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Studio Superstar: Chapter 22

Everyone was serious about secretly learning.

The next day, Jin Xiaochen sent a ‘let’s go’ meme in the group. Several people who had no class in the afternoon immediately gathered in Xue Xiao’s dormitory and sneakily headed toward Building 3.

“So… why do we have to be so sneaky?” Gu Ling, who was dragged by Chang Yun, placed a hand in his trouser pocket. He still looked cool, and he expressed confusion at this behavior.

Jiang Lianlian was the first to raise her hand to answer the question. “It is because we want to listen to class secretly. We don’t want to be named by the teacher to answer the question!”

Chang Yun was the second to answer the question. “It is because I don’t want to be left behind to forcibly listen to the entire class!”

Jin Xiaochen answered the question third. “Hehe, because of the excitement.”

The rest of the people, “……”

However, no matter how sneaky they were, a group of nine or ten people was still too conspicuous. That night, they were trapped in their dormitory and tortured to answer about what good things they had done today.

On the third day, when Jin Xiaochen’s ‘Let’s go’ was launched in the group, 14 people put on small backpacks and proudly gathered in Xue Xiao’s dormitory.

The small backpack was filled with snacks and drinks, and they each had a sun hat on their heads.

Dou Mingjian asked, “A group summer tour?!”

The fourth day, the fifth day…

On the sixth day, the ‘let’s go’ meme appeared regularly in the group, and Old Gao finally couldn’t help appearing. “What type of code is this? Why do I see you posting it every day?”

Jin Xiaochen: “Old Gao, don’t ask about this.”

Old Gao: “……”

Old Gao: “Then I have to ask clearly!”

Old Gao: “Quickly pass my friend’s verification!”

……

On this day, both Class B and Class C had classes in the afternoon. Jin Xiaochen, as the ‘leader of the secret learning group,’ sent out the secret signal, but only 10 people from Class A were actually in the group.

Dou Mingjian looked at the class schedule sent by his partners on WeChat and discussed it with Xue Xiao. “In the afternoon, Class B is on the second floor, and it is Teacher Guan’s class. Class C is on the first floor, and it is Teacher Su’s class. Which one do we listen to?”

Several others chimed in.

“I want to go to Teacher Guan’s lesson! ”

“But on the second floor, we can only hide in the corridor. This feels like it is easy to be exposed. It is easier to squat outside the window of the first floor.”

“But it is really super hot outside!”

In the past few days, everyone’s attitude toward the daily activity of ‘secretly learning’ had gradually changed from ‘fun’ to ‘useful.’

The show had divided them into three levels, but even the highest-rated Class A had many people who thought they lacked some basic skills. They had gained a lot from eavesdropping in the past few days.

Xue Xiao couldn’t help laughing. He said, “I think we should act separately. Everyone can go to the lesson they want to listen to. There is no need to always act together.”

Xue Xiao, Zhao Dong, Dou Mingjian, Gu Ling, and two other students decided to go to the first floor to listen to Teacher Su’s class.

Summer was hot, and the cicadas were singing.

Su Shijin was holding class in Room 108 today.

Six people crouched outside the window of Room 108, and the sun was really shining.

Zhao Dong quickly applied an extra layer of sunscreen to himself. He couldn’t help asking Gu Ling and Xue Xiao, “Why are the two of you not dark after being exposed to the sun for a few days? I haven’t seen you put on sunscreen.”

Xue Xiao’s complexion was milky white. After being exposed to the sun for a long time, he would turn red at most.

Then after he washed his face and took a shower at night, the red layer faded. The milky white skin was still the milky white skin. It didn’t change at all. Chang Yun called God unfair.

Gu Lin’s skin color was slightly wheat-colored, but like Xue Xiao, he couldn’t become tanned at all.

Dou Mingjian teased in a low voice, “What is this called? It is called natural beauty.”

Zhao Dong said, “Oh. Then the two of us were naturally born with dark faces.”

Dou Mingjian laughed. “Hahahaha—”

The moment this hearty laugh came out, Xue Xiao secretly thought that it wasn’t good.

In the next second, Su Shijin said from inside Room 108, “Yo, so happy? Isn’t it hot outside? I see you don’t want to wear sunscreen, so it is better for you to come in directly.”

The six people outside, “……”

They cautiously poked their heads out.

