Chapter 615 A short poem from Bingxin!
Caishikou, in the district of Zhang Ye's parents' house.
Xiaoxue was riding her scooter, a bag that was carrying her interview equipment slung over her back. She rode her scooter at lightning speed, rushing to her destination, her hair a mess from the wind. She finally spotted the gates to the district community and quickly pressed the brakes. She could see many other media colleagues carrying their cameras camped outside the gates too. There were reporters from the Beijing Times, Beijing Evening News, a correspondent reporter from a Beihe province, as well as reporters from the China Youth Daily newspaper.
Whoa, there were so many people here?
She felt done for, knowing that she would not be able to get the interview for sure!
With a bunch of people blocking the gates, would Zhang Ye even make an appearance?!
Xiaoxue got off her scooter listlessly. She didn't hold much hope in the first place when she got delegated with the task this morning at the newspaper firm, knowing that she was unlikely to get a chance to interview Zhang Ye at all. She was an entertainment news reporter, and although only a newbie with half a year under her belt, she had been through all kinds of major and minor interview experiences. She knew the the difficulties of being an entertainment news reporter. Even though it was easy to interview some celebrities because of the fact that those were the small timers, those interviews were in fact quite worthless and wouldn't make it to a good spot in the newspapers. If they wanted their interviews to be on the front or second page, then they had to interview the big shots, as only a big time celebrity would have news worth reading. However, what was the concept of a B-list celebrity? That was equivalent to celebrities who were well-known throughout the country. Scoring an interview with a celebrity that was B-list and above would be good to have but hardly ever guaranteed. You'd have to stay alert to the news, have a way, get tips, be focused, and have a strategy. It even encompassed good communications skills, sometimes needing to scale a wall or climb a building, using whatever means possible, before you might end up getting a chance to interview a big shot celebrity in unofficial circumstances. It was as difficult as climbing into the heavens.
"Xiaoxue!" A middle-aged man called out to her.
Xiaoxue locked her scooter, then ran to him and greeted, "Brother An."
Brother An, lugging a camera around, said, "Why are you so late?"
"My scooter broke down on the way, sorry about that, Brother An," Xiaoxue said apologetically.
Brother An brushed it off and just said, "Come quickly, find a spot for yourself. If Zhang Ye or his parents come out, we will take the chance to squeeze inside with the crowd. We must definitely get a good spot, so hurry up!"
Xiaoxue said helplessly, "Surely Zhang Ye won't come out, right?"
Brother An asked back, "Why not?"
"He's already a big shot now. How is it possible that he will accept an interview so casually? Besides, this address might not even be the right place. If this address was known to everyone in the media, would Zhang Ye still be staying here?" Xiaoxue questioned.
Beside them, an older man who was a cameraman for another newspaper firm laughed and said, "Miss, are you new?"
"Ah?" Xiaoxue looked over to him.
Flanking him, a female reporter who looked to be in her forties also said, "If you want to get an interview with other A- or B-list celebrities in an unofficial and unscheduled location or timing, it would practically be impossible. Even if it were a C- or D-list celebrity, that wouldn't work. But Zhang Ye is different. He has never avoided the cameras before. If we're talking about the easiest D-list and above celebrity to score an interview with, then Zhang Ye has to be the easiest. As long as we don't meet him while he's in a bad mood, or knock on his house door and disturb him from his daily life, then as long as you went to interview him, he will give you a few words at the very least."
Xiaoxue said in surprise, "It's that easy to get a word from Zhang Ye? I've seen the news reports of him having a very bad temper, frequently scolding people here and there."
The female reporter smiled and said, "As long as you don't provoke him, Zhang Ye's easier to speak with than you can imagine. He―he is really quite different from the rest of the celebrities in the entertainment circle."
Brother An added, "He is very different!"
Suddenly, someone shouted!
"He came out!"
"There's Zhang Ye!"
"Quick, quick, quick!"
