In midsummer, the sound of cicadas was heard outside the window.
The air conditioning was turned on in the classroom but it wasn’t very strong. Any small movement would cause sweat to come out.
The teacher’s rehearsal method wasn’t to let the actors read the script together but to pick out the characters one by one.
He said to Jin Xiaochen, “Li Xueming will come first and read the lines.”
“Ah… yes.” Jin Xiaochen was a bit nervous. He hadn’t expected that he would be first.
His eyes found the first line and he read, “What to do? Go down and clean up—”
The moment the first sentence came out, Fan Xue’s group of three sitting by the wall were already smiling faintly.
Xue Xiao and Zhao Dong looked up. Before they could speak, the teacher had already frowned and criticized it. “Are you reciting this? Are you going to go on stage and speak lines like this?”
In the end, Jin Xiaochen was an amateur after all. He had interest in acting but no experience.
Of course, he knew that reading lines wasn’t like reading textbooks when he was a student. It must have tone and the characteristics of the character. However, it was one thing to think about it in his head and another thing to read it aloud.
His face flushed and he visibly became more nervous to the naked eye.
“Do it all over again!” The teacher said sternly.
Jin Xiaochen squeezed the script tightly. His joints turned white and his voice lowered. “What to do? Go down and clean up!”
“Who are you reading to? Why read so quietly?”
The teacher put down the script and took a deep breath. “I know you are an amateur but the show won’t pick people who don’t know how to act at all to come to this show, right? How did you pass the audition in the first place?”
Jin Xiaochen’s breathing rhythm became tight and his Adam’s apple moved. “I-I’ll do it again!”
This time, his voice tightened a lot. Even he could tell it was wrong when he heard it.
Xue Xiao suddenly spoke up. “Teacher, why don’t you let me read the lines of the assistant actor? After all, this is the first time for Xiao Jin and I can help give him the feeling.”
The rehearsal method of reading their own character’s lines alone, regardless of the other characters’ lines, required actors to have strong concentration and imagination. Many people in the industry might not be able to adapt. The group just now also found it very difficult, let alone Jin Xiaochen.
The teacher’s eyes swept over Xue Xiao in a heavy manner. He seemed a bit displeased with the interjection but in order to not waste more time, he nodded impatiently and signaled with his chin for them to hurry up and start over.
Xue Xiao raised the script and faced Jin Xiaochen.
Before he started to read the lines, he cocked his head slightly and looked for Jin Xiaochen’s gaze.
After finding it, Xue Xiao looked at this person and said in a very gentle tone, “Xiao Jin, no matter how well the lines are read or not, don’t let your voice go low, okay?”
Jin Xiaochen was sweating. He pursed his lips and nodded.
“The feeling of reading aloud and reading in a low voice is completely different.” Xue Xiao saw Jin Xiaochen wipe the sweat on his forehead and knew that he was adjusting his state. Xue Xiao said, “Don’t be nervous. The teacher’s words are actually right. The show won’t select participants without skills. If they chose you, they must’ve seen your potential. You can do well.”
“Okay. Let’s get started, Captain Li.”
After saying the last word, the expression on Xue Xiao’s face changed.
Zhao Dong, who was watching from the side, was stunned and the teacher was also stunned.
Not far away, the three people sitting against the war were still idly drinking water and flipping through the script. They didn’t notice that Xue Xiao entered the role very quickly.
This type of quickness wasn’t the face-changing in Sichuan opera but in an instant, the temperament of his entire body had changed greatly.
His well-behaved and gentle appearance faded away. his eyes became depressed with annoyance and anger intertwined in it. His tone also became weary.
He glanced down to the right and sighed. There was a bit of anger in his words. “Captain Li, what should I do now?”
This was the line that Li Xueming’s subordinate in the script said after looking at the corpse of the kidnapper.
Jin Xiaochen’s reaction was more exaggerated than that of the teacher and Zhao Dong. He was directly stupid.
It was one thing to see the finished actors in the movie theater. It was quite another thing to watch an actor enter the act in front of him up close. It was too shocking.
Jin Xiaochen’s stupidity quickly broke the atmosphere created by Xue Xiao. The teacher frowned and wanted to scold him, but Xue Xiao was a step ahead of him. He turned around and asked Jin Xiaochen in a puzzled manner. “Captain Li? What are you doing stupidly? Our brothers are waiting for you to speak!”
Jin Xiaochen seemed to wake up from a dream.
He instinctively turned his head and thought about what tone he should use to say the next line.
What type of personality was Li Xueming? How did the big shot act in the movie?
In just two or three seconds, Jin Xiaochen quickly recalled the appearance of Li Xueming in this movie.
Once he thought the serial murderer just died like this, Li Xueming was more annoyed and defeated than everyone else. However, he was a man with an extremely efficient work ethic and a capable personality. His personality prevented him from being too immersed in emotions.
Therefore, he hung his head and cocked his head. His voice was low and rough. “What to do? Go down and clean up!”
Zhao Dong quietly sighed with relief and looked at the teacher on the side.
The teacher closed his mouth and his expression had softened slightly.