In the classroom, Su Shijin was sitting on the podium with a half-smile. The cameraman silently aimed the lens at them, and several of the regular members of the ‘secretly learning team’ in Class C secretly wiped their faces. Their faces had the words ‘Why are you so exposed?’ written on them.

……

Su Shijin felt a bit amused.

In fact, before today’s class, she had already heard about the mysterious’ secretly learning’ team from the mouths of Feng Wei and Guan Ruoying.

She estimated that Shen Tingyan also knew, and only the show was still kept in the dark.

The six people entered the classroom in a hurry, as if intending to find a place in the corner to sit down.

Su Shijin told them, “What are you doing sitting so far away? move the stool over and sit closer.”

The six people: “……”

Fan Xue couldn’t help glancing back at Xue Xiao.

What were they doing here when they were idle?

Su Shijin quickly continued with the class. “Where did I talk up to just now? Oh, yes, a character biography. You should all know the character biography, right?”

Xue Xiao and the others put away their playful thoughts and listened seriously.

“Some actors can write character biographies, but their understanding of characters will still be greatly biased. If you look at the character biographies they write, you will find that their imagination about the character is strange.”

“It is the same as an author writing an outline before writing the story, but the plot collapses at the outline stage. This whole thing is problematic from the very beginning.”

Some students asked in amazement, “Then what to do? It is hard to spot this type of problem on your own, right?”

“Silly. If you can’t find it yourself, find a screenwriter or director.”

Su Shijin said, “Yes, this is one of the solutions. The problem is that unless you are playing the protagonist, there generally aren’t many directors who have the patience to look at the biographies of the supporting actors one by one. They tend to only scold you when you are actually on the set, and your performance is bad.”

All the students trembled.

“Actually, it isn’t hard to check the problem yourself. Let me give you a quiz.”

Just like Feng Wei on the first day, Su Shijin sent them a small script.

Since she had only prepared it for Class C in the beginning, there were only 15 copies in total. She asked Xue Xiao’s group to look at it with the Class C students next to them.

After reading it, each person wrote a short biography of the character in their notebook. They were given a total of 40 minutes.

The classroom fell silent. At first, there was the sound of the slow turning of pages. Soon, there was the rustling sound of the pen writing.

40 minutes later, Su Shijin took everyone’s notebooks. She looked through them one by one and commented.

Everyone gulped nervously.

Su Shijin read through the short biography of one of the students and smiled, “Look, there is a person who wrote that when the protagonist was 10 years old, his parents divorced. He hid in his room and cried for a long time that day.”

“You have all read the script. The protagonist has been heartless since he was a child. He seems to have no brains, but he is actually very smart. For such a character, why would anyone imagine that he would hide in his room as a 10 year old and cry on the day his parents divorced?”

“Isn’t this the typical case of not using your mind?”

“Children must cry when their parents divorce. They must feel sad when they break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. They cry or laugh when they drink too much, and yell and smash things when they are angry.”

“To put it nicely, it is fixed thinking. To put it badly, isn’t it not using your brain and putting different characters and situations into the same pattern?”

“So to correctly understand the characters, do you know what the first point is?” Su Shijin pointed to her temples. “Use your brain to read the script. Don’t just memorize the lines. Use your brain to think about it.”

She continued to read through the students’ biographies and found a few more problems.

Once she reached a certain notebook, she paused. Then she turned to the first page and glanced at the name.

“Xue Xiao.” She raised her eyes. Suddenly, she nodded, her tone a bit subtle.

Everyone looked at the young man sitting in the back row.

Xue Xiao was stunned and a bit confused.

In the corner, Fan Xue’s eyes moved slightly.

What was it? Why was Su Shijin’s expression so strange?

Could it be that Xue Xiao wrote particularly badly?

In the next second, Su Shijin said, “You…”

She paused, remembering something. Then she realized. “Oh yes, You graduated from the Chinese language department. No wonder why. You should have developed the habit of reading and writing now, right? But I guess you didn’t develop this habit in college. It should’ve started at a very young age?”

Xue Xiao was a bit surprised that Su Shijin could see this.

He nodded and replied obediently. “Yes, my mother is a high school Chinese language teacher. She has let me read a lot of books since I was a child.”

Of course, these habits could persist because Xue Xiao liked it.

Su Shijin laughed. “My parents are too.”

After she finished speaking, she told the dozen other people. “After class, you can go and see his character biography to study.”

Everyone’s eyes toward Xue Xiao changed.

