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Studio Superstar: Chapter 62

The next day, rehearsals officially began.

The role of Zhao Wenlei, played by Chang Yun, was a very neurotic man.

He was sneaky, talkative and easily frightened. Due to years of insomnia, his complexion was sallow and his eyes dark. His hands were shaking when he first appeared.

Shen Tingyan pointed out that Chang Yun’s biggest problem was that ‘the reaction is too deliberate.’

He just stood there with his arms crossed, watching Chang Yun and Xue Xiao act. From time to time, he would open his lips to say, “Restrain it.”

“Restrain it a bit more.”

“More.”

It wasn’t until Chang Yun had reduced the intensity by one-tenth of the original strength that Shen Tingyan stopped speaking.

Shen Tingyan’s guidance method was very rational. He didn’t talk much. He directly said how to act if the problem could be solved with acting skills. If they needed further understanding of the characters and plot, he directly told them what to do to gain a deeper understanding.

This teaching method didn’t turn actors into ‘giant babies’ who couldn’t think for themselves.

On the contrary, they learned how to perform more appropriately and as quickly as possible, so the students progressed very quickly. They might even suddenly become enlightened during this high-speed learning. The rehearsal efficiency of the entire group would also be greatly improved.

Halfway through, Shen Tingyan interrupted the two of them and said to Chang Yun, “The rhythm of your performance here is always wrong.”

The way this story was presented was very special.

The two characters played by Xue Xiao and Chang Yun were sitting at a table by the window of the cafe and talking to each other throughout the whole process.

The entire story, which lasted for over ten minutes, was all driven by their ‘dialogue.’ It was a great test of the actors’ acting skills.

In the plot pointed out by Shen Tingyan, Zhao Wenlei looked diagonally behind Zheng Nian as he spoke. At this moment, a very frightened look appeared on his face.

His whole body tensed up. He tightened his grip, retracted his gaze, lowered his voice and spoke in a slightly trembling tone, “It is behind you now… just 10 meters behind you!”

Shen Tingyan calmly pointed out, “Zhao Wenlei inadvertently looked in that direction, but you acted more like he knew there was something in that place in advance.”

Chang Yun was a bit annoyed. He couldn’t act this part out correctly in several rehearsals.

“Zhao Wenlei is vigilant and sensitive. From the day he discovered that something was wrong in his world, he has been nervously observing his surroundings. This move was deliberate for him at first, but it later became a habit. The body’s conditioned reflex.”

Shen Tingyan suggested, “If you can’t find the feeling, try to develop this habit for a short period of time. It doesn’t take long for a habit to form. Seven days is enough.”

Once the character’s habits became the actor’s habits, they would naturally feel this awkward when acting.

Of course, once their acting experience increased in the future, there was no need to work so hard to grasp the details when acting this type of character again.

Chang Yun hurriedly said, “Okay!”

As for Zhang Nian played by Xue Xiao—

“Your body is too stiff when changing states.” Shen Tingyan put down the script and walked behind Xue Xiao.

He lifted Xue Xiao’s arm up and started to teach him some movements to relax his body while performing. He whispered, “From now on, do this set of movements before the start of rehearsals every day. Wait until your body reaches the most relaxed state before starting.”

Xue Xiao nodded quickly. “Okay.”

Once the arms were relaxed, relax the neck.

Once the neck was relaxed, relax the waist.

Xue Xiao obediently let Shen Tingyan fiddle with him and followed the guidance to bend forward.

His body was flexible and surprisingly soft. His fingertips could easily touch the ground.

Shen Tingyan pressed on his lower back with a touch that wasn’t gentle or hard. His eyes lingered on the young man’s neck and the cute tips of his hair that fell and swayed. This made his Adam’s apple move slightly.

Shen Tingyan moved his palms in front of Xue Xiao and raised them. Shen Tingyan calmly said to the other four students in the classroom, “You can try this set of actions before acting in the future. Relaxing your body will be good for your acting.”

“Yes!”

Xue Xiao straightened up. His cheeks turned red due to accelerated blood circulation. He turned his head and opened his beautiful and bright apricot-shaped eyes. He asked curiously, “…What else?”

Shen Tingyan: “……”

He took a step back, crossed his arms over his chest and said, “The school’s physical education teachers should’ve taught some warm-up exercises, right?”

“Yes!”

Xue Xiao did it seriously.

Shen Tingyan leaned back against the podium. He stood casually and just looked at Xue Xiao.

In the other corners of the classroom, each student was focused on their character and story. No one noticed them for the time being.

For a moment, Shen Tingyan was a bit distracted.

Maybe it was because the scene was so beautiful at this moment.

Or perhaps it was because at this moment, Xue Xiao was right in front of him. This little guy could act peacefully and do what he loved most without being disturbed by any annoying things.

Shen Tingyan rarely had the idea of wanting to protect a person.

Let alone protecting a man, he had never thought about such a thing in the past.

