A drama actress who is approaching middle age is still deeply in the dilemma of gender recognition and identity. Just at this time, the well-known director of the troupe is planning to produce a female version of “Hamlet” – with an actress playing Hamlet. Getting this role has become a strong desire she has never had for a long time. The long-sleeping lion gradually wakes up in her heart, and the storm of love and taboo is coming.
The harsh curtain call light came on suddenly, and the heat of fifteen spotlights burned her face, and she sank into her own Icarus moment once again. The endless applause from the audience pierced into both sides of her shoulder blades, and gently spread out the wax feathers, causing her to rise slowly to face the dazzling sun. She opened her arms with a smile, and bowed to the audience in thanks, first toward the center of the pool seat, then to the left and right sides, and finally to the second-floor balcony. Applause and cheers overwhelmed the exciting curtain call music, and she heard people shouting her name constantly.
Audiences who have never stepped on the stage will not know that under the strong direct light, she cannot see anyone’s face clearly below the stage. Looking at it from her perspective, there was only a whole misty void tumbling with orange light. Years of stage training allowed her to keep her eyes wide open even under the strong light of dozens of lights, radiating all kinds of subtle emotions to the thick darkness below the stage. But still, she couldn’t see any faces clearly. When the show begins, she sees no one but her own characters and her opponents. After the performance, she didn’t need or desire to see anyone. However, everyone who is glanced at by her eyes will think from the bottom of her heart that she is staring at herself. They are not only seen by her, but also stung by her, teased by her, and uniquely cared for by her. Let them be willing to hang the rope of emotion around her fingertips, and follow her to lift up into the air and fall to the bottom of the cliff again and again.
Just when her eyes re-adapted to the stimulation of the curtain call lights, and she was able to see everything below the stage clearly again, she bowed for the last time, and walked slowly backwards towards the side curtain strip, allowing her body to quickly disappear into the darkness of the backstage among. Unlike many actors, she never covets a long-lasting curtain call, and always leaves the stage with interest when the applause of the audience is still full. She will never wait until everyone has exhausted their enthusiasm, but she is too embarrassed to stop clapping because the leading actor has not left the stage. At that time, the applause will gradually become hesitant and persuasive. That kind of situation will only make her feel embarrassed and Indignity. She’s a coaxer and can’t stand being upside down. The fellow actors only think that she is too modest or cautious, she will not tell anyone, only the emptiness that does not see any face can make her feel at ease. With the help of that emptiness, she was able to clean up the heavy skin of the past two hours and return to her own life. Therefore, one must return to the shadows before the void dissipates.
The stage manager waited inside the side curtain as usual, and when he saw her stepping back, he pressed the button to close the curtain. She took a deep breath, her shoulders and back relaxed, and her whole body shrank in an instant. Su Ling once joked with her that she was at least five centimeters taller on stage than usual, not because of the high heels, but because of the breath she held. This tone is at least five centimeters. The costumer walked up behind her, patted her right shoulder to remind him that she was about to change clothes, and then began to untie the laces and buttons on her back, helping her take off the heavy costume. People who have worked with her know that she doesn’t want to talk right after a show, so they just go about their business and don’t talk to her. Like a puppet, she obeyed the silent guidance of the staff, took off her clothes and accessories, took out the small props in her pocket, and then walked back to the dressing room like a puppet.
A pretty good play. Facing the makeup mirror, she tore off the false eyelashes stuck to her eyelids and threw them into the small trash box on the table. She would only allow herself to make a critical assessment each time after a play had been played in its entirety. A decent show, but that’s about it. The script was passable, and the director had some ideas, but something was missing, which always made her feel that it was not strong enough. What is the difference? She took out a cotton pad and dipped it in makeup remover and gently wiped it around her eyes while thinking. In this play, she played a contemporary version of Chang’e, or in other words, the Chang’e who was thousands of years ago, who returned to the world after suffering on the moon for thousands of years. The lines are interesting enough, and a few scenes are even considered humorous. It can be seen that the screenwriter is also trying to explore the deep theme that contemporary women still bear the shackles that women have always carried in history.
But something is wrong. What is wrong? She changed a cotton pad and began to remove the makeup from other parts of her face. After just a few swipes, the cotton pads were all stained, and she had to replace them one by one. She has always disliked wearing heavy makeup. When she was young, she always asked the makeup artist to only apply light makeup to her when she was on stage. But she didn’t know when she started, as long as she didn’t strictly demand it, the makeup artist would use thick foundation and concealer. She is intelligent and sensitive. The makeup artist has not changed, and the stage lighting has not changed, which can only show one thing, that is, she is getting old. Gradually getting old to the point where it will be pierced by the light in an instant without some modification. Hateful lighting. So sharp and so brutal. When the lights are on, everything on the stage is fully exposed, especially the person who is the focus of everyone’s attention under the spotlight.
No one talks about it openly, because there is no need to talk about it. The roles she received gradually changed from being a young girl, a daughter, and a muse pursued by everyone to a mistress, a wife, and even a mother. Fortunately, this time, she became a goddess directly. The goddess is a statue enshrined on the table, who would have any inappropriate thoughts about the goddess? She sighed, not knowing who to blame. Blame the screenwriter? Can’t you write a few decent female characters of this age? But they are also drawn by the preferences of the audience. Blame the audience? How many audiences can be aroused by images beyond their own life experience to arouse imagination and desire? Or should we blame time for being ruthless and youthful and easy to grow old? She shook her head immediately. I am only forty-two years old, and I am far from old. If there is no decent ready-made character, I will create a decent character. Thinking of this, she threw down the last piece of soiled cotton pad, poured out the toner and slapped it vigorously on her face, making a crackling sound.
“Successful closing, Sister Yichen, great success! Congratulations.” The door of the dressing room was suddenly pushed open, and a strong wind with various noises came from behind her. She knew who it was without looking back, and only one person dared to rush into her quiet dressing room right after the show ended. Chen Yang slammed the door with a “bang”, and the high-heeled shoes under his feet thumped and drummed into her ears. Chen Yang sat down on the dressing table and looked at her quite proudly. “I’ll show you the ticket board, take a look, just take a look.” Chen Yang took out his mobile phone and flipped through it, raised it up and poked it in front of Zhuang Yichen, “There is no one left, and the performances have been performed for four consecutive weeks, and every show is still sold out.” , you don’t know how many people call me every day and beg me to keep the tickets. The sales are so good, where can I find tickets? Looking at the whole art theater, who else has this box office appeal? Who else? !”
“I can name five or six casually.” Zhuang Yichen replied lightly, picked up the eye cream and applied it around the eyes, pressing gently. “My good sister, give me a smiling face. You are good at anything as a producer, but it is rare for you to have a smiling face.” Chen Yang raised his feet in the air and swayed back and forth, acting like a baby at Zhuang Yichen. Zhuang Yichen smoothed the eye cream, looked up at this young girl who was always happy. Four years ago, this girl who always had a smile on her face was first assigned by the theater to Zhuang Yichen’s crew as a producer. The girl was smart and capable, and quickly won the love and trust of everyone in the crew. What attracts Zhuang Yichen most to her is the joy she always expresses from the bottom of her heart. Zhuang Yichen found that Chen Yang was not used to performing happily like most of the people around her. That kind of performance was not to conceal himself, but more to make himself and the people around him feel relaxed, so as to connect people with others. The relatively heavy part in between dodges. But Chen Yang never performed happily, and Zhuang Yichen even suspected that she didn’t understand how to perform. What she showed was a kind of happiness that only those whose hearts are truly filled can have. This joy is so contagious that, for those who do not intend to use it, it becomes the most powerful weapon of conquest.
Zhuang Yichen looked up at Chen Yang, and smiled at her seriously. That smile was thrown at Chen Yang, like a stone thrown into a water wave, a more extended smile appeared on Chen Yang’s face, and reflected back to Zhuang Yichen. “I know you don’t like to attend the celebration banquet, but you have to go tonight. The theater has decided that this play will continue to be staged and rehearsed next year. I should be able to get a file around the Spring Festival. Let’s celebrate tonight. “Chen Yang said, shaking his legs. Zhuang Yichen nodded, unscrewed the box and took out a little cream to apply on his face. What excuse can I not get rid of? Zhuang Yichen thought in his heart, let’s say he has a headache. The reason he used too many times has gradually become a fact that everyone believes.
Chen Yang suddenly jumped off the dressing table, bowed his head to Zhuang Yichen’s ear, and deliberately lowered his voice, “I have other news to tell you.” Zhuang Yichen massaged his cheek, “Speak, what? It’s a secret.” “I’ll tell you if you’re going to the celebration banquet tonight.” “Stop making trouble, tell me quickly.” “Promise me that you’ll definitely go at night.” Zhuang Yichen looked at the reflection in the makeup mirror. Chen Yang nodded helplessly with his suddenly serious face.
Chen Yang in the mirror whispered a sentence into Zhuang Yichen’s ears, “The theater has decided to make a new version of “Hamlet”. An actress will play Hamlet, and Director Zhou will direct it himself.”
There was a buzzing sound in Zhuang Yichen’s head, and then he fell into a pale fog. Stumbling in the mist, came a figure dressed in black, his fingers trembling because of a broken heart, and his chest was red and hot from the flames of hatred. Now I am alone. Ah, what a useless fool I am! This one player, in but a fable, a passionate dream, can melt his soul into his image, and under its influence he turns pale, and his eyes glow He was crying, his expression was panicked, his voice was so sobbing and desolate, and all his actions were consistent with his image, isn’t it extremely incredible? She saw clearly. That figure is her.
“Sister Yichen, sister Yichen?” A voice called out and pulled her back to her body, “How about it, are you excited?” Chen Yang stared at her in the mirror with a smile. Realizing her gaffe, she scraped and straightened her hair awkwardly, then picked up the rubber band on the dressing table and tied her hair into a fluffy ponytail.
“A good idea indeed,” she said cautiously.
“The project has been approved in the courtyard, and the producer has not yet been appointed. I want to try to do this play. But now there is a problem,” Chen Yang winked at her slyly, “Listen to Mr. Su’s words. This time he wants to use a younger rookie, he is considering Aike.”
“Ai Ke?” Zhuang Yichen was stunned for a moment.
“The girl who played Hilda last year, “The Master Builder”, the director went to see that play and was very impressed with her.” Chen Yang immediately reminded her.
“Oh. I was touring outside during that time, but I didn’t see it.” Zhuang Yichen responded lightly.
“She is indeed not bad. But she must be far behind you. Too far away.” Chen Yang stared straight at Zhuang Yichen in the mirror, his eyes flickering with unspoken provocation. Only at such moments, Zhuang Yichen would think of this bright young man, not only a girl with a full heart, but also an exceptionally shrewd producer.
“The report is over.” Chen Yang straightened up quickly, and walked towards the door, “You promised me, you must come at night. The old place, private room 303 on the second floor. I will go to the hotel to prepare first.” The door opened Open, the noise in the corridor swept over in an instant, and disappeared in an instant after Chen Yang slammed the door.
Zhuang Yichen stared at the woman in the mirror who had removed all her makeup. Her forehead is still full, her apple muscles are firm, her jaw line has no fat, and her neck is white and straight. The heavy makeup and the scorching lights on the stage day after day did not destroy her face, but made the lines of her face more sharp, and the confidence that came with repeated tempering of her acting skills imbued her with a special and powerful aura . No matter who, even if they just pass by her, even if they don’t recognize her, a smash hit actor who dominates the stage, they will be intimidated by the aura of her body, and subconsciously automatically make way for her. There are rarely doors in front of her that will block the way, and the doors always open automatically. She has always known that she is not a beautiful woman in the eyes of ordinary people, even when she is the most youthful and charming, but her unique temperament is indeed irreplaceable, as long as she stands on the stage, whether it is in the center or on any side Corner to corner, the audience’s eyes just couldn’t be pulled away from her. Audiences usually want to see innocent little girls, tolerant sisters, loving mothers, and sexually attractive mature women in actresses. But never with her. They saw in her someone the world didn’t have. The kind of person everyone wants to be, but can’t. It was dangerous, but it didn’t hinder her success.
However, at this time, she still couldn’t restrain the frustration that was so surging that it drowned every strand of hair. She wasn’t actually the director’s first choice for the job. Not anymore. She wasn’t so narcissistic enough to think she was the only one who could fill a role, but this was Hamlet, Hamlet! The corner of the temple that every aspiring actor has been longing for all his life. They spend a lot of money in order to one day walk on the stage and put on the skin of this melancholy prince and read those classic, bursting, and heartbreaking lines. Several years or even more than ten years of youth have endured boring training, and repeatedly polished their vocal cords and form, just to leave a mark of their own interpretation in this corner of the temple. And now, a woman, a real woman, will have such an opportunity on the domestic stage. Thinking that this opportunity may not belong to her, she simply felt that all the sacrifices she had made in the first half of her life seemed as meaningless as a child repeatedly shooting a sparrow on a branch with a slingshot. And is it just because she’s already too old? Shit! The actors who are the pillars of the theater are still playing Hamlet in their fifties or even sixties. Why can’t they be replaced by women? She was about to get angry, but she didn’t know who to throw the anger at.
She used to go to the theater between performances abroad. An experience she will never forget was seeing an actress play Hamlet in a theater in Berlin. She sat under the stage and looked at the queen on the stage with tears streaming down her face. Although she does not understand German, she has already memorized the plot and lines of Hamlet by heart. The colleagues who watched the show together thought that she was moved by the actor’s performance, but she was not. In her opinion, the German actress acted stiffly, and the typhoon was cold, and she seemed to be just a memorizing machine. understand the lines. But how much she envied that actress, more precisely, she should be jealous. I was so jealous that I couldn’t control my tears. She would rather die than have such a chance. Now, this opportunity is within her reach, but she has to watch others complete it instead of herself. This will kill her.
I’ve gotten a lot and I should be content. She tried her best to comfort herself, and restrained herself from thinking about it, otherwise tears would burst out again. In this state, it is impossible to attend the celebration banquet. She got up quickly, changed into her clothes and comfortable flat shoes, picked up her satchel and walked out of the dressing room. Passing through the chaotic corridor of the dressing room backstage, she hesitated for a moment, but decided to turn back to the stage to have a look. Every opening night and finale night, before leaving the theater, she would visit the stage after the audience had left, a little ritual she had kept to herself since she took the stage.
The theater staff have already begun to disassemble the props and scenery on the stage. Tomorrow, the scenery of the next play will be installed here to start a new performance. Standing in the center of the empty stage, she watched the workers set up the scaffolding, unscrew the screws on the iron and steel frames one by one, and remove the fake and real scenery that was still enchanting eight hundred pairs of eyes half an hour ago. The prop master lifts the large and small props out of the side curtain, and loads them into the logistics truck from the backstage passage. An hour later, they will be stacked together with countless other props in the theater in the dark stage warehouse in the suburbs. Dust comes back to life. The curtain rises, and the void below the stage reverts to rows of seats covered in red flannel upholstery. There, nothing.
When she first appeared on stage, she suffered from end-of-show syndrome, as many actors do. Once the performance is over, the hustle and bustle off the stage fades away, and the unpredictable colorful lights on the stage turn into white and miserable lighting. Facing the empty stage and empty audience seats, the actors will feel the emptiness . As if none of this made any sense. It seemed as if the past two hours had been the collective dream of a small group of people. However, the dream has an end. Actors are the only ones who bear this fragile dream. The audience leaving the stage can still be immersed in dreams, long or short, and the staff who dismantle the stage only have scaffolding, screws, set pieces and the time limit urging to complete the work as soon as possible in their eyes. Only the actors, stuck in the cracks of this dream, are in a dilemma. It took her a lot of time to break free from the painful symptoms that were only mysteriously contagious in the theater, and the disease could not be detected when she walked out of the theater.
no. She woke up with a start. No, I can’t just let the opportunity slip by like this without making any effort. this is not me. Even if everything is just a dream, I must be the protagonist in the dream. The satchel in her hand fell to the floor with a muffled sound. Over the past two decades of her career, she has appeared in many drag roles. Hua Mulan, Zhu Yingtai, female consort, Portia, Viola. But this time is completely different. She will no longer be acting a woman dressed as a man, but a real man, a man’s man. A man who is false, but at the same time will be more real than a real man.
She closed her eyes, raised her hands slowly into the air, and looked up to meet the dazzling sun. The fate of Icarus is to fly towards the sun, melt the wings made of wax, and fall into the sea to die, but he is definitely not trapped in the maze.
She opened her eyes wide, looking at the red sea of seats below the stage. A firm voice sounded in her head: I must get this role.
Zhuang Yichen covered the struggling and howling flesh on his chest, took a deep breath, trying to calm it down. In the last lucid dream at dawn, the restless lump of flesh nearly burst out of the bone. She dreamed that she was lying on the bed like this moment, and she heard screams from inside her chest, and her skin and muscles bulged outward. is her heart. It had already broken ribs, tore apart the flesh, a blood-red sprout pierced through the skin, and twisted towards the head of the bed like a vine. She growled at it, what have I done to you, that you have to leave me like this? Suddenly everything calmed down, and she turned her head to see that the heart was lying beside her, beating vigorously, and the buds became thicker, climbing to the wall and growing towards the ceiling. The entire room was quickly covered by these blood-red branches growing from the heart, and inside each branch were countless smaller hearts, beating together. She was terrified, and the first thought that flashed in her dream was that she should immediately find out how long a person can live after losing his heart.