Su Shijin was a screenwriter. This meant she was very sensitive to writing.

What was so different about Xue Xiao’s character biography that she could praise it like this?

After reading Xue Xiao’s character biography, Su Shijin suddenly changed the topic.

She smiled and said, “I suddenly remembered an interview with Teacher Shen. I don’t know if you have seen it before. A junior actor asked him how to improve his acting skills—”

A student immediately said, “Ah, I remember.”

“This is a famous scene. Everyone has seen it!”

Su Shijin was already very polite when she called that person a ‘junior actor.’ If it was a netizen, they would call him a garbage actor with no acting skills and a bad attitude. He only knew how to grab traffic everywhere all day.

That time, the garbage actor forcibly moved in front of Shen Tingyan at an event. He put on a very motivated expression, asking in front of everyone, “Teacher Shen, I really want to improve my acting skills, but I don’t know how to do it. Can you teach me?”

In the crackling flashes of the cameras, the handsome and indifferent man only glanced at him. He threw out two words with an expressionless face.

“Read more.”

This famous scene hung on the hot search for three days in a row. The words ‘read more’ were even photoshopped by netizens into a meme. Later, when some people went crazy on the Internet, the netizens used this godly meme. The effect was very outstanding.

The students couldn’t hold back their laughter when they remembered that incident.

Su Shijin wondered, “What are you laughing at? You are the ones who should read more books.”

The students immediately reacted, “……TAT.”

Su Shijin asked, “Do you think I am going off-topic? I, Su Shijin, can never go off-topic in my life. I’m still talking to you about the topic of the character biography. Wake up.”

The students cried. “Wu wu wu wu!”

Su Shijin laughed. “Some people can’t write short biographies of characters well, they can’t understand the character because they don’t use their brains or they lack life experience.”

“Some people might think that they are only in their 20s this year. No matter how they live, they won’t be able to have the experience of being 80 years old. In fact, even if you live to the age of 80, the scope of a person’s activities in life is still limited. The things you can experience are also limited. When some people realized this early on, how did they do it?”

“—They read more.”

Sunlight shone in from outside the window and spread throughout the classroom.

The air conditioner was running continuously, quietly delivering cold air.

Xue Xiao looked at Su Shijin, who was standing in front of the podium.

In the classroom, a pair of eyes became focused.

“The world in the book is multidimensional. Go back and forth, left and right, and you can step into a place you haven’t been to before, in any corner of Earth. There are even places you can’t go to in a lifetime, such as the Milky Way or the universe beyond the galaxy.”

“Go down, you can go back to ancient times. Go up, you can go to the future.”

“There are limits to the careers you can try in a lifetime, but in the book, you can experience the joy of being all types of professionals. You can only experience one or two family patterns in your life, but in the book, you can see more types of family affection and love.”

“In this world, endless books also means a boundless, big world. When you have experienced enough lives in that big world and traveled enough roads, you can understand this little character when looking back at this script—” Su Shijin waved the script in his hand. “What else can’t you understand?”

Su Shijin’s class left many people in deep thought.

The notebooks were sent back. Then Dou Mingjian asked Xue Xiao in a low voice. “Can you lend it to me to take a look?”

Dou Mingjian opened Xue Xiao’s notebook, and many participants gathered around.

It was also at this moment that they knew the reason why Su Shijin praised Xue Xiao.

The biographies written by all of them were more or less slightly different. From Su Shijin’s comments, it wasn’t different to see that most of the students had small problems understanding the protagonist in the script just now.

Xue Xiao’s character biography was the same as a standard answer.

There were only 500-600 words, but every detail perfectly fit the character of the protagonist in the script. Every experience seemed to be what the protagonist really experienced.

It was these experiences that would lead to such a seemingly simple, but in fact, complex character.

This was a realistic and natural progression of life.

What was even more amazing was that Xue Xiao’s writing was too good.

There was no pile of gorgeous words, but the seemingly ordinary words caused people to feel waves in their hearts.

At this moment, they realized what Su Shijin said. What else could they not understand?

A character with a short but tortuous past came to life in their minds.

For a moment, no one spoke, and the classroom was eerily quiet.

Seeing that they were all so serious, Su Shijin couldn’t help chuckling.

The people in Class C generally had a poor foundation. She could see that some of them actually had no attitude toward learning. They might have come just to gain some popularity from the show.

