H town in July had a temperature that reached more than 40 degrees. Even in the early morning the sun still shone brightly and the room was unbearably hot. If one opened the window to sleep, a breeze might come in but it would be mingled with the sound of people——the noise of the group extras waiting for a gig downstairs at four o’clock in the morning.
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Da Mao, who fell asleep only in the middle of the night still had his eyes closed when he waved his arm and threw the pillow against the window sill. The half-opened window closed in response. Xiao Pang on the other bed also complained sleepily: “……If I knew it was so troublesome, then we shouldn’t have rented here.”
The original decision to rent here was because the dormitory was close to the scenic spots and the commercial areas. The place where the group extras waited for gigs was also right downstairs. When one wanted to find an acting gig all they needed to do was just go downstairs, which sounded particularly convenient.
However, convenience was also equivalent to trouble in some cases. For example, residential buildings close to the morning market and night market were convenient when you needed or wanted to go visiting the market, but besides that, it was also quite noisy.
Tao Mu also climbed down from the bed. He was originally a deep sleeper who couldn’t even be woken by thunder when he was asleep. After returning to the Shen family however, he started to become extra sensitive and practically on a verge of a nervous breakdown. Any small movement could wake him up. After being driven out of the house by the Shen family, his sleep was even more interrupted, essentially coming down with insomnia. Re-living once again did not only cause Tao Mu to have more than ten years of memory, but also brought back this problem.
“Since you can’t sleep, get up. Are you going to wait for a gig downstairs today?” Tao Mu slipped into slippers and went into the bathroom. After washing, he went into the kitchen where he grabbed a few eggs from the refrigerator and put a box of fresh milk on the counter.
Da Mao closed his eyes and tried very hard to get back to sleep. It was a pity that there was too much noise outside. The more he tried to sleep, the more energetic he became so he could only sit up irritably: “Why wait for a gig? We two are still acting as group extras in ‘Purple Cloud.’ Unless Fatty Liu dare to send us away? If he dares, I will definitely not let him get away with it.”
Tao Mu poured the milk into the milk pot and turned on the stove: “Didn’t you say it yourself that you didn’t want to stay on in the ‘Purple Cloud’ crew anymore?”
“We were just angry at the crew. In order to please investors, they actually push you to take the blame. But you aren’t leaving and if the two of us leave, won’t you be left by yourself? How can we let that happen!” Cross-legged on the bed, he said with vigor: “The three of us must be together. We enter and exit together, advance and retreat together.”
“Isn’t it just an investor!”
Da Mao got angry when he heard this, and followed behind Tao Mu like a large dog. He nagged: “Brother Mu, I’m serious. How about we find a crew by ourselves. Which script do you like? I will call my dad and ask him to invest in it. Then I will support you as the number one male lead, and Xiao Pang and I will be the second and third male leads. And then we go to the film school to find some beautiful girls. We can make movies and make money ourselves, lest we get caught in the crossfire again.”
“Get caught in the crossfire.” Tao Mu chuckled: “Do you know what getting caught in the crossfire means or just talking nonsense?” (TN: getting caught in the crossfire=expression used to describe a husband getting attacked by both sides in a quarrel between his mother and his wife)
Feeling that Da Mao was getting in the way, Tao Mu patted Da Mao’s head with his hand and pushed him away: “Don’t be having wild fantasies. You think filming is such an easy task. If you don’t have the right connections and enter this industry rashly, you will go bankrupt and want to jump off a building, you hear me? It’s not easy for uncle to make some money, so don’t keep thinking about wasting it. Don’t worry. When I make more friends and find my way around the rules, we will definitely set up our own film and television company. At that time it will be just like you said, if you want to be the male lead, be the male lead, and if you want to choose the female lead, choose the female lead.”
Da Mao clutched his dog’s head and protested: “Brother Mu, don’t touch my head all the time. You are half a head shorter than me. Is it appropriate to touch my head like this? Haven’t you ever heard that a man’s head and a woman’s waist all can’t be touched casually!”
Tao Mu chuckled lightly and waved them out of the kitchen.
Da Mao could only sit at the small dining table outside, staring at Tao Mu as he fried the eggs. After a while, he was once again up to no good. Snickering slyly like a thief he said, “Brother Mu, did something happen? Why did you suddenly think of making breakfast today?” Usually it was them doing the begging, and if Tao Mu was in a good mood he would make them a bowl of noodles and that was it.
Tao Mu took an egg in one hand and cracked it to the side of the pan, not bothering to pay attention to him.
Xiao Pang stood in front of the windowsill with his toothbrush and rinsing cup as he looked at the crowd of black heads downstairs, and said with the toothbrush still in his mouth: “There are so many new faces! Say, these people go to such extents getting up in the middle of the night and waiting all day. It’s already strange that some of them came here just to experience this. But those who treat group acting as a career make only that bit of money every month. What are they doing all of this for?”
Da Mao sneered: “What else could they be doing it for, their dreams of course!”
On a whim, Xiao Pang turned his head to gossip and said, “Ai, have you heard? Just our crew, the extra that plays the female protagonist’s maid, slept with Fatty Liu and Fatty Liu promised to add her scenes. Then based on what you said, can this girl be considered as making a sacrifice for her dream?”
Da Mao was stunned when he heard this: “That tall girl with white skin? She seemed to have just come to the H Studio City, right?”