The ceiling was white and empty except for one unlit lamp. She took out the mobile phone under the pillow and looked through the call records. The last call was to Su Ling at 11:37 last night, and the call lasted forty-three minutes and nine seconds. She threw the phone on the quilt. Damn, how is this not a dream? She shouldn’t have called Su so late, and shouldn’t have called Su for so long. damn alcohol.
Just thinking about alcohol makes my head hurt. She turned over and got up, walked barefoot to the kitchen with only her underwear on, poured herself a glass of water, and tried to recall all the details of last night. She behaved completely normal at the celebration banquet, she was the best at concealing her emotions, no one would be able to see what was on her mind. At most, I felt that she was more excited than usual, talked more, and even told a lot of jokes with the actors in the same group that she would not tell easily in the past. Everyone should just think of her as finally relaxing after a round of performances. Maybe Chen Yang saw something. That’s okay, Chen Yang is a very measured person.
But what happened after leaving the hotel was as cloudy and bubbly as beaten egg. How did she get home? Who sent her off? Did she call Sue in a taxi or at home? What did she tell Su? Definitely talking about the casting of Hamlet. Probably something else. terrible. I can’t even think about it. Su must be going to bed, and she listened to her complaining for more than forty minutes. She had only had three glasses of red wine, maybe four, and maybe one draft beer, but she was much more than that. I shouldn’t have drank the last glass of draft beer, it ruined the big deal. You still haven’t calmed down, Zhuang Yichen, why are you still talking to Su when you encounter shit like you are in your twenties. She cursed herself in a low voice, raised her head and drank the water at the bottom of the glass in one gulp.
After taking a bath and eating a simple breakfast, her mood stabilized. Many people have already lost their hearts, and they are still alive and kicking. She analyzed her morning dream like this. But she is different, she must be able to feel her heart beating vigorously at all times in order to continue living. Now, the injection that can keep this heart beating vigorously is to get that role. Who knows, maybe the needle was filled with poison, but she didn’t care. It must be ingested.
While sipping strong coffee, a face suddenly appeared in her mind. Xu Xian’s face. More precisely, it should be Ye Tong’s face. When she first watched the TV series “Legend of the New White Snake”, she was only fifteen years old. A dangerous age. I don’t understand anything yet, but I am very sure that I understand everything at an age. Her peers, both men and women, are deeply attracted by the White Snake. How can this woman be so powerful and understanding? Even her intentional faults and unintentional cruelty can be easily caught by the audience through emotional connections Rationalize yourself to fully accept it. I’m afraid this is the charm of acting, which can always make people feel dislocation of admiration.
But she has always been deeply attracted by Xu Xian. Why this man has feminine femininity and masculine charm at the same time. She could faintly feel that that was not the person she wanted to marry, but the person she wanted to be. It was hard to explain this feeling to anyone at the time, and even when she was young, she had already noticed the subtle inadequacies. It’s not that she would really believe it’s wrong in her heart, it’s just that it’s wrong in the worldly sense. The moment she learned that Xu Xian was actually played by a female actor, the shock she received far exceeded all the shocks she had ever experienced in this life. It was as if a brand new universe opened up in front of her, with stars flying, Such as the mountains. Everything is explained, and there are mysteries that still baffle her to this day. Such a thing can happen. Such performances can exist.
In fact, it is a bit of an exaggeration to say that the actor who plays Xu Xian is completely unaware that she is a woman. As long as you look closely, you will find that she has no Adam’s apple, her hands are too slender, and the imitation of male movements is close enough, but not vivid enough. These are what she discovered when she re-watched the show repeatedly when she was older. When she was in an acting class at the Academy of Drama when she was young, she once selected a segment of Xu Xian from this play to show in class. She still clearly remembers the evaluation given by the acting teacher at the time: too much force and insufficient aftertaste. It may take a month or so to pass these eight words on other students, but she was quite disapproving of it at the time. She was convinced that she acted better than Ye Tong and looked more like a man. After many years, with the continuous accumulation of formal performance experience, she gradually realized the tricky and precise vision of the teacher. She wanted to act more like a man too much, but she failed to grasp the feminine side of Xu Xian’s character.
This discovery did not make her discouraged, but more excited. That’s why she loves acting. At least it is the most important point among many reasons. She believes that only on the stage and through performances can she gain real freedom, travel through all ages, genders, and experiences, and keep getting closer to her desire that she cannot describe in words but is extremely sure in her heart things. She has to spend a lifetime of unremitting climbing before she can smell the fragrance of the flower that no one can pick on the top of the mountain.
After taking the last sip of coffee, she finally recalled the only sentence she remembered from the phone call with Su last night. “Honey, it’s not me you want to convince, but Da Dao.” She couldn’t remember the rest of the words clearly, she only remembered what should be remembered. She thought about it over and over again. It wasn’t Su who said that she needed to persuade the director, she knew this before making the phone call. It’s the three words “dear”. How long has it been since Su called her that? too long. Did you say that because you heard she was drunk? Or did he say it because he felt her real heartache and humiliation? Or is she sure that when she wakes up the next day, she won’t remember or care about this conversation at all? She chewed on the tone of these three words. Like more than ten years ago, it is gentle, provocative, coaxing and perfunctory. She imagined Su’s expression when she uttered these three words, and imagined how she hid in the corner of the living room, carefully holding the mobile phone and trying to keep her voice down as much as possible for fear of waking her husband and children. Su Ling was no longer her Su, but the “Boss Su” as the young children in the theater called it. Awe-inspiring, resolute, and unambiguous.
The mobile phone dinged on the dining table, and it came just in time. She shouldn’t have allowed herself to dwell on these still-wrenching fantasies. She shouldn’t have called Sue drunk in the middle of the night. Don’t talk about business, especially when you need Sue. When it came to business, Sue was the general manager of the theater, not her friend, or anything. This just spoils everything. She couldn’t tell the extent to which she was really using their former friendship to achieve her own goals. She cursed herself again and picked up the phone.
It’s Lou Lang. The WeChat content was very simple, and she didn’t realize what Lu Lang was talking about for a moment. “Is your luggage packed? I’ll pick you up in a car later.” Luggage? Pick me up by car? What are we going to do? She suddenly remembered that they made an appointment a long time ago to drive to the seaside for a few days of vacation together after this round of performances. Damn, forget about it. She hesitated for a while, and replied, “I don’t really want to move, why don’t you go first?” Lu Lang replied quickly, “Sister, I specially asked for annual leave, and the hotel has paid for it, so you can’t go now?! The question mark was followed by an exclamation point. When speaking this kind of line, the director usually asks the actor to at least triple the volume, preferably with exaggerated body language. But she doesn’t like to act like that, sometimes the effect is better if she handles it in a low-key manner.
You can’t rush to meet the director without being fully prepared. One hit has to hit or there will be no second chance. The director’s judgment on the actors has always been a decision at a glance, and he will not believe that many problems can be solved in rehearsal like other directors. He will never look at anyone’s face, nor will he care about the box office influence of actors. He is the influence himself. The way a director looks at actors has always been elusive. In the eyes of others, an actor with rich experience and good typhoon, he often thinks that he is a dead wood; Light. Of course, his selection of actors has also failed, but in most cases, he has proved his vision. Everyone will flatter him that he is good at training, but he will seriously say that he just accurately selected the most suitable person for each role, and training can’t make too much shit. It’s just that his selection criteria are like wild cats flickering in and out of the bushes, unpredictable and unpredictable.
She really had to give herself some time to prepare, and she couldn’t walk up to the director boldly and say that this role should be mine. The director will only think that she is crazy and narcissistic, that would definitely be useless. It’s also good to go to the beach to rest for a while, get away from daily life, reread the script carefully and get ready before going to see the director. She made up her mind and replied to Lu Lang, “Okay, I’ll pack up now, and come pick me up later.” Lu Lang replied, “That’s kind of like a word. I’ll be downstairs at your house in an hour.”
What a quickie. But it’s really getting late now, and it takes nearly four hours to drive to the beach. She jumped up, quickly washed the glasses and dishes, arranged a few sets of clothes, put the cosmetics in the portable suitcase, and then began to search for the script of “Hamlet”. The bookcases at home are messy and out of order. Some scripts that need to be re-read are placed at random after reading, but it is a bit difficult to find them. Will the director choose Zhu Shenghao’s translation, or Liang Shiqiu’s? Perhaps Bian Zhilin’s translation will also be considered. Zhu’s translation of the classics has the most frequent rehearsals, Liang’s translation is timeless, and Bian’s translation follows the poetic style of the original text. Each of the translations has its own merits. I heard that there are new translations that are more suitable for the tastes of young people in recent years, so I should look for them. Forget it, take everything you can find. After stuffing a few playbooks into the suitcase, she settled down.
The wind at the end of October has soaked in the cool air of autumn, which is an embarrassing season. The air conditioner in the car is too cold to turn on, and it is too hot to turn it off. Lu Lang opened the window on the driver’s side a crack, and the breathless breeze kept stirring his thinning hair. Zhuang Yichen tilted his head and looked at the hair that was considered precious for a man of his age slapping Lu Lang’s forehead, and sighed softly. We finally grow old together. When he was in his twenties, Lu Lang always complained that his hair grew too fast, and he had to go to the barber shop every less than a month, which was a waste of time. Now I don’t hear that complaint anymore.
Not long after graduating from the Drama Academy, Zhuang Yichen met Lu Lang at a dinner party gathered by friends. During school, she had a few short-lived romances with classmates and actors in the same group that were not at all happy, which made her determined not to associate with peers in this life. Actor and actor together are a total disaster, and it’s hard to tell how much of the anger, heartbreak, love, and desire shown by the other person is real and how much is acting. Excessive desire for expression, once flooded into daily life, will only make people exhausted. At that time, Lu Lang had just graduated from the School of Architecture and entered a well-known architect firm, drawing and modeling in the dark all day long to meet clients. The heavy work made him lose the vigor of his peers prematurely, and he always looked like a wrinkled and shriveled eggplant that had been picked and put aside for several months. Even if he cheered up to attend a friend’s gathering, he just looked at everyone with alienated eyes, being a listener with peace of mind, but he didn’t even have a cooperating smirk. This instead attracted Zhuang Yichen’s attention. There is a special and awkward comfort in his alienation, as if silently swearing to everyone: All this has nothing to do with me, not only you, but even this world has nothing to do with me.
They were still young at that time, and they didn’t know what they wanted, so they could only vaguely feel it with their bodies. Zhuang Yichen put all his thoughts into acting and striving for a role that would make him stand out from the crowd, and he was too lazy to work hard on the rest. So when Lu Lang asked whether they should try together, she imitated the alienation that Lu Lang was unique to, and agreed casually. For a while, she was very obsessed with observing and imitating Lu Lang, and she was keenly aware that there was an aura of immediacy in him. She couldn’t figure out what this so-called immediacy was. Even the word “immediateness” was introduced by others, but she could quickly grasp it and imitate it decently. This is her talent. Lu Lang noticed it and didn’t care. I don’t care that she imitates herself, I don’t care that sometimes it’s like looking in a mirror to her, and I don’t care that she uses these imitated things in the performance of a certain role.
Not long together, the two realized almost at the same time that there was no love between them. Obviously, they are very comfortable with each other in their daily relationship, rarely conflict and quarrel, and their intimacy is just right without causing resentment. But that is far from love. Lu Lang realized the root of it earlier than Zhuang Yichen, not that Zhuang Yichen couldn’t make him love, but that it was difficult for him to develop a feeling of love for any woman. Zhuang Yichen needed more time to learn what true love is from another person. When Lu Lang put forward his idea that a close friend rather than a lover might be more suitable for their relationship, Zhuang Yichen imitated Lu Lang’s alienation again and casually agreed. She didn’t feel any sadness, let alone pain, but she had a little admiration for Lu Lang who took the initiative to tell the truth earlier than herself. It seems that this man is indifferent to indifference, after all, he is more powerful than her in promoting his own life. In the realm of life, she is the shriveled eggplant.
The vulgar dialogue that is too common when breaking up, neither of them is just talking. They became the closest people to each other, even closer than when they were in love, because they finally got rid of the complicated and redundant responsibilities and obligations in the conventional relationship structure, and what was left after filtering out the impurities was what they both needed. It takes too much time, effort, and mental energy to trust and depend on one person, and one is enough. Since then, the lovers around them have come and gone, some of them are superficial without leaving any traces, while others left deep marks and scars on their hearts and bodies, but they are always by each other’s side, and will only hold the most solid trust left to the other party. Every time Zhuang Yichen thinks about it, he will secretly rejoice, but fortunately, he has never fallen in love with Lu Lang, otherwise he must be alone on this dim planet now.
“I still don’t understand. Hamlet asked a woman to act. What about his father, that ghost, is it also a woman? What about the other men, are they all women? What about the woman who fell in love with him? A man acting?” Lu Lang asked while holding the steering wheel with one hand, freeing one hand to stroke his few hairs that were blown away by the wind.
“It’s not sure yet. But if I want to say it, there can only be one role of Hamlet that is reversed, and the other roles are arranged normally, otherwise it will become a farce.”
“What is the picture? Is it because of feminism?”
Zhuang Yichen nodded, then shook his head immediately. She has never understood what feminism is all about. “It’s nothing but drama.”
Lu Lang couldn’t help but let out a sneer. You don’t need to look at him to know that Zhuang Yichen must have rolled his eyes immediately, and he immediately made amends, “Well, I know you care about this very much.”
“Not just caring. This is the role I’ve wanted the most in almost a decade. No kidding.”
“You are already so popular and have acted in so many good plays.”
“It’s not even close. This time is especially different.”
“If you ask me, you’d better not confuse your wishes in life with your career wishes. It’s better to be clear. Being a man is not very comfortable.” There are not many cars on the highway, Lu Lang said this, and turned his head away He took a deep look at Zhuang Yichen.
“Too lazy to argue with you. Tired.” Zhuang Yichen turned his head to look at the rapidly changing fields and bushes outside the car window, and fell back into his own thoughts.
“I’m tired of your artistry. Are you tired of talking, aren’t you tired of pretending?” Although Lu Lang said so, he calmly stopped talking, making Zhuang Yichen think to himself. He gently turned on the car stereo, and the car was instantly filled with Debussy’s piano suite.
Accompanied by the music from time to time, Zhuang Yichen carefully recalled the three versions of “Hamlet” he had performed. The first time she was a fledgling newcomer, playing the role of a noble lady in an ensemble that didn’t even have a name in the play. The second time she was twenty-eight years old. At that time, she had successfully signed a contract with the Art Theater, and it was the period when she was rising to stardom, playing the heroine Ophelia. The last time, two years ago, she played Hamlet’s mother Gertrude.
This last performance was also the one that made her most reluctant. It was unbearable that someone who had played Ophelia should suddenly be playing Gertrude. But that play was directed by a famous Shakespeare director specially invited by the theater from England. Under Chen Yang’s repeated persuasion, she still accepted the role, and she did learn a lot from the communication with the British director. concept. But she was still uncomfortable. The older the male actors, the more room for optional roles, and the opposite is true for the female actors. Once the flowering period is over, everyone is happy to see you roaring down like a torrent. Her self-esteem did not allow her to let anyone see her own jokes, and she was more devoted and diligent than ever in that rehearsal and performance. Arrive at the rehearsal field the first one every day, and continue to search for various materials for reference after returning home at night.
Let me be a mother, right? I will be a mother that you will never forget for the rest of your life, and you will have nightmares at night! The result of the performance was naturally satisfactory to her. After watching the show, several of her friends would come to the backstage dressing room and cover their mouths to tell her in a low voice that her performance of Gertrude had overwhelmed the young Ophelia. ya. Hearing such words, she neither took it seriously nor took it seriously. She is very clear about the kind and even unkind flattery among peers and friends. She has been fooled before, and she will never be fooled again. But she took some solace in it.
The rooms in the hotel are very comfortable, with exquisite and low-key decoration and utensils. The sea is outside the window, and you can step on the delicate beach when you walk out of the hotel gate. The fine sand on the beach is extremely soft and smooth, reflecting the charming golden color in the sun. It is said that the sand in this resort is airlifted from Hainan, covering the beach that stretches for more than ten kilometers, covering its true face that was originally full of sharp pebbles. It is really hard to imagine what amazing things humans are willing to do in terms of “enjoyment”. But see, what is true is always uncomfortable, and beauty is perceived only through false adornment. The same goes for acting.
She can always trust Lu Lang’s arrangements in these areas. As he grows older and earns more money, Lu Lang is more and more willing to spend his thoughts and money on these daily chores. He was still as distant as a shriveled eggplant, but now the eggplant was wrapped in soft and docile gold leaf. They have survived the exhausting struggles of their youth, and now they can treat themselves now and then to a world that still has nothing to do with them. She often hears young people in the theater complaining that her generation has enjoyed the dividends of the times, and no matter how hard the new generation of young people work, they will not be able to get everything that she and Lu Lang have at this age. When she heard this, she always gave them an expression of full understanding of distress, and uttered the same lament as they did. But these have nothing to do with her. A generation is the destiny of a generation. And what can anyone do about it.
During the four days of vacation, she and Lu Lang would go for a long walk by the seaside after breakfast in the morning, and most of the time they would not say anything, thinking about their own thoughts, or thinking about nothing at all. In the afternoon, she sat alone in the lobby of the hotel, drinking tea while reading the script, conceiving and rehearsing how she could convince the director with one blow. They drank together at night, chatted when they had something to say, and were in a daze when they had nothing to say. She is usually the one who starts to be in a daze first, and from time to time she suddenly falls into the thinking of a certain line or the design of a certain gesture. Lu Lang has long been used to her like this. Seeing her staring blankly and not saying a word, he would take out his mobile phone to check, or be in a daze together. If she was in front of anyone else, even her biological parents, she would not be able to relax, willful, and only care about herself like in front of Lu Lang. She never felt in Lou Lang the pressure to condemn, or the need to please, and she returned the same absolution to Lou Lang.
