Shen Tingyan was speechless.
He was speechless until he returned to the recording site in the afternoon, and Feng Wei asked him, “What happened? Why are you so speechless?”
The speechless Teacher Shen said he had nothing to say.
Then before the afternoon recording officially began, he started his inner self-fight again.
Xue Xiao, who was sitting in the participant’s seats, frequently felt Shen Tingyan’s gaze. Now he was used to it and desensitized. He was no longer so shy. He was only more worried.
What type of things would make Shen Tingyan so abnormal? Was he sick? Was he not feeling well?
Shen Tingyan received a caring look from Xue Xiao, and his whole body was like: “……”
He expressionlessly looked away from the participant’s seats and started to think deeply.
…From childhood to adulthood, he had never been wrong in his judgment.
He didn’t like men because he never had any unusual desire for men. This was a very logical judgment.
But now he was shaken.
Did Xue Xiao act well just now? Yes.
But were there no problems? No.
Shen Tingyan could pick out countless faults from the young man’s performance just now. He just couldn’t forget… that type of Xue Xiao.
It was a type of Xue Xiao that would make him feel a sense of pity that almost blurred the line between the character and the actor.
Was it empathy?
Shen Tingyan had been filming for so many years. He had read countless film and television scripts. No matter how good the role was, he had never empathized with the actors themselves.
He only did it with Xue Xiao.
At this time, it wasn’t due to Xue Xiao’s acting skills. It was a bit far-fetched to say it had nothing to do with the young man himself.
Shen Tingyan lowered his eyes.
He liked Xue Xiao. He liked this person.
…Was it really the ordinary type of like?
Shen Tingyan rubbed at the corners of his eyes. His mind was a bit messy. He started to try to break out of his usual thinking logic and think in reverse.
For example… he never felt desire for a man. Then had he ever felt desire for a woman?
Shen Tingyan thought for a second. Then his face was paralyzed without any fluctuations. “……”
Another example… if he was asked to kiss Xue Xiao, would he be disgusted?
Shen Tingyan thought for a second. Xue Xiao’s shy, red face and unreserved, watery eyes appeared in his mind. He subtly changed his sitting position and crossed his legs.
Shen Tingyan: “……”
In the teacher’s seats, Shen Tingyan overturned his own three views.
There were a total of seven performances in the afternoon, and nearly half the participants remained. The mentors were cautious when it came to handing out invitation cards.
Jin Xiaochen, Zhao Dong, and Chang Yun’s groups appeared on stage.
Xiao Jin’s group about campus romance was very innocent. The first love between the young man and girl made the audience’s hearts beat loudly.
Jin Xiaochen was a typical handsome high school student. He was handsome and cheerful but clumsy when facing the girl he liked. He was heartwarming and lovable, while the girl was sweet and sunny. They felt that whoever met them would fall in love with them.
Everyone was so engrossed in watching it that they weren’t satisfied when it ended.
When commenting, Feng Wei even joked, “Teacher Shen has some ability to guide romance films. When are you going to act in it yourself? How many years have the fans been waiting?”
The audience shouted ‘yes’ while Shen Tingyan was noncommittal.
In this group, Xiao Jin and the girl each got an invitation card.
Xue Xiao and the others sighed with relief.
Zhao Dong acted in a costume drama this time. There was a martial arts scene in the middle. The two male actors performed it flawlessly, full of strength and flow. People felt a burst of pleasure watching it and shouted that it was cool.
Both men were given an invitation card.
Chang Yun’s group didn’t have many bright spots, but fortunately, everyone was very stable.
At the end of the performance, it could be seen that Chang Yun had done his best. In fact, he had no hope of advancing to the next round so he was very calm.
Below the stage, Xue Xiao and the others were nervous. Their hearts were in their chests when it reached the stage of the mentor giving out their cards.
Chang Yun was pending.
The pending area was on the other side of the stage, and there were already more than a dozen participants seated there.