“I heard that she’s been here for less than three months!” Xiao Pang shook his head and let out a sigh: “Quite fast.”
“It’s just a group extra, even if you add more scenes, how many lines would that even be! For these few lines, is it worth it?” Da Mao was puzzled. Xiao Pang also felt that his three views had suffered a violent impact. The two sat there muttering. The topic soon turned to other gossip in the crew.
The three of them had come to H Studio City after the college entrance examinations. Not long after Tao Mu came here, he signed the martial arts stand-in for the male lead in ‘Purple Cloud’. As for Da Mao and Xiao Pang, one was from a family that owned a mine and the other was just there to experience life. Their only purpose of coming to H Studio City was to accompany Tao Mu and have some fun. However, in the past few days, probably because of having gained some acquaintances among the group extras, they acquired a habit of strolling around the major crews to inquire about the gossip. This new habit of theirs was not at all showing signs of petering off but was instead becoming stronger and stronger.
Anyway, after these few days, Tao Mu had heard from these two quite a lot of gossip about some big stars and small actors like so-and-so had fell in love with so-and-so, so-and-so had knocked on the director’s door at night, and did not come out the whole night……Some were hearsay, but some were also true. Tao Mu listened to the two gossiping with relish, and picked up two eggs: “You like gossip so much, do you want to be a melon eater big V?”
“What is a melon eater big V?” The two who were sitting at the small dining table waiting for breakfast raised their heads together, curiously looking at Tao Mu who was beating eggs with one hand in the kitchen.
It was a little over six o’clock in the morning and the warm and welcoming sunlight poured in through the glass windows, forming a silhouette around Tao Mu. Tao Mu turned the pan upside down very familiarly and the poached egg turned over in the pan. Tao Mu let it fry until fully cooked before pouring it onto the plate on the side.
“It’s the entertainment big V that has been authenticated on Weibo.” Tao Mu said casually, taking off his apron: “The milk is warm now. Eat.”
Da Mao and Xiao Pang immediately got up, poured the milk and brought over the plates. They asked with a flattering smile: “Then how do you be an entertainment big V, specifically?”
Tao Mu rinsed the pot, and seeing that it was almost time he then turned on the TV. He immediately switched to the financial channel.
The channel was currently reporting that the international oil price had exceeded 140m yuan per barrel. Tao Mu, who had had a lifetime experience, knew that in a few days, the price of oil would rise to a record high of 148.35m per barrel. But then in the second half of 2008 it began to plummet, until the end of December when it was at the lowest point of 32.4m yuan per barrel, the cumulative decline exceeding 75%.
If at this time, he could have a sum of money in his hands to invest in the international oil futures market, so long as he operated properly, he could earn at least a hundred times the profit in half a year.
Unfortunately, his wallet was really too pitifully thin. Tao Mu couldn’t help sighing at the pitiful little balance in his bank card.
He felt that he had missed out on a 100 million.
“Brother Mu, why are you suddenly interested in finance and economics?” Da Mao and Xiao Pang looked at each other. The two of them could be said to be quite accustomed to the new hobbies that Tao Mu developed from time to time. But from fashion, music, acting, and other interests that basically didn’t rely on a high IQ, to suddenly cross over to finance and economics……Didn’t this leap seem a bit to big?
Given that Tao Mu’s hobbies had always been very broad, Da Mao and Xiao Pang were not too surprised. They were just a little worried that Tao Mu’s steps would be too big and he would strain himself——the financial stock market was not something just anyone could play in. In the words of the coal boss, the waters in the stock market was very deep, especially in the domestic stock market. Bankers always liked to play other people’s cards. Basically, small investors were destined to be eaten by the big sharks.
“If you have money, then don’t throw it in here! My dad said that currently the stock market is in chaos, and if you are careless, you could go completely bankrupt.”
“Don’t worry, I know the score.” Tao Mu said frowning and then urged them: “Hurry up, I have a scene in the morning, and I have to go to the crew after eating.”
“Oh!” Da Mao and Xiao Pang quickly picked up their bowls and gulped down their milk. Still they did not give up: “That entertainment big v……”
Curiosity was quite strong. Tao Mu glanced at the two and gave an explanation casually.
Tao Mu remembered many experiences in his previous life very clearly. However, what shocked him most was the level of development of the Internet in just a few years. It was difficult for the Chinese people living in 2008 to imagine the Chinese people’s dependence on the Internet ten years later. It was even harder to imagine the impact of the Internet on the entertainment industry and even national life, as well as various industries and fields.
As a reborn person who had experienced countless fan and anti wars as well as melon-eater wars, and had witnessed the emergence of China’s Internet industry from scratch, from backwards to advance, Tao Mu felt that he could definitely be called a senior melon-eater or even a melon grower. Especially in 2008, when the Internet had just begun to emerge, Tao Mu could almost certainly say that no one in this world knew the development direction of the next ten years better than him.
Re-living his life again, Tao Mu felt quite confident that he would be able to seize the opportunities. He looked thoughtfully at his two enthusiastic childhood friends and suddenly felt that maybe he should open up his field of vision a little bit more and be more proactive. To not just limit his sights to the entertainment industry, which was just a tiny corner.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Da Mao and Xiao Pang, who was listening eagerly, looked at Tao Mu who stopped suddenly, and urged: “What’s the matter, keep talking~”
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