In the car leaving the resort and returning to the city, she received a WeChat message from Chen Yang. The words are very short, just two sentences. “The producer of “Ha” has been confirmed, and it’s me. How about you?” She looked at her phone and smiled, this little clever ghost. She replied quickly, “Help me make an appointment with the director. Let’s see when he is convenient.”
“What are you laughing at, so happy.” Lu Lang asked her.
“It’s time to go to the battlefield.” She said lightly. At this time, she was 70% sure and 100% determined.
“Everything I see and hear seems to accuse me and urge me to hasten my long-awaited vengeance! A man who regards the happiness and purpose of life as nothing but eating, drinking and sleeping What kind of thing is he? He’s nothing but a beast!” Zhuang Yichen raised his heels lightly, and slowly took three steps back, the muscles of his jaw tightened, his chest exerted force, and he squeezed the breath from his lungs to his abdomen, saying loudly Then the line sinks and turns deep, “God created us so that we can talk so loudly and look forward and backward. Of course, we must use the ability and clever reason He has given us, and not let them be wasted.”
The end sound must not be muddy, and even the aftertaste of breathing must be crisply crushed in the mouth. She realizes she should end up here. Much of the monologue remains unfinished, but a wise actor is always conscious of the right moment to finish. It shouldn’t be the moment when all the emotions are poured out, but it’s a moment that hangs forever before the climax. She held back the breath she hadn’t let out, and let it run around in her body until it was exhausted and stopped. Then she relaxed her body, and for the first time seriously looked at the one sitting in the distance, the only spectator of the performance.
Da Dao had no expression on his face, resting his chin on his right hand, staring straight at Zhuang Yichen, but there was no content in his eyes. There was no praise or blame, and no hints as to what to do next. Zhuang Yichen tensed up instantly. She tried her best to suppress her stray breathing, a flattering smile appeared on her face almost subconsciously, and then she stopped it immediately. Flattery is meaningless. She won the role based on her own strength, not flattery. It’s over. Sure enough, you shouldn’t be rushing to show some clips as soon as you meet, is it because the paragraphs are not selected correctly, or which words and tone are not handled well? She kept cursing herself in disgust in her heart, but now it’s a good thing, neither standing nor walking, completely passive. There was a dead silence in the room, and she felt like a dead crow nailed and hung on a tree branch by a hunter in the middle of the night, waiting to attract prey to smell and bite into pieces.
“The clothes are good.” The director said lazily, but there was still nothing in his eyes. Zhuang Yichen was stunned. She looked down at her clothes. This black dark-pattern Chanel suit was specially bought for her to wear when she participated in a national performance awards ceremony a few years ago. The price of the whole set plus the shirt is really expensive. When I decided to buy it, I thought that there should be other opportunities to wear it in the future, but I never found a suitable occasion to wear it. Wearing it on ordinary occasions is too grand, it will only make people laugh, and wearing it on formal occasions is too heavy like a funeral. After setting a time to meet with the director, she emptied her closet and chose repeatedly, and finally chose this set because she felt that its aura was very suitable for the aura she imagined the play would have. Damn, it’s still too deliberate.
“It’s been a while, I know. Just to help build up the mood.” She explained awkwardly. As soon as the words came out, it seemed more deliberate, and she immediately clenched her mouth. This feels kind of bad. After going around for twenty years, why did I go back to the embarrassment I had when facing famous actors and directors when I first went on stage? Damn. The old man in front of him has the magic to bring people back to their original form. How much of this magic is accumulated by people’s repeated apotheosis, how much is shaped by the power he represents, and how much is his own charm, it is really impossible to tell.
The director stretched out his left hand without resting his chin, pointed to the chair in front of him, and motioned for her to sit down. Zhuang Yichen hurried over to sit on the chair as if he had grabbed the life buoy.
“I didn’t expect you to be interested in this matter.” The director looked at her, and there was something in his eyes at this moment. A bit provocative, a bit joking, a bit puzzled.
“I don’t think there is any actress in the theater who is really uninterested.” This sentence is what she said in her heart.
“But you are the only one who took the initiative to come to me.” Da Dao’s right hand finally came down from his cheek, he tilted his head slightly to the left, and immediately put his left hand up again. It was as if his head had become too heavy with too many thoughts, and the neck could no longer support it.
“This is the role I’ve been looking forward to for ten years. No, it’s the role I’ve been looking forward to all my life. I feel that I have to do something.” It’s time to use the speech that I have rehearsed dozens of times in my mind, From the moment she heard the news, she was polishing the speech. “Director, I know that many people will think that Hamlet represents the thoughts and spirit of youth, and it is best to be played by young people (I am afraid that many people include you!). But based on my understanding of so-called youth, that is not true. Represents age. Thinking about philosophy and morality, cold-blooded murder, planning for revenge, frustration of desire, understanding of so-called true love (I read a lot of research materials, didn’t I just prepare a monologue!), no After the precipitation of life experience and a deep understanding of acting, it is impossible to express it accurately! I understand that some people may think that I am a bit old to play Hamlet (it is you!), you must know (I think you are I don’t know), Johnston Robertson was sixty years old and played Hamlet on stage (look at the British! Don’t mention the old men in our theater, everyone is embarrassed to say it). He didn’t even dye his hair, and he didn’t I will never use makeup to make myself look younger (look at them!). Because what Hamlet represents is a spiritual existence, a thought beyond age, and should not be limited by the age of the actor. ”
She threw all the pre-prepared speeches on the table, worrying that if she stopped, she would fall into self-doubt, and only by coherently can she solidify her sense of faith. After finishing all the words, she realized that both of her arms were stretched out in the air, and she almost touched Dao Dao’s head full of precious thoughts that was barely supported by his hands. She immediately retracted her hand, thinking to herself, this speech can only be scored 57 points, not even the passing mark. There is a big problem with emotional control.
“Who told you, I think you are too old to play Hamlet?” The director remained expressionless.
“No one said that. I just had this concern.”
“Age, experience, looks, fame, none of that is shit to me. I never worry about that.”
“So what are you worried about?” She felt the need to counter some measured but not excessive. Can’t just be eager and pleading all the time like a school kid taking a final exam. But it can’t really provoke the other party. She crossed her hands and placed them lightly on her front abdomen, looking at Da Dao with a slightly provocative look in her eyes.
Da Dao winked at her. Her mind suddenly wandered for a moment, it was strange, in her impression she rarely saw the Daoist blinking, his eyes seemed to be always open, so wouldn’t the eyes be sore? The director is not an actor, and has never performed on stage. Like her, she has not endured the repeated torture of being scorched by lights in long-term performances to develop the ability to keep her eyes wide open even under strong light stimulation. Even on stage, she had to blink hard in the backlight and when the audience couldn’t see it to keep her eyes from getting sore, and she insisted on performing the whole scene. How did he do it? it’s wired.
“What do you think Denmark is?” The director blinked and asked her back.
Ha, finally, the old fox’s trap came. She ran through the lines in her mind quickly. “Denmark is a prison. Act II, scene two. Conversation between Hamlet and Rosencrantz.”
She was proud of her familiarity with the lines, but the director did not give any feedback. She tried to recall that dialogue. “is Hamlet’s word. Rosencrantz said to him, then the world is also a prison. Hamlet replied, a very large prison, with many cells, cells, and dungeons in it; Denmark is the worst of them all.” One room. There is a very important line in this scene, which is also from Hamlet. He said that there is no good or evil in the world, but it is the thinking of each person that separates them; for me, it is a school Prison.”
“I know what the lines are. I’m asking you, what do you think. What do you think, Denmark is? To us, what is Denmark?” The old fox clenched on the trap tightly.
It seems that the preparation is still insufficient. She secretly regretted that she hadn’t read an in-depth analysis of this line at all. She wondered if there was such an interpretation. What exactly is it? Denmark, what is it? ! Obviously, it cannot be said to be a European country. This old fox is too cunning, he only asks these tricky questions. But does this mean that he is still interested in me? It seems that it can only be played freely.
She gritted the innermost molars, and the creaking grinding sound continued to enter the cranial cavity. Something has to be said. You can’t tell the truth, it must be the wrong way for him to think. Yes, you have to talk about it, but you can’t be too empty, you have to have something to say, and you have to speak to his heart. Even if it is to rub a little bit on the heart.
“It’s now.” She stared into Da Dao’s eyes with almost fierce eyes, “It’s now. It’s our present. Whether it’s prison, bondage, or heaven. But it’s our present.”
The old fox laughed. The smile flashed by, and the corners of the mouth twitched for only a few tenths of a second before returning to normal, so fast that ordinary people couldn’t even notice it. But she can sense it. She slid her shoulders down, and the tense muscles relaxed slightly. It seems to be over the edge.
“Rehearsing with me is hard work. You know that.”
“The thing I fear the most is hard work.” The pain she endured in the director group for the last time five and a half years ago swirled before her eyes like a revolving lantern, and she tried her best to make this sentence sound like it came from the heart. Fortunately, at least 28% are sincere.
“It’s not just pain.” The director looked at her.
Ha, let me tell you, from the stage manager and lighting engineer to the pillar actors in their fifties and sixties, regardless of gender and age, who has not been scolded by him to hide in the bathroom or even cry in public. “Of course. I have followed you too. I am ready to face various challenges.”
“Your schedule for the next few months…”
“I would push all other work off and focus on doing this one thing well.”
The director nodded, “Understood.” After speaking, his eyes and head drooped a little, as if his hands were finally sore, and he couldn’t hold the heavy head anymore.
Zhuang Yichen understood that this meant that you can go. “Then I won’t bother you. You can find me anytime.” She stood up neatly, and walked backwards towards the door like she did at the curtain call.
“If I use you, I mean if,” the director suddenly raised his head twice, looking at her standing at the door, “It’s not because you performed that monologue well today. That part was really not good. ”
Zhuang Yichen’s heart sank, he tightly clenched his hand on the doorknob, and held back nothing to refute.
“If I use you, it’s definitely not because of that. It’s not because you came to me on your own initiative. Just now you have a strength in you, like a lion. I’ve never seen such strength in your play before. .Remember this feeling. It will come in handy during rehearsals.” As soon as he finished speaking, the director’s head hung back twice in an instant.
She nodded, unscrewed the door handle, walked out of the office door, and gently closed the door. The lock snapped shut, and her heart fell to the ground with a snap.
My fate is crying out, making every tiny blood vessel in my body as hard as the sinews and bones of a raging lion. Act I, Scene Four. I didn’t expect that. did not expect. Zhuang Yichen’s mind went blank, and he leaned his back against the wall of the corridor, trying to figure out the current situation. Did I get the role? Otherwise, the old man asked me what my schedule was for. What is the use of emotional rehearsal? There is drama. Of course, nothing can be counted until the performance department hands over the contract. But as long as the old man made his decision, Chen Yang would definitely be able to take care of other things, and Su Ling would definitely stand by her side.
She numbly unbuttoned the suit one by one. She always felt suffocated after wearing this kind of suit for a long time. After the buttons were unbuttoned and she took a deep breath, she suddenly felt a strong sense of shame at standing here in this expensive suit. She, a well-known actress who has experienced many battles, actually dressed up so grandly and put on full makeup for a role! What makes her feel even more ashamed is that at this age, she still has to put on airs to seek the approval and respect of men. She looked around, but the corridor was empty. No, I have to leave the theater as soon as possible, and the staff who will be performing at night will have to move around in a while. She walked to the elevator in a panic, realized something, turned around and walked to the stairwell, and walked quickly along the steps to the parking lot to find her car. Fortunately, I only had a face-to-face meeting with the security guard in the front hall along the way. The security guard might think she was wearing a costume. In this building, the most indispensable thing is people in strange clothes wandering around.
Zhuang Yichen drove home like a puppet, slumped on the sofa for a while, ordered takeaway like a puppet, took off his suit, swallowed his dinner like chewing wax, and continued to slump on the sofa. It wasn’t until dusk fell that the living room was shrouded in dark blue shadows, and her soul hid back into her body again. She stared at the dots of light that lit up the buildings in the gloomy night outside the window, carefully recalling and appreciating the scene in the afternoon. Damn, the old man actually said that part was really not good. If it doesn’t work, let me tell you why. Is it the wrong mood, the accent of the words, or the lack of vivid expression and inaccurate movements?
She was annoyed that the director gave such vague comments. When she had little rehearsal experience at the beginning, she was always frightened when she heard similar vague comments, thinking over and over again what she did not do well enough. Later, she gradually discovered that most directors themselves can’t tell what is wrong at all. They just judge by their own intuition, and it’s good to have a keen intuition once in ten times. More often than not, they just want to torture actors to give different feedback, so that they have more choices or derogatory opportunities. Some more hateful directors even just want to use this to suppress the arrogance of the actors so as to establish their prestige in the crew. Afterwards, if she encounters such ambiguous comments again, she will unceremoniously fight back directly, “Oh, I’m sorry, please give me specific guidance on how to deal with this line to make it more ‘okay’ right. What?” In most cases, the other party will immediately fall silent.
However, the director is not any other ordinary director. He didn’t say that based on intuition, and there was no need to suppress anyone, he just refused to say it himself, but wanted her to realize it. His vague words were like a feather duster stuffed in her nostrils, ears and eyes, under the soles of her feet, tickling her all over, but there was nothing she could do, because the duster was always in his hand. What is wrong? ! Can you speak bluntly! Really anxious to die.
But calm down, she is still proud of her performance. Like a lion. No one has ever said that about her. I’m afraid it’s also because she has never shown this side of herself in front of others. On stage, she can be a pure girl, a gentle wife, a sexy lover, and a strong mother, but she is not herself. In other words, those can be a part of her, but they will never be all of her. Not the truth. She often needs to carefully wrap up her prickly side, because knowing that part of herself will only make most people feel uncomfortable that they can’t fully understand. It’s not just her personality that she hides. She has many secrets that cannot be easily revealed to others. Even Lu Lang only knew one or two of them. She felt more and more urgently that she needed this role so much. Although not yet formed, she already has a feeling that through this performance, she will inspire a new self that will shock even herself.
But what exactly is the Denmark the old man is talking about? She was fully aware that the answer she gave at that moment was not what the old man thought, but just touched the edge. This point is extremely important. At least it was extremely important to the old man, and I’m afraid that’s why he did the play, and why he chose her. She had to figure this out before the official rehearsal started. Fortunately, she has seized the opportunity. No actor or staff member should have heard this from the old man, and she had glimpsed the secret of victory earlier than everyone else.
Reading books or looking for information on the Internet should not be of much help. What the old man thinks in his mind is usually something no one has thought about, let alone any ready-made information for reference. No, no no. You can’t deify this old man with a dry neck and a head that can’t be infinitely deified like others. There are absolutely no questions in this world that have never been thought about, and there will never be only one extremely smart brain that knows the only answer. She needs help. It’s just about finding the right people. A few names flashed through her mind. There are screenwriters, drama critics, and the old man’s long-term assistant. Gotta ask these guys for their opinion and see what they say. The question should be clever, and it can’t look like a direct call for help. It has to be detoured and disguised as a casual after-dinner chat. She knows those people too well, and after drinking nonsense, they can talk about the past and the present in a flash; when they seriously analyze the script, especially the analysis of the thoughts in the head of the director, they are dumbfounded and stammer and dare not speak out.
In the next few days, Zhuang Yichen cycled in a daze, relying on takeaway to satisfy his hunger (she didn’t have any more energy to cook for herself), slumped on the sofa, thinking about these problems, and drowsily recovering energy through sleep days. The pulse of her life was stagnated at the moment when she walked out of the director’s office, and everything else was the long embers of the meeting in less than half an hour. She didn’t know what she was waiting for. Are you waiting for the clarion call to cheer up and go into battle again, or are you waiting for another round of endless trivialities. She knew she would always be on stage again, not in this one play that was on her mind, but in another play that she might not have much interest in. Her life was cut into two pieces by the scorching stage lights. One is a middle-aged woman who is lazy and tired and paralyzed at home, and the other is a story magician in the center of the stage who is attracting everyone’s attention. Of these two pieces, only one constituted a real existence to her.
One evening, the horn finally sounded. Chen Yang called her, and his undisguised excitement pierced the handset of the phone. “It’s done, Sister Yichen. Hamlet is yours!” When she heard this, her body collapsed as if she was exhausted, her fingers were so weak that she almost couldn’t hold the phone. “Oh, great.” She replied flatly. She didn’t deliberately put on a hypocritical detachment of disapproval, but she really didn’t have the energy to return the same excitement as Chen Yang.
“You should take a good rest these few weeks, rehearsals will start in the first week of December, and you will perform in mid-January next year. You are so good, I knew you would win. But the whole art theater, who else? !…” There was a lot of noise on Chen Yang’s side, he should have just come out of a meeting in the theater conference room. Zhuang Yichen listened tiredly to Chen Yang’s chirping praise and congratulations, but he didn’t feel the joy of victory in his heart. For her, the battle was already over.
“Just a small problem. Small problem, don’t worry too much.” Chen Yang’s voice paused for a moment, and Zhuang Yichen’s attention returned to the conversation.
“Echo, do you remember, I told you, the Hilda girl?”
“Well, what’s wrong with her?” I remember too much, Zhuang Yichen thought.
“Someone should have approached her before and said that the director was considering using her. Now that she is no longer needed, she actively applied to join the group to play other roles, saying that she wanted to learn more from the director and you. The director said that she played Ophelia Leah is pretty good too. So, nine times out of ten, she’s going to be in the team to play Ophelia for you.”
