Wednesday, June 14th, was the day the first episode of ‘Studio Super’ was launched.
Everyone rushed to Building 3 early as usual to start rehearsals for the second round of the competition, but as Guan Ruoying said, most people weren’t in the right state.
The ‘Spring Garden’ group was the first group to be instructed by Guan Ruoying. She was wearing neat sportswear today and rehearsed with them vigorously.
“Fan Xue, you don’t have the posture of an 81 year old at all!” Guan Ruoying placed one hand on her waist and held the script with her other hand. She sighed heavily. “Have you seen the original work?”
Fan Xue replied, “I haven’t had time to see it yet…”
“Then why didn’t you watch it when you went back last night? The show didn’t confiscate your phones. I know you were forced to choose this role, and it is a bit difficult for you, but it is because it is so difficult that you have to hurry up and learn, right?”
Guan Ruoying rolled up the script into a tube and hit his chest. “Does it mean that an 81 year old man has to bend over at a right angle? How many old people like this have you seen in reality?”
She tapped his forehead. “The fact that the eyesight of the elderly isn’t as good as that of a young person doesn’t mean they will squint all day.”
She patted his neck. “Don’t talk in this half-dead or full of phlegm way! It is too weird!”
Fan Xue trembled and his face turned red as he was hit.
Guan Ruoying sighed. “Nothing is right. You should hurry up and down your observation homework in the next two days. Go and see what old people outside look like! Your acting is too outrageous!”
The words ‘too outrageous’ completely shattered Fan Xue. He grabbed the script and went back to his corner without saying a word.
Huang Xiaolin, like Fan Xue, was a young actor who had signed a contract with an entertainment company and had played many supporting roles previously. This time, he had to choose Role No. 4 in ‘Spring Garden’, a father who lost his son.
Except for this role, the remaining ones left for him was a role that required a lot of martial arts scene and a disabled person with an amputated limb.
He thought about it and felt he couldn’t control the latter two. Therefore, he made this choice in a daze and regretted it when he left the selection room. He had chosen the wrong role.
It was a pity that there was no regret medicine in the world.
Fortunately, his brain was relatively clear. He knew what he should do and what he could do now. After returning to his bedroom last night, he found the original work to watch it repeatedly and learn this role.
Guan Ruoying’s face improved a lot when instructing him. “You still lack a bit of the air of being a father, as well as the air of losing a son after becoming a father. Do you know what it feels like to add these two feelings together?”
Huang Xiaolin thought about it before replying tentatively, “It makes you want to sink again and again?”
Guan Ruoying nodded. “But this type of ‘sinking’ isn’t obvious.”
Speaking of this, she raised her head and told everyone, “All of you in this group should remember that while ‘Spring Garden’ is sad, it can’t be too sad.
Xue Xiao, Dou Mingjian, and Gu Ling looked up from the script and listened carefully to her.
“This movie tells the story of four families coming to the cemetery to buy burial plots. If you have done the relevant homework, you should know that people aren’t allowed to buy burial plots at will. You must meet the relevant conditions to buy it.”
“It is also destined that the people from these families gathered in the business hall of the cemetery will have their own stories. The stories related to burial plots and death can’t be blindly happy. I think it should be a bit sad, but you aren’t here to deliberately show your ‘sadness’, right?”
Xue Xiao and the others nodded.
If performing a play with such a style and theme, the most fearful thing was that the actors would act like ‘I have something on my mind’ or ‘a tragedy has happened to me’, as if they were afraid that the audience’s hearts wouldn’t be moved.
Some actors would do the opposite. They acted in a very lively manner. Then once the plot changed, they could become heavy, crying and roaring. This type of acting method with great joy and great sorrow was actually very controversial.
Guan Ruoying was a typical ‘don’t rely on these two things’ faction.
“Think about what type of posture a living person experiencing this in reality would have. It is impossible to have such heavy footsteps. Who in reality would walk like this except for seriously ill patients? It is also impossible to jump in a lively manner. Who would act like they are having a party when buying a burial plot? It should be ‘normal’, understood? The most important thing for acting is to be ‘normal’!”
Dou Mingjian nodded heavily, deeply impressed.
Guan Ruoying said, “This is ‘sad but not sad’ in the first half of the play. Then the ‘sad but not sad’ in the second half should be different.”
“Death must be a shadow-like existence for the living, right? But the name of the movie is ‘Spring Garden’. The word ‘spring’ already alludes to the movie’s attitude toward death. It is the most natural part of the process of life. Death and life are the same, and everyone needs to look at it normally.”
“At the end of the movie, no matter what mood the characters were in when they initially set foot in this cemetery business hall, in the end, they all accepted death and learned to face it.
“This is the second half of the ‘sad but not sad.’ It should be sad, but you have learned to face it.”
