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15 minutes of random-Caucasian fame


Guest Kurochan
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Have anybody out there been in a Chinese movie or tv program, or a commercial for that matter? What was it? What did you do? How did you feel when you saw it? Happy? Embarrassed?

A couple weeks ago I saw my debut on CCTV-1 as a Hong Kong reporter on 归涂如虹 ("Return is Like a Rainbow"?). Considering that I didn't do very much besides nod my head and write in a notebook, I'm ridiculously stoked about it. I accidentally had two lines -- at one point all the foreign extras were supposed to exclaim indignantly, but I was the only one who did it, so you can hear my voice on the soundtrack. Alas, it seems nobody I know saw it! :cry: It's funny. Once I had a letter read on (American) National Public Radio, which is not that popular, and like 20 people I know heard it, and here I've been on tv in the most populous nation in the world, and nobody saw it! *Sigh!*

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i was also an extra, playing a reporter, in a tv series. i actually have forgotten the name of it. it would have aired during 1997 if i recall correctly. it was a series about the chinese space agency sending up a u.s. satellite. i think it was on btv. one of the videographers for the series was a cool dude who became my friend, but i have lost contact with him after i left beijing. his name is 郝光.

also while i was visiting lijiang in yunnan province (1997, probably a couple weeks before spring festival) i was interviewed by yunnan tv for a segment on tourism in lijiang. i don't know if my interview ever made it to tv. below is a pic of me, wearing jeans and a pla august 1st officers overcoat, while i was being interviewed in the center of old town lijiang, just outside of c.c. cafe which was opened by wan ke and her husband zhang zhongqi (as an aside for anyone who has been to the bar, met them and wonders where they are today: they are now living in shanghai):

yunnanTVinterview.jpg

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I went to Lijiang with a few friends the first week it opened up after being closed for a month because of SARS. The governor of the province and a bunch of his Party buddies were also there that weekend to discuss the SARS situation and what to do about it. The were absolutely amazed to find four foreigners who had not only whethered the entire SARS crisis without leaving, but who were out and about in Lijiang the first chance we got. They called a news crew out and did a bit about us and we ended up spending the rest of the night drinking and singing with the governor and friends. That was hands down one of the most fun experiences I had in China.

One of my buddies was not only chosen to be in an underwear comercial, but he also won that gameshow where foreigners have to speak Chinese. They gave him 800 RMB. :lol:

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Nothing major. Been in promotional pieces for schools a few times, mostly just looking foreign. Was interviewed in Chinese for local TV once, never saw it and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't get broadcast - the interviewer and I didn't understand a word each other said. Avoided being filmed making jiaozi at Spring Festival. Part of a school concert I was in was broadcast, but I was just standing at the side narrating (foreign teachers acting the story of Santa Claus being kidnapped by the evil seven dwarves - I got to do the sound effects for a kung-fu fight - hopefully everyone was watching the guy doing the kung-fu, as there was saliva all over the microphone).

Been asked to do stuff a few times in Beijing - model suits once, and a friend from CCTV got very angry with me when I laughed down the phone at a request to recite Chinese tongue-twisters on national TV. Oh yeah, and I was once told that I'd be collected at 6am the next morning to go to a park and be filmed practicing T'ai Chi (I know as much about T'ai Chi as I do about getting up at 6am). Gave that one the body swerve as well.

Roddy

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I was the feature in a Xuzhou TV 2 part special about the kindness of foreign teachers. (reach for a bucket..) It was horrible...I could feel my words being distorted as I spoke...I can't remember how I got sucked into it...but I know there was a lot pressure to do it. I never watched it....couldn't bring myself to ....

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Reminds me of what happened to some teachers at a school I used to work at. They got woken up early one morning by one of the teachers, who told them they had to go and give a demonstration lesson at another school. They assumed it was expected of them and went along, gave the lesson and thought nothing of the guy at the back videoing it.

Two weeks later the school went ballistic when two of their foreign teachers appeared on an advert for a competing school - which coincidentally, had just hired a certain teacher . . .

Roddy

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  • 1 year later...

why did your friend at CCTV get angry that you turned down his request to do Chinese tongue-twisters on TV? It's obvious that the program was for comedic appeal, right? Or am I wrong? That would be like asking a person from China living in the U.S. to come on TV and sing some RUN DMC rap songs. If they laughed at me at the request, I could understand why - haha.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, I have a good one for you guys. The band I was playing with in 1988 was invited to play for a New Year's Eve gig. Dec. 30, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, if I remember correctly. It was at a stadium in ShiJiaZhuang, which, I was told, held 10,000 people. It was about 70% filled all nights. The kicker, though, was that it was also broadcast one Beijing TV, for what I was told was 10 million viewers. A friend of mine actually saw it and recorded the audio for me.

It was obvious our band never practised, but it was fun and makes a great story. Man what I wouldn't give to see that broadcast again!

Sean

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I was a catalogue model and TV commercial star for some most horrible casual wear.

I was sat in bar and approached by a woman (no, not like that) who turned out to be an agent.

Was flown down to Nanjing to ponce around in a park in nasty clothes in the company of a very beautiful young woman model, then had to ride about on a very scrawny horse trying to look rugged for the TV spot.

Can't remember the brand and never saw the ad (a freind who did called me immediately in fits of laughter) but since i never got asked to do any again I'll presume it wasn't a successful campaign. Of course, that'd be the clothes' fault, not me :-?

Bought a very nice sofa with the cash though.

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