As if a gust of wind had swept past, with a single sound, over 20 of those media reporters had already rushed up. Brother An was also one of them. However, Xiaoxue was a step too slow, so she had to rush up to try to squeeze into the crowd.
Zhang Ye had a white towel hanging around his neck and had appeared jogging out from the building's corridor. He had only jogged for about 20 meters before he was surrounded by a group of reporters and could not move anymore. Zhang Ye helplessly stopped there and greeted, while waving to them, "I've hardly had a chance to do morning exercises anymore, so would everyone please be so kind as to let me go for a round first?"
The female reporter from before said, "Teacher Zhang, I've been here since 5 AM and I'm almost about to fall asleep already. Why don't you spare us a few minutes of your time first instead?"
A young female reporter said, "That's right, Teacher Zhang. If I don't get to interview you today, I won't be able to go back to answer to my superiors. I would surely tick them off."
If it were other celebrities, it would have been possible to make an appointment to interview them and there wouldn't be a need to crowd around outside the gates like now. However, Zhang Ye was different in that he did not have an agent or a managing agency at all. At the moment, he did not even have a job, so that resulted in the media group having communication problems with him. On top of the fact that Zhang Ye's promotion into the B-list rankings came at an unexpected time, having shot up suddenly at the turn of the clock last night, these media reporters did not have enough time to do their preparations either. Those were the reasons for their rowdy presence this morning as everyone rushed over to this place. Besides, such interviews were better done the day of, since the matter happened on this day as well. If all interviews followed an order, time, and location, then it would only be reported on a few days later. By then, it would have been 800 years too late. Could news still be called news if it was old?! News always focused on being delivered in a timely manner.
The crowd of reporters were speaking in chattering voices.
Since Zhang Ye could do nothing about it, he simply agreed and said, "Alright then, just five minutes. Shoot."
Xiaoxue: "....." What the! Zhang Ye was really this easy to speak to?
Brother An reacted the quickest. Just as Zhang Ye finished speaking, he had already started, "Teacher Zhang, in the latest update of the Celebrity Rankings Index, you've become a B-list celebrity, so I would like to congratulate you first."
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "Thank you."
Brother An went on, "There's a lot of people talking right now, saying that you're one of the fastest rising celebrities in recent times, turning from an unknown into a B-list celebrity in little more than a year. It feels like this is a route that many other public figures would not be able reach, but you've done it in just the blink of an eye."
"Blink of an eye?" Zhang Ye repeated the words.
A Huadong Daily News reporter interrupted and asked, "I wonder if you have seen it yet; there were a lot of netizens who left their comments online after the rankings were updated at midnight yesterday. Other than congratulatory comments, there were also many criticisms and doubting comments. They feel that based on your traits and your appeal to the minority groups, getting to where you are now is already a miracle. I've also seen some of your fellow peers say this about you. They all acknowledge your talents, but at the same time, they also feel that your success has more to do with your luck than your talents. Regarding this, what do you have to say?"
It was true that there were many of such voices on the internet right now.
Just randomly browsing the forums or Weibo, many of these channels were discussing Zhang Ye's promotion into the B-list rankings. This was considered quite a feat in the entertainment circle as well.
"What a miracle!"
"Zhang Ye's too lucky. If he even had a little bit of bad luck, he couldn't possibly have reached where he is right now!"
"Zhang Ye's just a very normal looking guy. How did he even become a celebrity? And he even managed to become a B-list celebrity? I could do it too then! At least, I am a teeny bit better looking than Zhang Ye!"
"There's a definite element of luck in Zhang Ye's success."
"If I had Zhang Ye's luck and talent too, how great would it be!"
