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Chapter 118 - The Secret to Success

Chapter 118: The Secret to Success

Translator: Lonelytree  Editor: Millman97

What was the secret to success? Ninety-nine percent hard work and one percent luck.

Without plenty of preparation and self-improvement, even when the opportunity arrived, you would not be able to grasp it. One should work hard and not count on gifts falling from the sky.

However, there were those who worked the ninety-nine percent already and just needed that one percent to rise above the rest, but that simply would not happen.

Man proposes, God disposes. 1

Luo Ce was one such individual. Be it from professionalism or experience… Luo Ce’s skill in talent management was in no way lacking compared to his future wife’s, but Ou Qianru was lucky enough to manage several potential stars when she entered the business and soon became an important agent.

However, no matter how hard Luo Ce tried, the talents given to him simply would not gain fame. Either he could not find a good job for his talents, or his people left him for other agents. There was one that Luo Ce finally made a little something out of, but the woman was afraid that Luo Ce might make use of her since he was an outsider. So, when she started to make a name for herself, she kicked Luo Ce aside and hired her own mother to manage her.

Therefore, after so many years, Luo Ce was still a minor personal assistant. There was not one person under him that the public could say the name of.

In reality, being an agent was harder than being a star, and there were not many who rose to the top. Luo Ce’s condition was not really that bad, but when compared to his girlfriend, especially when their salary was placed side by side, his ego as a man was heavily shattered.

Ou Qianru did not intend for this to happen either. She invited Luo Ce to join her team so that they could manage her people together. Ou Qianru’s stars did not mind it, but Luo Ce did.

In spite of everything, they shared a stable relationship, and Ou Qianru did not have the heart to see Luo Ce continue to flounder. Therefore, she spent more effort trying to help Luo Ce than helping her own people. Finally, there was a cousin-in-law that fell from the sky. This was the future star that was named by Director Zhou and was considered a family member.

When Ye Shuang arrived at Yun Tian Club, she did not see any signs. The size of the casting here probably was not big. At least it was not on the scale of Director Zhou’s crew and thus did not receive much attention.

According to inside information that slipped from Ou Qianru’s lips occasionally, at most, this kind of small casting would book a whole floor and ask the entertainment agency to send over some of their smaller stars. After all, so many movies were shot in a year, and not every film would be able to reach the silver screen. Even if it did, the issue of ticket sales was an unknown, so not every film in shooting would be given attention.

She walked to the first-floor receptionist and smiled at the girl who was looking at Ye Shuang with passion in her eyes. She asked, “I’m sorry, but where is the casting for XX crew?”

“Third floor.” The receptionist lowered her head to look through her records and smiled sweetly at Ye Shuang. “Do you need me to lead you there?”

“That won’t be necessary, thank you.”

After rejecting the receptionist’s kindness, Ye Shuang walked up the stairs. When she arrived, she saw that the place was an open stage. The whole third floor was filled with seated people, and there was a small space that was left open in the middle. The people who were called for an audition would need to do so on the stage in front of everyone. There was not even an isolated room. If Ye Shuang did not know this was a casting call, she would have assumed that it was some university’s drama club doing an activity.

She stood at the door and yawned. She was not interested in the audition, but once she made her appearance, she attracted the attention of the room immediately. Someone from the crew came to ask her, “What role are you auditioning for? I think you’re perfect for the second male lead. Even though we’ve already confirmed one, it still can be changed.”

“I’m sorry, I’m not here for casting.” Ye Shuang smiled politely. This kind of unprofessionalism made Ye Shuang find it hard to have faith in the crew. Director Zhou had asked for her because of the unique position of the character. Even though the character was important, she was ultimately just an extra. This kind of crew who invited her to try out for the second male lead based on face alone… even though this person might not be the director, it did show the kind of standard this film crew had.

“Then why are you here‽” The person frowned, and his attitude worsened. “We are a serious film crew; we don’t accept interviews from unknown reporters!”

“…Not here for an interview either.” Ye Shuang practiced patience. “I’m here to look for someone.”

The person looked Ye Shuang up and down before pressing a number card into her hands. “Take this and come in!”