This girl is really good. It will become a tool in the future. “Come on, it’s good. What kind of problem is this?” At this moment, Zhuang Yichen’s usual disapproving, hypocritical and detached tone came in handy.
“I also think that you will think it’s okay, and there won’t be too much contention at the meeting. Let her come, I really should study hard with you. Okay, then you have a good rest, and I will find you if there is any progress in the next step. Have a good night Have a meal!” Chen Yang finished speaking and hung up the phone.
The feeling of exhaustion lasted for a while, and Zhuang Yichen rekindled his enthusiasm for life. Indeed, tonight deserves a good meal! At least let me not think about anything and enjoy tonight. She picked up her cell phone and called Lu Lang. The phone rang for a while before Lu Lang picked it up. Without saying a word, Zhuang Yichen heard an unfamiliar voice from Lu Lang’s side, “Lu, who is it? Who is looking for you again?” Zhuang Yichen immediately realized , Lu Lang must be inconvenient tonight.
Footsteps came from Lu Lang’s side, and it became quiet again, probably walking to another room. His voice was distant and gentle, “Congratulations, what you want has come true. I know you can do it. Do you want to celebrate tonight?”
“No, just tell you.” Zhuang Yichen said immediately. Lu Lang was silent for a while, and said, “Okay, then you can rest at ease. Treat you to dinner another day.”
“Okay.” Zhuang Yichen hung up the phone. She shouldn’t feel lost. Lu Lang and she have their own lives. This is their silent contract.
She couldn’t call Su either. At least not right now. Su should have just finished the meeting, perhaps on his way home to cook for the children. One cannot allow oneself to be immersed in such ludicrously artificial bleakness. The old lady is the winner. always.
Zhuang Yichen straightened himself up and stood up from the slumped sofa. She was going to put on that Chanel suit and eat at the most expensive restaurant. Order a good tomahawk steak, medium rare, with the best cabernet red wine you can find in the shop. No one can take away the glory that belongs to me, not even myself. She smiled, as if facing the empty seat in front of her.
At ten o’clock on Tuesday morning in the first week of December, Zhuang Yichen walked into rehearsal hall No. 1 on the fourth floor of the theater building. This is currently the largest rehearsal hall in the theater, with an area of more than 200 square meters and a ceiling height of nearly five meters, creating a space similar to the theater’s grand stage. Only the three rows of wide, always well-maintained large windows on the wall facing the south reveal sufficient sunlight and the forest of buildings in the outside world, revealing the difference between this place and the stage. On the wall facing the window, there is a mirror that is as wide as the entire wall and more than two meters high.
In the center of the rehearsal hall, four rows of long white tables have been set up in a square. Behind the table is a black chair every half a meter. A printed script is placed on the table facing the seat. Steaming coffee and a bottle of mineral water with the label removed. The first week of rehearsal is to sit and read the script. After the second week, the tables and chairs will be removed, and the rehearsal of actions and scheduling will be carried out on the ground. Many actors who had already arrived were seated on three sides of the long table, and the loud chatter echoed throughout the room. Zhuang Yichen walked into the rehearsal field with his head held high, and greeted his colleagues one by one in a friendly and polite manner. She didn’t need much effort to see where she was supposed to sit at a glance — the only vacant chair among the almost full seats, the most central position of the long table on the south side. That’s the seat she always sat in for the past ten years. The protagonist’s seat is facing the director’s seat at the long table on the north side. The long table on the north side is now empty. No scripts, no coffee, not even a water bottle on the table.
After Zhuang Yichen walked around the field and greeted everyone, he walked to his seat. She took off her satchel, hung it on the back of the chair, pulled the chair back slightly, and sat down firmly. Ah, the smell of the rehearsal ground. Mixed with the fragrance of the morning, the stale air of the night before, the aroma of coffee, and the invisible atmosphere of ambition and struggle. So exhilarating. Always. Zhuang Yichen took a deep breath and flipped through the script in front of him. As expected, it was Zhu Shenghao’s translation. A satisfied smile appeared on her face. She has already memorized all the lines, but she still has to show the attitude she should have when reading it, and she must be as cautious and humble as when she opened it for the first time.
Chen Yang walked around to arrange various chores, distributed drinks, and ordered his assistants to ask everyone’s lunch preferences. Seeing that Zhuang Yichen was seated, Chen Yang walked over to Zhuang Yichen with a light hand on her shoulder, and smiled. Said to everyone, “Sister Yichen invited everyone to drink coffee, everyone, don’t be impatient, the director will be here soon.” The voice of thanks flooded the table, and Zhuang Yichen smiled humbly and nodded to indicate that you are not polite. Before going out in the morning, Zhuang Yichen transferred the coffee money to Chen Yang as usual, and the main character would invite the coffee on the first day of each rehearsal, which has quietly become the routine of the crew. In the early years, they didn’t pay attention to these things, and everyone brought their thermos cups to rehearse. Now that the world has changed, Zhuang Yichen has to keep up.
The central air conditioner was blowing warm air into the room, and Zhuang Yichen’s body gradually heated up. She unbuttoned her coat, took off the coat, and casually threw it on the back of the chair behind her. She carefully selected the clothes suitable for the first day of rehearsal, which were comfortable yet dignified, a black silk shirt with a neutral cut, black casual trousers, a black woolen coat, and black flat-heeled leather shoes. Zhuang Yichen picked up the script and held it in front of his eyes, flipping through it while scanning the people at the table from the edge of the paper from time to time. There were a few people who were as early as she had expected, and they were all very reliable actors, who would be the first person that any director would think of when pulling a team. On her right sits Old Lin, who played Hamlet twenty years ago and Hamlet’s uncle Claudius twenty years later. Alas, who will the heaven spare. Sitting on the left is Sister Rong, who is only five years older than her, but now she is going to play her mother, Gertrude. Sister Rong laughed and talked flirtatiously with the young actor beside her, Zhuang Yichen thought to herself, she probably felt uncomfortable. Ha, so what? Zhuang Yichen glanced around, she was looking for someone.
It should be that girl. Sitting in the middle of the long table on the west side, she was wearing a pure white unpatterned sweater and a fluffy white scarf around her neck. That should be Aiko. Zhuang Yichen had never been on the same stage with Aike, not even in the theater building or in the corridor of the dressing room. This building is big and small, and it takes a bit of luck for people from two different groups to meet by chance. Zhuang Yichen looked at the girl. Well, handsome eyebrows, slender neck, good proportion of facial features, fair skin, it can be seen that he is still a person who loves sports, and he can’t hide his youthful vigor just by sitting quietly. But that’s all. Her aura is a little weak, she even shows a little cowardice, and she is far from having her own aura brought out by the stage.
Zhuang Yichen was looking at Ai Ke, the girl seemed to feel something, suddenly raised her head, and cast her gaze on Zhuang Yichen, Zhuang Yichen caught the direct gaze without hesitation. The first encounter between people is always through eyes, not words. To Zhuang Yichen’s surprise, there was no provocation in the girl’s gaze, or even any message to convey, she just looked at Zhuang Yichen curiously and gently. There are more doubts in the eyes than declarations. Zhuang Yichen’s eyes and heart softened instantly. There was something in the girl’s eyes that Zhuang Yichen was very familiar with. Zhuang Yichen smiled at her, and quickly turned his gaze back to the script. The typeface on the script blurred in Zhuang Yichen’s eyes, and she was a little confused about her reaction.
The door of the rehearsal hall opened, Su Ling opened the door first and walked in, followed by the director and his assistant. The room fell silent immediately. The three of them walked slowly to the table on the north side. Su Ling pulled the director’s seat out, asked the director to sit down, and then sat on the director’s right hand side. Director assistant Xiao Wang sat on the left side of the director and opened his laptop.
“As usual, I should say something to encourage the formation of the team, but this time I don’t need to. You are all the leaders of the theater, what else do you need me to cheer up? Everyone has seen it. We have moved out the entire theater for this play. The best cast in the theater is directed by the director himself. I don’t need to emphasize how much the theater attaches importance to this play. I hope that in the next two months, everyone will show their skills and make a show that is placed on the screen. It is a classic work that is not inferior on the world stage, and it will make a good start for the theater’s 2020 performance season!” Su Ling finished speaking in one breath, her eyes and tone were as firm and powerful as a mountain tiger.
It’s a pity that Su doesn’t act. Zhuang Yichen looked at Su Ling and couldn’t help but raise the corner of his mouth. If Su also came on stage, I’m afraid he could play Hamlet. Everyone stared at the director, and the room was filled with solemnity. The director leaned on the chair, and Xiao Wang took out a thick stack of scripts from his backpack and placed it in front of the director. The stack of scripts was not newly printed, the paper was yellowed due to repeated reading, covered with creases and heavy black handwriting, it looked much thicker than the scripts in the hands of the actors. Zhuang Yichen immediately showed a trace of respect. There is no natural talent, behind it is the unspeakable sweat and blood.
The director turned a page of the script, raised his eyelids slightly, “Read it.” There was no room for any nonsense in his rehearsal field, he opened his long shirt and stabbed a spear. Usually the actors are used to listening for a long time before the official reading begins, but they dare not slack off for a moment in front of the director. No matter whether you are ready or not, the long spear will be stabbed in front of you quickly, and you can only barely parry it if you receive the attack immediately. Without further instructions, Xiao Wang calmly began to read the stage prompts, and the round-up reading began.
Everyone knows that the bones of this play must be hard to crack, but it’s not until the bones touch the front teeth that you can really feel how hard it is. The first to break his front tooth was the young actor He Chenguang who played Horatio, Hamlet’s close friend and staunch supporter. Even though he was young, he was almost thirty-two. In the outside world, this age should be the mainstay, with the qualifications to yell at others. But on the stage, people of this age are still young grass. Basically, every time He Chenguang read a paragraph, he would be scolded by the director.
“Horatio, are you a lunatic? What are you yelling at the top of your head? Is it you or Hamlet who is crazy in this play?” The director never called the actors’ names, only the names of the characters in the play, as if except for the skin of the characters Besides, the man under the skin doesn’t have any soul of his own.
He Chenguang argued for himself in a low voice, “I just think, didn’t he see a ghost? He should be a little scared…”
“Fear, fear. The only fear you can act out is screaming? Are you afraid now?”
“So did you yell? Do you dare to yell at me?”
“Use your brain. Don’t use stereotypical visible technology. Use your brain.”
“Good director, I’ll come in another way.”
Everyone didn’t dare to take a breath, their eyes were fixed on the script, nervously thinking about how to use their brains when it was their turn to read the words. Zhuang Yichen looked at He Chenguang who was sweating profusely, and felt a little sympathetic to him. Xiao He studied directing at the Drama Academy, but he never got the chance to direct a play after entering the theater, so he had to be an actor first. It’s sort of theater practice, you have to beat yourself up before you get a chance to do the work you really want to do. Last year, Xiao He tried his best and finally persuaded the theater to let him direct his first directorial work in the small theater with 200 seats upstairs. He invited almost all his colleagues and friends to watch it. He humbly asked everyone to give more opinions, but he didn’t know how much he wanted to prove his director skills.
Zhuang Yichen also went to see that play, and within ten minutes of the play, a live fish suddenly fell from the tripod above the stage and hit the seat not far from the first row of seats where Zhuang Yichen was sitting. It made her soul fly out of her body for several seconds. During the 80 minutes of the whole play, the fish was thrashing and struggling desperately, looking for life-saving water, and kept flailing until the end of the play, and finally made a heroic sacrifice for the art of drama with its belly upright. Looking back on that play now, Zhuang Yichen couldn’t remember the plot in it at all, and only the fish’s small mouth opened and closed until it could no longer open in his mind. Alas, that poor fish. No, it’s those ten poor fish. This play was performed ten times, and ten fish fell out. May they rest in peace.
To be honest, Zhuang Yichen thinks that Xiao He still has some ideas as a director. She can also understand Xiao He’s intention of using the desperately struggling fish as a metaphor for the plight of the characters in the play. Although a little cruel. And a little inexplicably funny. But he still has his own ideas, much better than many directors. If he has the opportunity to direct two or three plays, he will be able to gradually understand what is going on in rehearsal. I just don’t know if he still has this chance.
Soon, Zhuang Yichen had no sympathy for others. Dao Dao’s old bone didn’t want to break her teeth, he just wanted to mash her flesh, mash it into fine pieces and stick it with superglue to continue reciting words. In the past month, she didn’t really take a break at all. She went through every line and monologue carefully, and re-watched the important versions of Hamlet’s performance videos in various countries and years. way of performing. As a result, every time a sentence is uttered, the director has to correct it, either because he is dissatisfied with the placement of the accent, or with the emotion, or even with the rhythm of the breathing. “Hamlet, are you crazy or stupid? Are you really crazy or pretending to be crazy? Can you tell the difference?” “Hamlet, why do you pause after the second comma in this sentence? What are you waiting for? Wait for your mother.” Come rushing to kiss you before hugging you?” “Hamlet, ‘A man can smile all over his face and yet be a murderer in his heart. What do you think this sentence means? Who is he talking about? His uncle , or the mother, or himself? You think it through before you speak.”
Forget about these, they are all small troubles, Zhuang Yichen can bear it completely. There is no distinction between big and small on the rehearsal field, and she doesn’t feel that she deserves more respect and humility than others. What really pierced her heart was when the director suddenly slammed the table after finishing reading the play, causing everyone present to tremble. The big guide stared at her like a lion, and his tone was extremely severe.
“Hamlet, why on earth do you think I let you play this part?”
Zhuang Yichen was stunned, “Me? I…”
“Yes, that’s you. A woman. Why should I have a woman play Hamlet?”
Yes, why did you choose me? Why did you let me come, and you are not satisfied with my lines, expressions, and breathing. Damn, why?
“I’m not trying to make you a man. You can act like a man, but you’ll never be a man. If I need a man, isn’t there everywhere? Can’t he act? Can’t he act? He Can’t you?!” The director waved his fingers wildly, pointing at Lao Lin, Xiao He and several others. Even though it was just a metaphor, the person who was randomly pointed out by the director still couldn’t hide a little joy.
“I don’t want a man. I don’t want a woman either. You have to think about what exactly I want? If you can’t figure it out, this play isn’t shit.” The director raised his wrist and looked at his watch. It’s almost six o’clock. He stood up, his voice suddenly showing fatigue. “Come here today.” Who wouldn’t be tired? For eight hours, he only rested for less than an hour at lunch. As soon as the voice fell, the director turned around and walked out of the rehearsal hall. Xiao Wang quickly closed the computer and walked out after the director.
The first day was a storm. As soon as the director’s figure disappeared, the rehearsal hall was filled with wailing. Sister Rong patted her thigh, looked at Zhuang Yichen mournfully and said, “It’s over, I regret it. I regret it completely. At my age, I really can’t stand this kind of torture.” Zhuang Yichen forced himself to rush She forced a grin. I really don’t have the strength to fake a smile. Only the actors are left in the rehearsal hall, and they can complain as much as they want. Su Ling left quietly just after listening to the first scene, and the other staff waited until the leader left the scene, and quickly slipped away one by one with oil on their feet. Seeing that the momentum was wrong, Chen Yang walked among the actors, patted this shoulder, hugged that arm, and kept reassuring, “It’s okay, it’s okay, the back will be smooth, the back will be smooth.” No one would believe it This word.
Chen Yang walked to Zhuang Yichen’s side, before he opened his mouth, Zhuang Yichen immediately raised his hand to signal that there was no need to do this to her. Chen Yang blinked, nodded, walked around her, walked to Sister Rong’s side, held Sister Rong’s hand and listened to her vomit. Zhuang Yichen held back the heavy depression in his chest, stood up and picked up his coat and satchel, she just wanted to get out of here to take a breath. When he walked to the theater foyer, Zhuang Yichen heard someone calling himself behind him. When she heard the first call, she stepped up her pace, trying to pretend she didn’t hear it and go out of the gate. When the second call came, she recognized the voice, gradually slowed down and stopped.
The furry Aike chased after him from behind. She was wearing a light yellow down jacket, with a circle of white fur around her hat, and a small black cat doll with fur was pinned to a canvas bag slung across her back. “Sister Yichen, you walk really fast.” Ai Ke gasped, “I really want to have a drink now, would you like to come with me?” Ai Ke stared at Zhuang Yichen, his tone as relaxed as if They’ve known each other for far too long, and it’s not the first time they’ve met today.
“I’m driving.” Zhuang Yichen looked at the girl. If there is any surprise in today’s reading, it is that she got to know this young girl again. Once Aike enters the role, she is no longer that timid little girl with a weak aura. Even if she just sits and reads the script, she quickly exudes an extraordinary temperament from the moment she takes on the role. Her voice is no longer weak, and the deep resonance pushes the lines clearly into the depths of everyone’s cochlea. Emotional vortex. When every actor is reprimanded by the director, most of them will involuntarily shrink their shoulders, stare at the script and dare not look up, but she always raises her head to meet the fierce gaze of the director, with a half-smile on her face. This girl is interesting.
“Oh. It’s a pity. After a rehearsal like this, I always feel like I can’t relax without a drink.” Ai Ke showed a regretful expression, but his eyes were holding Zhuang Yichen tightly. That look was like a sharp sword and a duster covered with fluff, which made Zhuang Yichen’s heart tense and tense.
“To be honest, I feel the same way. Forget it, let’s have a drink.” As soon as the words came out, I regretted it. It’s a little too early. Zhuang Yichen never drinks with people he just met, let alone colleagues. It was too late to regret, Aike immediately said the tavern he wanted to go to, and walked out of the door. Zhuang Yichen shook his head slightly, and followed her out of the theater gate.
