Chapter 54 – Temporary Marker
Qiu Jin received a phone call from his manager as soon as he got home. His manager most likely found out from the project team about his trip back to Beijing today, and he apologized repeatedly for not being able to come to the airport to pick him up.
Before Qiu Jin had time to say anything, Yang Chi immediately said: “I’ve just had more things on my plate recently, it’s not that I’m trying to neglect you. I got a role in a drama for you. In a few days you can go through the formalities and do a camera test, what do you think?”
“What kind of drama is it?”
“It’s Director Yi Congqing’s annual big drama, called “The Rise and Fall of the World.” It’s an epic fantasy drama. I’ll send you the character settings and audition times so that you can take a look.”
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Qiu Jin remembered that drama. It was adapted from a big IP*, with an investment of four hundred million yuan and a Douban** score of 9.2. Whether it was from word of mouth or popularity, it was an explosive hit, and its popularity lasted for several years. With such a good opportunity in front of him, it would be a waste to only act in a small supporting role.
[*T/N: IP = Intellectual Property. It can be a complete story or a concept, which has the potential to be developed into a film, drama, online games, music and any other commercial derived products. The better ones are usually well known online and have already accumulated a large legion of fans.]
[**T/N: Douban – a Chinese social networking service website that allows registered users to record information and create content related to film, books, music, recent events, and activities in Chinese cities.]
“Do you have any other character roles available?”
Yang Chi blanked for a moment. “What role do you want?”
Qiu Jin: “Send me everything you have.”
Yang Chi sent him all the information he had, but he did not hold out much hope. Yi Congqing has always been an extremely obstinate person. In such a big drama, it was still feasible to squeeze in a few small supporting roles, but to covet a leading role was simply an unattainable dream. Moreover, with Qiu Jin’s acting skills even if you gave him a leading role he would not be able to handle it.
Qiu Jin looked over all the available roles one by one. Finally, he settled on the character of Ji He, who was a main supporting role that was both good and evil.
This drama was a group production [that hedged on the character interactions and did not just revolve around the main character]. Although Ji He has less screen time than the protagonist, his character setting was emotionally touching, and he was also a key figure during the turning point of the story. If he portrayed this character well, this character would be even more interesting than the protagonist.
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Yang Chi was so shocked when he heard Qiu Jin’s decision. He spent several long minutes trying to persuade Qiu Jin. At the end, he tacked on one line: “Moreover, even if you go you might not be able to step up to the role. Also, rumor has it that one of the investors has already designated this role [to someone]. The auditions are just a formality.”
“Who is it?”
Yang Chi hesitated for a while, and then he said cautiously, “I heard it was Wen Mojia.”
Wen Mojia was Qiu Jin’s cousin*. What’s more, he was Qiu Jin’s archenemy. They’ve been at each other’s throats ever since they debuted, and just hearing the other person’s name was enough to make them explode [with anger and irritation].
[*T/N: more specifically, an older male cousin via the female line]
Yang Chi thought that Qiu Jin was going to be absolutely infuriated this time, but unexpectedly the other person just said a single “ah.” It was as if he did not take the other person seriously at all.
Qiu Jin said lightly, “It’s nothing, his acting skills are not good enough.”
Yang Chi wanted to thunder: Are you saying that you’re good enough!!! With your paltry acting skills, you should be playing someone’s understudy!!!
But Yang Chi still wanted to be employed, so he couldn’t say this. He could only use various excuses that all amounted to the same thing: if you don’t have enough skills for something then don’t try to monopolize it.
Qiu Jin frowned, feeling a bit annoyed: “Isn’t it just an audition opportunity? If you don’t want to do it then I’ll do it myself.”
“Don’t be angry. I’m just worried.” Qiu Jin’s angry look just now was so scary that Yang Chi did not dare to persuade him any more, so he just said, “Since you want to go, then I’ll help you sign up, but I can’t guarantee whether or not you’ll get in.”
Qiu Jin nodded: “Don’t worry, I won’t make it difficult for you.”
Yi Congqing was a director with great skills and reputation, and he has very high requirements for actors. Even in the film and television market, which was controlled by money, he was still said to be a very obstinate person. If he said that your acting skills were no good, then even if you tried to bribe him you would not be able to change his mind.
Other people might find him to be too rigid, but Qiu Jin admired this kind of director. After all, when it came to skills Qiu Jin was not afraid at all.
But when all was said and done, he hadn’t acted for a long time. When he thought of getting the approval of such an excellent director, he couldn’t help but get excited. He locked himself at home and rehearsed for a day, performing both tragedy and comedy.
In the evening, Qiu Jin received a call from Qiu Yuqin. The other party reminded him that tomorrow was their father’s birthday, and told him to go home for dinner.
The relationship between the original Qiu Jin and his family was not very good. His father was strict and his mother was vain. Back then, his reputation was bad and his family almost cut off ties with him. If he went back now, it might still be a bloody battlefield.
But hiding from it forever was not the way to go either. Qiu Jin thought about it and prepared to deal with it seriously.
Qiu Jin looked at himself in the mirror. The silver hair was a bit ostentatious, and his roots were starting to show. Might as well just dye everything black then. He also asked the barber to trim his splint ends. Afterwards, the whole person looked really refreshing, like a cup of lime and mint ice misted in condensation on a summer afternoon.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
The Qiu family could borderline be considered a rich family. They ran a film promotion business and it was stable. Occasionally, they could also use a bit of spare money to help him grease the wheels on his way to stardom. Of course, this was all under the condition that he didn’t do things to harm his reputation. Ever since he fell into the black side of the Internet, his family has not contacted him for almost half a year, and he could only rely on his bro-con older brother to give him material assistance.
This time, it was Qiu Zhiming’s fifty-first birthday. Qiu Jin heard from Qiu Yuqin that the godfather of the entertainment industry, Jiang Feihong, was having his sixtieth birthday that weekend. In order to avoid stealing the limelight, Qiu Zhiming deliberately treated his birthday in a low-key manner, and just had his family go home for a meal.
Of course, as for whether the boss of such a small company could actually steal the limelight even if he hosted a big banquet, no one said anything about it. They all tacitly agreed to keep silent to give him face.