But now, he found it so ridiculous that he even wanted to put Xue Xiao into the greenhouse to nourish him like a flower.

…However, this type of thing wasn’t what the little lightbulb would want.

The corners of Shen Tingyan’s lips twitched.

He forced himself to concentrate on things in the moment.

Xue Xiao moved his body seriously and heard Shen Tingyan say, “Zheng Nian’s role is very special. You have to take care of the other three invisible characters while acting him. The character biography has been written, but have you written the biographies for the other three people?”

Xue Xiao was stunned. He stopped before saying, “No… I only wrote about Zheng Nian.”

After being reminded by Shen Tingyan like this, Xue Xiao suddenly came to his senses. Yes, he should’ve written the biographies of the other three characters!

From the rehearsal to now, Shen Tingyan hadn’t pointed out too many problems with him but Xue Xiao himself had been having a hard time acting.

He simply thought that the character of Zheng Nian was too difficult to interpret. Then if he thought about it carefully, wasn’t a large crux of the problem lie in the fact that the other three people in this story couldn’t be seen?

Shen Tingyan must’ve seen it, which was why he mentioned this matter…

Xue Xiao said seriously, “I’ll write it when I go back tonight!”

“Yes, straighten out the storylines and timelines of Zheng Nian and those three people,” Shen Tingyan said. “Do you feel that there are any other problems?”

Xue Xiao thought about it while moving. Then he hesitantly said, “I’m still a bit unsure about the depression of the character Zheng Nian.”

Unlike the severely depressed patient played by Gu Ling in ‘Spring Garden’, Zheng Nian’s problem wasn’t only depression.

His inner world was like a lump of mud. It was very dark and muddy. However, the side he showed to the outside world was very pure and innocent. This extreme contrast squeezed the character to the most tense state.

Xue Xiao was able to control this character well through careful control. However, he felt confused about how to control it more freely.

Xue Xiao straightened up, took a breath and hesitated. “I’m thinking about…”

He instinctively grasped his right wrist.

Zheng Nian had self-harmed, and he still had scars on his wrist that he had cut one after another over the years.

When he cut his wrist again and again, his mental world also underwent abnormal changes. These changes created the dramatic conflict points of this play.

From yesterday to now, Xue Xiao had stared at his wrists several times. He tried to imagine Zheng Nian’s mental state when he was harming himself, but he had never been able to imagine it. He was thinking about whether he could try to get closer to the character…

Shen Tingyan noticed his actions and instantly realized what he was thinking. His expression changed and he suddenly turned cold. “Do you want to imitate Zhang Nian and cut yourself on the wrist several times?”

Xue Xiao also knew that this was a bit too much, but—

After hesitating for a moment, he said, “I want to give it a try. I have a sense of proportion. It is impossible to really harm myself.”

In the second half of the sentence, he looked cautiously at Shen Tingyan.

Shen Tingyan stared at him. “Measured? If you still feel that it isn’t enough, what are you going to do? Go a bit deeper? As long as there are no real problems, it is measured.”

“From the moment you start trying to understand characters in this way, your sense of proportion is already disintegrating step by step.”

Xue Xiao pursed his lip and frowned. It wasn’t because he was stubborn. He was just suddenly a bit confused.

He plucked up the courage to ask, “…But sometimes in order to act well, actors have to make some sacrifices, don’t they? Some actors will drink alcohol every day for a month before filming starts, in order to play an alcoholic well. Some actors will gain or lose weight in order to get closer to the role. When I was preparing for Spring Garden, I went hungry for the role of Lu Yu and you didn’t say anything, Teacher Shen.”

“Is starvation the same as self-harm?”

“…Gaining and losing weight is also harmful to your body!”

The quarrel between the two people slowly attracted the attention of the other four students. They stopped and looked over.

Shen Tingyan’s cold face was very scary and the four students were a bit frightened. However, Xue Xiao had the courage to continue the quarrel, as if he had automatically put on the ‘Shen Tingyan cold face filter.’

He said, “…In order to make the play more realistic, don’t some actors ask the other party to really hit them?”

Shen Tingyan wondered, “Then have you ever seen someone ask a rival actor to really stab them?”

“…Is stabbing someone the same as hitting someone?”

“So you know that it is different?”

Xue Xiao: “……”

Xue Xiao just got the idea. He felt that he could completely control the force just by scratching his wrist. But when Shen Tingyan said this, he seemed to suddenly wake up.

Shen Tingyan said with a calm face, “In the past, there were actors who ruined their lives while preparing for a script and could only lie in bed for the rest of their lives. Their original intention was the same as yours, to understand and get close to the characters. Do you think this person didn’t have a sense of measure in the beginning?”

Xue Xiao shut up.

“It isn’t impossible to make some sacrifices to get close to the character, but this ‘sense of measure’ isn’t about the depth of what you do, but about knowing what you can do and what you can’t.”