Ye Shuang did not know what was wrong with the man, but she had gotten what she needed: entry into the hall. The people inside were the invisible ones from various companies. Even the most famous among them was a small side character; none of them had any film contracts. Perhaps ten or twenty of them were under the same agent, and whenever there was news of an audition, they would have to show up. The luckier ones would be given several lines, and the rest would continue to try out. After all, there were too many young people who had big dreams. People might leave after a while, but there was always a new batch of newbies to replace them.

Understandably, these people’s relationship with their current agent would not be too close. After all, if these people managed to gain popularity, the company would assign them a better, more qualified manager, and the artist’s success had nothing to do with their original agent.

Luo Ce had dropped from personal manager to assistant agent, and it would not be simple to rise back up the ranks. The only method was for him to befriend a few of the potentials from the people that he currently had on his hands, but based on the situation, the chances of that happening were low.

“Brother Luo.” Ye Shuang searched amid the crowd and soon discovered a young man sitting alone at the corner. After greeting the man, Ye Shuang sat down beside him easily and pulled down his sunglasses to make a formal introduction. “I’m Ye Shuang. The film crew has given me a break, so I came to see you.”

Brother Shuang’s face would attract attention no matter where he was. After removing his sunglasses, the artists who noticed him started to throw hostility his way. Even though the casting that day did not require someone with Ye Shuang’s face, people did not need a reason to hate on handsome people.

“Ye Shuang‽” Luo Ce was shocked, but he soon recovered and smiled apologetically. “I planned to look for you after the audition here finished. Erm… if you don’t mind, can you wait? It’ll be over soon.”

Even though he knew his cousin and future cousin-in-law shared the same name, it was still hard for him to get used to. Brother Shuang’s face alone was enough to stun Luo Ce. He had seen the commercial and heard the strong recommendation from Ou Qianru, but being greeted by him without any warning was a startling experience. This kind of person would become famous without an agent.

Ye Shuang shrugged, signaling that she did not mind. Luo Ce then turned back to focus on the audition that was going on. The eyes of the artist that Luo Ce had brought with him lit up. He slid over and smiled shyly. “Big brother, you’re the one who shot the commercial for Noah Real Estate, right?”

Noah Real Estate’s commercial was on its track to become an industry legend. The actor in it had managed to become famous overnight and even gotten himself named by Director Zhou. This kind of luck only happened to main characters in fiction.

Ye Shuang looked at Luo Ce and the young man. She then reached out her hand with a smile. “Nice to meet you. I’m Brother Luo’s relative. You can call me Xiao Ye.”

The young man did not mind, but Luo Ce did. “…Brother Ye is better. He just graduated. Even my cousin is older than him.”

“…” Ye Shuang, who was trying to act young, pouted. “Fine, Brother Ye also works.”

The young man also quickly made his self-introduction, and they shook hands. Ye Shuang turned to look at the audition, and the longer it went on, the more awkward she felt. Finally, she lowered her voice to tell Luo Ce, “Brother Luo, I hope you don’t mind me saying this—I know I’m an outsider—but this film is rather… unusual‽”

Luo Ce turned to look at the young man he had brought. When he realized the man was not paying attention, he turned back to Ye Shuang and whispered, “It’s more than unusual. This is a film sponsored by a big boss because his own stepdaughter wants to be a star. It’s supposed to be some love story, but the boss himself was the main character who slapped the second female lead and destroyed the second male lead before finally having a happy ending with his own stepdaughter. Do you think this kind of film can be good?”

“Then why are you here?” Ye Shuang was confused.

“There’s no other choice. If none of the artists are working, then the agency will take more resources away from me, and the artists themselves need the paycheck, so to be honest, this is just for the money. It is also because the standard is so low that the newbies have a chance.” Luo Ce’s smile was filled with helplessness. “Without contacts, only these kinds of offers are available, but the more you take these horrible films, the more the good contacts refuse to associate with you. This is how it is unless you’re lucky enough to get selected for a large production, but think about it, how many actors’ names can you remember other than the leads in a large movie‽”

Superstars got the lead roles while B-list actors get the secondary roles. Basically, even the extra with a few lines was a prize for the many hopefuls that filled up many entertainment agencies.

With the resources on Luo Ce’s hands, unless the agency was willing to give him a chance, there was no way his artists were going to rise to stardom. However, the agency had to look after so many people, and they naturally focused on the hopefuls. Therefore, Luo Ce had to attend these casting auditions because no matter how bad they were, they at least could be used to fill up the actors’ resumes.