Unexpectedly, this girl is the kind who drinks liquor. Don’t girls her age prefer to drink red wine or beer? In their eyes, white wine is only something that old men drink. But baijiu was what Zhuang Yichen needed most at this time, it was strong enough to decompress. After pouring a sip of white wine into his empty stomach, Zhuang Yichen’s head buzzed, the screws on his body suddenly loosened, and the heavy knot in his chest slowly diluted. What the hell am I doing? Zhuang Yichen thought about it, and took another sip.
“I found that although everyone is afraid of being scolded by the big director, everyone is actually looking forward to being scolded by him. Being scolded by him is uncomfortable, but at least it shows that your role is important, and you are worthy of training in his eyes Yes. So people who have not been scolded feel more panicked and fearful. Because it means that your character is not even worthy of being scolded, and you are not even bothered to train you. Therefore, everyone is trembling I’m afraid of being scolded by him, but I’m eager to be scolded by him, so I’d like to scold him more.” Aike said, playing with the vegetables on his plate with his chopsticks.
“You’re quite good at observing.” Zhuang Yichen swallowed the food like chewing wax. She couldn’t taste the taste, but her body was as empty as an unsatisfied beast squatting. It had to be fed for the blood to continue. circulation.
“Maybe I’m still too young. I wasn’t even born when the director became famous. I was still in elementary school and middle school when his most famous masterpiece was staged, and I didn’t have the chance to see it with my own eyes. It’s only now that I can work with him. There is a chance. You are the people who witnessed his legendary career. I just live in the myths and legends about him. My experience is different. I can’t be in it, but it makes me feel that I can dissociate from it all. ”
Zhuang Yichen paused with his chopsticks for a few seconds and looked up at the girl. Ai Ke’s mind didn’t seem to be in his body, and no one could say where it went. When Aike pulled his mind back and looked at Zhuang Yichen with a sense of embarrassment, Zhuang Yichen hurriedly continued to pick up vegetables to eat and drink with wine. It’s a little bad, the way things are going. Zhuang Yichen regretted it more and more.
“But the feeling for you is different.” Ai Ke looked at Zhuang Yichen with a smile.
“Oh, really?” Zhuang Yichen’s heartstrings were forcibly plucked, and she tried her best not to think about it.
“Yeah, it’s completely different. I was so impressed. The first time I saw your play, I was still in drama school, the summer of my sophomore year, and I was not yet twenty years old. Art Theater’s version of “The Seagull.” You played Nina.”
Zhuang Yichen quickly recalled in his mind, the first thing that clearly emerged from the fog of memory was the image of himself wearing a top in that play, followed by the stage set, rival actors, that version of the director, and a few bits and pieces of highlights. After trying to get rid of these phantoms, she barely remembered that it should be 2011. In this way, Aike is only twenty-eight years old now. God, it was already eight years ago.
“I kept crying for the last half an hour of the play. I am the person who doesn’t like to cry. From childhood to adulthood, I have never cried once because of things in life. But when I watched the play, I just couldn’t help it. Tears, makes me want to pump myself and can’t figure out why. I probably learned to act just to figure it out. Why do I cry when I sit in a theater and look at things that are both real and fake. You Made me cry. I don’t say this to flatter you. You completely turned me over. Looking at you on the stage, I feel a weird horror. This person looks thin and weak, after all Where is the power to conquer so many people. I can conquer me. Even if it is a kind of deception, it is the most advanced kind of deception. It is not by characters and stories, but by her heart. It can deceive a person It hurts my heart because of what happened to me. Since then, Art Theater has become the highest pursuit goal in my heart. Because Art Theater has you.”
There was a film of water in Aike’s eyes. It’s not tears, it’s just a film, so crystal clear that anyone who thinks what she said is not from the heart will feel guilty for even a trace of doubt. It was not the first time Zhuang Yichen heard these words from other people, and it was more than once. But these words came out of her mouth and seeped out of her eyes with a light film of water, which made Zhuang Yichen touched as if hearing it for the first time. It can be seen that this girl is a sincere person. Zhuang Yichen thought to himself, this is a good thing for actors, but not entirely a good thing.
“I don’t know what to say to what you said.” This sentence is true, Zhuang Yichen really doesn’t know what to say. She raised her glass and touched Aike’s glass lightly. Both drank it in one gulp. Zhuang Yichen trembled from the heat.
“I know I’m a little funny, talking about this kind of vulgar drama where fans who have worked hard for many years can finally sit in front of their idols and pour out their admiration. A week or two, when we get to know each other better, I will have a drink with you alone. They told me that you never eat alone with other actors. But after today’s rehearsal, I suddenly feel that everything is not important. Shame is not shame, vulgarity is not vulgar , It seems that I don’t care at once. Anyway, if you are happy, come, and if you are not happy, I will wait. I didn’t expect you to come.” Ai Ke smiled and poured another glass of wine for himself and Zhuang Yichen.
“I really want to have a drink too.” This sentence is not true. Zhuang Yichen could drink it after going home by himself. Usually that makes her more comfortable. But to be honest, she couldn’t tell Aike.
“I may know what the director said at the end.” The film in Aike’s eyes suddenly flickered.
“Oh? Tell me.”
“When I watch your performance, I always have that kind of feeling. I can’t sum it up, I can only briefly talk about my feelings. When you perform, no matter what role you play, no matter what age, you can be lifelike, but , and you all have a certain quality about yourself. That quality is so strong that it immediately makes you look different from any other actor. You look like a woman, but not quite. You might say that you look like a man, but you don’t Exactly. You seem to move between the two sexes with ease and talent. Your tenderness is not all feminine, but it is not masculine. Your toughness is not Women’s tenacity and courage are not men’s. I have been wondering where this thing came from and how it fits together harmoniously. You may have noticed that I often subconsciously imitate you when I read words I can’t help it. It’s so attractive. But it’s not right for me to imitate it because I’m not you. That quality comes from who you are, and it doesn’t make you look good through imitation. I can’t tell. But I think that’s why the directors chose you to play Hamlet. They informed me that the role was finally you, and I wasn’t surprised or disappointed. I’m just a poor young copy of you. But never you.”
I don’t know if it was the effect of alcohol, Zhuang Yichen’s nasal cavity was sour, and tears were almost choked out. It was the first time she had heard such words. It was enough to shock her, but it seemed to have already been dormant in the depths of her soul. Aike just brushed off the dust covering the top for her, making it appear clearly. Zhuang Yichen came back to his senses, raised his head and drank the white wine in the glass, and then filled it up for himself. No, I have to quickly change the subject. Otherwise, it will only get deeper and deeper. It’s too bad.
“Hey, don’t keep talking about me, and don’t talk about work. I’m really exhausted after this day. Tell me about yourself.” Zhuang Yichen said pretending to be relaxed.
“Myself? I’m such a dull person that I have nothing to talk about.”
“Come on. Talk about it, anything. Single? In a relationship? Married?” Damn, why is this about being in love. Zhuang Yichen suddenly realized that the direction of this topic was more dangerous than before.
“Single, of course. In our job, it is difficult to fall in love like ordinary people. I have had a few partners, and the relationship is very short. Either I can’t stand each other, or the other party can’t stand me. According to my exes, I’m completely lacking in life interest. I don’t even know what is interest in life. Is it interest in life to drive to the beach to watch the sunrise, or is it interest in life to play with flowers and plants at home? I’m too lazy to figure it out.”
They chatted on and on until after ten o’clock, when the tavernkeeper came up and said it was closing. Why is there still a tavern that closes at ten o’clock in the evening? ! Zhuang Yichen rushed to pay the bill, and Ai Ke immediately said that she had to invite her next time. next time. Hearing this word, Zhuang Yichen’s fear was greater than his expectation.
The two stood on the side of the street waiting for their respective cars. The cold air of the winter night was blowing the fine hair on the clothes around Aike’s neck, and her red face was shining in the night, like a luminous rabbit. Zhuang Yichen tried not to look at her. Aike turned around, looked up at Zhuang Yichen, and asked in a low voice, “You didn’t drink too much, did you? Do you want me to take you home?” As he spoke, Aike raised his hand and held Zhuang Yichen Gently pin the blown hair behind the ears. Zhuang Yichen’s scalp tightened, his lips moved a few times, and he replied weakly, “No. I didn’t drink too much. No need. There is rehearsal tomorrow, so go back and rest early.”
Aike still looked at her, hesitating to speak. It was completely different from the relaxed and comfortable time when she invited Zhuang Yichen to drink in the theater hall. The car called by Zhuang Yichen arrived, waiting by the side of the road with double flashing lights on. Zhuang Yichen said goodbye to Aike in a hurry, and got into the back seat of the car in a hurry. She rolled down the window of the rear seat, letting the cold wind that blew into the car violently wake her up.
Don’t do something that is not there, the most important thing right now is to figure out how to perform this play well. Everything else will disappear the moment the stage lights come on. Only the play is the most important. Always be. Zhuang Yichen closed his tired eyes heavily.
Not a man, not a woman, what the hell does that mean. As the rehearsal progressed slowly, the director’s words became more and more heavy like Wuzhishan covered with talismans, firmly suppressing Zhuang Yichen, preventing her from using all her abilities. Zhuang Yichen actually felt that he couldn’t act anymore. She is the only support for people in this world, and the firewood has been emptied by others, and no sparks can be ignited.
Many years ago, someone recommended to Zhuang Yichen a small book written by Tang Degang on Mei Lanfang, “Mei Lanfang’s Biography”. These days, Zhuang Yichen has re-discovered the book and re-read Tang’s description of Mei over and over again. Tang Shumei, acting as a woman with a man’s body, “The first thing to do is to behave lasciviously. You have to desperately ‘sex; you want to smash three points to the bone, and you want to blow like Jia Lian said’ to make the second master angry. “The Huadan opera written by Meimei has been revised by a group of literati with ingenuity, and the words have been improved a lot. “It can perform traditional music and is obscene but vulgar without hurting elegance.” The crowd watching under the writing stage sighed, “All men want to marry Lan Fang as their wives, and all women want to marry Lan Fang as their home”, and even exclaimed, “It is said that there is love in the world, why make me so old and ugly?”
May’s artistic achievements need no further emphasis. From the nineteenth century to the twentieth century, May has become one of the “three major theatrical performance systems in the world” alongside Stanislavsky and Brecht in the industry. But following the clues in it to think carefully, Zhuang Yichen always felt a certain uneasiness that was difficult to put on the table. On the stage of traditional performances, the role of women is occupied by men, and the right to speak in appreciation and interpretation is also occupied by men. Zhuang Yichen didn’t have Qi Rushan and Tang Degang without her, and it was hard to even say that there would be an audience who sighed like that. Even if she stands on the stage of the 21st century, she is really like Mrs. Mei, playing the role of a man as a woman, and the audience in the audience can exclaim, “Women all want to marry Yichen, and men all want to marry.” Yichen considers his wife”? In the first half of the sentence, she had a good idea in her heart, but in the second half of the sentence, she knew it was impossible even if she thought about it with her toes. She reckoned that if she transformed herself into an image of “more man than man”, she might only make the men in the audience panic, feel jealous, and feel disgusted.
How can a woman’s quality be just a word of “wave”, just like a man’s quality is not just a word of “courage”. Naturally, the current stage cannot be imagined with the scenes written by Tang Jun in the 1950s, but in the final analysis, the essence is still not bad. Taking a stereotyped trait in a single gender and pushing it to extremes, and more extremes, captures every soul that is shaken. This is the secret and the shortcut. Its establishment has a premise that everyone knows that under the skin on the stage, there is a body of the opposite gender. Otherwise the myth will be shattered.
The secrets and shortcuts she knew were naturally clear to the director. That’s why the director firmly blocked this shortcut and wouldn’t let her go. After landing and starting to rehearse actions and maneuvers, Zhuang Yichen was forced back to the edge of the cliff step by step, with the abyss behind her, and the usual road in front of her was blocked again, making her unable to move. The other actors in the same group found the feeling faster. After letting go of the body, the rhythm of the language quickly followed. The firepower of the big instructor’s scolding gradually concentrated on Zhuang Yichen alone, which made her extremely painful. Yet this constant pain also breeds intense pleasure. Just as she expected when she was struggling for this role, she knew that as long as she survived this test and figured out this problem, she would definitely burn the seemingly prosperous feathers of the past in the raging flames, and reborn a new one from the ashes. A whole new self. She can only rely on this ray of hope that is still out of reach to endure the current ordeal.
She has many problems to solve. For example, how to deal with their own obvious female characteristics — breasts. Her breasts were of the right size, not overly plump, and showed no sign of sagging in her forties. Before that, she seldom paid attention to her breasts, as long as they were just like the meat on her arms, belly and thighs, as long as they were not redundant. In performances, she seldom uses the characteristics of her body to present characters, so she doesn’t deliberately raise her chest to show her sexiness like some actors. At this time, she has to rethink how to use this body properly. Is it to use the cover of the clothes to dilute the existence of the breasts, or to reveal them directly and frankly? The former method is within reasonable imagination, but the latter may have unexpected effects. For another example, should her behavior be like that of Mei Jun, who used a few weak and delicate fingers to tease everyone’s hearts, and then used violent and powerful fingers to cut through all the hypocrisy in front of her? Or should we let nature take its course and not overly express the sense of male power?
All the problems to be solved are related to the fundamental problem that haunts her heart: what exactly does the director want? What did his unclear words mean? The more she wanted to know, the more the director made a detour and didn’t speak directly. She strongly suspected that the director couldn’t tell what she wanted, only what she didn’t want. What she doesn’t want is everything she presents right now. It’s terrible. Zhuang Yichen is ups and downs every day in the sea of desires of “I want to die so much” and “I can’t do it, I have to carry it, I can do it”. , pierced back and forth by the salty and sharp waves.
By the way, there is also Aike. This scary elf, this sweet little devil. After having dinner with Aike that night, Zhuang Yichen kept avoiding her on purpose. Although Aike’s actions and words showed simplicity and sincerity, not only to her, but also to everyone, after the initial alcohol and curiosity subsided, Zhuang Yichen became alert again. They are colleagues, they are performing in the same group, they are all popular actors in the theater, and there is a difference of fourteen years between them. No matter which one, it was Zhuang Yichen’s biggest taboo.
Aike said that he wanted to come to the crew to study, and he was serious. During rehearsals and breaks, she tirelessly chatted with every rival actor and every staff member. The questions she asked were strange and dense, often making the eyes of the person being asked straight and their tongue stiff, not knowing how to respond. Why do you think it is best not to move while speaking? Do you think Ophelia’s sentence is a real interrogative sentence or a trap-like rhetorical question? Why do you think she loves her father more, or Hamlet, or her brother, or herself? Why do you want to take two steps forward when you say this line, is it your own inner impulse or you want to give your opponent more stimulation? Why do you think this pause is included in the music? Is it for the transition or to enhance the mood of the characters? The crew quickly nicknamed her Little Blue Cat. It seems to come from some cartoon, the little blue cat has three thousand questions at any time. Oddly enough, no one hates her. This has to be placed on another young actress. Within a day, everyone in the crew will be bored to death, and everyone will have to avoid it. Not for her. No one who gets along with her will feel that her questioning is a kind of entanglement, or that she is close to it. In this building, everyone is full of sharp eyes, masters of disguise, and masters of deviousness. Even if Aike has an inadvertent hypocrisy, everyone will immediately and keenly catch it.
Almost every three or two days, Aike would invite Zhuang Yichen to drink alone at the end of the rehearsal. Zhuang Yichen searched for reasonable excuses, oh, I’m not feeling well today, oh, I made an appointment in advance today, ah, it’s too unfortunate that my aunt came with a stomachache. She thought that by dodging it once or twice, anyone would know what to do and stop making fun of themselves. But Aike just blinked with a smile, and invited again a few days later as if nothing had happened.
I can avoid meeting alone, but obviously I can’t avoid the rehearsal of the opponent’s play and the three thousand questions from the little blue cat. This is their job, and it is also the moment when Zhuang Yichen will temporarily put aside all worries and devote himself to it. Almost every question from Aike will trigger Zhuang Yichen’s real thinking. Years of repeated rehearsal work, no matter how hard professionalism is, will inevitably lead to burnout, using the acting skills that I have gained too much recognition to cover up the cruel fact of self-repetition. Aike’s question forced her to re-examine her proficient skills and her usual performance. Unknowingly, Zhuang Yichen began to look forward to the figure of the little blue cat bouncing towards her every day after the rehearsal of a segment was over. Terrible.
In the rehearsal of the first scene of the third act, the segment of Hamlet and Ophelia’s two-person play alone strangled Zhuang Yichen’s throat. The number of rehearsals for this scene is not enough, but it is almost too much for Zhuang Yichen mentally. When rehearsing this scene, the rehearsal hall is always terribly quiet. People who sit on the sidelines and cover their mouths and gossip when they are not rehearsing their own scenes on weekdays, people who hide behind the table and steal snacks, and watch entertainment gossip on their mobile phones The people on the shopping website all closed their mouths, put down their phones, and watched the two of them play with their breath held. When Hamlet said the phrase “I never loved you” to Ophelia, the flickering water film in Aike’s pupils almost broke, and the heartbreak gushing out of it pierced into Zhuang Yichen’s heart. heart. Regardless of whether other people can see it, Zhuang Yichen knows very well in his heart that the real feeling of heartache she felt at that moment came more from her heart than from the character’s heart. Sometimes she can’t hold back her curiosity, eager to know if Aike has the same feeling in her heart. But she must never really ask.