Jiang Lianlian asked in a low voice, “How many groups haven’t performed?”
Zhao Dong came over from the back row and replied, “Four groups.”
Four groups, 13 participants.
For the invitation cards remaining in the mentor’s hands, there was still one in Guan Ruoying’s hands, two in Su Shijin’s hands, three in Feng Wei’s hands, and five in Shen Tingyan’s hands.
Xue Xiao whispered, “…There is still hope.”
There was no basis for him to say this.
The show’s staff didn’t require the mentors to use up the invitation cards. Even if there were invitation cards left on the stage after the performances ended, the mentors could stop there and not issue it again.
Therefore, he just hoped so.
Hopefully, Chang Yun still had a chance.
By the time the remaining four groups finished performing, it was already 7 o’clock in the evening.
At that time, the audience was so tired that they just wanted to end the recording quickly. The venue became noisy.
There were three invitation cards left.
Feng Wei had one, and Shen Tingyan had two.
Jiang Quan came to the stage and said, “Yes, now we can see that there are still 22 participants in the pending area. Whether any of them can continue staying on this stage or not depends on Director Feng and Teacher Shen.”
“Excuse me, do you still want to use the invitation cards in your hand?”
There were people in the participant’s seats, and audience seats shouted, “Yes.”
Feng Wei smiled and nodded. “I want to use it.”
There was a small cheer before all eyes focused on Shen Tingyan.
…This man might not necessarily use it all up. He was the typical type who preferred quality over quantity.
Everyone tensed up.
Feng Wei joked, “Teacher Shen, calculate the number of characters required for your two plays in the next round. Is it enough?”
The third round was the real mentor-participant battle. Each mentor prepared two players, and the number for each play was around three to four people. The specific number and the script could be adjusted according to the actual number of participants obtained by them.
As for whether the number of invitation cards given so far was enough or not, only the mentor themselves knew it in their hearts.
Shen Tingyan had no expression on his face as he said indifferently, “I will use it.”
The audience cheered.
Underneath, Xue Xiao sighed with relief.
Jiang Quan stated, “Then I will invite the remaining 22 participants to come to the stage.”
The stage was huge, but it seemed so crowded when these 22 people stood there at the same time.
Some of them lowered their heads in silence while others calmly scanned the studio.
For most of them, this might be their last and biggest stage.
After the end, some people would return to their company and might continue to take on some small supporting roles. Some people might return to the film and television studios to continue being extras. Others might completely abandon this path, packing up their baggage and returning to their hometowns. For some people, this experience was more like a dream. When they woke up from the dream, they were still ordinary people who were busy with studies or work.
They wanted to remember this place. At this moment, they opened their eyes wide and looked hard at it.
Jiang Quan said, “Let’s not talk nonsense and go directly to the part where the mentors hand out the cards. Director Feng, Teacher Shen, who wants to go first?”
Shen Tingyan calmly signaled for Feng Wei to go first.
“Then you’re welcome, Teacher Shen.” Feng Wei stood up, glanced around at the remaining people, and called a participant’s name.
The participant originally looked dazed on stage, a bit out of his mind. He heard his name being called and was stunned for a few seconds.
This was until the participants on both sides of him smiled and said, “Why are you in a daze? Aren’t you going to go up and get it? If you don’t go, I’ll go for you!”
His mind returned.
His eyes quickly turned red, and he choked out, “Director Feng…”
“Don’t cry, don’t cry. Come up and get the invitation card. Forget it, I’ll come down to you myself,” Feng Wei said with a smile.
The participant quickly wiped his eyes and ran forward to meet Feng Wei in the center of the stage.
He took the invitation card, and the two of them hugged. Feng Wei comforted him, “Keep up the good work. You acted well.”
“Thank you, Director Feng!”
The participant cried loudly. The audience was moved to tears and laughter.
