Chapter 360 - Audition

After hanging up on Lina, Sheng Jiaoyang had a feeling that something was amiss, but she didn’t have the time to dwell on her thoughts because a staff member walked over.

"Miss Xu, we are ready to start recording."

She put her phone away and walked back to her seat.

Today marked the fifth day after the New Year. They had already conducted the preliminary audition, and from their pool of contestants, they selected thirty and invited them to the second round of auditions.

The audition was a collaboration between Jiaojiao’s team and the video broadcasting site managed by Li Yu. Hence, it was decided that the audition program team from the broadcasting site would come up with the plans and procedures necessary to hold the audition, while Jiaojiao and her team would be in charge of the subject of the audition.

Today, thirty young and handsome contestants gathered together in preparation for the audition. Some of them were more outgoing, while others were silent and introverted. There were also some who looked nervous and distracted.

Finally, Sheng Jiaoyang arrived and sat down in the middle of the judging panel.

Everyone was aware of the fact that the winner of this audition would get a chance to act with Jiaojiao in her new movie.

Jiaojiao was now a goddess in many people’s eyes. Not only was she good-looking, good-tempered, and tall, she also excelled in her studies and was a talented painter. Most importantly, she was super rich!

While her peers were at home, watching dramas and reading novels, she had already achieved some big milestones and even became the chairman of a big company.

"I never get tired of looking at my gorgeous goddess!"

"OMG, I'm finally able to see my goddess up close! I’m so thrilled~"

"Jiaojiao exudes such a bright aura. She looks even better in real life."

The group of young lads were chattering amongst themselves as they stared at Sheng Jiaoyang. If they could get the role, their popularity would certainly skyrocket. After all, they would be cast as the male lead in the movie, ‘A Star’s Journey’, and act alongside the most popular actress. From then on, their career would advance by leaps and bounds.

Zhao Zhao was the host of this casting audition. Although he wasn't very famous, he wasn’t a newcomer either. Once the three judges were seated, he immediately moved to the center of the stage and started the audition.

After some opening remarks, he introduced the three judges to the audience. Then, he proceeded with the first part of the audition, which was the contestants’ self-introduction.

Other than the time limit of one minute, there were no specific rules for this segment of the audition.

In short, the purpose of this part was to let the contestants introduce themselves in front of the camera. If they could impress both the audience and the judges, they would be more likely to get a higher score.

Since the contestants participated in this audition, their intention must be to enter the entertainment industry. If they could make a good lasting impression on the audience, it would benefit their future career development even if they couldn't get into the finals or get the role.

The three judges were the director, the screenwriter, and the investor, who would also be acting as the female lead of the movie.

This point was very clear to all the contestants, so the majority of them gave it their all during the self-introduction session.

Some of them shone very brightly and left a deep impression on the judges, but some of them overdid it and didn’t leave a very good impression.

There were also a few who were calmer and more reserved, such as the gentleman who just finished introducing himself.

In this self-introduction session, the judges could ask questions after the contestants have introduced themselves.

Sheng Jiaoyang stared at the young lad smiling shyly on the stage for a moment before leaning over slightly to the microphone. "Song Junyi, I remember you."

There was an uproar at the scene, and the contestants were particularly astonished.

Zhao Zhao looked at the noisy scene caused by Jiaojiao's single sentence and coughed drily. He then asked, "Jiaojiao, how did you get to know each other?"

Sheng Jiaoyang smiled. "I met Song Junyi at my fan meeting last December, and I remember that I personally handed him the prize he’d won back then."

"It turns out that Song Junyi is a diehard fan of yours!" Zhao Zhao exclaimed.

Some contestants were staring at them with a dissatisfied expression, and they were clearly thinking that this was not fair. Hence, Zhao Zhao hurriedly added, "But, I’m sure that the rest of the contestants are also your fans, right?"

"That’s right!!!" Everyone vigorously responded.

No one wanted Song Junyi to get extra points just because he was a Jiao Fan. Otherwise, it would be unfair to them.

Sheng Jiaoyang smiled faintly and said, "Even if you are my fans, I won’t go easy on you. I must take responsibility for our movie and our audience. Director Qin, Screenwriter Ma, and I would check the audition results strictly, and we will only choose the most suitable actor for the male lead role."

The contestants were relieved.

Ma Tingting smiled, "Song Junyi, you can go down now and take a break. We don’t need to ask you any more questions. We already know that you’re here because of Jiaojiao."

Everyone on site burst into laughter.

After the contestants were done introducing themselves, Zhao Zhao walked back to the stage and teased the judges with a few words to liven up the atmosphere. He then announced the start of the second segment of the audition, which was a test to measure how well contestants could memorise their lines.

