Becoming A Big TV Star?

Probably not, but I am being packaged up here to look like I want to become one. Literally a little over 2 weeks ago, my Chinese Professor Dr. Shepherd called and told me that I passed a secret audition to be on a television show. Let me back track. Every Wednesday and Friday from 10:30-11:30am I have a Chinese performance class where I (along with 4 classmates) learn a traditional form of Chinese storytelling, called 快板书. I will just call it Kuaiban to make it easier for readers. Anyways, I have been learning this art form for a year now, and have learned 4 stories, each about 3-5 minutes long. They are really interesting to learn, but the hardest part is remembering the lines on a beat…..why do I choose to learn things that make my life more difficult? Back on track, one day three ladies came to our class and my teacher made me perform one of my stories for them, Thrice Killing the White Boned Demons. Later that same day, I got the call from Dr. Shepherd explaining too me that my dream is now to become a Chinese television station host, and luckily for me the ladies from class are from a TV station and willing to help me along the path, all being filmed of course! I was mortified, but nothing left to do but give it a shot right?

Interview

That Monday, Ms. Chen came to the school I teach to interview me. My performing teacher had written a self-introduction for me…in kuaiban storytelling form. He is so funny! Our actual interview I can’t really remember, I  guess the nerves really got to me, but she asked me basic questions such as, “Why start learning Chinese? What do you think about Qingdao? Why do you want to become a TV host? Why learn kuaiban?” etc…I hope I expressed myself alright, I don’t think I had enough self-confidence. Too bad I can’t try it again, haha.

Step Dancing

 

Then on Thursday, they came back to film me along with my American friends (students in this summer program). My little sister, Diana, and I step danced for them…they were convinced it was Haitian dancing, and I had too little energy to correct them. So to all of my black people out there, please don’t be mad that step dancing will from now on be considered Haitian dancing in this section of China, it wasn’t on purpose! haha. Then I stood at the front of a group of Americans and led them in a kuaiban story, I said one line, then the others in chorus said the next line, and so on. The funny thing is, I never realized how much work goes into filming a TV show, the camera man was at impossible angles and perspectives, and we had to start over and over again. Also we had to film awkward bits of me walking and “talking” with my sister, sitting in grass doing homework, and so on. Gosh, it’s exhausting!

Storytelling With Classmates

It doesn’t end there though, Friday I went to an elementary school here in Laoshan to teach English class. It sounds easy (yeah, you know I speak English and all) but I had to follow there common format of language class. Meaning the class was entirely in Chinese with bits and pieces of new english words to learn. After I shook the nerves off though I remembered that I love kids, and I began interacting more and more with them. I taught them the body parts with “Simon Says…” and we played animal charades as well. At the end I handed out candy, and to my suprise, all of the students ran to my desk and gave me presents. I opened some of them on the spot and I was really touched by all of the hard work that went into making them. A little girl, named 王莎莎 (Wang Shasha), cried while they were interviewing her because she thought she didn’t put enough effort into her present, but she spent weeks making it and I could tell. Of course, being the ultimate crybaby, I broke down in tears too (with a camera rolling) and said thanks even more.

Adorable Chinese Students

Luckily, my filming whirlwind ended yesterday with an actual co-hosting job at the Qingdao Olympic Center and Museum. The director emailed me my script a few days prior so I eagerly memorized those lines, but it’s so hard talking about sailing terms in a different language, I can’t even do it in English. Also my co-host did not look at the script beforehand and just went with whatever came to mind, this threw me off but I tried my best anyways. I’m glad to have gone through this experience, but I now have crossed one job off of my list…becoming a TV host is way too hard! Hosts need to be active and funny, something so hard to do in a second language, haha. Maybe I will post my episode up online if I’m not tooooo embarrased 🙂

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