Chapter 25: Shadow Play
There were cameras everywhere in the hall, so even if you could not catch the actors’ facial expressions, you could still be a cameraman here. Each actor had a matching cameraman. Yan Mu Lin was being followed by a strong cameraman, who was slightly tall and sturdy. Yan Mu Lin admired his figure.
Under the director’s command, the five of them read their lines. They were asked for a 100% accuracy. For ordinary people, they would consider this difficult, but professional voice actors practice this kind of thing every day, so they were already familiar with it. That’s right, professional voice actors have done this earlier, so they would inevitably be familiar with 《The Imperial Feast List》 and 《The Geographical Map》.
Among the five people, only half of them were professional voice actors. The oldest was Tian Zhen Yang, who have already graduated. Followed by Tang Wen Hao who have also graduated. Yan Mu Lin could still be regarded as half a student. Both Lu Zhong Ting, and Tao Bai Chen were in graduate school. However, they should not be underestimated. Their status today was probably due to a bit of their skills.
Yan Mu Lin did not dare look down on anyone. He seriously did his task.
On the first day of shooting, it was not only Yan Mu Lin who did not dare have contempt on the other people. His co-actors also had the same idea. At the beginning of the first mission, they all strive to meet the requirements of the crew or else they would not reach the next round, nor did they want to be the last one. When the show was aired, first impressions to the audience would be very important. This was the key to gaining fans.
Everyone thought I haven’t stopped reading, how would I be graded!
As the eldest, Tian Zhen Yang started first, he got 《The Geographical Map》. He took a deep breath and exhaled: “Rushing to the Northern Pass, walking to Hebei Street, Crimson Bridge, Yang Village, Cai Village, Hexiwu, Anping, the Pier, Zhang Jia Bay, through Tongzhou Bali Bridge, into Beijing Chaoyangmen, out at Beijing Deshengmen. Into Qinghe, Shahe….”
After Tian Zhen Yang started, Lu Zhong Ting had also opened his mouth. It was also 《The Geographical Map》: “Rushing to the Northern Pass, walking to Hebei Street, Crimson Bridge, Yang Village, Cai Village, Hexiwu, Anping, the Pier, Zhang Jia Bay, through Tongzhou Bali Bridge, into Beijing Chaoyangmen, out at Beijing Deshengmen. Into Qinghe, Shahe….”
Tao Bei Chen’s was 《The Imperial Feast List》: “Steamed lamb, steamed bear’s paw, steamed deer’s tail, roast duck, roast chicken, roast green goose, stewed pig, stewed chicken, preserved ham, preserved egg, dried ham, sausage, assorted vegetables….”
Yan Mu Lin also began, he had the same as Tao Bei Chen. 《The Imperial Feast List》: “Steamed lamb, steamed bear’s paw, steamed deer’s tail, roast duck, roast chicken, roast green goose, stewed pig, stewed chicken, preserved ham, preserved egg, dried ham, sausage, assorted vegetables….”
Tang Wen Hao also had to recite 《The Geographical Map》: “Rushing to the Northern Pass, walking to Hebei Street, Crimson Bridge, Yang Village, Cai Village, Hexiwu, Anping, the Pier, Zhang Jia Bay, through Tongzhou Bali Bridge, into Beijing Chaoyangmen, out at Beijing Deshengmen. Into Qinghe, Shahe….”
Perhaps it was because of the machine that was too strict and rigid, but no one received the 100% accuracy rate on the first round. The highest was Tang Wen Hao who received 95%. The remaining others: Yan Mu Lin was 94% and lost to Tang Wen Hao by a percent. Tian Zhen Yang got 92%, Lu Zhong Ting 91%, and Tao Bei Chen got 88%.
After the scores of the first round came out, everyone looked at each other in dismay.
Tang Wen Hao was very dissatisfied with his score, but still smiled: “I think I will buy one of these machines when I get home.”
Tian Zhen Yang also said, “It seems to be quite useful.”
Lu Zhong Ting touched his chin, “I can only conquer it with my charms.”
Yan Mu Lin said, “Shall we continue?”
Tao Bai Chen’s score was the last, so his mood was somewhat down. He maintained a superficial smile. He knew the other seniors could compare with him, but Yan Mu Lin was a newcomer. He had to suppress him; he did not want to be at the bottom.
Tian Zhen Yang and the others said they still wanted to continue, so naturally, Yan Mu Lin had to continue. He thought about where he had gone wrong and started over. Continue to proceed to the next round, continue, don’t waste time!
