Chapter 26: Buying Tickets / Votes
They started shooting early the next day. The five actors, including Yan Mu Lin, were arranged to stay at a hotel in Pi Ying City. Names of hotels here usually had ancient qualities.
Shadow plays in Pi Ying City attracted tourists from all corners of the country. Major shadow theaters were usually full every day. Theaters with modern plays were hard to find so some people would come early, while others would buy tickets online at night.
The director of 《Who has That Good Voice?》 was a smart person. As a selling point of the program, he had combined both modern and ancient art.
Pi Ying City preserved their original streets. There were various shadow puppets that were made by rising stars, that you could buy to display or to play with, and even a variety of snacks. Melon seeds, candy, tea, and water. Everything you needed was available. There was nothing you couldn’t buy.
The team was at a hotel a kilometer away from Liuli Pavilion.
One could experience Pi Ying City just from the hotel’s service and private rooms. This caused Yan Mu Lin, a “country bumpkin”, to experience this world’s culture for himself. The interesting room, the tasty breakfast, and even the way that the tea shop’s waiter had poured the tea, they all had their own characteristics.
This place and everything he had experienced inside a film city in his past life, were completely different. The simpleness here was particularly special. He went out to eat midnight snacks with his assistant last night and found beautiful women wearing traditional Han dresses everywhere. They were using it as daily wear and were not deliberately wearing it for a program. It was a tradition for them, and it made Yan Mu Lin want to buy a set of Han clothes and wear them. He had also wanted to feel that sort of excitement and pride.
Yan Mu Lin slept well last night. He would always get up early in the morning to jog, but decided not to do so today. After he washed and stretched, he saw two elderly people in the backyard doing Taiji. Yan Mu Lin was interested, so he ran over and copied their movements. It showed that he wanted to learn.
The cameraman had been following Yan Mu Lin from the start, so he had filmed the 30-minute Taiji exercise. When Director Teng Jian Ren passed by, he could not help but look again. He commanded the cameraman through a headset to follow Yan Mu Lin and continue to discover more of his skills.
With just one day of contact, Teng Jian Ren understood why Fang Yi Yuan tried his best to send Yan Mu Lin to this program. The latter even emphasized that this newcomer would surprise him again and again.
Unsurprisingly, Yan Mu Lin got up the earliest. After exercising, he returned to wash up. When he came out, he saw Tian Zhen Yang. The latter thought that he was the first one to get up and felt calm. Yan Mu Lin did not plan to compete and ask him who got up earlier.
Tang Wen Hao had always been famous for his diligence, so he did not expect for there to be two people awake earlier than him.
It was easy to accept that Tian Zhen Yang was earlier, as he was a senior who was particularly serious about voice acting, but Yan Mu Lin once again showed that he was great, which made Tang Wen Hao felt crisis.
The three men all had their plans, but on the surface, they showed the image of a peaceful group eating breakfast. They were all men so not a lot of words were exchanged.
When they were almost done eating, Lu Zhong Ting yawned as he walked down. Seeing everyone in a group, Lu Zhong Ting went to the place next to Yan Mu Lin and pulled the chair. After he ordered his breakfast, he used his thumb to support his chin. With a smile that was not a smile, he asked Yan Mu Lin: “Mu Lin, have you ever studied shadow puppetry before?”
Yan Mu Lin smiled, “I know a bit, then Master Bian taught me yesterday.”
Tian Zhen Yang drank his soy milk and said with a smile, “I was also like you, you know. When I was sixteen, I was an apprentice that was skilled enough to create a good shadow puppet. Now, I am not as young as you are. I’m definitely growing old.”
Tang Wen Hao said, “Senior Tian, you aren’t old ah.”
Tian Zhen Yang laughed and said, “If we were in ancient times, my children should be the same age as you. You have to call me uncle, or even great-uncle.”
The four people were very amused. If they thought about the beliefs in ancient times, this was truly possible.
Only when Lu Zhong Ting had finished his breakfast and drank a cup of tea did Tao Bai Chen got up. He still looked sleepy when he came out. Although his makeup artist already put makeup on him, he still looked tired. Heaven knows what he did last night.
《Who Has That Good Voice》’s first episode only required the morning footage. At night, the stars could do whatever they wanted. In their contract, it was written there that it would only be based on the arrangement of the program team. There would be day and night shooting. It was also possible for them to only shoot in the day, or only shoot in the night. In short, the actors were required to be ready at all times.
The shooting for the next episode had started as soon as they got up. The crew and the theater decided for them to start at 9 in the morning. The five actors only had one day to practice for their drama and to also calculate the time. Their learning time was really short.
They had to study how to perform the shadow play. More importantly, they had to cooperate with a team. Yesterday’s rankings were used to decide when they were going to perform. The first one was Tao Bai Chen. He wanted to prove himself to everyone else. Even if he just got out of bed, he would have to be better than the others. He had to show his talents tonight!
The team that made the shadow puppets were not the same team that would perform. Before starting to learn, Yan Mu Lin and the others had to go around and choose the team that they wanted. Each team had their own characteristics. If they accidentally chose a modern team, then they would be in trouble. Trouble was what the program team wanted to see the most. They wanted to see the stars anxious and fight amongst themselves while choosing a team.
The rules of the game were: Each actor had to enter a small black room prepared by the program team. The program team would then give photos of eight kinds of animals. The actors must then perform their sounds within the prescribed time. The children invited by the theater would have to guess the sounds. The actor that received the most correct guesses would be the winner and would be the first to pick their team.
At this time, the stars did not know each other’s drama. Although they could guess, there was no sense in doing so. There were too many plays given to them. For example, 《Romance of the Three Kingdoms》, even if you guessed correctly, there were more than 10 to 20 excerpts to choose from. Rather than guessing the others’ play, it was better to try to choose the best team for yourself.
However, it was only the majority that thought like this. Tao Bai Chen, who was accustomed to being in reality shows, variety shows, and the Internet, did not think so. He felt that he should take the drama team that another member wanted. After that, the other person would not get the assistance that they would need and would surely lose. This way, he wouldn’t be the last again.
Yan Mu Lin, who became Tao Bai Chen’s enemy in his mind, was paid close attention to yesterday. After the group of shadows Yan Mu Lin that made was shown, Tao Bai Chen wrote down their form and movements. The whole night, he and his agent tried to roughly guess the drama Yan Mu Lin will perform. As long as he won against Yan Mu Lin in the morning game, he would have the opportunity to take away the team the other party wanted.
He previously had a video taken of him mimicking the sound of animals, and it became a hot topic on Weibo. He did not believe that he would not win today.
The morning game’s results were something that no one would have imagined. Tao Bai Chen arrogantly chose a team that was skilled in Jiangzhe Style. Yan Mu Lin was silent, but still calmly congratulated Tao Bai Chen for getting first place. Tao Bai Chen said in his heart: Little guy, look at you pretend now. Prepare to be defeated by me in the evening.
In addition to Yan Mu Lin, Tian Zhen Yang, Lu Zhong Ting, and Tang Wen Hao all chose the teams that would meet what they needed. However, Yan Mu Lin truly left everyone cheerlessly. Was he greatly disappointed and remorseful?
Of course not.