ZhouXiang went to the studio to work as usual on Monday. Since he is still in the training stage, he can only do some menial odd tasks in various sets. This kind of work, he had done almost ten years ago. Unexpectedly, he had to start all over again.
When he arrived at the sets, many of his colleagues had already arrived. He heard several girls chatting continuously about something.
“That can't be right? YanMingXiu doesn’t talk much?”
“Yeah, I've never heard him say a word. I was wondering if he was a mute. Could it be that the nice voice in the film was dubbed?"
“Aigh yah, he can talk. He just doesn't like to talk, that's all. He's pretty cool like that.”
“How's that cool? I think that it's too abnormal. Is there such person in the entertainment industry who doesn't laugh or talk? If it wasn't for his family's influential background and his attractive looks, he wouldn't have been popular."
ZhouXiang passed by them and smiled lightly, “Ladies, there are all kinds of people in the entertainment circle. These kinds of words are okay to talk about among friends but don't let other people hear it.”
These girls were stunned. They couldn't understand how a newcomer like ZhouXiang would dare lecture them.
ZhouXiang subconsciously realized that he's no longer a senior. But for a moment, he couldn't hold back.
Although he really can’t help but want to warn these naive girls who don’t seem to understand anything, the bigger reason is that he really didn't want to hear anything about YanMingXiu. Unfortunately, he knew that this was impossible. As long as he's working in the entertainment industry, he will be forced to hear about YanMingXiu's various news.
Fortunately, Ah Liu just came over and eased his embarrassment. Ah Liu glared at them, "Ladies, be nice. How can you say these words so carelessly? Do you know what family the “Yan” from YanMingXiu's surname is from? You need to suffer a bit to know? Hurry up and get to work!"
The girls scattered and each went to do their work.
ZhouXiang helped Lao Zhou move the lighting equipment. As he was moving, he was a bit lost in his thoughts. His mind kept thinking about YanMingXiu’s cold, expressionless face on the big screen.
He really didn’t expect YanMingXiu to become like this. YanMingXiu didn’t seem to have a bit of enthusiasm for this profession. But then…why did he get into it?
“Be careful!” Lao Zhou shouted as he grabbed ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang suddenly regained his senses. His foot mis-stepped and he almost fell down the steps. It didn't matter if he fell, but if he damaged the equipment in his hands, he won't be able to afford it.
Lao Zhou glanced at him condemningly and took the equipment himself, “What's going on? What are you thinking?”
ZhouXiang only smiled apologetically. Following his natural warming personality, he liked to make jokes to alleviate the awkwardness so he blurted out, “I was just thinking about the sweet and sour pork ribs that sister-in-law (T/N) makes.”
T/N: Sister-in-law here is referring to Lao Zhou's wife.
Once these words were spoken, the both of them froze. ZhouXiang can’t wait to punch himself twice. How long is it going to take for him to adapt to this identity change?
But this really can’t be blamed on him. In his memory, he was still that ZhouXiang a month ago. In just a month, he became this current ZhouXiang. He needed to change how he used to speak and his style of doing things. He also needed to pretend that the people he knew before are complete strangers now. Only in doing so, can he be at ease at any time. But when his mind is distracted, this is easier said than done.
Lao Zhou looked at him with widen eyes, “What are you talking about?”
ZhouXiang quickly responded, “Right. Wei Ge told me that. Wei Ge is full of praises for sister-in-law's culinary skills. He mentioned it to me last time.”
Lao Zhou looked at him skeptically, “The last time he went to my home to eat was at least a year or two ago. Oh yeah, ZhouXiang was still here at that time.” After saying that, Lao Zhou looked at him even more suspiciously.
