On February 2nd, the Tianxuan Group officially announced news of the Folding Paper project.
The publicity department created an official Weibo, the ‘Folding Paper Cast and Crew’ and announced the audition time and place for several important roles, as well as recruitment advertisements for other actors.
Early in the morning, Cheng Xia turned on his phone to look at Weibo. He saw the announcement from ‘Folding Paper Cast and Crew’ on his homepage. One of the most popular ones was the forward from the author Lemongrass.
Lemongrass was a new and rising author who emerged in recent years. She wasn’t particularly famous but her style was fresh and warm. She was very good at shaping the character’s psychology and had a fixed number of fans. Obviously, Tianxuan’s publicity department had contacted the original author and she agreed to cooperate with the publicity. Thus, she forwarded the news that Folding Paper would be officially filmed.
Below this message, there were thousands of comments.
—They were all full of scolding.
“Oh my god, my family is going to collapse!”
“No one can play Qin Nian in my mind. Please don’t ruin my Qin Nian!”
“It is produced by Tianxuan? Fu*k, they always shoot dog blood dramas. It is enough to cry and abuse the heart and body.”
“How will they shoot Folding Paper as a small and refreshing drama? They will add a bunch of inexplicable third parties. Disgusting.”
“The publicity says it is choosing new people. Can newcomers play such a complicated role? I don’t believe it.”
“Is the author crazy from money? She has to sell the copyright?”
Some of the book fans were too fierce.
Cheng Xia could understand the book fans. He read the original work and also liked the characters in the book. There were 1,000 Hamlets in one thousand hearts. Everyone’s protagonist was different. Therefore, it was difficult for everyone to accept the paper person they liked becoming reality. This was a hurdle that all novel adaptations had to face.
Cheng Xia didn’t think he fit the image of the protagonist ‘Qin Nian’ but he was confident he could play this role well. During this period of time, he had read the book every day and read it at least five times. In every scene and dialogue of the book, he substituted himself into Qin Nian, thinking about what tone and expression he would use to express his emotions if he was Qin Nian.
Even in his dreams, he became Qin Nian and experienced Qin Nian’s life. He really liked this character so he wanted to try it even if they scolded him.
Cheng Xia took a deep breath and opened his Weibo. To his surprise, his Weibo followers had increased by several hundred since yesterday. He thought that Sister Zhang had bought him zombie fans but as a result, many private messages appeared in the upper right corner. He clicked on it and saw they were from Chen Yijun’s fans.
“I came from Sister Jun’s side to touch melons. Is this Tianxuan’s newly signed little brother? You are very handsome!”
”Sister Jun’s fan here to check in. Sister Jun is following you so you should have a good relationship with her? Jiayou!”
”Handsome little guy, I like your appearance. I searched and found you haven’t acted in any drama. I’ll watch out for you!”
Cheng Xia, “……”
Today he realized how terrible the star effect was.
Chen Yijun just followed him and these fanatical fans followed this to his Weibo. Chen Yijun’s willingness to follow him showed that the two of them had a good relationship. Therefore, Chen Yijun’s fans showed a polite and gentle attitude toward Cheng Xia. Most of them said that Cheng Xia looked good and spoke a few words of encouragement.
Cheng Xia politely replied to a few private messages before opening the homepage. He found that President Pei had also forwarded the promotion of Folding Paper. His agent had said not to like anything so he silently logged out of his main Weibo. Then he logged into his side account Summertime Orange and liked President Pei’s forward of the Folding Paper Cast and Crew. No one should find out if his side account liked it?
In the next few days, Cheng Xia’s sleep was very restless. He was always dreaming of Qin Nian, the protagonist of the book.
Qin Nian was born in a poor family. His parents died in a car accident when he was 10 years old. Every day after school, he would go to work to earn money to support himself. He grew up in a poor family but he didn’t have the shabbiness and low self-esteem of the poor. Even though he wore old clothes that were washed to the point of whiteness, he was calm, sunny and optimistic. He always had a bright smile on his face.
He had a younger sister called Qin Yue whose health wasn’t very good. Not only did he have to work and earn money, but he also had to take care of his sister and study. Under such difficult conditions, his grades were still among the best and he was often praised by his teachers. It could be seen how hard he worked.
Due to his handsome appearance and excellent grades, Qin Nian was very popular with his classmates at school. His character was that of an alpha. His differentiation was relatively late and he didn’t show any characteristics of an alpha. Everyone (including himself) regarded him as an alpha. During his first two years of high school, there were many omegas who confessed to him but he declined because he had no time to fall in love. No one thought that in his senior year, the 18 year old Qin Nian would differentiate into an omega.
The other protagonist, Lu Fengyang was a rich second generation who was ignorant. However, he didn’t cause trouble for the protagonist like other alphas in school novels. It was because at the beginning of school, he fought with several gangsters and was helped by the protagonist passing by. He considered the protagonist as a good brother and protected the protagonist.
Lu Fengyang studied poorly and often found the protagonist to copy his homework. Every time, the protagonist wouldn’t let him copy and insisted on giving a lecture. Their relationship wasn’t abusive. Rather, it was easy and funny.
Qin Nian liked Fu Fengyang a lot before differentiating. After the differentiation, this feeling became even stronger. However, this fool Lu Fengyang just considered him as a good buddy so Qin Nian had to hide this type of liking secretly in his heart. His family background didn’t allow him to get together with Lu Fengyang.
