Superstars of Tomorrow - Chapter 305: Stage Name - Wuxiaworld
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Chapter 305: Stage Name

Chapter 305: Stage Name

Translator: Min_Lee Editor: Tennesh
Lots of folks were glued to the second season of the Leizhou chapter when it aired, hoping to catch Zaro in action. They were, as usual, put off by the limited edition bento boxes in the episodes.

But some folks felt that things would improve once Zaro showed up. He was bound to create tension. Zaro's acting style was only suited to nonsensical, exaggerated comedy, not serious period epics like this one.

Of course, there were also people who were more charitable. "The plot is killing me. At least Zaro will provide a change of pace. That's a good perspective to have."

Unfortunately, Zaro didn't show up until the second half of the season, and his appearances were fleeting. Even his close-ups were momentary. You couldn't make much out of his limited screen time. This was a major disappointment to the eager fans in Leizhou.

"I thought he had been cast in a major role. Turns out he ended up with this paltry bit of screen time."

"He hasn't picked up his bento box in season two yet, which means he'll show up in season three. I wonder if he will get more lines then."

"Based on my understanding of Zaro, his role will definitely get beefier down the road. Otherwise, someone with his personality wouldn't bother with a minor role like this. He'll definitely see more action in season three!"

On one of his internet access days, Zaro posted this message on his social media account:

"Me, Zaro, one take only! Shudder in fear, mortals! [picture]"

The accompanying picture featured an obnoxious-looking Zaro making an "oh, yeah" gesture. You could practically feel the cockiness oozing from the photo.

The people of Leizhou reacted as if they had discovered a new continent—they were downright incredulous.

"One take only? Is he referring to his latest scene?"

"I don't believe him."

"I'm not sure if I should believe him and there's no way to verify his claim now. Let's wait until season three comes out."

"Why don't we ask the other actors?"

But the other actors remained silent. Every time they saw a question in the comment section of their social media accounts asking if Zaro was telling the truth, they pretended they hadn't seen it. The truth was that they didn't know what to say.

However, the director of the Leizhou chapter unit reposted Zaro's message, adding, "Good job! Keep it up!"

That was his way of confirming Zaro's one-take claim.

This made the people of Leizhou look forward to season three even more. Even though they were looking forward to the storyline, the series meant something different to the people of Leizhou. Zaro was the star attraction of the entire Leizhou entertainment industry.

Many fans love dissing Zaro, but even they had to admit that Zaro's presence made the Leizhou entertainment industry more interesting. There was never a shortage of news.

The Renaults were also looking forward to Zaro's scenes. They had confirmed through their own channels how Zaro was faring on the set, that the single-take claim was in fact true. Still, they couldn't imagine what the final product would look like.

When season three finally aired, Zaro's first appearance generated countless dropped jaws.

"This is Zaro?"

"That's gotta be a double, no? Zaro can act like that? I'm not buying it, not buying it. They must have swapped someone in."

"I just studied the footage carefully. It's him all right."

"What an incredible transformation! What got to him?"

"His performance is so un-Zaro-like!"

"What are you suggesting? Could he keep his job if he acted like Zaro?"

"It's as if he has had plastic surgery. I can't possibly associate that performance with the Zaro I know from previous roles."

"I was wrong. Zaro can act too if he gets serious about it."

Soon, the Leizhou media was going nuts. One of Leizhou's most respected news outlets posted this headline: "I scare myself when I get serious about something."

The accompanying graphic was a picture of regular Zaro and a screen capture from his role in season three. The contrast was stunning.

The governor of Leizhou even took the time to call Zaro.

"Zaro, I'm watching season three too. You've made tremendous strides! This is worth applauding." The governor used a much gentler tone than he had in previous chats with his grandson. He was less serious.

"This is definitely a tough shoot; it's especially grueling, but there's no way out of it," Zaro said. He even managed to squeeze in a jab at his father: "Dad says that if I don't do a good a job, he's going to break my legs and lock me up at home."

The governor took the bait. "Don't be afraid of him. Let me have a chat with him tomorrow."

The governor was pondering the matter in his head. He had learned the secret to the so-called "improvement" from Roman, but Roman also provided balance, conceding that even with the secret boost, not everyone could have delivered the same performance.

Zaro's successful harnessing of emotion in season three had to have taken quite a bit of work. The governor was worried that Zaro would break down if the family pressure kept up. After all, Zaro was still young, and his tolerance for pressure was limited.

After listening to Zaro complain some more about how tough his shoot was, the governor offered a few words of encouragement and hung up. The call lasted exactly five minutes.

As the chief executive of a continent, the governor was a busy man. The fact that he had taken the time to get in touch with Zaro was a major gesture of appreciation. It was impossible for him to stay on the line for 20 or 30 minutes or more. A five-minute call was already quite long by his standards.

On the other end, Zaro was thrilled to have his grandfather's approval. Granddad was the most powerful member of the family. As long as he had Granddad's backing, no one else posed a threat. If his foul-mouthed dad kept up his act, Zaro would keep reporting him to Granddad.

Filming for season four had actually already wrapped up by the time season three aired. The fifth season was about to start shooting, but the actors had a few days off in between.