In this segment, the contestants would form groups of twos. Then, the system would randomly choose another group for them to battle with.

The program team gave the contestants five minutes to memorise their lines. Thus, as soon as the contestants were divided into groups, they immediately proceeded to memorise their lines.
When the time was up, the program team would retrieve all their scripts.

Five minutes later, the fifteen groups each sent out a representative to draw lots to decide the starting order.

The later their appearance, the more disadvantageous it was for them. After all, the longer they had to wait, the easier it was for them to forget their lines. After all, it was extremely hard to memorise a script in five minutes, much less when they were put on the spot and told to memorise a script so suddenly.

Nowadays, many youngsters have a poor memory. On the one hand, they relied too much on external forces such as electronics, and on the other hand, they were exposed to too much information. Thus, people had become accustomed to skim when reading, and they didn’t think about things in detail unless it was necessary. Hence, their memory deteriorated as a result.

"Alright, handsome lads! Show us your skills, and let us see which one of you has memorised the lines the fastest and most accurately." Zhao Zhao energetically cheered the contestants on.

In this segment, the three judges were attentively observing the performance of the contestants. Not only were they checking on the contestants' ability to memorise their lines, they were also examining their delivery of their lines, including how smoothly they could read out their lines, and the range of their facial expressions as they read their lines out.

Although many dramas and movies nowadays hired dubbing actors, being able to recite your lines was a basic skill for actors. They couldn’t forget their lines just because there were dubbing actors behind them. This certainly wouldn’t work out well. After all, they had to make sure that their mouth shape was right. Otherwise, the dubbing would seem weird and out of sync.

Some contestants thought that this segment was just a memory test, so they tried their best to memorise and recite the lines while ignoring the other aspects. Those who paid attention to their facial expression and tone while reciting their lines scored a higher mark, even if they weren’t so accurate.

In the third segment, the contestants had to take a set of photos.

The judges would then average out the score of these three segments and select 15 contestants to proceed to the next round of the audition.

The judges went backstage to deliberate over the results.

As this wasn’t a live broadcast, there was no need to announce the results on the spot.

Sheng Jiaoyang, Qin Anliang and Ma Tingting quickly selected 15 contestants based on the photos and the impression these contestants left on them in the first two rounds.

Meanwhile, all the contestants were seated in the waiting area with a perturbed look on their faces.

"Will I be able to advance to the next round?"

"God, please give me your blessings and let me pass this round!"

"I must advance to the finals!"

Many of the contestants were praying anxiously, and they got more nervous by the minute.

After half an hour, the three judges finally returned to their seats.

"After our discussion, we finally selected the 15 contestants who will proceed to the next round." Sheng Jiaoyang held up a stack of photos and added, "The results are here."

"If your name is called out, you can walk over and receive your photo. Afterwards, please move to the stage and wait there."

Sheng Jiaoyang unhurriedly picked up a photo and called out the name written on the back. The contestant walked over to take the photo with a joyous look on his face.

Meanwhile, the faces of some of the contestants didn’t look too good.

"Why was that guy selected? He didn’t even remember most of his lines!"

"He’s not as handsome as me, so how did he pass?"

"We were in the same group, so why did he pass and not me?!"

As the contestants walked up on stage one by one, the remaining contestants became all the more anxious and disappointed. They even started to doubt the judges' selection criteria.

When the last contestant was called to the stage, the remaining contestants finally relaxed their tense bodies. In any case, things had already been decided.

"Song Junyi, even though you’re a diehard fan, you weren’t selected," A contestant saw that Song Junyi didn’t go up to the stage, and he remarked.

"Actually, your performance was great. When you recited the lines, you were very expressive, and you didn't make any mistakes. So why didn’t you advance to the next round? I'm starting to doubt their selection criteria now."

"Say, have you ever thought about another possibility?" another contestant feebly asked.

The other contestants froze.

Another possibility?

At this moment, Jiaojiao announced, "The contestants who received the photos, unfortunately, you didn’t make it to the next round. The photos were given to you as a souvenir, to thank you for coming all the way here to partake in this audition."

On stage, the contestants’ happy expression instantly shattered, as if they had just experienced a great catastrophe.

"Don't be discouraged by this result, because you all possess outstanding skills. The reason you didn’t make it to the next round is because you didn’t have any affinity with the male lead role in this movie. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, and I hope that you can shine brightly in whatever path you decide to walk on in life. "

"Before our fellow contestants leave, why don’t we take a group photo with the three judges?" Zhao Zhao suggested.

The three judges naturally didn’t mind.

After the group photo was taken, the contestants were sent home. The remaining 15 contestants were also called out to the stage one by one.

Finally, Zhao Zhao announced to the camera that this round of the audition was over.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Cookies | TLC: Grace