At the end of this day’s rehearsal, several actors on the sidelines applauded involuntarily, and some people wiped their tears from the side of their heads. Da Dao rested his head in one hand, raised the other hand and waved it, “Why applaud? That’s it? It’s not far away.” Burying his body into the wall, he didn’t dare to let out a breath. Zhuang Yichen clenched his fists, trying to comfort himself, trying to swallow an elephant? The trick is to only eat one bite at a time. You just wait for me, old man, sooner or later you will definitely gnaw away your hard bone.
After the rehearsal was over, the residual prestige of that scene was still clamoring for Zhuang Yichen. She packed her clothes in a trance and was about to leave, when the little blue cat jumped towards her. Zhuang Yichen lowered his head and pretended to be looking for something, not wanting to face Aike’s eyes.
“Go to the bar? I really want to have a drink with you today. Don’t tell me that you have another date.” The little blue cat said standing beside Zhuang Yichen.
Zhuang Yichen let out a sigh of regret, “Oh, I really have an appointment.”
“Are you hiding from me on purpose? What are you worried about?”
How could she ask such a straightforward question! How can anyone speak without leaving room for themselves and the other party?
“How come? Why should I hide from you?”
“You know I like you. Are you worried? Can’t we talk?”
There was a series of thunder in Zhuang Yichen’s head, causing chest tightness and tinnitus. She didn’t have to look for what she pretended to be looking for, she had to run away immediately. But you can’t just run away like this, as if admitting something.
“I like you too. Everyone in the crew likes you, everyone thinks you are cute. I really have an appointment today, look,” Zhuang Yichen raised his hand and looked at his watch, “I’m late. As soon as the line reaches the key scene, it will delay the time. I have to go first. You can ask if there is anyone else who can drink with you.” She lifted the bag and put it on her shoulder.
Hearing her words, Ai Ke suddenly seemed to be a different person, and a rare sarcasm flashed in his eyes, “That’s okay, He Chenguang must be free, he said earlier that he wanted to invite me to drink. I’ll find him.” As soon as he finished speaking, before Zhuang Yichen could react, Ai Ke turned around and walked to He Chenguang’s side. The two chatted for a few words, and He Chenguang immediately showed joy, and happily followed Aike out of the gate of the rehearsal field.
Zhuang Yichen stayed where he was for a moment. This girl is really good. She stood still for a while, calculating the time in her head, guessing that Aike and the others should have taken the elevator down, and after walking out of the theater building, they walked slowly out of the rehearsal hall. She got into her car, stayed in a daze for a while, started the engine and drove the car directly downstairs to Lu Lang’s house. She can’t spend tonight by herself, and she doesn’t bother to think about whether it is convenient for Lu Lang. At this moment, she really needs his company.
Lu Lang was working overtime at the company, and when he received a call from Zhuang Yichen, he had a meeting that he had to hold. It was almost nine o’clock when he returned home after the meeting. Walking out of the elevator door of the apartment, Lu Lang saw Zhuang Yichen sitting on the mat at the door of his house, disheveled, like a well-dressed beggar. Lu Lang walked up to Zhuang Yichen, kicked Zhuang Yichen’s calf, and motioned her to step aside so that he could open the door. Zhuang Yichen raised his face and looked at Lu Lang, “I sat here and listened to the rolling sound of the elevator for three hours. Do you know what I found? The sound of the continuous rolling of the elevator is like the roar of a monster in a cabinet. Like the waves of the sea An invitation to the sea. A tribute to friction and friction. But the elevator also left me wondering, what does all this time and suffering mean to me?”
“Which line is that from a play you acted in again? Get up, go in and talk. Don’t you have the key to my house?” Lu Lang was still kicking Zhuang Yichen, so she had to move her butt laboriously, turning her back behind her. The door was given to Lu Lang.
“I’m at home. I don’t want to go back and get it.” Zhuang Yichen stood up with his hands on the ground, a little dizzy, and walked into Lu Lang’s house while leaning on the wall.
Lu Lang saw that she hadn’t eaten, so he went into the kitchen after changing his clothes, took out all the edible food he could find in the refrigerator and piled it in front of her, and poured wine for both of them. “Tell me. What’s the matter?”
“It’s not the lines of some f*cking play. The screenwriter who wrote this kind of words and put them on the stage is too hypocritical. It’s nothing.” Zhuang Yichen didn’t want to eat, so he just drank one sip after another. Lu Lang looked at her without speaking, drinking his wine quietly. Zhuang Yichen sighed, and intermittently talked about what happened recently. The mixed memories broke up the order of time, and only the order of out-of-control emotions dominated the narration. With a half-smile, Lu Lang listened to her chatter and chatter, circled around the key issues, and then approached the core carefully. Until Zhuang Yichen squeezed out all his emotions, he closed his mouth tiredly and could not utter a word.
“So. Are you sure the ‘like’ she said is the kind of ‘like you understand’?” Lu Lang asked the first question.
“You fucking…” Zhuang Yichen was furious for a moment, “I’m almost forty, and I have seen countless people, okay? I still can’t tell the difference?!”
Lu Lang raised his hand and made a downward motion to press the fire, drank the red wine in the wine glass, and poured himself another glass. “It’s a little troublesome.”
“What do you say?”
“We all know the reason why rabbits don’t eat grass beside their nests. But with your kind of work and your personality, if you don’t eat grass beside their nests, I’m afraid you will starve to death.”
“I’m not in the mood to joke with you.” Zhuang Yichen rolled his eyes in frustration.
“Look at Zhuang Dajiaoer. Tsk tsk. Let a little girl in her twenties make her lose her mind.”
“I’m leaving.” Zhuang Yichen got up and wanted to rush out the door, but Lu Lang grabbed his arm and pulled it hard, and fell back to the sofa.
“I want to say that the trouble is not that you are in the same unit, the situation is more complicated. The trouble is that you are really in love. I’m even jealous.”
“Really. Jealousy is too rare for you and me. We have no reason to be jealous of anyone. It’s not because we are too narcissistic, or have a good life. It’s simply hard to care about most other people in this world It’s a feeling of caring, doesn’t it? I haven’t seen you like this for a long time.” Lu Lang raised his eyes to the right and searched hard in his mind, “How long has it been? I can’t even remember. Anyway, it’s been a long time It’s been too long.”
Zhuang Yichen sat silently, messy memory fragments flashed in front of his eyes, some reflected colorful reflections, and some were stained with blood.
“I’m curious, what is it about her that attracts you. It’s not a rhetorical question, it’s not sarcasm, but it’s really curious?” Lu Lang asked her.
“Please, you are an artist, don’t use all the energy of an artist on getting stuck in your own emotions and disregarding others. Can you also use it on your rhetoric? Be specific.”
“She is very simple and sincere. She is eager, persistent, and frank. The frankness is a little scary. I always feel that if I want to be a good actor, I have to wrap myself in a shell. No, it should be many, many shells. Erli. The inner flesh may always be yourself, but the outer shell is thick and hard, and you have to peel off one layer and another layer inside, and there will always be peeling off. The better the actor, the more layers. There are more and more. But each layer is different, there must be a real difference, and a different light. You must grasp the degree of sincerity and weigh the thickness of each layer of shell. Only by constantly gaining joy in your life can you get new feelings every time you watch your performance and every character. Some people have been acting for a long time, but the shell is there, but the flesh is gone. Lost in the process of constantly shaping the shell In the trap, forget who you are. The audience is not interested in who you are. They just want to know how many unexpected performances you have, how many tricks that make them play repeatedly. But her, it is another matter entirely .Her shell is there when acting, but not really. Her shell is always transparent, no matter how thick the shell is, you can always see the innermost flesh. That is herself. I never dare to be like She’s like that. And, I’m pretty sure it’s not because she’s young, and I wasn’t like that when I was her age. I can imagine, even at my age, she’s still like that. Because she’s pretty sure that’s The way she wants.”
“Okay.” Lu Lang lightly put the wine glass in his hand on the table, and looked at Zhuang Yichen fixedly, “Now I’m really jealous. But what you said is more based on your professionalism towards her.” Observation of performance. What about her herself? Herself.”
Zhuang Yichen became excited and raised his voice, “Our professional performance is who we are! We have known me for so many years, don’t you understand this truth? We can create countless roles, the country It doesn’t matter, the age doesn’t matter, the race doesn’t matter, and now even the gender doesn’t matter, but everything we put into the performance is who we are!” Suddenly, Zhuang Yichen realized that he seemed to be pouring out in passion This is a matter of immense importance, but which has not yet formed the explicit action of language on itself. A decisive event for the performance of the present play. She calmed down instantly, thinking about what she said, trying to sort out what it was. Emotional distress seemed less important in comparison, and she fell into the maze of her own thinking. The labyrinth was shrouded in darkness, and the filaments of the thread flickered.
She could see Lu Lang’s thin lips slowly opening and closing, and she didn’t know what to say. A sound film of white noise was placed around her ears, isolating her from the world. After a long time, a clear voice passed through the membrane bubble again and entered her body.
“The point is not what I just said. The point is, can you tell the difference between work and your life? Can you really tell the difference? Didn’t you always say that most of you can’t distinguish between these two things, but life I will teach you a lesson. Are you sure you like her as a person, not the phantom that her performance presents? No matter how transparent the shell is, it is still a shell after all, isn’t it?… You are still listening to me ?”
“Listening. That’s not just a job. At least not to me.”
“I know. Your career, your passion, your, your, everything, okay? Anything. All I want to say is, first of all, you’re a human being, Zhuang. You’re a human being. You can’t take this A career is everything. You have to allow yourself to enjoy life at the same time. Real life.”
“Then you come and tell me, I sincerely ask you. What is real life?” Zhuang Yichen said indifferently, strangely alienated. The alienation learned from Lu Lang is better than blue. After Lu Lang saw it, the back of the spine couldn’t help but stand up fine hairs.
Lu Lang shook his head slightly, with a wry smile on his face, “You know, I’ve always felt, since a long time ago, that one day you will be tired, and so will I. Then we might get married, not like young I used to do that in order to show off to others and show to my parents. I was just tired. After that, it was just the two of us living a normal life.”
“You think so only because you gave up.” Zhuang Yichen remained indifferent.
“Give up what?”
“Give up the belief that you can have love.”
“Instead, I want to ask you. Excuse me, what is love.” After saying this, Lu Lang’s body collapsed, and he sank limply into the depths of the sofa, like a fragile child. Zhuang Yichen moved his body, approached Lu Lang, and pulled him into his arms, like playing with a puppet, put his head on his shoulders with his hands, and stretched out his arms to wrap him tightly.
“It’s so funny, us. Really. It’s too old to say such childish things in the middle of the night. It’s ridiculous.” Lu Lang rested his head on Zhuang Yichen’s neck, and his voice was muffled, walking along Zhuang Yichen’s body Neck and muscles crawled into her cranial cavity.
“Is it childish? Even if it is childish, what’s so good about a mature life?” Zhuang Yichen gently scratched Lu Lang’s oily scalp with his fingers, and saw a short white layer growing deep in his sparse hair hair roots. She suddenly wanted to laugh. Now Lu Lang went to the barber shop not to cut his hair, but to dye his hair.
“Zhuang, you have to allow yourself to enjoy life. Me too. If you really feel love, whatever that love is, go for it. Don’t worry about anything else.”
“Fine. Whatever else.”
Six years and eight months old. That was the age when Zhuang Yichen started to learn “acting”. Ever since she had memories of this huge and small world, the dealer has been running a small grocery store. In fact, the shop didn’t open until Zhuang Yichen was in the second year of junior high school. Before that, his father made all kinds of cheap and durable tools and scraps that others thought were inconspicuous in the small workshop transformed from the storage room at home. The small groceries that I made, my mother pushed a small flatbed trailer to the market to sell them every day. At the age of six years and eight months, Zhuang Yichen entered the local elementary school, not only officially obtained the status of a student, but also obtained the qualification to sell groceries with his mother after school.
At that time, she didn’t fully understand the real purpose of these miscellaneous goods made by her father. Baskets made of bamboo strips are used to hold rice noodles or carry children who can’t walk. The thin iron chains welded by hand are used to lock cars or home decorations. Clay pots of different sizes and colors are She doesn’t know whether it is used to grow flowers and plants or to store pickles. But she is observant. Not to observe the mother. Her mother was a shy, taciturn, and dreary person, and the burdens of life and the rigors of existence did not make her a shrewd and capable fighter who tried to snatch every possible resource she could grab. No one told the young Zhuang Yichen what to do, but she keenly realized that if she wanted to sell the goods her father worked hard for, she should observe those who could always sell their own goods.
Every day after school, Zhuang Yichen carried a small schoolbag and shuttled through the densely packed stalls in the market, listening to the cries of those people, observing their expressions, and capturing their conversations with customers. She doesn’t understand all of this, but that doesn’t matter. Because she can imitate. She replaced some words in the sales slogans shouted by those people, and turned them into promotional slogans for her own groceries. She put the expressions on the faces of those people on her own face. to the guest standing in front of her. As long as she stood in front of the stall for an hour or two every day, she could always sell more goods than my mother sold in the whole day. Who could resist an innocent little girl who imitated the grown-up worldly philistine so well? Her imitation wiped out all the worldly philistines, and dyed the mundane groceries with the brilliance of art. After work, the mother pushing the scooter would always stop at a small shop or a food stand on the way home, and buy her a popsicle or a skewer of barbecue as her reward. In fact, she doesn’t need more rewards, attracting others to stay in front of her stall, even if they don’t buy anything, they can’t move their feet, just to listen to her cries and see her imitation, this is enough for her rewarded. She knows that others are watching her, and she is proud of herself. The look on her mother’s face let her know that she, too, was proud of her.
The ultimate success makes all the memories stained with warm and soft tones. If now instead of center stage, she was still standing at the counter of her small grocery store at home, would she still view her childhood experience in this way? She knew clearly not. But anyway, she succeeded in the end. Pushing the imitation skills brought by my talent to the extreme and pushing it to a wider world, when I recall the beginning of my “acting career”, there is no sense of bitterness and inferiority, but full of heroic self-affirmation. Acting is such a magical art that even a person from a humble background can win a stage with his own aura and hard work, and she is the best proof. Of course, she will not ignore other external factors ignorantly and arrogantly, the gap of opportunity in the times, even though her parents did not understand when she wanted to go to drama school, they gave them all their support, and the help of noble people who appeared at critical moments in her career several times, lacked these Regardless of any of the factors, she would not be where she is today. But without her own relentless fighting spirit, without her consistent dedication to acting, those external factors are not enough to push a person to the top.
Looking at the unruly face in the makeup mirror, Zhuang Yichen pulled himself out of the immersion in the memories of the past, and let out a shallow breath. She cut short her long hair that had been growing for almost four years. It wasn’t so short that people would confuse its gender, but it only showed a slender neck and straight, flabby ears. This is the hairstyle the stylist and she decided on after discussing it with the director. The stylist originally wanted the trim to be shorter, cleaner and more masculine. Before the director could speak, she already knew what was going on in his heart and rejected the shorter hairstyle. It’s just right now. There is no distinction between male and female, and there is a dilemma. The last time I cut my hair for a role was ten years ago. Usually she only modifies with the help of a wig. But this time, she wants to firmly occupy this role from the inside out, from the joints of her body to every strand of hair.
In the afternoon, we will take photos of the characters’ makeup to help promote the new play. The pre-sale performance of this play is very good. Almost 80% of the tickets for each weekend of the performance day were sold out on the day of ticketing, leading all the theater’s statistics for the same period. But Chen Yang is not satisfied. In her words, if there is no one left in two weeks, and everyone rings up her phone to beg the theater to reserve locked tickets, she will not satisfied. The ticket sales are good, but it doesn’t mean there are no voices of doubt. It is precisely because there are too many voices of doubt that it has become one of the reasons for the good sales. “Women play Hamlet, is it because all the men in China are dead?” “The director is also late, and he has to rely on tricks to trick the audience into buying tickets.” “I really want to see Zhuang Yichen What is it like to pretend to be a man? Any comment disturbs my rhythm, but there are always troublesome people in the crew who can’t stand it and insist on reading it out in public. He was a little annoyed when he heard it at first, but Zhuang Yichen quickly tried to calm down. The person holding the mobile phone and sarcastically sarcasm just needs to move his fingers and loosen his mouth, the old lady is the one who shines on the stage. When the curtain rises, none of this matters anymore.
Zhuang Yichen adjusted the costume again in front of the makeup mirror, and patted off the dust from the cosmetics on the collar. She has four costumes in this play, and she is most satisfied with this one. A black collarless shirt with a wrinkled effect and a black casual suit with dark patterns and neutral tailoring, all of which have undergone an old-fashioned treatment, revealing an indescribably low sentimentality, which is very suitable for Hamlet’s first appearance at his father’s new funeral. The mother can’t wait for the wedding ceremony. Zhuang Yichen secretly felt that this costume had a similar temperament to the Chanel suit he wore when he first persuaded the director. But she didn’t dare to imagine that she guided the director’s judgment. Zhuang Yichen looked at himself in the mirror again, brewing his emotions before the performance, then got up and walked out of the dressing room, walked through the quiet actor’s passage, and walked to the shooting location.
The shooting room was full of people, photographers walking around looking for a suitable location, staff working with lighting fixtures, and actors waiting for shooting on the sidelines, all making scattered noises in their own order. Chen Yang stood in front of the shooting backdrop to discuss the shooting plan with the photographer. When he saw Zhuang Yichen walking in, he turned and walked to her side.