Fortunately, there were still a few people who wanted to improve.

Once the learning atmosphere was formed, the individuals who weren’t serious became outliers.

More or less, they would be a bit overwhelmed.

Su Shijin glanced at a few of them from the corner of her eyes, and the corners of her lips pulled sarcastically.

In the corridor outside the classroom, there were suddenly sounds of playfulness and footsteps.

Everyone looked outside and found that Guan Ruoying was actually leading a team to pass by.

The eyes of both sides met—

Guan Ruoying laughed. “Hahaha, I knew there were a few more people on your side!”

Su Shijin wondered, “Why? Was there also a small group going to your place to secretly learn?”

Outside the classroom, the four members of the secretly learning group, who acted separately from Xue Xiao’s group, laughed awkwardly at them through the window.

They secretly learned for a few days, but today seemed to be the day of the mentors’ counterattack!

The theme of Guan Ruoying’s Class B today was observation.

In the case of basic skills, there were many ways to practice performing a character better. Observation was one of them.

If they wanted to play an office worker, did they know what an office worker usually looked like? How did they walk, how did they eat breakfast, and how did they squeeze onto the bus and subway?

What was the difference between a hard-working office worker and a lying flat office worker?

These could only be known through observation.

After the observation, they would substitute themselves into this identity and go into a third dimension to actually experience it. This way, an actor could know more deeply how to perform the character.

Guan Ruoying’s eyes swept over Room 108 and then lit up. “Eh, Xue Xiao, you are also here. This is what I wanted to tell you about during the first round of the competition. You also have to do this exercise. Come on, come on, you come with us!”

Zhao Dong was clever and immediately said, “Teacher Guan, I also want to come!”

Dou Mingjian immediately followed. “Me too!”

“Ah, then I want it too!”

“Me too!”

Su Shijin said with a smile, “My class is over. If you want to follow Teacher Guan, you can go together.”

Immediately, a mighty team walked out of Building 3.

As they walked, Guan Ruoying said, “In any case, the show doesn’t have a rule that you aren’t allowed to go out of the camp. If you are free, you can spend an hour or two going out to practice every day. Observe first before coming back to review and record. The next day, imagine that you are the person you observed the day before. Just go out and go around again to find the feeling.”

In an office on the third floor of Building 1 of the camp, Old Gao was drinking tea with the air conditioner on. Suddenly, he saw the large group passing by downstairs and was stunned. He opened the window and shouted, “Why are there so many people going?”

A participant downstairs replied, “Teacher Guan is taking us to an off-campus class!”

Old Gao quickly glanced at the class schedule on the phone and poked his head out again. “Then why are people from Class C and A also there? Eh, it’s you. Xue Xiao, Zhao Dong, don’t hide. I see you!”

“Jin Xiaochen, what cover are you giving them? Good guy, I see. The code you sent in the group two days ago is for this?!”

“Old Gao, we are actively learning!”

“I see that you are disrupting the shooting plan!”

Old Gao leaned out again. A foot suddenly kicked his chair, almost causing him to fall off.

Old Gao hurriedly turned around to stabilize his large body. His eyes stared directly at the man sitting on the side and drinking tea elegantly. “What are you doing?”

“Aren’t you afraid of falling if you go out like this?” Shen Tingyan blew the tea leaves floating on top and spoke slowly.

Old Gao flinched. Then he took out his phone aggressively. “Hey, I said that these brats are quite good at making trouble. I have to ask who came up with this idea. It doesn’t feel like Xiao Jin.”

Shen Tingyan said again, “So what if you ask?”

“?”

“What is your purpose in running this show? Is the shooting plan important or learning important? Can’t you be flexible? Isn’t this also a highlight? You don’t know how to take advantage of it and still want to go to the teacher to ask for punishment?”

Shen Tingyan ruthlessly fired off sentences, leaving Old Gao speechless.

Shen Tingyan raised his eyes again, his voice cold. “Are you happy after you’ve dispelled people’s enthusiasm?”

Old Gao wiped at his face. “So… am I too small-minded?”

Shen Tingyan’s lips curved up, his voice low and pleasant. “Otherwise?”

“If you really want to go to the leader, remember to reward that person.”

Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the update

  2. Perper19 says:

    This is very good. I never thought of this kind of perspective from an actor’s side.

  3. Nabong_uwu says:

    Shen Tingyan never losing an opportunity to give Xue Xiao good things:

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