"Zhang Ye is still a newcomer, without many film credits to his name and has never sang before either. Just based on a few television programs on the local channels and an online television station, with some poems and speeches, Zhang Ye has somehow amassed so much popularity. This would surely make many of the 'old-timers' in the entertainment industry quite uncomfortable! If he could become a B-list celebrity this way, then if Zhang Ye were to ever officially go into movies or singing, or do a few programs on a satellite channel with nationwide coverage, then wouldn't his popularity defy all common sense by then?"
"Not defy all common sense, more like his popularity would be out of this world at that time!"
"This person has opened up an alternative route to advancing in the entertainment circle!"
"Other celebrities all depend on themselves and work hard for many years in the industry with no assurance of anything, but Zhang Ye's achievements when he has only just debuted for about a year, when compared to them, really does feel a little unfair."
"Yes, a lot of his fellow peers are not too happy with him."
"That's right. Mathematical and literary standards do not belong in the entertainment circle at all. If he had advanced with the aid of those, then it really leaves those celebrities in the entertainment industry rather helpless."
There were many comments such as those mentioned.
When a person gets popular, gossip will fly. It was a very normal phenomenon.
Faced with such a question from the reporters, Zhang Ye also fell silent for a moment.
Xiaoxue raised her audio recorder up and asked, "Teacher Zhang, how do you feel about the comments made by these minority groups and your fellow peers from the entertainment industry?"
Going by an alternative entertainment route that was considered as unorthodox?
Seeing all of the reporters not blinking as they awaited for his answer, Zhang Ye smiled for a moment, not feeling angry at all because of these question. He even eloquently said, "I've said this before: whoever it is or whatever kind of art form we're talking about, there is no possibility of it being liked or accepted by everyone. There are those who like me and those who dislike me. Whatever the people's comments about me are, I will accept them, but for some of my fellow peers' comments..." He paused for a moment, before suddenly getting into the mood and saying, "I have here for them, a poem-a short poem."
When everyone heard that, they felt like they were all suddenly injected with adrenaline. They became extremely excited!
"Teacher Zhang, please recite it!"
"Ah, wait, wait, wait, please wait a while! My pen recorder broke! Let me quickly get another!"
"Would the person in front please squat down a little! I can't get a picture! Please, people in the middle, please squat a little!"
As long as it was anyone who knew a little of Zhang Ye's history, they would know that Zhang Ye's most outstanding talent was not mathematics, nor was it crosstalk, or his hosting abilities. It was actually his poetry composition!
Zhang Ye softly recited:
"A Successful Flower.
"We always admire only the beauty of flowers!
"but its budding in its beginnings
"were watered by tears of its struggles,
"and rained on by the blood of its sacrifices!"
The poem ended here.
At this moment, an old neighbor of Zhang Ye's family who was standing around the crowd spoke. When she saw the reporters here earlier, she stood where she was and listened, but finally unable to keep quiet about it any longer, she opened her mouth. "Little Ye, don't be bothered by those sarcastic remarks from your fellow peers! We neighbors have watched you grow up and know how many sacrifices you've made. You'd skip sleep every day just to finish recording your programs. For your job, you've always risked your life just to get things done, but who has seen that side of you?"
Zhang Ye clasped his hands, then smiled and said, "Grandma Cui, thank you."
Another old man said, "Little Ye, work hard. We're always supportive of you."
A woman said, "Yes, don't listen to their nonsense!"
The poem was very short and was only composed of four phrases, but the impact of this poem was strong enough to cause the hearts of those reporters to sink a little. Yes, everyone could only see Zhang Ye's success, but when it came to his hard work and sacrifices, how many had bothered to notice it? How many people even knew about it?
Xiaoxue glanced at Zhang Ye a few times. This was just her first time interviewing Zhang Ye, but when she came face to face with him now, she suddenly felt that she had some understanding of this person!
