Chapter 399: New Year’s Goal!
Inside the changing room.
It was past 11 PM.
The two of them were still speaking in whispers. As no one knew if everyone outside had completely gone, or if someone else had come in.
“Hold on.” Old Zhang said nonchalantly.
“OK.” Zhang Ye responded.
Zhang Yuanqi pulled the curtain and went out to take a look. A few seconds later, she walked back in. “Alright, you can come out.”
Being able to see the light of day again, Zhang Ye heaved a sigh of relief. “It’s all thanks to you today. If not for you rescuing me, I would not been able to come out and would have been scratched to death.”
Zhang Yuanqi said, “About the single, I’ll get someone to talk to you about it tomorrow.”
Zhang Ye happily said, “There’s no need to talk about it. Give me any price you think is right. Then send me the contract. I’ll sign it and send it back to you. You can mail it to me once you sign it too.” He still wanted to spend the rest of the new year’s with his parents, so he did not want to go out to discuss matters as it was troublesome.
“Alright.” After saying that, Zhang Yuanqi opened the door and looked out. “There’s no one, so I’m leaving to you to your own devices.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “Alright. Go for your celebration supper. Oh right, here’s me wishing you a happy new year.”
“Happy new year to you too.” Zhang Yuanqi did not speak further as she walked away in her heels.
Zhang Ye watched her leave. Upon hearing some footsteps, Zhang Ye hurriedly pretended he was walking past and walked over.
“Ha, Zhang Ye?”
“It’s really Teacher Zhang!”
Three Central TV staff came. One of them did not know Zhang Ye, but the other two recognized him at a glance!
Zhang Ye laughed, “Well-wishes for the new year.”
“Have a good year too.” A male employee said, “‘Woman Flower’ was too good!”
Another female employee also said excitedly. “That’s right. This is the most touching song I heard this year! Teacher Zhang, I wish you good health. I hope you would continue bringing us even more excellent works in the coming year. I’m already looking forward to it. You might not know, but many of our female colleagues cried backstage when listening to your song!”
Zhang Ye said humbly, “It was Sister Zhang and Grandma Zhang who sang it well.”
A few people exchanged a few words with Zhang Ye before they left to busy themselves with their own matters.
Suddenly, his cellphone rang.
The number was from his maternal grandma’s house.
Zhang Ye hurriedly picked it up. “Hello?”
“Son!” It was Mom’s voice. “Are you still busy?”
Zhang Ye said, “I’m done, but I won’t be able to make it in time, so I probably won’t be able to pass the new year with the family. Tell my grandma and granddad.”
“It’s fine. Mom just wants to ask you something.” Mom asked urgently. “The ‘Woman Flower’ you wrote, who is it for?”
Zhang Ye said oddly, “It’s for Sister Zhang and Zhang Xia?”
Mom did not like hearing that. “I’m not asking who you gave it to sing.”
Dad’s voice came from the phone. “You Mom is asking you if the creative inspiration of this song was because of her. Did you write it for her.”
Zhang Ye was at a loss whether to laugh or cry when he heard this, but he immediately said, “Yes, yes. Of course it’s for Mom. All the creative inspiration came from Mom.”
Mom laughed joyfully. “Haha, alright son. That’s all.”
Before the phone hung up, Zhang Ye heard his Mom say to his family on the other side, “Heard that!? What did I say? What did I say?”
Zhang Ye: “…”
Mom was such a person. She loved to brag and act awesome!
Hai, let her brag then. Anyway it did not matter who it was written for. Zhang Ye would not lose a piece of flesh as a result. It was the new year, so he had to make Mom happy.
In the lobby.
Many celebrities, who had finished their performances, were gathered here. They were watching a large screen which showed the live broadcast. It was very clear and was even better than watching television at home. There were not many big stars here. They probably had gone to the celebratory supper together with Zhang Yuanqi and Zhang Xia. The ones left behind were mostly extras for the Spring Festival Gala or less famous people.
Zhang Ye naturally could not go for the celebratory supper. He had snuck into Central TV’s Broadcasting Studio 1 after all. Hence, he found a spot to sit down to watch the Spring Festival Gala.
There was someone sitting beside him.
“Hello?” It was a middle-aged woman.
Zhang Ye looked over and found her familiar. “Hello.”
The woman was in her forties or fifties and was a bit plump. She was not very good looking, but had quite an interesting look. She had very kindly looks. “If I’m not mistaken, you are Zhang Ye, right?”
Zhang Ye said, “That’s me, you are…Oh I know! You are Teacher Ci Xiufang!”
A skit actress.
She was considered a “old play veteran” in the world of skits. She was not a regular on the Spring Festival Gala, but often appeared on large scale galas like the Mid Autumn Festival or Lantern Festival. She was mostly the sidekick in skits and played the main character from time to time. She was the type that was similar to Yao Jiancai. She had a familiar face that many people would recognize if they saw her, however their popularity was average, never too hot or cold.
