized a variety of opportunities, from book publishing and endorsements to acting in films. A highlight of his career was acting alongside his idol, Dayo Wong Tze-wah, a legend in Hong Kong's stand-up comedy. "I've never seen myself purely as an actor, so every film opportunity feels like a gift. I'm especially thankful to Mr. Wong for his introduction to the film industry, allowing me to be part of 'Agent Mr. Chan' and 'The Grand Grandmaster'," he shared. He expressed deep gratitude towards the three bosses, content manager Jonathan, and his partner Mr. Wong Kar Wai at 100Most for these opportunities. After completing his initial five-year contract, he immediately signed another, acknowledging their role in his recognition and success. Looking forward, Dickson is eager to further hone his skills in acting and singing, aiming for personal growth and development.

Encouraging Students to Expand Knowledge Horizons
As a graduate majoring in Chinese, Dickson believes that the career prospects for graduates can vary. Therefore, he encourages students to broaden their knowledge base in order to seize more opportunities. "Unless you're pursuing research or teaching, when you apply for an editing position, the employer won't hire you solely based on your proficiency in Chinese. In addition to having strong Chinese language skills, you should also explore other fields." he advises. At the same time, for youngsters aspiring to work in the new media industry, he suggests that the most direct approach is to share their work on platforms like YouTube. He encourages those interested in entering the field to learn the basics of video production. Understanding techniques such as short film production and camera operation will greatly benefit them. "If you have quality work, people will quickly recognize and identify with your performances."