Back then, during the hijacking incident, everyone had happily talked about how Zhang Ye was so lucky to have brought the plane down by landing it safely, but did anyone think about how Zhang Ye had nearly died in a plane crash? Everyone saw Zhang Ye silencing all his detractors during the crosstalk competition, but did anyone ever care about how Zhang Ye had nearly been banned for life by the SARFT!? Luck? Fluke? Coincidental? Zhang Ye did not reach where he was now based on these factors! He had fought his way through a bloody path against overwhelming odds!
Leaders suppressing him!
Fellow peers attacking him!
In the moment between life and death!
A choice between compromising or standing his ground!
No matter when and where, Zhang Ye dared to stand up proudly to claim this: My road has not been easy or smooth. The path he chose was harder than anyone else's!
A Successful Flower.
-This was a very well-known work by famous prose author, Bingxin. Bingxin was famous for her prose works, but this short poem was one of her rarer and more outstanding works. Faced with the questions by these reporters and doubts from his fellow peers, Zhang Ye felt that this poem was the best reply as it represented his current thoughts and emotions. Back in his previous world, he also liked this poem very much, probably because of the use of the word "sacrifices" in it. Whenever he recited this short poem, Zhang Ye's expression was not one of lament or complaint, and he did not say it to tell others that he did not have it easy. Instead, he mentioned it with a smile and some pride, because the "sacrifices" in this short poem were not pain or torture to him, but symbolized his strength of character instead. It was the source of his pride to be able to puff out his chest and raise his head high when faced with anything, because that was not a sacrifice to life's unfairness, but the value and sacrifices of his uncompromising character!
On the same day.
This poem had been published by many publications throughout the country!
"Success and Sacrifice!"
"Zhang Ye's Voice!"
"A Successful Flower!"
"Zhang Ye: A blooming flower stained with blood! "
When this poem was published, it immediately caused an ardent discussion on the internet.
"Teacher Zhang, you're the best!"
"Don't bother with what others say, we understand you! How much you have sacrificed, we all know!"
"F**k, What's wrong with 'unorthodox, alternative paths'? So what if he went by the unconventional path? That's what we favor, the unconventional path! Because of this, let us continue harassing them! If one comes at us, we will deal with that one! If a bunch of them comes at us, we will deal with all of them!"
"Supporting Zhang Ye!"
"Teacher Zhang's totally deserving of his B-list ranking!"
"Those who don't know anything, I suggest you check out Teacher Zhang's CV first before opening your mouth!"
A Successful Flower might not carry the blood boiling passion like Zhang Ye's previous works, nor was it as excellent as them, but it did carry a very important and heavy emotion. Anyone who read it would feel their hearts sink a little, especially that phrase "were watered by tears of its struggles, / and rained on by the blood of its sacrifices." Those words had silenced many of Zhang Ye's detractors as well as those who were jealous of his achievements. Thinking of how Zhang Ye had made it so far, they did not dare to say any more.
There was a C-list celebrity movie star who once suffered a fracture during filming. After that, when he posted on Weibo, crying and whining for over a month, his fans all sympathetically claimed that he had suffered so much!
When a Korean singer had a few pimples growing on his face, the fans were all crying and shouting, saying things like how life was so unfair, claiming how that Korean celebrity had always suffered so many mishaps!
Was that difficult?
Compared to Zhang Ye, their difficulties might not even be considered as something!
Having been held in jail twice, forced to resign by Beijing Radio Station, sacked by Beijing Television Station, suspended by Peking University, nearly losing his life in an airplane hijacking incident, being suppressed multiple times by the Shanghai SARFT, being affected by the most stringent ban in the history of the SARFT, and now being unemployed even though he was already a B-list celebrity with nothing to do except stay at home, being bored until he could even "leisurely" go out in the morning for a jog. There was only one such person who existed in the whole of the entertainment industry. So who dared to say that they were suffering more than Zhang Ye?
No one would dare to say that!
No one had it more difficult than him!
Even so, even then, Zhang Ye had gone against all odds and managed to stand at his position in the B-list rankings. What kind of a notion was that!
In this whole wide world.
Who else could compare!?