This knowledge and information instantly appeared in Zhang Ye’s head. Ever since he knew his weaknesses, he had already forcefully tried to become more familiar with this Earth’s celebrities and culture. From the looks of it, he had done his homework pretty well. He had really managed to recognize her.
Ci Xiufang smiled and said, “It’s so nice for you to be able to say my name.”
Zhang Ye said, “It’s not something hard to do. I’ve watched your skits often. They are played so well. Some details like expressions and actions might not be noticed by others, and look normal, but the skill included in that can’t be something mastered in a year or two. It’s at least skills that takes a decade or two!”
Ci Xiufang waved her hands, saying, “I’m not as good as you, to be so talented at such a young age. The ‘Woman Flower’ from just now, I was listening to it and was truly touched to the heart. Later on, I heard from a young person beside me that you had written the lyrics and composed the melody. What a coincidence for me that, just as I was hoping to meet you, you came sitting beside me. I’ve seen your talk show programs too. As it’s more geared towards the young, there are certain things that I can’t accept, but there are many things that are admirable. I was quite amused watching it too, and there was quite a lot worthy of learning. Talking about this, you do talk shows, while I do skits. We are both comedians, so we are in the same line. This is our first time meeting, and you can say we have gotten to know each other.”
She reached out her hand.
Zhang Ye also shook her hand. “To be honest, my talk show pretty much has entertainment as its core and are incomparable to your skits. Your acting is what’s called true art.” That was the truth.
After some mutual compliments, the two also had a good chat. Ignore the fact that Ci Xiufang was fat and did not look pretty. She had relied on herself from her thirties to create a path of comedy for herself through her struggles. She did not rely on her looks or other things. All she relied on was her own resilience and pursuit towards the arts. Zhang Ye was always very respectful towards this kind of “silent and unknown” artists. Besides, he knew very well the feeling of bringing laughter to the audience every year without them knowing her face or her name. This sort of feeling was something celebrities like Lee Anson would never understand or experience. Artists like them, who did not have good looks, usually had to walk a path much harder than others by tens or hundreds of times in the entertainment industry!
With this, slightly more than half an hour passed.
They were both comedians, so there was a lot in common.
Looking up, it was almost midnight.
Ci Xiufang pointed to the screen. “It’s almost time to do the countdown.”
Zhang Ye stood up. “I’ve benefited greatly from the chat I had with you. Some day, if I visit you and consult you, don’t you not welcome me.”
Ci Xiufang squeezed out a smile. “You are too polite. You also have your own routines and system. The entertainment of talk shows is something never seen before in the entire world. You were the founder. In this area, you are already a system’s founding master. There’s no need for you to consult me, nor do I have anything I could possibly teach you. Though our styles are different, who knows if there might be an opportunity for us to work together.”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “That would be nice. If I have the honor to work with a veteran artist like you, it will definitely help me out a lot.” Of course, that was just perfunctory as they were not in the same field, so there wasn’t a lot of chances for them to work together.
Ci Xiufang suddenly said, “In a few days, there is a National Crosstalk and Skit Competition. They have invited me to be a judge. I don’t know if I have the time and have not agreed to it. Did they invite you?”
Zhang Ye waved his hands, “Crosstalk and Skit Competition? Hur Hur, I didn’t hear of it. Inviting you as a judge is very normal. I’m just a host and lack the qualifications.”
Ci Xiufang said, “The Crosstalk and Skit Competition these past few years have been quite successful. I watch it every year and also learned a lot of things from rookies or established crosstalk and skit actors. If you have the time, I suggest you to take a look. It’s never a bad thing.”
Zhang Ye said humbly, “Alright, I’ll definitely watch it this year then.” Zhang Ye’s world also had similar crosstalk and skit competitions, however they were not as successful. Every year, it was met with a lukewarm response. From what Ci Xiufang said, this world’s national competition was a few levels higher, and the scale was completely different.
Suddenly, everyone began shouting.
“Oh! It’s the new year!”
“Happy new year!”
It was midnight, and fireworks could be heard outside. They exploded all at once!
The new year had just begun and Zhang Ye was infected by the mood and felt excited. He was lucky this year. Many positive things had happened. He had also become famous. Ignoring the vicissitudes in his career, it had developed quite smoothly. Besides a few hours before the new year, he had ended the year nicely and perfectly with “Woman Flower”. He was very satisfied with his own results and how he was increasingly nearing his dreams.
The year had passed, let’s wish that next year would be even better!
Goal? Let’s set one up! This year, I’ll try to increase my popularity and visibility to the level of a B-list! This world’s B-list celebrity was practically a figure everyone knew!