Chapter 57 – First Invitation.
In the face of Renly’s gratitude, Stanley smiled broadly and said, “So, what’s next? An album?”
Renly tilted his head helplessly, and Stanley realized he had pushed too hard. He raised his hands in surrender and complained incessantly, “Young people nowadays really don’t know how to be grateful. Someone wants to help them make an album and start a career for free, and they still complain about others meddling in their business.”
Looking at Renly’s gentle and humble smile, yet stubborn and unyielding, Stanley shook his head and chuckled. He still didn’t want to give up, so he continued asking “What if ‘Cleopatra’ enters the Billboard Top Ten?”
Renly couldn’t help but laugh, “Then I should be able to get a better house.” Being in the Billboard Top Ten should earn him a lot of royalties, even though it was just a single.
Stanley was both angry and amused by this response.
“Oh, by the way, today is Wednesday…” The moment Renly tried to say something Neil’s voice came from behind, “Renly, your phone!” Renly ignored him and opened his mouth, but Neil didn’t give up and just took Renly’s phone from the bar and handed it to him, “It’s been ringing non-stop.”
Renly took the phone but didn’t answer it immediately. He looked at Stanley again. Stanley nodded to show that he understood. “I got it. You can go without worrying; Neil and the others will switch the schedule for tonight.”
Renly gestured an “OK” and glanced at the clock on the wall, realizing it was already 2:30 pm. He turned around, patted Neil’s arm, walked quickly to the door, grabbed his jacket and skateboard, said goodbye to Janice, and then left the Pioneer Village.
After getting on the skateboard, he remembered the call he got earlier, but when he picked up the phone, he found out that the other party had already hung up. He didn’t pay much attention to it and just put the phone in his pocket. Unexpectedly, the phone rang again, and this time he answered it with his earphones on. He looked around as he slid past the pedestrian crossing under the streetlamp and then quickly slid towards the nearby subway station.
“Hello, this is Renly,” he said simply after answering the call.
“This is Roy Lockley,” came the voice from the other end, crisp and clear. But Renly couldn’t help but pause for a moment. The name and the image in his mind didn’t quite match. The other party seemed to realize this and quickly added, “I’m the official agent of the American Actors Union.”
It dawned on Renly that Roy was the agent who had helped him sign the contract for “The Pacific”. “Hey, Roy, good afternoon,” he said as the subway appeared within his line of sight. Renly quickened his pace and rushed into the subway. “Was the missed call just now from you?”
“Yes,” Roy replied. Generally, when a new actor receives a call from their agent or the American Actors Union, they are always pleasantly surprised because it often means that work has come to their doorstep. However, Renly seemed calm and composed, as if it was just an ordinary phone call. Roy was still feeling a little uncomfortable, but at least he wasn’t as surprised as the first time. “Your performance in ‘The Pacific’ was good, congratulations,” he said with a stiff tone, exchanging pleasantries before getting to the point.
Renly’s low laughter could be heard from the other end of the phone. “Thank you,” he said generously and concisely, “So, what do you want to talk to me about?” He went straight to the point.
Any new actor who has just experienced the spotlight of a successful work like “The Pacific” is bound to undergo subtle changes in their mentality, but Renly’s frank attitude demonstrated his poise and composure in the face of both favor and humiliation. Roy, on the other hand, punched the cotton with some loss of control. This made Roy smirk and laugh at himself – after years of experience, he still couldn’t remain as composed as a twenty-year-old brat.
“I received an audition invitation for you. They couldn’t find your agent’s contact information, so they contacted me instead,” Roy said, without wasting any more words and resuming his usual style of being efficient and decisive. “Give me your agent’s phone number, and I’ll contact him for you.” He picked up his notebook and pen, ready to jot down the information.
“I don’t have an agent,” Renly’s voice echoed faintly amidst the subway’s roar.
“What?” Roy felt like he hadn’t heard it clearly.
“I don’t have an agent,” Renly repeated firmly, without any hesitation or disappointment.
This time Roy heard clearly, and his hand stopped in motion. With “The Pacific” raging, many people were probably inquiring about Renly’s situation. Although Hollywood never lacked new talent, someone with such potential was definitely in high demand. Those agents who are like jackals and tigers wouldn’t easily pass up on such an opportunity. They are not just smart, but rather opportunists who would rather make a mistake than miss a chance.
So, the only explanation is that Renly has not been swayed by temptation and is still calmly weighing his options.
Roy couldn’t help but think that this young person is truly an interesting character. His thoughts spun in his head for a moment, “Alright then…when are you free tonight?”
“I’ll be in the Pioneer Village after 6 pm and I’ll be there until dawn,” Renly replied crisply.
“Okay, I’ll come to Pioneer Village tonight to find you and we can discuss it,” Roy jotted it down on his schedule. They didn’t exchange any more pleasantries but immediately hung up the phone. The whole process took less than a minute and was very efficient. Although this was Roy’s style of doing things, Renly also cooperated well, making him feel a bit uncomfortable – this kind of newcomer was truly too different from the rest.
Looking at his full schedule, Roy couldn’t help but scratch his head. Being a public agent for the American Actors Union was a thankless job, that was keeping him busy all day long, but with an income that was only a tenth of those top agents, it was almost like doing charity work.
Generally speaking, Roy would not meet with actors privately because he is not a dedicated agent for any of the actors. In situations like Renly’s, he basically works with whoever he runs into. In other words, this time it was Roy, but next time the Union would send another agent. Therefore, their relationship is purely a one-time work relationship and there is no need to establish a personal relationship.
But this time the situation is obviously quite unique. The other party thought Roy was Renly’s agent, so they called him.
Roy stopped thinking about it and decided he will just treat it as another job. After all, he still had to eat dinner, so he will treat it as a business dinner.
An audition invitation? Renly couldn’t help but feel excited, wondering for what kind of project this audition will be. Considering that the other party watched “The Pacific” before sending the audition invitation, it is very likely to be in the same style and temperament as Eugene. Will it be for another role that has a delicate inner world and rich emotions?
If it’s a role that has the same style, wouldn’t he be repeating himself? If possible, he would still be more inclined to challenge roles with completely different performance styles. He knew that selecting the right works for actors who have just started out is very important. After playing too many similar roles at the beginning, people’s image of the actor is easily fixed, and it is extremely difficult to break away later. The most typical example is the three main actors of “Harry Potter,” who have been struggling to break away from the fixed impression of the audience since the end of the series.
However, Renly also knows that this was all just him overthinking. Because for most new actors, they have no choice when it comes to selecting roles. After making a name for themselves with a role, they will inevitably receive similar roles. If they refuse, it will be very difficult for them to find works in the future. This is a dilemma.
He doesn’t know for what role is this invitation.
While he was thinking, the subway arrived at another station. He reflexively looked up and noticed that this was the station where he was getting off. He quickly picked up his skateboard and rushed out of the subway door, temporarily putting all his thoughts behind him. After all, the mystery will be revealed tonight.
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