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Change Your Mind and Play Well the Supporting Role
By Kailun, Hong Kong
Wen Song’en had been an actress for several years. During this time, she changed from a balancing role to a supporting role, and also gained recognition from the other actors in the crew and the director. Hence she was very happy inside.
A year ago, Wen Song’en took on a film and played a supporting role in it. In order that her acting could be approved by audience, she actively searched the internet for some movies, and then watched and practiced. When she read and pondered the script together with the director and the leading roles, she shared all that she had understood about how to develop the character with them so that they could learn from each other. The director and the others all said that she understood the script and could grasp the characters’ mental activities in every scene. Hearing this, Wen Song’en felt too flattered inside.
In the first few scenes of this film, Wen Song’en had lines to speak, and furthermore, the director arranged for her to sit beside the lead, thus she had more screen time than other characters. However, the good times did not last for long. Afterward, several actors joined the film’s cast, among them there was a new actress who was the focus of cultivation. When Wen Song’en received the script for the sixth scene, she found that besides the lead, both the new actress and another actor had many lines to speak, but she didn’t have any. At the moment, her heart sank, with some resentment, and she thought: The new actress is a newcomer and just plays as an extra, but has lines to speak, while I, a supporting actress, have no lines. Then how can I express the views of the role I play? For all that she knew whether or not one had lines depended on the plot of the script, she still felt unbalanced in her heart, was bound by the matter of having no lines, and was unable to calm down to see the script for this scene any more.
At that time, the other actors were all carefully pondering the lines, and when the director asked questions, they actively communicated their understanding. Whereas, Wen Song’en sat to the side, thinking of something else. She thought: Since I have no lines, I needn’t to spend so much time pondering the script, but just need to make an expression when the shooting begins. Subsequently, the director said that lines were to be reassigned. After hearing these words, Wen Song’en’s heart leapt in anticipation, she felt that there again was an opportunity for obtaining honor, and she thought: Since I am a supporting actress, some lines should be allotted to me. So she strained her ears to hear whether her name would be mentioned. Unexpectedly, other leads and several extras all got lines to speak except her. Wen Song’en felt quite disappointed, for having no lines meant having no opportunity to obtain honor. She whispered in her heart: Oh! Now I can’t even compare with a crowd actor; then what am I, a supporting actress, going to do in this scene?
In the afternoon, the director arranged for the actors who had lines to rehearse together, and she was left out in the cold. Seeing this scene, Wen Song’en felt more distressed. Especially when she saw that the director paid special attention to the new actress, unconsciously she got jealous of her, thinking: Why is it always she who can obtain honor but never me? Her heart brimmed with resentment, and she lived in pain. Amid suffering and helplessness, Wen Song’en prayed to God, and then she thought of: “as soon as it involves position, face, or reputation, everyone’s heart leaps in anticipation, and you always want to stand out, to be famous, to be glorified. You are unwilling to yield, always wanting to contend, although contending is embarrassing. However, you are not content not to contend. When you see someone stand out, you are jealous, feel hatred, complain, and feel it is unfair. ‘Why can’t I stand out? Why is it never me? Why is it always he who gets to stand out and it’s never my turn?’ There is some resentment. … Don’t think that the difficulty for those who are the quiet type is any less than for those talkative extroverts. It is difficult for everybody. Nobody can overcome this. The internal condition of every person is the same; these things are nothing less than what Satan uses to corrupt people, what is built into humankind.”
Wen Song’en knew what God had said was exactly her situation. She thought carefully: I am a supporting actress, yet during this period I had no lines and thus had few opportunities to obtain honor. Whereas, other actors was given more screen time than me. Seeing this and in particular, that the director valued the new actress, I was unhappy, complained in my heart, and I even envied the new actress, afraid of being surpassed. Now I understand that the reason why I was in such a state is because that being poisoned by Satan’s viewpoint of getting ahead and ranking higher than others, all day I focus on how to make myself stand out or obtain honor, how to earn others’ admiration, and to win the director’s appreciation. Once I couldn’t stand out or obtain honor, or failed to satisfy my vanity and desire for status, I felt uncomfortable, painful and depressed in this environment. This is completely the torment of Satan! After knowing these, Wen Song’en’s mood improved, and she was unwilling to pursue fame and status. Thereupon, she again threw herself into pondering the film script, and then shared everything she understood with others.
