Time For Miracles – A lovely and detail behind the scene recap of Adam Lambert’s appearance on Post 80 Talk Show in China by the one of the director Nico Wang
Original post on Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/1095975950/yFePppifo
Translated by @hcluless
(Nico started by talking about how unpredictable life can be, how the friend you saw yesterday can be dead today due to a freak accident. She recalled how her adoption of the ‘Never say impossible’ attitude of Don Quixote got her success and insurmountable obstacles. She was afraid that her fighting spirit was dampened in the process and afraid of how it took her so much effort to make the show a hit in less than six months.)
“After this long prologue I’m getting to the topic. This is a ‘Behind the Scene’ revelation of working with a STAR and some thoughts I’d like to share with my friends. Being a TV show director, I’ve worked with stars of many sizes and clouts. As a result, my idol list became quite short; less than five names are on it. My attraction to Adam Lambert began when he appeared on American Idol Season 8. Ever since I was a child, when others were listening to the ‘Big Four’ (note: popular male Chinese singers of the 90’s) I was listening to ‘Panther of Tang Dynasty’. I’m a hardcore rock and roll fan. I was completely satisfied and happy watching Adam Lambert on American Idol Season 8 because Adam would always reworked the songs to suit his rock and roll attitude. Song after song my ears were experiencing orgasm. After his performance I just couldn’t bear to watch the other contestants. Episode after episode, I was sure he would be the winner. Then…….
Nothing more to say about it now. Anyway, I just like these kinds of coquettish creatures, like him. What I mean about coquettish is that he is not mundane, he owns up to his actions, he is not pretentious and not afraid to be treated unfairly. He is like ‘this is what I am and you are free to react as you wish’. This kind of attitude is very rare, especially among performing artists. But he is not the idiotic angry youth who will hurt others to maintain his own ideology. From him you don’t see the frightening aggression. From a Buddhist viewpoint it’s called ‘not fallen to either side’. He is the kind who would not harm others while trying to maintain his own identity and pursue his goal. As for the spirit of rock and roll, he is the very manifestation of it. If you think the spirit of rock and roll is rebellion, you are foolish! The spirit of rock and roll is LOVE! Without love, where does the wrath come from?
Around Sep. 23, one of our directors, Xiaomie, heard that Adam was coming to China and invited me to come watch Adam perform in this program (she directed) for another station. I was so thrilled and full of anticipation. Because my friend was the director, I got to watch the dress rehearsal too, which is much better than just watching the live feed. On Sep. 24th, Xiaomie suddenly asked us if we wanted to invite Adam to our show. We would shoot for 4 days, from 24th to 28th, for this episode, and he was due to arrive on the 28th! Just in time! I was pessimistic about the possibility. An international artist’s schedule usually takes months to finalize; so barring a miracle, it was not going to happen. But I couldn’t just say ‘it’s impossible’ and not give it a try. That’s not our style. So try we did. Xiaomie started firing off emails, connecting with Adam’s Chinese contact and doing a big volume of communications. We issued an introduction of the program; sent sample videos; issued proof of our Program’s viewership and influence--all the communication in both Chinese and English versions. The beautiful hostess of ICS, Chen Xuan, had a wedding date drawing near and was neck deep in preparations. Yet she helped us prepare the English materials late into the night despite her head-spinning wedding preparation; despite the fact that she herself could not secure a chance for a sit-down interview with Adam. There were many ups and downs during the communication period. Yes? No! No? Yes! Shiaomie made countless phone calls each day to answer their questions and resolve their requests. Also there were armies of friends helping, including many fans of Adam and some of my old friends. For various reasons I cannot thank you all one by one; but I need you to know that we are very grateful for your help. Without you, all this would not come to fruition! Thank you!
By the time we got confirmation of Adam’s appearance, it was already Sep. 27th. It looked like the miracle would happen! We had booked the sound stage until the 28th, but Adam was only available on Saturday the 29th! Saturdays are under a long-term lease by another show, so we were facing the crisis of having no place to shoot. I called my colleague, who manages the sound stage scheduling, and oh my god! No one would be using it that day! I immediately extended my booking to the 29th and moved on to the planning. It’ was overwhelming. I needed to plan the protocol of the whole show, design and plan the staging for Adam’s performance and design the props, all within 36 hours! I had no time to go besrerk. My brain was in overdrive for the whole day. By 11 pm on the 27th I had finished all the details. Don’t ask me how I did it. By the time I typed the last period, I had already finished a glass of whisky and more than half of a bottle of red wine. I think maybe some alcohol-loving deity helped me finish my task!