“Yes, yes, Wei Ge said that. I have the same name as that buddy of Wei Ge's who had passed away. That day I called Wei Ge to brief him on my work and said that Zhou Ge (aka Lao Zhou) is especially caring towards me. Just mentioning this, Wei Ge lamented and said that ZhouXiang had a very good relationship with you. They also went to your home to have dinner together, so I just… I was joking with Zhou Ge." ZhouXiang felt that this statement can be justified but he was still so nervous that he was sweating bullets.
Lao Zhou said, "Oh, so that's what it is. If there is a chance later, I'll tell your sister-in-law to make a meal for you guys.”
“Okay, that's a must Zhou Ge.”
After Lao Zhou walked away, ZhouXiang secretly reminded himself that this kind of mistake can never be happen again, absolutely not.
Being busy the entire time from early morning to night, ZhouXiang received a call from CaiWei when he was about to get off work. CaiWei sounded a bit urgent telling him this on the phone, “ZhouXiang, I have a job here, you have to come right away, I think you'll be able to do it.”
“Oh? Now? But I'm not off work yet.”
“Just tell Ah Liu. Take a taxi here. I'll text you the address."
“Oh, okay.” When ZhouXiang heard that he can make more money, all his fatigued from his day of work seems to have been swept away. His entire person immediately felt uplifted. He told Ah Liu and quickly went to the address CaiWei gave him.
When ZhouXiang got to the place and looked around, it was an office building. The floor he went on is rented to a magazine publisher that specializes in martial arts gaming consultation.
When he was taken into a room by a staff, he realized that this room is temporarily used as a dressing room and CaiWei was waiting for him.
CaiWei urged the makeup artist to “Hurry up,” while at the same time press ZhouXiang onto the chair, patting him on the shoulders.
ZhouXiang swept a glance at the person who rushed over to do his make-up. He could already guess what was going on.
CaiWei explained, “There is a game for the first anniversary celebration hosted by this magazine. They want to put a live-action video clip on that day. I think your image is quite matching with a game's character so I called you over.”
ZhouXiang smiled, “Thank you, Wei Ge, I really don’t know how to thank you.”
This kind of video clip can make more money than printed magazines. And once you get into the gaming industry, there will be many opportunities to get work in the future if you perform well. People who are skilled and talented do not need to be promoted. But most people still have to rely on exposure and more social networking to making a living in this niche of work. In those years, CaiWei led him step by step into this field. Right now, CaiWei is once again repeating the same thing that he did before. But the CaiWei now is more capable than before. ZhouXiang is full of expectations for his future.
CaiWei smiled, “No need to thank me. If I can see that you and your mother can have a good life, I will be relieved. It is like this. Listen carefully. There are still a few people auditioning with you this time. Most of them have a bit of martial arts experience so their movements will look more beautiful than yours. You have to calm down a bit. In fact, anyone will be able to do those moves with some practice. You need to focus on the details, don’t compare yourself with them."
ZhouXiang nodded, thinking that even if he was just doing it for show, he won't lose. But he still had to remind himself that he can't perform too well; otherwise he will look too suspicious.
After changing into his costume and having his make-up done, ZhouXiang looked at 'himself' in the mirror. There was always a bit of weirdness in his heart. He always felt that it was not him. In fact, this is really not him, but now he has become one with him (younger ZhouXiang).
CaiWei looked at him approvingly, “Not bad, very handsome but just too thin. Eat more. You don't look good being thin like this.”
“I've gained four to five kilograms (about 8-10 pounds) since I've been discharged from the hospital. After a while, I'll get to my normal weight.” ZhouXiang smiled then turned a circle.
CaiWei paused and dazedly looked at ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang astonishingly asked, “What's wrong?"
CaiWei murmured, “You… turn a circle.”
ZhouXiang turned a circle and could only hear CaiWei sighing softly behind him.
ZhouXiang turned back and asked, “Wei Ge, what's wrong?"
CaiWei smiled forcefully, “Same name…even the back silhouette is quite alike. Fate is really strange.”
ZhouXiang can't help but be stunned, “Are you saying that my back is very similar to your buddy?”