Jiang Quan said, “Then Teacher Shen, please—”
In the participant’s seats, Xue Xiao, Zhao Dong, Jin Xiaochen, Jiang Lianlian, Dou Mingjian, Huang Xiaolin, and even Gu Lin instinctively straightened their backs.
Xue Xiao twisted his hands together. He heard Zhao Dong whispering behind him, “Chang Yun, Chang Yun, it must be Chang Yun, Teacher Shen.” This made his heart beat wildly.
The man stood up.
He held two invitation cards and played with them nonchalantly.
On the stage, there were so many familiar faces.
Chang Yun stood in the second row.
He had never competed or fought. He might be worried about being eliminated, but after being comforted, he put his matter aside.
He didn’t grab a spot in the first row in order to make himself stand out, nor did he desperately stick out his head to let the mentor see him more.
He was a very honest person.
He was also a very down-to-earth and unambitious person.
Xue Xiao’s temperament was actually very compatible with Chang Yun. But at this moment, he hoped that Chang Yun could fight and grab at it. At the very least, don’t turn his head and smile at them in a silly manner when everyone else was staring at Shen Tingyan.
Xue Xiao’s eyes were sore.
He heard Shen Tingyan call out a name.
This participant stood in the first row. He leaned down with his whole body and supported himself with his knees, letting out a long breath. Then he straightened up, strode forward with red eyes, took Shen Tingyan’s card, and said, “Thank you, Teacher Shen. I’ll perform well and won’t let you down!”
“Yes, good luck for the next round.” Shen Tingyan finished speaking and started to look at the remaining people again.
Xue Xiao’s throat started to dry up.
He bent his elbow, slightly bent the index finger that was pressed against his lips, and subconsciously bit his knuckles.
The friends around him were about to go crazy with anxiety.
Xue Xiao looked at Chang Yun on the stage and then at Shen Tingyan at the mentor’s table.
He saw Shen Tingyan open his mouth.
His teeth stopped gnawing on his finger. The heartbeat in his ears was infinitely amplified as Xue Xiao listened nervously.
The words came out coldly and clearly.
—Chang Yun looked confused.
Xue Xiao and Zhao Dong sighed with relief and were overjoyed.
Shen Tingyan called out Chang Yun’s name!
There was only one invitation card left, and it belonged to Chang Yun!
Under the cheers and applause of the audience, Chang Yun walked forward in a dizzy manner and took Shen Tingyan’s invitation card. “T-Thank you, Teacher Shen. I didn’t expect you to be so optimistic about me…”
This silly sentence caused the audience to laugh. Shen Tingyan also choked.
He glanced at Chang Yun and objectively evaluated, “You acted desperately, but the acting method was still a bit routine. Work hard. If you keep performing like this, you won’t have this chance after the next performance.”
Chang Yun was choked up. He heard the words and suddenly sobered up. “Okay, okay, I will work hard. Thank you, Teacher Shen.”
In the end, the invitation cards were issued. A total of 31 participants had the chance to advance.
Exciting music played, and Jiang Quan’s tone became heavy and soft.
“Then the remaining 19 participants should say goodbye to us here. Do you have anything to say to everyone?”
The microphone was handed to the first participant on the left of the front row.
The long goodbye began.
All his familiar friends stayed. Xue Xiao was finally relieved.
However, looking at the 19 people who were about to leave the field, his mood was also a bit complicated.
They recorded the show together and took classes together. Yesterday, some of them even took him to watch their rehearsals, wanting to refer to his reaction. Their laughter from that time was still in his ears, but in the blink of an eye, parting was just around the corner.
Wang Minghai and Hu Lang stood in the far corner.
Since Fan Xue quit recording, they suddenly became silent and had no sense of existence.
It could be seen that they prepared seriously for this round of the competition, but their performance was still mediocre. It wasn’t known what the two people were thinking at the moment, but both of them kept their heads down.