On the surface, Qin Nian was optimistic and always had a bright smile on his face. In fact, all the hardships of his life and his unspeakable love were hidden under the sunny smile. Even when Lu Fengyang told him about the beautiful omega in the next class, he would smile and say, “He is very beautiful. He is a good match for you.”
It was only when he turned around that there would be a bit of loss and sadness in his eyes. Such a protagonist was particularly distressing.
Of course, the final ending of Folding Paper was good. Lu Fengyang was just dull, not a scumbag. He later discovered Qin Nian’s secret, liked Qin Nian and was even influenced by Qin Nian and decided to work hard and study well.
At the end of the novel, the two of them were admitted to the same university. Qin Nian gave Lu Fengyang the paper he folded himself. Origami was his favorite hobby since he was a child. Every time he was upset or sad, Qin Nian would take out a piece of paper and fold it.
Lu Fengyang opened the paper and saw a wish written in proper handwriting.
—I want to be admitted to the same university as Lu Fengyang and for us to be together ever since.
The teenager smiled brightly in the sun. Lu Fengyang saw he was so dazzling and finally couldn’t help hugging him tightly.
Many alpha and omega novels had the protagonists dragging the omega under a tree to take a bite or pressing against the wall to kiss… a large number of school novels had ‘marking’ as a gimmick. Meanwhile, Lemongrass’s Folding Paper took Qin Nian’s experience as the main plotline. It was clear from beginning to end and paid great attention to describing the emotions and growth of the two protagonists.
The two of them didn’t show much intimacy but at the end, they made readers smile. The overall style of the original novel was relaxed and warm. There were some sad plots but not the type of hard-piercing sadomasochism. It was a faint bitterness that made people have a sore nose and wet eyes.
The role of Qin Nian was difficult to grasp. He was optimistic and sunny on the surface while inside he was struggling and full of uneasiness. Being too sunny would appear careless while excessive struggle would appear indecisive. Cheng Xia had been thinking about how to express his emotions using his eyes and movements for a long time. He dreamed of Qin Nian for several days before feeling that he was finally in the act.
In this state, February 7th arrived.
Cheng Xia got up at 7 o’clock to wash up. He ate breakfast in a hurry, changed into a clean sweater with a white shirt inside. He also took out the school uniform that the sponsor gave him previously while filming the MV. He wore a down jacket and came to Tianxuan to wait.
The gate of Tianxuan was crowded with people. The poster that said ‘Actors participating in the audition of Folding Paper, please take the 3rd elevator to the 17th floor’ was placed in a prominent position.
This wasn’t a national audition but the name ‘Tianxuan Production’ was attacked and many artists and small entertainment companies were interested. After all, Tianxuan was a big tree in the entertainment industry. If they could ride on this train, perhaps they could become hot? The people participating in the audition actually lined up in a long queue.
Cheng Xia was startled and hurried through the side door to find his agent.
Zhou Yan was waiting for them on the first floor. Once Zhou Jiawen, Xue Ling, Qi Xiaotian and Cheng Xia all arrived, she took the four of them to a corner and whispered to them, “After you go up, you will draw lots and go in when your number is called. I heard from Assistant Zhang that the main creators of the crew are all present and even the author came in person.”
The four newcomers heard this and their eyes widened slightly, their hearts a bit nervous.
Zhou Yan quickly told them, “The original author won’t participate in the screenplay adaptation but she will give the director some advice. Still, it is the director who will ultimately decide who will play each role. The director of this drama is Liu Xueyi. You might not have heard of him. He isn’t particularly famous but he is very demanding of the actors. Don’t think about walking through the back door or anything like this unless you move him with your acting skills.”
She glanced at the four people in front of her and simply said, “Let’s go. Don’t be too nervous. Just act normally.”
Cheng Xia clenched his fists and obediently followed his agent upstairs.
The 17th floor had been vacated and an audition venue specifically arranged. The corridor outside had two rows of chairs for people to wait and there were several empty offices for people to wait. At the audition scene, there was a sign-in desk and lottery box. Cheng Xia followed the agent over.
The girl at the desk was an assistant of Group C. She saw them and smiled. “Those auditioning for Lu Fengyang, Qin Yue and Zhao Luo will draw from this box. Those auditioning for Qin Nian, Zhang Xiaoheng and Xu Fei will draw from this side.”
These six characters were the main characters and important supporting roles of Folding Paper.
Zhao Jiawen brought by Sister Yan was an alpha. He chose the role of Lu Fengyang in the novel and drew the number 10. Xue Ling chose the role of the protagonist’s sister Qin Yue and picked number 26. Both Qi Xiaotian and Cheng Xia chose Qin Nian. The former drew number 67 while Cheng Xia drew number 98. It was close to the end.
The girl saw their numbers and reminded them, “1-50 is in the morning and after 50 is in the afternoon. Do the two of you want to leave first and come back in the afternoon?”
Zhou Yan asked then, “Cheng Xia, Qi Xiaotian, do you want to go back first?”
Cheng Xia shook his head. “No, I’ll wait here. I can practice the script while waiting.”
Qi Xiaotian had wanted to go back but he changed his mind after hearing this. “Then I will wait here for the results.”
Bonus ko-fi chapter