“Handsome, you stand up immediately when you put on the outfit!” Chen Yang folded his arms and looked at Zhuang Yichen first, then got into Zhuang Yichen’s arms like a fluttering bird, and put his head heavily On her shoulder, “Oh, I really want to be coquettish, hug me.” Zhuang Yichen smiled, wrapping his arms around Chen Yang lovingly. “Wait a little longer and they’ll get it done, you go ahead and shoot.”
Hearing Chen Yang’s words, Sister Rong who was standing aside immediately pouted and muttered, “You are the producer of our entire team, Yang Yang, why do you always favor Yichen. Really.”
Chen Yang immediately pulled his head from Zhuang Yichen’s shoulder, jumped to Sister Rong’s side, and pressed his head on Sister Rong’s shoulder again. “Oh, Sister Rong, there’s no favoritism. The light may not be adjusted to the best for the first shot. The finale is the right one. Let you be the finale.”
“I don’t want to be the finale. I have old arms and legs. I can’t stand for that long. You are biased. The other producers in the theater assign actors freely. You are like Yichen’s exclusive agent. Everyone The drama revolves around her, and we don’t have this kind of treatment.” Sister Rong became serious, her tone sounded like a coquettish, but the meaning behind her words was stinging.
Chen Yang lifted his head from Sister Rong and stood upright for a moment. Zhuang Yichen pretended not to hear, staring at the photographer to adjust the lamps. She knew that Chen Yang had the ability to deal with these deftly.
“I may be a little biased, and I admit it.” Chen Yang was still standing straight, and everyone was stunned when he heard her words, “I haven’t been in our theater for a long time, but it has been five or six years. Now I still dare not say that I understand acting and drama, but I feel like I am blind and slowly feel what an elephant’s legs and butt look like. I have seen so many people and experienced so many things. Sister Yichen It still makes me feel different. For many people, this job is no different from any other job. They work when they start working, and rest when they leave work. There are also fishers and workaholics. But Sister Yichen, I can never see anything else in her eyes and body. Whether she is working or not, as soon as she walks into the gate of the theater, there is only one thing in her eyes, which is her role , her play. I can’t tell, it’s probably not normal. But around her, it always makes me feel like this job is different from any other job. I’m like a fly all day long Talking about it in a hurry seems to have a little more meaning. This probably really made me a little biased. I will reflect on it.”
The room suddenly fell into a brief silence, even the workers who were setting up the lights stopped for a moment, and the noisy conversation around them disappeared instantly. to die. Why is this child expressing his feelings in public? It’s so unlike her. Zhuang Yichen became embarrassed, he didn’t know whether he should say a few words on the scene, or keep shutting up. Chen Yang immediately returned to normal, pulled Sister Rong’s arm and shook it, “Let Sister Rong take the first shot, everyone else is waiting first, so I can’t tire you. Come!” Chen Yang said while pulling Sister Rong’s arm hand, led Sister Rong to the front of the background cloth, and helped Sister Rong pose. The noise refilled the space.
“Look at you,” Zhuang Yichen was still in a daze, when a voice suddenly came to his ears, it was the little blue cat. Ai Ke’s lips were facing Zhuang Yichen’s ears, and his moist breath was blown into Zhuang Yichen’s ear holes following the words, “Look at you, the ecstasy drug given to everyone, everyone is fascinated.”
“If I really have this ability, I don’t have to worry about it. It seems that the dose of medicine for Sister Rong has to be increased.” Zhuang Yichen said with a smile.
Ai Ke leaned lightly beside Zhuang Yichen, and put part of her body weight on her, so that it wouldn’t be so heavy that she couldn’t stand still, but she might fall if she took it off. After spending that night at Lu Lang’s house, Zhuang Yichen never refused to meet Aike alone. From time to time, they would drink together after rehearsals, and went to other theaters to watch plays together twice. After watching the show, they took long walks along the quiet street to discuss the details of what they liked or disliked in the play. Satisfaction and joy are not enough to describe how Zhuang Yichen feels when he gets along with Aike, but she always keeps a safe distance, unwilling to take another half step forward. She couldn’t do “whatever else” as promised to Lu Lang. She couldn’t really ignore her worries, and she couldn’t ignore Aike’s either.
After taking the personal photo, Chen Yang asked Zhuang Yichen and Ai Ke to take a group photo. Aike’s costume is a white dress with simple design, the curves set off her well-proportioned figure and youthful brilliance. Wearing this dress with bare arms and legs in winter made Ai Ke very cold. During rehearsals, she shivered and wrapped herself in a thick down jacket to keep warm. She took off the down jacket and went on stage, but every move was dexterous and vivid, as if she was really in the middle of summer. middle. The photographer walked away to take a panorama for a while, and then lay down on the ground to take a close-up of the two people. The click of the shutter was mixed with excited affirmation, “Very good, very good! Yes, this is very good! Hold still!”
The two pose in various poses, sometimes looking at the camera and sometimes looking at each other. When they looked at each other, Zhuang Yichen involuntarily stretched out his arms to wrap around Aike’s waist. Aike’s limbs were coldly pressed against her body, but his chest was hot, burning Zhuang Yichen’s chest. Zhuang Yichen wanted to warm Ai Ke with his own temperature, but he was burned by her unexpectedly, so he let go of his hand. After the two finished filming, Zhuang Yichen hurried back to his dressing room without saying a word, turned around to close the door, and found that Aike had walked in after her. Zhuang Yichen sneered, didn’t say anything, and walked to the makeup mirror to remove his makeup. Aiko gently closed the door. Zhuang Yichen heard a “click” behind him, and the door was locked behind him. to die. Her heartbeat suddenly accelerated, and she sat down in a panic and adjusted her hair in front of the mirror.
Ai Ke walked behind Zhuang Yichen, put his hands lightly on her shoulders, and the water film in his eyes floated on Zhuang Yichen’s face.
“Put on some clothes, it’s too cold. It would be too troublesome to catch a cold at this time.” Zhuang Yichen staggered his eyes and didn’t look at Aike.
“Not cold. It’s hot.”
“What’s the matter?”
“Ask knowingly. How long do you want to escape? How come the older you are, the less brave you are?”
“You child, how do you chat with adults?” Zhuang Yichen wanted to relax the atmosphere, and also wanted to take this opportunity to remind her to be careful. Aike didn’t want to give her this chance.
“You know what I want. Right?” Aike stared at her.
Zhuang Yichen stopped his weak hands that were aimlessly busy, sighed, raised his eyes to meet Aike’s in the mirror, “Do you really know what you want? Maybe I am better than you It’s even clearer. You want to be me, not get me.”
“Quite the opposite. If there’s one thing I want to be, it’s just me.”
“I don’t think it’s quite. The hallucinations we face every day are just too strong and too real to recognize as hallucinations. You just need more time to understand them. You’re young.”
“It’s definitely not a question of being young or not. It’s a question of how we view ourselves and the world.” Aike paused for a moment, and his tone became a little hesitant. “What happened between you that made you so afraid?”
us. us? us? ! Zhuang Yichen felt a sharp pain in his heart, subconsciously wanted to blurt out who you wanted to talk about, paused, and swallowed it back. Her voice was a little trembling, “There are many things you don’t know. Let me recognize the difference between hallucinations and reality. What have you heard?”
“Is there any real secret in this building? If you don’t want to tell me, you can never tell what those things are. I just want to tell you. I’m not her. Not now, and never will be.” The water film in Aike’s eyes disappeared, and the pupils flashed with a rock-solid cold light.
“You don’t know. You just say it on impulse.”
“If it’s just impulse, I’d be too lazy to talk nonsense with you.”
Zhuang Yichen stood up slowly, turned around, and looked at Aike. “Well. Give yourself time. Wait until the play is over, after everything that seems to me at least to be hallucinations has subsided. At that time, ask yourself if you really still have what you have now.” Feelings. And then we’ll talk about it. Not now. When we’re both dressed in both roles, no. Don’t tell me you can tell the difference between a character and yourself. I know you. Just like I know once Your own self. When these skins are shed, and you are completely, thoroughly, calmly, and only belong to yourself, if you still have the current feelings, we will discuss these. Not yet.”
Ai Ke gently hugged Zhuang Yichen, his body trembling uncontrollably, and he nodded slightly. Zhuang Yichen caressed her hair, like stroking the beard and hair of a kitten, and the soft hair wrapped around Zhuang Yichen’s fingertips in a disorderly manner. Zhuang Yichen looked at his fingers entangled in the shiny black hair, and plucked the metallic strings. Ding-dang-boom-boom-clang-ding-clang…
Someone pushed the door hard, found it locked, and knocked quickly, “Sister Yichen, are you there? Sister Yichen?” It was Chen Yang. Zhuang Yichen and Aike let go of their embrace, and Zhuang Yichen saw that Aike’s eyes were rosy, and the water film covered the entire pupil again. “Sister Yichen? Are you in there? Strange, where did you go…”
“Here. Wait a minute.” Zhuang Yichen shouted out the door. Zhuang Yichen reached out to wipe away a teardrop that had not yet fallen from the corner of Aike’s right eye, and pinched Aike’s cheek, signaling to cheer her up. Aiko nodded. Zhuang Yichen walked slowly to the door, unscrewed the lock, and opened the door. Chen Yang was a little surprised when he saw the room, but soon he just looked at Zhuang Yichen as if nothing had happened.
“The director asked you to go to his office. Right now. I only asked you to go alone.” Chen Yang gave Zhuang Yichen a meaningful look. Zhuang Yichen smiled wryly. After all, it is still here. “By the way, Xiao Ai, I’m still looking for you. I have to take a few more photos with Lao Lin and the others. After you finish your makeup, go back as soon as possible. I’m going to go first.” Chen Yang said bluffingly, It slipped away like a puff of smoke. Zhuang Yichen turned around and glanced at Ai Ke, Ai Ke waved at her, “Go quickly. Come on.” Zhuang Yichen thought to himself, if you work harder at this moment, you will explode. She lightly closed the door behind her and walked towards the elevator.
Da Dao leaned on the sofa, with one hand resting on the armrest of the sofa to support his heavy head, and the index finger and middle finger of the other hand were picking at the fabric of the sofa cover. He looked at Zhuang Yichen, didn’t speak, just picked the sofa with his fingers repeatedly, the room was filled with the creaking and creaking sounds of the flesh and the fabric. Zhuang Yichen noticed that his expression today was very different from usual, the rooster-like fighting posture that could be seen on the Daoist at any time in the past was gone, and now he was like all old men in their seventies and eighties, withered, Tired and mild.
“What do you think,” the director finally said, but a mouthful of phlegm stuck in his throat. He coughed hard and cleared his throat before he could speak clearly, “What do you think, how is the play going now?”
“Just reached the passing mark. I know you haven’t reached the state you want.” Zhuang Yichen answered truthfully.
“What do you think I want?”
“If I’m very clear, I can give it out. I hope you can call me more directly. If I’m really clear, I can give it out.” Old fox, please don’t go around in circles anymore, let’s go around We all have to die together. Whether it’s a gun, a cannon, a knife or a drop of blood, throw it straight at me, and let me know if I die.
The old man nodded and fell silent again. His eyelids seemed to be closed, and he didn’t blink, just when Zhuang Yichen thought he was going to fall asleep, he opened his mouth. “Actually, from the very beginning, I was thinking of you as the role candidate. I won’t tell anyone who asks me. I just want to see how you react. Will you fight for yourself again, or you and Just like everyone else, after reaching a certain stage, you will be satisfied and drift away, thinking that you are done, and you won’t work hard if you don’t need it.” The corner of the director’s mouth raised slyly, “So far, you’ve done well.”
The iron tree is blooming! This is it! Zhuang Yichen has been in the art theater for so many years, and this is the first time he has heard the director say which actor “does well”, which is already considered a top-of-the-line compliment to him. She couldn’t contain her joy, trying not to laugh out loud.
“But it’s just okay. None of the good ones are okay, the ordinary ones are okay. I say this because I have higher expectations for you. I want to ask you, I always tell you ‘no’ during rehearsals Act, don’t act, show yourself, what do you mean by that?”
“You don’t want me to use too much acting skills, but invest in my own feelings.”
“Yes. But not.” The director did not give Zhuang Yichen time to react, and continued, “You are always afraid of something. Because of fear, you always have to cover up yourself. Whether it is in performance or in life. Cover up It’s very clever, and it can fool many people, but it can’t fool smart people, and it can’t fool me either. I have to beat and tear you very hard, so that I can occasionally break the hand that is covering your face tightly .Just knocked it open and it grows back. I want you, your person, not your acting experience. I know what you’re afraid of. But I don’t care. No one fucking cares. You yourself Shouldn’t care. It’s really scary to expose yourself instead of just showing a character. Because then you have nothing to defend against other people’s harm and attacks. It’s dangerous, everyone wraps themselves up tightly, actors especially But this will always be a small role. This will never be outstanding. It is impossible to give a role that people will never forget, even after fifty, one hundred, or four hundred years have passed, everyone can still remember the role. You are outstanding, but you are not outstanding. Because you have not sacrificed yourself. If you do not sacrifice yourself, you will always be Zhuang Yichen of the art theater in this era, instead of transcending time and space, and will always live on the stage and in the memory of the audience Zhuang Yichen in the movie. I want to ask you now, do you want to be outstanding or outstanding?”
He actually. He actually, straight to the point once. In exchange for her exposure, he actually exposed himself first.
No, what he wants to change is not her exposure. Zhuang Yichen’s hands were cold, and all the blood from his limbs, chest and abdomen rushed into his small skull. He wants me to sacrifice myself. Just acting can’t satisfy his desire for this play. He wants me to sacrifice everything I have. I peeled off the layers of hard shells carved by walking on thin ice in my life, peeled off my skin and flesh, peeled off the blood vessels that are tightly flowing, and completely sacrificed myself to him and to this stage. He can say his cruel demands so calmly. He was asking her to come up to the altar as a sacrifice for his artistic pursuits. Yet she was powerless to resist. It wasn’t because she gave in to him, but because she knew in her heart that she was willing to be that sacrifice. Because that is also her artistic pursuit.
“What about you? Do you want to be outstanding, or outstanding?” She tremblingly asked back. I already knew the answer in my heart.
“I’ve made my choice a long time ago.” Yeah. He had already sacrificed himself in the same way. Drain the soul and flesh and blood, and don’t hesitate to squeeze other people’s. A drop is a drop, a little bit is a little, just clumsily, like a foolish old man moving a mountain, piled up a daunting altar.
“Now, do you know what I want?” Da Dao blinked his eyes.
Zhuang Yichen remained silent. But from her reaction, Da Dao knew that his mission had been completed.
“Don’t you always ask me what Denmark is?” Da Dao returned to his cockfighting posture and said to her, “You don’t have to know what it is to me, you just need to know what it is to you. What.”
“What do you think it is to me?”
“It’s something you can’t go beyond. It’s something that traps you. Your cage, your prison. It’s something you’re going to fight for with your life. What do you say it is? Let yourself be tortured. What are you afraid of? If it’s exposed, then it’s exposed. If it’s painful, then it’s painful. No feeling is wasted on an actor. There’s always going to be a use for it. Ask yourself if one needs a faux pas to get someone else What are you going to use for such a flimsy, ridiculous, and boring liking?”
“I want to know, what is your Denmark?”
“That’s my own business. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, it’s that I can’t say it. It’s big and empty, and the moment I say it, it immediately becomes pale and meaningless. It’s just my own business. We all I can only carry my own cage on my back, let go of myself, and go where I should go.”
“Before I got to the place, I risked my life, what should I do?”
“That’s fate. We all have to recognize our own destiny. But what can’t be changed by destiny is a person’s will. Our success or failure depends on one action.”
Walking out of the director’s office, Zhuang Yichen wandered around the building like a ghost. She walked through the bustling corridors of employees, through the open office rooms of executives with crackling keyboards, through rehearsal halls where the sound of passionate reading came from inside the house, through the actors who opened or closed the doors In the dressing room, through the backstage scattered with props, the footsteps stopped on the large stage on the first floor of the empty theater.
There is no performance tonight, the theater is as cold as ice, the stage is dark and dark, and the seats under the stage gape at her in the dark. The decision was easy, and it took only a moment for her to know that she had no choice but to escape. The difficulty is that for this choice and this fate, I cut off the hands that I subconsciously always wanted to cover my face time and time again, bleeding dry time and time again, forming scabs, and then raising the knife again. Time and time again, he peeled his skin and bones apart until he became the bloody and outstanding sacrifice. When she was more than six years old and stood in front of her grocery stall, she vaguely realized that imitating others, no matter how vivid and confusing people’s eyes, was not her after all. Never was. At that time, she was just a child who wanted to see a satisfied smile on her mother’s tired face. What about her at this moment, whose smile does she want to see? Would she still smile for herself, not anyone else?
can i do it Can I really do it? A line of hot tears flowed quietly from Zhuang Yichen’s eyes, mixed with her fear and will, dripping onto the altar under her feet.
The performance scenery was set up on the stage one after another, and the props were also placed in place. The stage, which the director personally participated in designing, is simple, stern, and steel-like, revealing his determination to fight against the cold stage with the fiery body of an actor. The transition of each scene is more scheduled with actions and performances, rather than switching through conventional lighting and music, which makes a lot of rehearsal time recently spent practicing transitions. The director sat on the podium temporarily built in the auditorium, and his stern instructions came from the theater PA equipment from time to time, “Geortrude, give me a little quickness on my feet, keep up with the rhythm of the others, five seconds You must walk into the side screen within ten seconds!” “Claudius, is there fire behind your ass, what are you doing running so fast!” “Hamlet, stop and exit as soon as the monologue is over, stop being self-indulgent there, and accept the audience as soon as you see it I will only get bored!” “Guys, whether a movie is only good-looking or outstanding depends entirely on the transition, cheer me up!”
