Novel Translation

The Greatest Showman – Chapter 11

Chapter 11 – Impossible to refuse

A guitar, a light, a chair, a voice.

Music returns to its purest, simplest and most pristine form, singing with the soul, communicating with the mind and narrating with the melody. The power to move people’s hearts gives music a unique and divine beauty.

The first thing you need to do is to look at the guitar and sit quietly in the light of Renly, the randomly rolled up shirt sleeves, the sloppy drooping collarless neckline, the slightly messy and lazy curly short hair, entirely the posture of a downtrodden minstrel, but deep inside Tom’s heart there is a desire to work with him, not only because Renly’s afternoon audition successfully impressed him, but also because of the underlying spirit hidden in his pair of eyes face that lies behind the hair.

Whether it was Mark Antony in the afternoon or Cleopatra in the evening, Renly portrayed a different temperament, showing a side of these characters that was not known to the public, with a unique and deep understanding that really made them shine. As an actor, Renly has shown an enviable talent.

This year, Renly is only twenty years old.

Tom couldn’t help but turn his head again to look at his old friend beside him, Steven’s expression was not really visible in the dim fiber optics, he could only be vaguely detected as concentrated and unblinkingly devoted, immersed in the quiet but raging atmosphere of the bar scene. Tom is convinced that he can relate to, Steven naturally would not fail to see it.

The hard, sharp touch of the strings on his fingertips jumped, and Renly lowered his eyes, quietly enjoying the fuzzy space between illusion and reality at the end of his songwriting, his thoughts churning, enjoying the moment when he simply lets the silence permeate, communicating through the melody, the same notes colliding and fermenting in different minds to create different thoughts and reactions.

This is true for music, and this is also true for performance. Such moments that eliminate noise and clamor are always extraordinarily enjoyable, truly bringing the charm of art to the forefront.

“Ahem.” Although Renly enjoyed such a moment immensely, after seeing Neil’s signal in the corner of his eye, he broke the silence, “Although no one gave any reaction at this moment, I will take it as you enjoyed the performance just now.” A word that made everyone laugh, low laughter still seemed a bit depressing and dull, but that was precisely the true manifestation of the infectious power of Renly’s music, “Now that the real master has arrived on the scene, I should take a back seat. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jason Mraz!”

Without warning, Jason walked onto the stage with a guitar in his arms, the audience was a bit confused, for a while their thoughts could not come out of the song “Cleopatra”, and then because of Jason’s sudden arrival and to regroup the emotions, there was a moment of hesitation, then the applause rang out, loud applause like thunder vibrated.

Jason walked onto the stage, somewhat dazed – such a welcome was far beyond what was expected, according to logic, he was late, so the audience should be booing but fortunately they didn’t, instead he was welcomed with such a warm applause. However, without waiting for Jason to think more, Renly came over and made a gesture of invitation, Jason could only gather his thoughts and patted Renly’s shoulder, and then walked quickly to the center of the stage to start his own performance.

At the bottom of the stage, Steven was not in the mood to enjoy Jason’s performance, his eyes dropped and he turned his head to meet Tom’s inquiring eyes, even without saying a word, Steven immediately read the meaning in Tom’s eyes: Renly, it’s still Renly.

The words of rejection were on the tip of his tongue, his pride and self-esteem subconsciously made the same decision, he did not like to overturn his own judgment, he also did not like to admit his own mistakes. The use of Joseph Mazzello in the role of Eugene, a decision that was made after the “The Pacific” project was confirmed, he was the first actor decided by the entire crew, but now Steven has to personally veto his own decision.

However, Steven is not an ordinary person after all.

Although it is said that the performance just now was a musical performance, without a semblance to acting, the special nature of the music presented a distinctive side of Renly: joyful and sad, strong and fragile, energetic and vicissitudes, flamboyant and introspective …… that contradictory temperament played to the extreme, giving the music notes their unique charm. Undoubtedly, Renly is charming, sparse and elegant, having an extreme youthful charm, singing songs, to encounter a chilly wind withering away.

It reminded Steven of Eugene in “The Pacific”.

When the war broke out, his only dream was to fight for his country, to fight for the honor of his nation, for the happiness of his people, and for the peace of the world, he defiantly volunteered to join the army, but the weakness of his heart bound his steps, as he watched as all of his friends around him went to war, and even the vibrant faces on the TV set that were about to join the war were laughing at his cowardice and incompetence.