Seeing that Xue Xiao gradually showed a look of annoyance, Shen Tingyan paused and his tone softened.

“It isn’t a bad thing for actors to work hard for acting, but they need to have a bottom line.”

“If you still can’t tell the difference, ask the director. The director will tell you if they need you to do that.”

“Even though your thoughts are disproportionate, it is good that you can ask this question today,” Shen Tingyan explained in a low voice. “I wasn’t scolding you just now.”

Xue Xiao hurriedly said, “…I know.”

The two of them stared at each other silently. The four students behind them didn’t dare to breathe out of worry.

Was this the end of the quarrel?

Shen Tingyan opened his mouth again to say, “…As for the problem you mentioned, you can go to the Internet to find some relevant picture materials. Don’t underestimate the impact of pictures. Many bystanders of violent incidents and accidents need psychological counseling. Only then can they recover. So even if you are searching for relevant information, you must pay attention to propriety.”

Speaking of this, Shen Tingyan suddenly turned to Chang Yun, who was as quiet as a chicken. He said, “Chang Yun, after you and Xue Xiao have finished rehearsing these days, you will go to the empty classroom next to me to talk. Everyone will have ten minutes.”

When acting in this type of drama with great psychological impact, the actor could easily have psychological problems.

He wanted to make sure that the two of them didn’t get sick after the play.

Chang Yun nodded like he was pounding garlic. “Oh… good!”

After he finished speaking, Shen Tingyan lowered his head to look at Xue Xiao again.

The young man seemed to be much calmer now. He was taking notes carefully on the script with a very serious face.

It was probably because he fully realized how stupid his idea was just now. There was still a trace of regret on his face.

Shen Tingyan’s tone was even softer. “…Do you have any questions?”

Xue Xiao stopped writing. He was silent for a few seconds before nodding. “Yes.”

Shen Tingyan patiently asked, “What is it?”

Xue Xiao looked up and said abruptly, “Teacher Shen, you haven’t smiled much recently.”

The four participants behind them gasped.

Shen Tingyan froze.

He hadn’t expected Xue Xiao to suddenly say this sentence.

Xue Xiao had actually been concerned about it for several days.

It was true that Shen Tingyan wasn’t a person who liked to smile in the past. Every time he appeared in public, this man always had no expression on his face.

He was said to be the flower of the high mountains because he felt cold enough.

But in front of Xue Xiao before, Shen Tingyan often smiled.

Xue Xiao wasn’t used to Shen Tingyan like this. He felt that the change had happened since the end of the third round.

Obviously, he made people happy at that time, but Shen Tingyan was very weird after that.

He put down his pen, pursed his lips and asked softly, “Teacher Shen, is there anything I can do?”

What did it take to make this man happy again?

Shen Tingyan looked at him with complicated eyes.

Everyone else stared at them both in a deathly silence.

Was Teacher Shen in a bad mood? Was there something like this? How did Xue Xiao figure it out? How dare he ask? God, ahhhhh!

After a moment, Shen Tingyan closed his eyes and laughed.

He admitted that he had been in a bad mood due to several things these days, but he always thought that after the night of the third round, the little light bulb wouldn’t notice any longer.

He thought he had covered it up well.

Unexpectedly, this guy saw through everything clearly.

How can I make you happy?

It was the first time Shen Tingyan had heard someone ask him such a question.

He slowly opened his eyes and thought in an amused manner, ‘Only the little light bulb can ask such a question.’

It was amazing.

It was as if someone had unexpectedly untied the rope. The heavy sand accumulated in the balloon instantly flowed out of the hole and completely discharged.

His entire body suddenly relaxed.

Shen Tingyan decided to learn from this guy’s style and be honest.

He raised his hand and covered the lavalier microphone.

Xue Xiao realized that Shen Tingyan wanted to ‘whisper’, so he quickly covered his microphone and approached.

Then he heard the man in front of him say in a voice so soft that only the two of them could hear. “Xue Xiao, I am very happy now.”

Xue Xiao was stunned.

Right now?

Shen Tingyan said, “I mean, when you care about me.”

Xue Xiao was dumbfounded.

…Was that all? Was this enough?

Shen Tingyan said, “But if you want to make me even happier, there are still some things you can do.”

Xue Xiao’s mind returned and he hurriedly said, “What is it?”

He listened carefully, never expecting that Shen Tingyan would softly say, “Take care of yourself, protect yourself, and live a healthy and happy life every day.”

Xue Xiao froze again.

At this moment, the color of Shen Tingyan’s narrowed eyes was so deep that his heart trembled slightly.

The voice that was always full of coldness was now dyed with a softness that others couldn’t see.

“If you have any problems or difficulties, just tell the people around you. You can also come to me at any time. Don’t keep your troubles to yourself. Xue Xiao, you just need to live happily—”

“Then I will be happy. Do you understand?”

Comment

  1. clozed says:

    that’s basically a confession!! 🤣🤣

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