Like monkeys, foals, tigers, and boa constrictors in a circus troupe, the actors ran around the stage amidst the sound of whips from the stereo, and went through the ring of fire despite being reprimanded. The whip-wielding circus owner needs each of his little animals to move with precision to the second, crisp and orderly. The whip whipped loudly, but Zhuang Yichen felt no pain. She’s gotten over the hardest part. She did it after all. Sacrifice herself. It was harder than she imagined. But it was simpler than she imagined. Once the valve in her heart is unscrewed, the unstoppable waves of the river and the sea will surge out on their own, and she can’t resist the surging force no matter how much she wants to stop it.
She sinks in the sea of memories of a lifetime, she sits in the dark seat to savor, she wades through the starlight fragments of her countless tiny experiences. Looking at the stumps scattered on the ground under her feet, which she cruelly chopped off in an attempt to continue to cover up the face of real desire, she gradually realized the crux of the matter. Since she was a child, her natural talent for imitation perfectly concealed the uneasiness that had always been in her heart. No one told her any rules, but sensitive and precocious, she learned from observing this stinging world that those unnameable, hard-to-categorize qualities in herself that are neither feminine nor masculine need to be concealed. . She realized that this anxiety had been teaching herself to “imitate” a woman. Because that’s what women are supposed to be.
She imitated other women’s clothing and makeup, imitated their way of speaking, imitated their charming eye movements, and imitated their fragrant words of love to men. All of this is just to let her stand among the crowd safely and without being rejected by the rules. Offended no one but myself. She’s a good actress, not just for the stage. It has been imitated seamlessly for decades, with few flaws. There is no woman who is more “a woman” than she is. She used the skill of imitating women since she was a child in her performance, and used it to imitate one after another female characters that were sealed in the script, and won the reputation of acting like what she acted. At the same time she also imitates men. Imitate their eloquent and boastful publicity, imitate their tone of being superior and pretending to be humble anytime and anywhere, imitate their weak heart but have to puff out their chests as protectors. But no matter whether she imitates a woman or a man, she can’t get real satisfaction. It can only be like an insatiable beast, gnawing at the residue attached to the skeleton of the illusion. She is a brilliant imitator of the behavior of the common people. But to be herself, she must get rid of these imitations, get rid of the layers of protective clothing that are tightly wrapped, and get rid of the deep-rooted anxiety in my heart. She felt a ghastly fear. After stripping all that off, what’s left inside her? If you find that there is nothing in it, it will be one of the biggest jokes life has played on her. But still, worth a try. Stepping on the ashes of his own burned flesh, he was reborn as a human being.
During this time, after daily rehearsals, she locked herself at home and kept silent for a long time. It is not the lonely silence that is unaccompanied on weekdays, but the silence that cuts off the gaze and influence of all others and confronts the self. She tried to calm herself, to distinguish the actions in daily life, not to imitate anyone, but to be born naturally by the body. Drink water, walk, cut vegetables, lie on your back, turn over, swallow meals, wash, jump, talk to yourself. From time to time, she made long phone calls to Lu Lang or Aike in the middle of the night, spit out words, but without any purpose, just to hear the original appearance of her voice. She can do this only when facing these two people. In her life, she has observed too many others for too long, and has gradually forgotten herself. Her inside is not empty, but has been poked into endless debris by her. She needs to muster up the courage and patience to put the debris together again to form a human shape, and then throw this person into Hamlet body of. Instead of putting the character’s skin on the outside like before, he sews himself into the character’s heart stitch by stitch.
During the rehearsal, you can see the director looking at Zhuang Yichen with a more relaxed expression each time. He still didn’t say anything, but he scolded less and occasionally nodded calmly. In fact, Zhuang Yichen no longer cared about his reaction, and no longer longed for his approval. Compared with satisfying him, this process of finding herself made her more happy. She redesigned all of her performance in the play, some places were fine-tuned in body movements and tone, and some places were completely changed. She put aside all the research and accumulation she had done in the past, no longer imitated the classic performances she had seen, no longer imitated anyone, and only thought about one thing, if it was herself, if she was the heartbroken and crazy prince, she would How will her body and her heart react.
On New Year’s Eve, after the rehearsal, Zhuang Yichen walked out of the theater building and walked along the walking path to the corner of the intersection, where Aike was waiting for her. As soon as Zhuang Yichen appeared, the fluffy Aike greeted him with a smile. Recently, when they met alone, Aike would always go first and wait for Zhuang Yichen at the intersection in advance. Seeing that the two were getting closer, there was already a lot of gossip in the crew, and even Lao Zhang, the stage manager who never cared about other people, joked with Zhuang Yichen several times about it. It’s better to save trouble if you can.
“Today’s rehearsal is so cool. It’s been a long time. You’ve done a great job. It’s completely brought up my emotions. It’s like a bang and it opened, like the Tianling Gai was hit with a hammer. There’s something whirring It’s so cool.” Ai Ke lightly embraced Zhuang Yichen’s right arm and said excitedly.
“What’s popping out? Brains?”
“Will Naohua come out and make you a bowl of Maonaohua? You can eat it if you like.” Ai Ke squeezed Zhuang Yichen’s arm forcefully, and Zhuang Yichen made a coquettish cry on purpose.
“It’s cool, but I still have some questions that I haven’t figured out.” Aike said with his head down.
“Oh? Tell me.”
“Is Ophelia really crazy in the end? Is it really like others said, first losing Hamlet’s love and then losing her father, so she fell into madness? Or is she just like Hamlet, just by acting Go crazy to get the right to speak freely? Before she is not crazy, does anyone really want to listen to what she has to say, and how should she say it? There will be a big gap in performance between the two.”
Zhuang Yichen thought about this, and nodded after walking a lot of loose steps, “Women are often able to tell the stabbing truth only after they are defined as ‘crazy’, or on the contrary, because they tell the truth.” The stinging truth, often immediately defined as ‘madness. I’ve never felt that Hamlet fell into true madness, nor did Ophelia. But they were never really sane either, but somewhere in between. Crazy can be a protective shell, but it is also because of their sensitive hearts. For many numb people, many problems are not only not worth thinking about, let alone being emotional. But they cannot be truly numb. Otherwise, both of them can live Gotta go down.”
Aike shook her body, “To be honest, if I were Ophelia, don’t talk to the end, I can’t live until nothing happens. My brother only cares that you don’t lose your virginity, everything in my father’s eyes It’s court strife and intrigue, even Hamlet can use you as a tool, no one really cares what you think, what you need. You are just an object that does not belong to you, a beautiful and pure decoration, Even death can be used to promote the progress of the conspiracy. I read an article saying that Ophelia probably didn’t commit suicide or fall into the water, but was murdered in order to shut her up.”
“Men tend to destroy others, and women tend to destroy themselves.” Zhuang Yichen shook his head with a smile after speaking, “I can’t say that absolutely. Men are human too.”
“You have been very different recently.” Aike looked at Zhuang Yichen and said.
“What’s the difference?”
“The whole person is very relaxed. I used to think that you were always tense. It was always there. When acting, it gave people a sense of oppression. Of course, it’s not that it’s bad. I like it very much. It’s the same in life, there is always a string You seem tense. But now you are very relaxed, both on stage and off stage. Sometimes when you are speaking to me, I will suddenly shake my head and feel that it is not Hamlet who is speaking to me, but Hamlet. It’s you, you’re talking to me. My tone of voice will be different, and my expression and body feeling will also be different. I can’t say it. Anyway, it’s very different now. Is it also a little bit of my credit?” Echo smiled and shook her arm slightly.
“Well, no. Thanks to the little blue cat’s three-thousand-question attack power, it can torture the soul.”
“I wondered, do I really have so many questions? I only ask a lot of questions when I really can’t figure it out. There are too many places in the world that I can’t figure out.”
After turning another intersection, there is a bustling street in the city center, where crowds of people preparing to welcome the New Year’s Eve are crowded in various places. The number of people walking across from them gradually increased, and almost all of them were wearing masks. Light blue, white, black, and colored masks tightly seal each face, and the mist of breathing penetrates the masks and floats around each head. Zhuang Yichen looked at the crowd whose faces could not be discerned, feeling a little absent-minded for a while. It seems that this is a scene that only appears in the play. Noticing Zhuang Yichen’s reaction, Ai Ke took out a pack of unopened light blue medical masks from his backpack, tore off the seal, and pulled out two. She handed one to Zhuang Yichen, and put the other on herself.
“Let’s put it on too. It seems that everyone is required to wear a mask when entering a restaurant. The theater gave everyone a pack today.” Aike said to Zhuang Yichen while adjusting the elastic band of the mask.
Zhuang Yichen took the mask, tied it over his face, and gently pressed the bridge of his nose so that the cloth fit his cheeks. “It’s kind of weird.”
“Get used to it. It’s better than getting sick.”
“That’s not what I mean,” Zhuang Yichen shook his head, “I’m talking about myself, it’s kind of weird. I told you, I’m used to not looking at the audience’s faces when the show is closing. I can’t wait for my eyes to adapt to the light. I will leave the stage first when I see the bottom clearly. Chen Yang always reminded me that it makes people feel uncomfortable to look like a big name in special clothes. But I really don’t want to see those faces clearly. It seems that only when I can’t see them clearly can I perform with peace of mind. But you Look now,” Zhuang Yichen pointed to the crowd walking around them, “everyone’s face is hidden under the mask, and no one can see who is clear. Instead, I want to see those faces clearly, their expressions, their mouth, their breath.”
“Looking at the current situation, we must require the audience to wear masks to let them in during the performance.” Aike followed the direction of Zhuang Yichen’s finger, looking at the dramatic scene in front of him.
“The curtain call after each performance in this round,” Zhuang Yichen turned his head to look at Aike, only a pair of shining eyes covered with water film were exposed on the familiar face of Zhuang Yichen, “I have to wait until I see clearly All the faces of the audience exit. Even if it’s just their heads that cover most of their faces.”
Aike nodded, “I will stand by your side. Let’s watch together.”
Zhuang Yichen smiled, and gently squeezed Aike’s cold hand. The crowds on the street are surging, rolling with tides of light blue, white, black colored cloth and fog. The second decade of the 21st century is about to come to an end, and the world at the beginning of 201 is completely far away from them.
After more than a week of compact stage installation, lighting design and adjustment, sound audition, and more detailed rehearsals, they finally ushered in the premiere week. On the night before the premiere on Thursday, under the supervision of the director, the crew conducted three full-day composites with makeup. The composition of the first two days mainly focused on the adaptation of actors and lighting, music, and transition cue points. For the last synthesis on the eve of the premiere, the director told everyone in advance that he would not call a stop in the middle, and everyone had to perform with the momentum of a formal performance. Many other staff members in the building heard the news and sneaked into the auditorium to sit in the back row to watch the synthetic performance. This play was just like what Chen Yang vowed to do, all the box office was sold out early, and the internal staff couldn’t get tickets even if they wanted to watch the play.
Field lights turned off. Everyone excitedly waited for the compositing performance to officially start. The entire theater was shrouded in a heavy darkness, and the sound of tense breathing coiled in mid-air in every corner. The director sat quietly in the center of the third row of the auditorium, and did not signal the official start of the performance for a long time. No one could see his expression clearly. No one knew what he was waiting for. There was a long silence, and the thick darkness gradually oppressed to the point that everyone no longer dared to make too much noise even while panting. The director finally nodded slightly to his assistant Xiao Wang. Xiao Wang’s voice lit up the theater’s sound, “Every department is ready. Lighting and music are ready. Three, two, one.”
The opening music exploded immediately, and the first beam of light pierced the darkness and shot towards the stage. The melancholy prince who is full of desire for revenge, the desperate man who is repeatedly tortured by affirming love and resisting love, the dark knight who is suppressed by the disasters brought by others and brings disasters to others, has been rewritten repeatedly and still inspires in every era A symbol of new birth. Hamlet/Zhuang Yichen walks through one scene after another, facing every human being he/she loves and hates, wants to embrace and possess but also wants to push away and destroy, tearing off his/her layers of armor to reveal the mixed colors Flesh until all masks are stripped off. He is her, it is him, it is her.
Besides, there was nothing but silence. Leaving the last words of the short stay in the world, he/she who was strangled by the poison fell to the ground and died. The funeral cannons roared, and the stage fell into the deep black sea again.
There were a few scattered applause from the back row of the auditorium, and then stopped hesitantly. They were afraid that the director would find out that they were peeking at the composition. A burst of strong applause came from the middle seat area, and the applause stood up, it was Su Ling. Seeing this, everyone stood up and applauded vigorously, and some people blew loud cheering whistles. The lights came on, the dead bodies on the stage stood up one after another, and other actors who were hidden behind the side curtains also came out, and everyone walked to the front of the stage and bowed in thanks.
Zhuang Yichen’s eyes re-adapted to the illumination of the light, and she tried her best to look down the stage. Familiar faces, wrapped in light blue cloth, showed sincere respect to her with their exposed eyes. Zhuang Yichen involuntarily searched for the leader. The director got up amidst the applause and cheers, without saying a word to anyone, he walked slowly towards the exit passage of the audience. Every time he took a step, something seemed to fall from his body, leaving behind a series of tinkling noises. Is he still dissatisfied? Zhuang Yichen felt a sense of loss. In the past two and a half hours, she believed she had given, without reserve, the greatest performance of her life. At least she did it, completely sacrificed herself, for people to taste, for people to touch, for people to intoxicate, and then for people to discard. She may still have fallen short of his ideal of perfection, but she has a clear conscience for being honest with herself. The loss lasted only for a moment. What she needs is no longer his approval, but to completely deliver herself to the stage at her feet. A plate of outstanding offerings.
The actors breathed a sigh of relief and dragged their tired bodies off the stage. Aike walked to Zhuang Yichen’s side, followed her gaze down the auditorium, and looked at the empty red void with her. Chen Yang walked onto the stage quickly, looking a little flustered. She walked up to Zhuang Yichen in a hurry, blocked Zhuang Yichen’s sight, and hesitated to speak. Zhuang Yichen looked at Chen Yang, then turned his head to look at Ai Ke, and smiled at Chen Yang, “It’s okay, just tell me.”
“Sister Yichen…the theater received a notice an hour ago that all performances in the theater will be canceled from tomorrow, and the performance time will be notified later.” Chen Yang tried his best to restrain his emotions, but his eyes were red, and his shoulders couldn’t stop twitching slightly.
“Cancelled?! Tomorrow is the premiere, and the tickets are all sold out.” Aike exclaimed in a low voice.
“There is no way. I just finished a meeting with Mr. Su and other leaders. We must obey the arrangement and have to cancel it. All tickets sold may have to be refunded.”
“Then when can we perform again?” Aike asked anxiously.
“I don’t know. No one knows. I don’t know at all. We can only wait for the notice. We speculate that it may be one month, or two months, or even longer. It is possible only when the situation improves.” Chen Yang’s eyes Water gushed out.
“Two months?! At that time, we can only rehearse again…” Ai Ke suddenly collapsed.
“No way. It’s really no way. I’ve never encountered such a situation. Not only us, but all theaters in the city will be closed. Maybe the whole country will be closed.”
Yes, they are still young. Zhuang Yichen thought for a moment, ah, the last time seemed to be seventeen years ago. They are all children who have just entered junior high school. Zhuang Yichen stretched out his left hand to embrace Chen Yang, and gently raised his right hand to embrace Aike. The two girls leaned their heads slightly on her shoulders. She patted them lightly.
“Does the director know?” Zhuang Yichen asked Chen Yang.
Chen Yang nodded, “Before the compositing started, we told the director that the performance might not start as usual, and we are still waiting for a confirmation notice. He decided to continue compositing. I told him as soon as I received the notification. ”
In Zhuang Yichen’s mind, the figure of the director staggering forward appeared. He doesn’t need her consolation. They can only shoulder their own shackles and go where they should go.
Chen Yang rubbed her eyes and tried to cheer herself up. She managed to squeeze out a deformed smile at Zhuang Yichen, and got out of Zhuang Yichen’s arms, “I have to inform other people, you just…”
Zhuang Yichen squeezed Chen Yang’s shoulder, “Go and do your work, don’t worry about us.” Chen Yang nodded and hurried away.
Aike looked blankly at the void below the stage, “After two months, can I still perform as well as I do now? Will I have the trembling feeling of being caressed by the God of Theater again? Just now , we were really, fucking great. And there wasn’t a single audience there.”
“Yes,” Zhuang Yichen gently stroking the little blue cat’s hair, “you will. This is us. Our shackles. Our mission. No matter how many people are watching, no matter how many people really care. Day after day, I struggled to prop myself up and fill myself up, infinitely replicating the phantoms that belonged only to myself, but also belonged to everyone.”
The theater was empty. The dark brown wooden floor of the stage creaked and shook gently, like a tough and stable boat riddled with holes, slowly flying towards the scorching sun. All truth has long been written. Life is but a walking shadow,A poor player who struts and gesticulates on the stage,One moment on his stage,Then stealthily his way back;It is a tale told by an idiot,Full of sound and fury,But can’t find little point. And that, no matter how touching and convincing it is, with the power to penetrate time and space, is still the truth told by others. The truth about them has to be found by oneself. As the boat swayed, Zhuang Yichen closed his eyes slowly, holding his breath to feel another wave of fate. Her thin eyelids were scorched by the artificial sun.