Zaro remembered that Fang Zhao was the brains behind his acting turnaround and that he had promised to treat Fang Zhao to dinner, so he gave his fellow cast member a call. "Let's go for a meal at Gourmet Food City. I hear there's a new restaurant and the food is decent."

When Fang Zhao got the call, he had just returned from the Wai military base. He had nothing else going on, so he said yes.

The new restaurant was a fusion place featuring cuisine from all the continents. It didn't take reservations, so Zaro and Fang Zhao had to wait when they arrived.

"Let's sit on the side for a bit. You can bring me up to date on your filming," Fang Zhao said, pointing to two rows of chairs by the reception desk.

Unaccustomed to waiting for seating, Zaro was already a bit fed up, but he got excited once Fang Zhao mentioned his shoots.

"Right, right. I have to give you a proper briefing!"

What Zaro enjoyed the most was bragging to others about his scenes. He still had few lines. He had plenty of time after he was done to prepare for the next scene. Zaro wouldn't have been able to complete so many scenes in one take had his scheduling been tighter.

But as far as Zaro was concerned, the fact that he was completing all these scenes in a single take gave him tons of confidence. This was the first time he had ever felt so good about his acting. He felt as if he could treat all those award-winning actors and actresses like dirt in no time.

During his downtime, Zaro pondered his next career move.

"I think it's about time I come up with a stage name," Zaro said.

"Is that necessary?" Fang Zhao asked.

"Absolutely! I have actually thought of it before, but my agent shot me down. Now, though, I feel like I am in a different stage of my artistic career. What good is an artist without a stage name? My ambition is to become one of Leizhou's top contemporary artists."

Fang Zhao: "That's... that's a worthy goal."

"So which name do you think I should use? It should be something that stands out, best if it's reminiscent of the Old Era. It has to have substance and style. It should have personality and be classy at the same time, but I don't want to lose my current name either. I'm thinking something similar that rings familiar."

Fang Zhao: "How about 'Samoyed'?"

"Sounds good. What does it mean?" Zaro asked.

"It's the name of an Old-Era dog species that went extinct. Samoyeds were known as the 'smiling angels'," Fang Zhao said.

"They've gone extinct?"

"Yup."

"They were dubbed 'smiling angels'?"

"Yup."

"That's it then!"

"I suggest you do some more research during our internet access time. Coming up with a stage name is something you shouldn't rush. You should take it seriously and compare a bunch of names," Fang Zhao advised.

"That's true."

During the conversation, Zaro glanced at the entrance to the restaurant. He immediately yelled, "Hey, Woo Tianhao! Why are you running away?"

Woo Tianhao had invited a few actors who were party buddies from Tongzhou for dinner. They wanted to enjoy a proper meal during their rare break after slaving away for a season, yet lo and behold, the moment they set foot in the restaurant, Woo Tianhao ran into two people he didn't want to see. He had been getting ready to bolt when he'd been spotted by Zaro.

Woo Tianhao had no choice but to retreat. He raised his voice. "Who's running? Are you bloody blind?"

Woo Tianhao's dinner companions stayed silent. The two people facing off were both descendants from prominent families—one from Tongzhou's Woo family, the other a member of the Renault family in Leizhou. It was best if they didn't butt in on an argument between these two.

Woo Tianhao's good spirits had evaporated. Fang Zhao and Zaro were always being held up by the director as model actors, especially for their contemporaries.

Woo Tianhao had acting chops, but he couldn't manage to complete all his scenes in one take.

It was OK that he couldn't emulate Fang Zhao, but not being able to match Zaro was a downright insult!

They were both descendants of storied generals, and online pundits loved to compare actors with this kind of lineage. Zaro used to make everyone look good, but now his acting skills were suddenly off the charts, be it by gimmick or other means. The bottom line was that Zaro's performances turned out well and viewers bought into them. The former critics now heaped praise with the same intensity they used to pour scorn on him—and they often used Zaro to dis actors from other continents.

Woo Tianhao really didn't want to see these two. They killed his appetite.

But Zaro was in a hospitable mood. He waved at Woo Tianhao's party vigorously. "Come, come. The more the merrier. Let's eat together. It's on me!"

That comment irked Woo Tianhao. "No need. It's on me tonight!"

But Zaro stood firm. "I got here first, so of course it's on me."

Woo Tianhao couldn't afford to lose face. "You think daddy can't afford a simple meal?" He had told his dinner companions that he was treating tonight. If Zaro ended up buying, who knew what they would say.

"Ha, and you're suggesting I can't?" Once Zaro's stubbornness came out, there was no stopping him.

The Tongzhou actors that Woo Tianhao had invited were dumbfounded. Are they really arguing over such a petty matter? Really? It seemed like a battle of egos, but it also came across as an excuse to stir trouble. If they started a fight, Zaro would definitely not be a match for Woo Tianhao, but Zaro had Fang Zhao. It was hard to say who had the upper hand.

The back-and-forth led nowhere. Woo Tianhao made a resounding noise from cracking his knuckles. He wanted to beat the crap out of Zaro, no doubt, but he held back on account of Fang Zhao. It would be an even bigger loss of face if he lost.