However, when beginning shooting the sixth scene, the director concentrated all his attention on the lead and the new actress, without noticing how Wen Song’en performed, which made Wen Song’en involuntarily feel dissatisfied in her heart again. One day, a hair-stylist asked Wen Song’en to come to her and get her hair fixed. Yet just when she was ready, the hair-stylist said let the lead first. After Wen Song’en heard these words, she thought to herself: Why isn’t everything as I want it to be? In this scene I already don’t have much to do, but now I even have to wait and let them get their hair fixed first; then what am I? The more she thought about that the more aggrieved she felt, but she held back her tears, waiting for her turn. After her hair was fixed, Wen Song’en could not help but run to a corner and cry secretly. Later, when she saw that the cameraman shot the lead, the new actress behind the lead, the crowd actors, and the older actors beside Wen Song’en, but didn’t shot her, again she could not calm down and immerse herself in her role, but just gave no outward sign of her inner turmoil and pain. When it was time to rest, Wen Song’en cried and prayed to God: Oh God, I am still unable to betray my flesh and put aside my desire for status. I feel very painful. God, please guide me …
Afterward, she saw the following words of God: “How are these things cast off? Do you have a solution? First, you must see through them, and then you must learn to give up these things and set them aside. If you are always focusing on these things, always struggling for these things, if your heart is fully occupied and filled by these things, if you never want to put them aside and you always harbor them without putting them aside, then you are being controlled by and bound by these things. You have become a slave, and you cannot give them up. You must learn to give up and set aside these things, to yield, to recommend others, to allow them to stand out. Do not struggle furiously and rush to take advantage as soon as you encounter an opportunity to stand out or obtain honor. … If you want to turn around this kind of condition, if you want not to be controlled by these things, then you must first set them aside and give them up.” God’s words had shown her the path of practice: If she wanted to come out from the pain, she must see through the essence of fame and status. Actually, Satan always uses fame and status to harm and devour people. So for the sake of striving for fame and status, so many people scheme against each other and slaughter each other, living their entire life in suffering and darkness; even some people choose to commit suicide to end their life because of failing to gain fame and status. In view of this, what happiness and what true life are there to speak of? Fame and status are indeed not positive things and pursuing them is not the right path for human life as well. At the thought of this, Wen Song’en gained some discernment about Satan’s scheme to use fame and status to bind her. She was now willing to learn to set them aside in her heart, to give them up, and to allow others to stand out. She suddenly felt that it was also good for her to play a supporting role and be like a green leaf, for living like this would not be tiring. Then Wen Song’en also thought: Though the new actress doesn’t have too much experience, yet after she joined our crew she has made quick progress as well as performs well. She is really worthy of being cultivated and being valued. With these thoughts in mind, Wen Song’en prayed to God and asked Him to give her strength so that she could forsake her flesh, and learn to give them up and yield. Later, she went back to the set. This time, she paid no attention to whether the cameraman shot her or not but only strove to do well what she ought to. When practicing like this, Wen Song’en felt released and calm within.
Subsequently, the director asked the actors take turns to give a solo performance, intending to make a personal video of them. When it was her turn, Wen Song’en sat in front of the desk, with a book in hand. At the same time, the cameraman finished adjusting the lens as well. Both of them were waiting for the director to say action. Unexpectedly, the director suddenly asked the new actress to hold the book, and let Wen Song’en sit on the right hand of her. At this point, Wen Song’en felt a little disappointed in her heart, for not only did her expectation of giving a solo performance that she had longed for crumble to nothing, but also she became a foil to the new actress. Just when she felt somewhat unbalanced, she became aware that when this environment befell her, God’s will was to change her satanic disposition, and He wanted to see what her attitude toward this thing was. So she prayed to God: Oh God! Previously when I encountered such environment, I was just concerned with my own reputation and benefit, which made me feel very painful in my heart. Today the same environment befalls me again, and there is Your good will in it. Oh God, I am willing to practice according to Your words, not struggle to stand out, and practice giving up and setting aside these things and yielding. Gradually, her heart quieted down and she threw herself into the character she was to play on that day. This time, the staff present all said that their performance was natural and good. On hearing what they said, Wen Song’en couldn’t help offering her thanks to God. She knew she could perform naturally and well, this was all because she hadn’t been disturbed by her corrupt disposition, but had practiced according to God’s words.
Later on, the director asked Wen Song’en to play the role of a preacher. She changed into a suit elatedly, thinking that the camera would be focused on her face. Yet unexpectedly, during filming, the cameraman mainly trained the camera on the other two actors. As to Wen Song’en, she was just tasked with passing the book to them, so only her hands and profile were captured. However, this time, Wen Song’en didn’t feel unhappy or upset, but instead was at ease inside. She actively performed with her heart …
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