The five actors all tried their best to get the praise of the machine. The final results were: the first to pass the test was Tang Wen Hao, who have been far ahead. He succeeded on his third try. Yan Mu Lin was the second, and he also succeeded on his third try, but he was a little slower. Tian Zhen Yang and Lu Zhong Ting tied for third place. The two men had to do it five times before reaching the standard. Tao Bai Chen was still the last. He spent the longest time, repeating it seven times before passing. Fortunately, he had passed, or else he would have to give up on this program, since the first level was too difficult.
The staff then led the successful actors into a limousine that was waiting for them. The director then explained the next task in the car which was also the focus of their first episode.
Their next destination was Pi Ying City, which was the city where most shadow play performers gather. There were centuries-old shadow theaters. Different shadow theaters had different styles. There were shadow theaters that had modern dramas, shadow theaters with modern and ancient dramas, and shadow theaters with only ancient dramas.
The program group chose the theater with the oldest heritage and the most ancient drama in Pi Ying City. It had an elegant name, Liuli Pavilion. It was said that the owner’s ancestor was a genius. While developing his family’s shadow play, he also did not forget to fool around in the brothel. The ending was naturally the happy life of the two after experiencing twists and turns. It was fairytale like. Later, the wife of the genius got sick and died. The genius ancestor got extremely sad. To commemorate his wife, they renamed the shadow theater to Liuli Pavilion.
When Yan Mu Lin arrived at the Liuli Pavillion, an old man with a stern face and a goatee on his chin greeted him. The director gave him a brief introduction: “This person is the shadow master of Liuli Pavilion, Bian Hai Feng. Because you were second place in our competition today, your guide would naturally be Master Bian Hai Feng. You will choose a shadow play to perform tomorrow, and he will teach you how to make a shadow puppet today. They would use the resulting play for tomorrow’s performances.”
Yan Mu Lin’s eyes were bright as he stretched a hand out, “Master Bian, hello.”
Master Bian looked serious. However, if you looked closely, his eyes were filled with disdain, but because of the cameras, he still reached out and shook hands with Yan Mu Lin, “Please come with me,” Why are you so reluctant to take part in the show? Yan Mu Lin was very puzzled.
Here, it could be seen that on those two days, Yan Mu Lin’s tasks were divided into three. First was to learn how to make a shadow puppet, next was to learn how to perform a shadow play, and last, he had to use that shadow puppet to perform on stage.
Shadow play was an ancient traditional art of the Chinese while the old Beijingers called it “Leather Shadow Play”. According to historical records, shadow play began in the Warring States Period and flourished in the Han Dynasty. It was extremely popular during the Song Dynasty and spread to West Asia and Europe during the Yuan dynasty. It could even be said it had a long-established history.
Making shadow puppets and learning how to perform a shadow play was not a simple matter, and this was what the challenge was about. Of course, when this program would be aired, there would be doubts in the audience. What was the relationship between shadow plays and voice acting?
Shadow play was naturally related to voice acting. During a performance, the performer who was behind a white curtain would manipulate the puppets while singing local popular tunes related to the story. Percussion instruments and strings would accompany this. Different regions would have different forms of expression. Just like voice acting, the characters that were played also had different characteristics that needed different forms. Shadow play had lines and performances which was used to attract the audience. These fundamentals were very important, which was why the program team had chosen shadow play as the highlight of the first episode.
First, Yan Mu Lin had to choose which shadow play he would perform. In front of him were 《Three Heroes Battle Lu Bu》, 《Peacock Flying to the Southeast》, 《Tale of the White Snake》, 《Journey to the West》, 《Investiture of the Gods》, etc. Yan Mu Lin did not hesitate and chose 《Peacock Flying to the Southeast》.
Master Bian then said to him: “Have you ever seen the production of a shadow puppet?”
Yan Mu Lin nodded and then smiled modestly, “I only know a bit. That it is made of leather. I wouldn’t dare say anymore.”
That’s right, Yan Mu Lin not only knows, he had also worked in a shadow play group for 4 to 5 years, but because of his dream, he gave up on the shadow troupe. He also had his reasons. He had once offended the head of the troupe and had been suppressed heavily. Every time he advanced, he was swept down. Over time, it discouraged his heart.
It seemed that it was a valuable experience.
…we have a discord server so if you wanna…. talk… then… yes.
(server is filled with food fantasy;; sorry if you expected something else)