Jin Xiaochen’s expression still wasn’t quite right but at least the tone of the character had come out.
After that, there was a long period of actions without Li Xueming’s lines.
Li Xueming’s subordinates all went downstairs. Reporter Zhang Yang came over, handed him a cigarette and said, “I’ll go over there and take a look at Chen Tao.”
Li Xueming kept staring at the kidnapper’s body without moving or reacting. Zhang Yang shook his head, inserted the cigarette directly between his fingers and turned to Chen Tao, who was still tied up behind him.
In front and behind him, everyone was moving. Only Li Xueming was silent.
For a moment, his mind seemed to become wooden.
He stared at the twisted corpse underneath him, not knowing what he wanted to see from this corpse. He just stared hard, staring in silence for a long time.
This was until a certain moment when he suddenly noticed the expression on the corpse’s face.
The bloodstained face stayed at the most terrifying moment of collapse.
Something crossed his mind.
Jin Xiaochen’s brow naturally furrowed and he said, “It isn’t quite right.”
As he uttered the line, in the script, Li Xueming’s subordinates also found clues from the corpse and rushed up.
Hearing the captain’s words, his subordinate gasped and stood still, shouting, “Captain!”
Jin Xiaochen said Li Xueming’s lines without pausing this time.
This paragraph was Li Xueming’s reasoning and analysis. The lines were particularly long but Jin Xiaochen spoke very smoothly.
His tone was urgent and his expression was solemn and thoughtful. This was exactly the demeanor and tone of a person who caught the tail of a flashing clue at a critical moment.
The teacher’s expression softened a lot. He picked up the script, looked at it and nodded. Once Jin Xiaochen finished reading these lines, he said, “Okay, you have to pay attention to this part. Li Xueming is only 27 years old and hasn’t been in this leadership position for a long time, but he was born a very stable person. This was why he was promoted to this position at a young age.”
“He is steady, powerful and very secure. You must grasp this feeling when performing this character. Read the lines more clearly and neatly. The movements must not hesitate.
Jin Xiaochen listened carefully and tried to re-read the lines just now, matching the expressions and movements. He felt it was indeed more accurate.
It took more than an hour to figure out the role of Li Xueming. Xue Xiao and Zhao Dong stayed on the sidelines without interjecting.
Jin Xiaochen’s concentration had already been raised without the need for Xue Xiao to help read the assistant’s lines.
Xue Xiao flipped through the script.
In the beginning, the teacher said he would adjust the acting method of their group. But at present, it seemed that the performance of Li Xueming’s role hadn’t been adjusted much.
Were the changes all in Zhang Yang and Chen Tao?
Just thinking about it, the teacher finally finished Jin Xiaochen’s lesson. After reminding him to go back and practice more, he called out loudly, “Zhang Yang.”
Xue Xiao looked up. “It is me.”
“Try to read a few lines first.”
Xue Xiao nodded and started with the first line that belonged to Zhang Yang.
Different from the chagrin and frustration of the police, he was a reporter who only wanted to catch the news. On the surface, Zhang Yang’s demeanor was mostly relaxed after experiencing a thrilling kidnapping case.
He gave Li Xueming a cigarette and said in a relaxed and tired tone, “I’ll go over there to see Chen Tao.”
“Stop.” The teacher interrupted him directly.
“You don’t have to play Zhang Yang’s role exactly the same as in the movie. You also know that the age difference between you and the character in the original work is obvious. Now you are a relatively young reporter and you can be more aggressive and energetic than the original work.”
The change came.
Xue Xiao raised his eyes to look at the teacher.
Before he could speak, the teacher suddenly continued quickly, “I know you must have questions in your heart. The actor in the other group playing Zhang Yang happens to be in his 20s. Why do you have to change the acting style of the character? It is just like I said before. The performances of the two groups should be differentiated or the audience will be very tired after watching it.”
“Secondly, you should’ve also tried it and realized it yourself. This type of acting from the original work isn’t very suitable for you. The feeling you give isn’t as suitable as Xiao Wang of the other group.”
Xue Xiao: “……”
Xue Xiao originally listened very carefully.
The role of Zhang Yang didn’t lie in his age. This was why he could try to challenge it even if there was a slight difference in age.
He could perform the maturity of being nearly 30 years old through the acting method of the original work and he could also adjust the age sense of the character itself.
How the other group performed had nothing to do with him. The matter of whether it should be separated deliberately to avoid the audience’s visual fatigue wasn’t his focus. His focus was on how to perform in the most accurate and appropriate way.
The teacher’s adjustment direction was actually similar to what he expected.
It was more natural to directly transform into a young reporter. Of course, in order to prevent the audience from feeling too much separate from the original work, this adjustment of age couldn’t be too exaggerated or it might be a ‘magical change.’
Could it be said that he didn’t fit as well as the actor of the other group when using the original acting method?
Xue Xiao held back his energy and carefully recalled his own acting just now. The performance of Xiao Wang in the other group was almost like a grandfather who strayed into the scene of a police case.
He raised his head and asked very seriously, “Is there?”