It had been more than a year since the United States became involved in the war, Eugene’s heart was finally no longer an obstacle, so he could not wait to join the army and rushed to the embrace of the Pacific. But what greeted him was an unimaginable storm of wind and rain, as well as the collapse and shattering of his faith and beliefs. His tattered soul could not bear even a little weight and struggled in the abyss of despair. To him, living was a torment and a punishment.

This is the core soul of “The Pacific” series, which tells the story of the impact of war on each soldier, the kind of wounds rooted in the soul that can never heal, even if they survive they are still deeply scarred. Especially for the soldiers, as well as the soldiers’ lives after they return, their families, friends, loved ones, and even society as a whole, are all paying the price of war.

Eugene is the soul of the show, carrying the weight of the entire series. Now, in Renly, Steven saw this contradictory yet pure temperament.

During the afternoon audition, Steven could use that excuse to reject Tom, but now, he could not. He could continue to reject Tom and stick to his guns; but he couldn’t convince himself. Because he knew that Renly was the most suitable candidate for Eugene.

Letting out a long breath, Steven gave Tom a helpless smile, “You know, this wasn’t in the original plan.” The open audition was to cast actors, except for the role of Eugene. Now, the situation changed.

Although Steven did not explicitly say, but Tom immediately understood, heartfelt smile can not help but appear in the corners of his mouth, “you should know, this is the right choice.”

Steven did not answer, but seriously looked at Tom, seeing Tom’s slightly red eyes, looking slightly wretched, he snickered out loud, “You look like a sixteen-year-old girl.”

“So you’re the forty-five year old teacher?” Tom’s mouth was also unforgiving, directly refuting back, then Tom stood up with his back bowed and pointed to the corner of his eyes, indicating to Steven, “You better wipe those tears from the corner of your eyes too.”

“It’s just a water stain!” Steven argued, but Tom simply ignored it and gingerly left his spot, which made Steven stifle, looking up at Jason who started performing the first song on stage, he rubbed his eyes hard, and then also stood up and followed Tom’s footsteps towards the bar.

Back in the kitchen, Renly was being grilled by Neil and Stanley, “God, you’re a genius, you’re a true genius! Honestly, when was this song written again?” With an excited smile on his face, Neil rambled on, but although he asked the question, he had no intention of waiting for Renly to answer, “Listen to me, you have to share your creation. It’s the digital age now, things aren’t that complicated!”

Seeing Renly open his mouth ready to respond to the proposal, Neil quickly said once again, cutting off the possibility of Renly refuting, “We find a garage, complete the recording, register the copyright, then register an account at SongCast, upload the song, after which they will take over all subsequent matters, and soon you will be able to download it on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and other platforms. Spotify, Amazon and other platforms can provide downloads. Now the viability of independent musicians is gradually expanding!

“Right.” Stanley also nodded in agreement, “Renly, it’s 2009, everything is now so convenient, you just need to fill out an application form online, no need for those complicated procedures, and no need to deal with large music companies, your music will be available online for sharing.”

The two men finally stopped for a moment, and Renly looked at Neil and then at Stanley, “Are you all done?” Both men nodded dully before Renly said, “Making music is just a hobby for me, to pass the time, I don’t want to complicate things.” Neil wanted to say something again, but this time Renly raised his hand to stop him, “Besides, no one will want to download my music, it’s enough to perform here occasionally to entertain people.”

“Who said that! When your music goes online, I’ll be the first to download it!” Neil said eagerly the bright eyes indicating his loyalty.

Stanley also hurriedly raised his right hand, ” I will be second.” And then went on to say, “Renly, believe me, not only us, others will also like it, just now Joshua that old guy also asked me.”

“Stanley ……” Renly only had time to open his mouth, the latter words were interrupted by the corridor door pushed open, three people in unison looked in the direction of the door, and then saw Tom’s innocent and honest face carefully revealed. “Sorry, we didn’t mean to barge in.” Immediately after, behind, Steven also revealed his figure, Neil and Stanley jaws almost got dislocated, looking bewildered, even Renly also showed a stunned expression, “We are here specifically to find Renly, I wonder if he is now free? Is it convenient for us to talk with him?”

Their objective is …… Renly?


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