Guan Ruoying finished giving them a brief analysis and said, “You have to use this understanding to look again at the character you are playing. Figure out their behavior, demeanor, and lines.”
Xue Xiao listened to Guan Ruoying’s words and secretly pondered on it again.
Guan Ruoying watched his performance and praised him. “Xue Xiao, your problems from the first round of the performance have changed a bit!”
Xue Xiao’s eyes lit up. “Really?”
Guan Ruoying nodded. “Didn’t Teacher Shen say that your performance in the first round is a bit boring and the detailed design has no soul? You are much better now!”
Xue Xiao sighed with relief before saying happily, “After doing the observation homework, I seem to understanding how to act a bit more ‘lively’.”
Guan Ruoying taught him to observe, and Shen Tingyan told him to keep thinking.
Xue Xiao took their words into his heart and stacked ‘observation’ and ‘thinking’ together.
The day when he went out to do the observation homework with the large group, he was motionless as he sat on the street, watching people coming and going in front of him. He thought about what occupation that person would have and what that person was planning to do.
For three full hours, he unknowingly seemed to have developed a brand new logic for understanding characters.
Looking at a brand new script with this type of thinking logic, Xue Xiao felt like he had opened the door to a new world.
Guan Ruoying was very happy for him. “But there are still some problems. Let me ask you, what did your eyes focus on when you first watched this movie?”
Xue Xiao was taken aback for a moment. He thought about it before saying, “…Two fathers? In addition, the pair of grandparents in the movie.”
The first time Xue Xiao watched the movie, he completely substituted the two fathers in the movie into his parents and the pair of grandparents into his grandparents.
Guan Ruoying asked, “In other words, your focus is on the ‘elders’, right?”
Xue Xiao nodded honestly.
“You have learned from this movie that you have to cherish your family. You hope that your parents and grandparents will be healthy and happy. You also hope that you won’t make your cherished family sad due to a limited life, so you yourself must be happy and happy. But—you are now playing a young man who is going to die!”
Xue Xiao was stunned.
“It is certain that this young man doesn’t want his parents to be sad, but you seem to be putting too much emotion on this point now. At the beginning of the play, what about the fear and pain of this young man as he faces death? It seems to have been weakened. This involves the question of how much a person who is facing death will be afraid of death.”
Xue Xiao lowered his head and pondered on it.
“If you are playing Fan Xue’s role, an 81 year old man, a healthy old man who has just entered the last stage of his life, I think it is right for you to focus on reassuring your family. But a 20 year old patient with terminal cancer?”
“—Whenever the pain of cancer strikes and you clearly feel that death is getting closer and closer to you with every step, are you really not afraid? Your life has just reached its most brilliant stage, but it is about to end. Will you really not be unwilling?”
Xue Xiao fell into deep thought.
Dou Mingjian’s performance didn’t have any big problems. His many years of acting experience made him so stable that Guan Ruoying even called him ‘Teacher Dou’, making Dou Mingjian embarrassed.
After Guan Ruoying went to guide Gu Ling, Dou Mingjian walked to Xue Xiao’s side and suggested, “Shall we act against each other, Son?”
He was making a joke, but Xue Xiao looked at him in a stunned manner before sincerely calling out, “Dad.”
Dou Mingjian: “……”
This was a bit unbearable!
Seeing that Xue Xiao’s eyes were still a bit blurred, he quickly waved his hands in front of Xue Xiao to summon back his soul. He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. “Are you so immersed in the act?”
Xue Xiao sighed. “I’m still pondering on what Teacher Guan told me just now.”
“You aren’t distracted at all.” Dou Mingjian sat down beside him. “I’m actually a bit tense. The first episode will be aired soon. Aren’t you nervous?”
Xue Xiao replied very sincerely, “I might be more nervous about getting the mentors’ invitation cards in the second round of the competition.”
“Very good. I’m twice as nervous now.”
Xue Xiao finally laughed.
Dou Mingjian also smiled and teased him, “You definitely want Teacher Shen’s invitation card, right?”
Xue Xiao’s gaze wandered a bit before he secretly nodded.
He remembered last night.
Before the final separation, he didn’t know if it was because Shen Tingyan’s rare awkward side strengthened his courage.
He saw Shen Tingyan’s expression and said, “Teacher Shen, if I get your invitation card in the second round, I will definitely go to your team.”
He felt that Shen Tingyan was like a majestic lion looking down on everything, but no matter how majestic and dignified he was, the lion was still a lion. It was a feline animal. If his fur was blown then he would much more obedient.
He didn’t know if he had succeeded in coaxing this person. In any case, Shen Tingyan’s unpleasant expression finally changed a bit when he heard this.
Before getting in the car, the man glanced at him and curled up his lips, smiling in an intriguing manner. “Then wait until you get my card.”