Zhang Jiaqing stood in the front row. Once he got the microphone, he thought about it and said, “I originally imagined this scene and thought I would’ve cried. But at this moment, it seems that my mood is okay.”
Everyone burst out laughing.
“I had a bad attitude in the first round. I thought that since I had graduated from an acting major and acted in so many dramas, how could the competition still stump me? It turned out that it really stumped me.”
“As I prepared for the second round, I thought that it was because I had a bad attitude in the first round. As long as I become serious now, it shouldn’t be too late—the result is that it is still too late.”
“The entertainment industry is just like any other industry. There is fierce competition. It isn’t impossible to gain a place through opportunistic means, but if you want to stand firmly and for a long time, you still need to fight hard. Then if you really fight, you will find… there are so many people burning themselves desperately. If you fall one step behind, you will have to work a thousand times harder to catch up.”
“I have been eliminated, but I won’t give up on catching up.” Zhang Jiaqing turned his head and smiled at the 31 people still sitting in the participant’s seats. “Even if I am about to change to another battlefield, you are still my competitors.”
Everyone had red eyes as they smiled and cheered him on.
The microphone was handed to the next participant.
He choked up and said, “Even if I am eliminated, I won’t give up on acting. I will continue to run around and play small roles after I leave. I have to thoroughly study acting, or I won’t believe in anything!”
The next participant said, “I am an amateur who has loved acting since I was a child. I just never thought an ordinary person like me could become an actor. Thank you, ‘Studio Superstar’ for giving me the opportunity to try it. After leaving this stage, I might go to the film and television studio to look for opportunities… Brothers and sisters, please protect me when the time comes!”
The audience burst out laughing.
It was already 8 o’clock by the time it finished.
It was over.
The audience left the camp in an orderly manner. The eliminated participants were invited back to their dormitories.
They didn’t have to rush to pack their belongings. The show’s staff planned to give a day off tomorrow to hold a farewell party.
The promoted participants and mentors were invited separately to two other small studios.
Chang Yun sighed. “I’m really tired today.”
“You must be. You were tortured over and over again just now.” Zhao Dong smiled while hooking an arm around his shoulder.
“Don’t mention it. I never thought that Teacher Shen would keep me.”
Jiang Lianlian walked beside Xue Xiao and teased, “Xiao Xiao, you should choose Teacher Shen this time, right?”
Xue Xiao smiled and nodded without hesitation. “Yes!”
On the other hand, Shen Tingyan and the other mentors had already sat down in a separate studio.
A small screen was lowered in front of a wall. The scene in another studio was being aired live. Participants entered one after another.
Su Shijin was still reminiscing about some of the performances just now. She chatted warmly with Guan Ruoying.
They talked about the love scenes directed by Shen Tingyan. Su Shijin said, “…Is there really someone so stupid that they like someone without knowing it, stupidly missing it? Usually, you should be aware of it when your heart is moved!”
Shen Tingyan, who just sat down, felt a pain from his knees. “……”
Guan Ruoying smiled innocently. “Teacher Su, you must not write love scenes in the future. You can’t get this type of subtle point at all!”
The moment Su Shijin heard this, her competitive spirit immediately rose.
“Then I’m going to complain. If I really want to write it, I can write it. Just like Teacher Shen—” Su Shijin muttered, pointing directly at Shen Tingyan. “Teacher Shen, you can direct this play but you might not be able to understand this situation in your life, right? How can a person be so dull?”
“……” Shen Tingyan replied, “Oh, I don’t understand.
Su Shijin looked at him strangely.
An answer was an answer. Why was he suddenly so noble and cold?
Shen Tingyan sat there in a noble and cool manner, watching Xue Xiao chatting and laughing in the other studio as he sat down in the third row. Shen Tingyan thought—
His body reacted one step earlier than his brain, leaving him behind.
The brain was his, and his body was his, so it was him who was alert.
What did the dull male protagonist in the play have to do with him?
Oh, there was no relationship.