CaiWei felt momentarily pained as he sighed, "Yeah, similar. Before you were too skinny so it was hard to tell, but now with a bit of meat, you look more and more like him. My buddy is almost just like you, but his body is much more firm than yours."
ZhouXiang felt sorrow rising in his heart.
Back silhouette… it's the back silhouette again. If he didn't have a back that is similar to WangYuDong, his fate would have been completely different. Likely he would not have lost his life at the age of the thirty.
CaiWei smiled reluctantly, "Let’s go, I’ll take you over there. Don't worry. They will give me face and will give priority to you. If I didn't have such great assurance, I wouldn't have you rush over here.”
He took ZhouXiang to an office where there are two cameras. There were several people sitting at the table and others dressed up like him standing on the side.
A staff member released a video clip of the game, showing the repeated actions of the game characters for about four to five seconds. Then they were to imitate the actions.
These actions were just a few ordinary kicking and punching kungfu moves. For ZhouXiang, it is extremely simple. He could easily remember it by just looking once or twice.
Other people who came for the audition went on the stage one after the other. Since they came for the audition, they have a bit of confidence. Their movements were not bad, but still far worse than a professional martial arts stuntman like ZhouXiang.
When it was ZhouXiang's turn to be on the stage, he deliberately lowered his performance to make himself look less conspicuous. But he was really eager to get this role so his action sequence was done in one go. Without making the slightest errors, the few judges including CaiWei looked on in shocked.
Though these series of movements are only four to five seconds, it was extremely difficult to make the entire sequence smooth, coherent, and beautiful. ZhouXiang merely look a few times and was able to achieve this level is definitely incredible.
People who don't know those with martial arts background would at most think that ZhouXiang learned his kung-fu moves well. Only CaiWei who knew to some extent of their background knows how amazing that was.
ZhouXiang had never told him that he had learned martial arts. Moreover, even though those few moves were a little rough, the way it was done, is a bit like… like his good buddy who is no longer here.
CaiWei's heart beat rapidly, feeling that there are too many coincidences in this world. Maybe God sent this ZhouXiang to him is so that he could make it up to him (older ZhouXiang).
ZhouXiang succeeded in getting this role easily. Although he would only appear in this short game clip for a little over ten seconds and his face will only appear in a few shots, ZhouXiang is still very happy. His payment from this short game clip is more than ¥10,000.
After the audition, the staff informed him the time of the official filming. CaiWei had to leave ahead of time. After ZhouXiang confirmed the time, he planned on going home.
When he walked to the company's door, someone yelled behind to stop him. He turned to look and saw a woman in her thirties. She was also a judge in the selection panel earlier.
The woman smiled politely, "Greetings, my surname is Zhang, you can call me Zhang Jie (T/N).”
T/N: Jie is older sister or a respectful way to address an older woman.
“Zhang Jie greetings.”
Zhang Jie asked him, “Have you just debuted? I've never seen you before.”
ZhouXiang smiled, “I can't be considered to have debuted. I'm just a handyman for JuXing. Wei Ge takes cares of me, giving me few chances to pick up some private jobs.”
Zhang Jie cordially said, “Come, sit down and have a talk. I was really amazed watching your moves earlier.”
ZhouXiang can vaguely sense something. It's likely she will be introducing him to other work so he followed along her and sat on the couch.
Zhang Jie said bluntly, “Have you ever thought about being a stuntman?”
ZhouXiang is shocked, not knowing how to respond for a moment. Not only have he thought about it, he has been one for six to seven years.
“Your figure is not bad but better if you gain some weight, especially when you turn around, your shoulders, neck, ears, the shape of your head, is very much like this person. Others did not notice this, but I did at a glance.”
ZhouXiang is a little nervous. He didn't know but he had a hint of ominous premonition. He carefully asked, “Who?"
Zhang Jie smiled smugly, “WangYuDong, you must know him?”
End of the Chapter