He must get Shen Tingyan’s card!
Xue Xiao secretly set a goal for himself.
He turned his head and told Dou Mingjian seriously, “Brother Dou, let’s act against each other!”
Dou Mingjian smiled. “Okay. Come.”
The moment he finished speaking, Guan Ruoying’s puzzled voice suddenly came from the other side. “What is it that can’t be said?”
The two of them turned their heads and unexpectedly found that the atmosphere between Gu Ling and Guan Ruoying was a bit wrong.
Guan Ruoying stood in front of Gu Ling incredulously. “You got first place in the first round of the competition and became the first person to select the role. There were 50 characters in front of you, and you chose Luo Sheng.”
Lou Sheng was the character played by Gu Ling. He was a man who lost his wife at the age of 30 and wanted to buy a husband and wife joint burial plot.
“Now you don’t feel right when acting. I asked you what you like about this character, and you say that you can’t tell?”
Gu Ling was silent.
Xue Xiao and Dou Mingjian were a bit surprised.
Did Gu Ling encounter a problem?
Gu Ling frowned slightly. “Teacher, can’t you just tell me where the acting is wrong?”
Guan Ruoying looked at him. “I can tell you, based on the premise that you have a basic understanding of the role.”
Gu Ling said casually, “Fan Xue doesn’t understand the role at all. Didn’t you still tell him what was wrong?”
“You are comparing yourself to Fan Xue?”
Fan Xue: “……” He wanted to let out a burst of foul language.
Guan Ruoying frowned. “What I said to Fan Xue compared to what I said to Huang Xiaolin and Xue Xiao are completely different levels of content.”
The problem with Fan Xue was the basics. He hadn’t even passed the most basic physical level.
The problem with Huang Xiaolin and Xue Xiao lay in the depth of the characters. It was about understanding.
Gu Ling’s question was also about the latter. But if the actor himself didn’t have a basic understanding of the role, how could she guide him to the level of understanding?
Guan Ruoying suddenly asked, “Did you do the observation homework?”
“I did it.”
“Did you have any realizations?”
Gu Ling was silent again.
After around a minute, he raised his eyes and looked at Guan Ruoying. “I think that everyone lives naturally.”
Everyone lives naturally?
What was this conclusion?
There was silence in the classroom for a moment.
Guao Ruoying asked slowly, “Gu Ling, you have previously always acted by instinct, right?”
Gu Ling didn’t refute it.
Xue Xiao and Dou Mingjian became even more surprised.
Gu Ling relied on instinct to act…?
They never thought that when he performed that amazing one-person show in the first round, he was actually acting naturally to such a degree!
Guan Ruoying had an idea in her heart.
She told him, “When acting instinctively, some talented actors will have very amazing performances when playing specific roles and acting in specific situations.”
“It is good if this type of actor knows very well what type of role they are suitable for. But once they don’t know how to make choices, they will run into huge trouble.”
“You are the type of person with good intuition, right? To be honest, the role of Luo Sheng is indeed suitable for you. The fatal problem with instinctive actors is that even if you choose a role that is suitable for you, as long as you don’t fit 100% and there is a problem of 1%, this 1% will become difficult to cross.”
Gu Ling’s eyes sank.
“Gu Ling, you might think that too rational thinking will hinder your perception of the character, but art and rational thinking are by no means mutually exclusive.”
Guan Ruoying finally said, “You go back and think about it. When we meet again in the classroom tomorrow, I will tell you where your problem is.”
This concluded the day’s rehearsals.
In the afternoon, the show temporarily assigned some other tasks to the students.
After the first episode was aired, the publicity would work together with it. In order to increase the popularity, the show required each participant to shoot a daily vlog. The time limit was until 9 o’clock tonight.
After sending the vlog to the staff inbox, it would be reviewed and re-edited by the show’s staff. Then the participants would post it on Weibo.
Of course, the most important thing now was to go back and watch the first episode!
All the participants rushed to the cafeteria. After lunch, they returned to their rooms.
During the process, Xue Xiao and Dou Mingjian wanted to open their mouths to care about Gu Ling several times, but they didn’t know how to bring up the topic.
Gu Ling’s temperament was a bit cold, and people sometimes didn’t know how to talk to him.
Gu Ling noticed the expressions of the two people and said, “I’m fine. Don’t worry about me. If I need help, I’ll tell you.”
He said so, making Xue Xiao and Dou Mingjian feel relieved.
At 12 o’clock sharp, the people in the three dormitories of Jin Xiaochen, Dou Mingjian, and Huang Xiaolin all gathered in Xue Xiao’s dormitory.
The 16 boys gathered in front of Gu Ling’s laptop.
“Refresh, refresh… there! The first episode is out!”
Gu Ling clicked on the first episode.
Everyone watched intently.