Sep. 28th was a day of props production frenzy. By noon of the 29th, all the props were delivered. When I arrived at the studio at 3 pm, the stage was in a state of chaos. I had a meet with the talk show host in the café outside of the studio during which Shiaomie sent me a text ‘I can’t wait for you to see the stage, so proud!’ At 6 pm the meeting was over and I stepped into the studio. I got a big surprise. It was not a set change but a stage change! It looked like a stage designed for Adam’s Trespassing Concert Tour! As soon as I saw the stage, I thought ‘We’ve all gone mad!’
A bit past 6 pm, I was in the host’s dressing room going over the script with him. I heard a noisy commotion outside in the hallway. I stepped outside and there he was: Adam Lambert walking towards me! He gave me a big smile and waved. ‘Hi!’ After all those days of intense work and preparation, he just appeared right in front of me without warning. I felt dizzy for a second, then immediately opened the door to his personal dressing room and said ‘Please….’
He walked into the dressing room and saw the fruit platter the production team had prepared for him. He gave a happy shout and immediately picked up a piece of fruit and tossed it into his mouth. Then he went over to look at the stage and was very pleased. He smiled happily and said ‘Cool!’ The sound check took quite a while because he was very meticulous and wanted the best effect. After the rehearsal he walked by the band’s dressing room and matter-of-factly leaned on the door jam and studied the 10+ pieces of the band’s stage wear. He asked them to take off the fussy and ornate jackets. He told us the t-shirts they wore were more in rock and roll style. Shiaomie and I utilized the interval while we were seating the fan audience to go look for him for some photo opportunities. He chatted with us, asked us where we bought the discs, praised my pretty jacket, and naturally gathered us by the shoulders to his sides when the pictures were taken. After the audience was seated, we shot the performance first. He sang twice and worked up a sweat. After he walked off the stage, he took off his jacket and asked the gofer for a bottle of water which cost the sum total of 2 yuan. Many artists have designated specific brands of mineral water in their riders, but he was totally not inclined to do so. There were 10 minutes left before he had to go on stage again. During this time he just loitered in the hallway discussing issues with the next day’s performance (note: The Voice Finale) with his agent and the band. They talked until I came to fetch him for the stage. He put on his jacket, received the microphone, and with a smile, went on stage again.
You all saw what unfolded on stage. Our host, Mr. Wang 王自健, after chatting with him for a bit, couldn’t contain himself and exclaimed ‘Why are you so nice? I like you!’ Adam was extremely accommodating. He was the main star, yet he took care to pay attention to everyone on stage. Even if he didn’t understand what were being said, he maintained an innocent smile. When Mr. Wang kept declaring he wanted to sing a song; Adam immediately went over him to flip up his collar in a rock and roll style. The esteemed old time Shanghai socialite Ms. Tang Wei Hong was on stage, and the respect and consideration Adam paid to her (to the point of tentativeness) was very moving.
After the taping was over, Adam shook hands with every production team member he could see. He happily boarded the car wearing the Chinese jacket we gave him. We then returned to the studio to thank the fans. The fan who did us the biggest favor in this event kept saying thank you, thank you, thank you, even though she was tired to the bone. She then hugged Shiaomie and burst into tears.
I have never met a super star so sincere and honestly down to earth. A few days after the taping, I was still submerged in this surreal sense. I re-watched Adam’s American Idol videos, and experienced again his every words and expression. I suddenly realized that he has not changed. Before he became famous he was such a sincere and real person. After his explosion onto the scene and despite controversy, he is still the same man; nothing changed, even the tone of his speech. You would find it hard to believe that the person many people regard as an alien is at the core a tender, kind, considerate man. He is not just a performer, but a real rocker! This realization made me happy for quite a while, really.
That this event happened was a miracle from Adam’s fans, because they helped the program production team secure the appearance of their idol. It is also a miracle to the producer Ye Feng. His team used five days to finished taping three artists for three different episodes, including Adam’s performance from negotiation to perfect presentation. It’s a miracle to our program director Shiaomie who did everything she can to finally see the one person she loved the most; and the whole team were proud of her. It’s a miracle to our styling director Shi Jian, who spent a whole night embellishing the Chinese Jacket that we gifted Adam, and his other idol Zhang Su Ping (note: a famous, award winning movie costume designer based in Hong Kong) approved of it. And, Adam wore it! To our newbie’s Shiaoyang, shiaopan, Hai-rei, Hanchi and Lolo, it’s also a miracle. They created the bling bling crystal mic stand for Adam. Shiaoyang was working overtime on her birthday. Lolo stayed on stage to listened to Adam’s requests for adjustment during sound check and relayed them back to the music director and program director. She eventually walked away with the towel Adam used to wipe his sweat. And out lighting engineer who added many more light units for Adam’s set. And our sound engineer who reserved the best microphone for Adam…..
To me personally, it’s a big miracle. I’ve learned that I’m such a lucky person to meet a person you love and admired for so long; seeing him with your own eyes, having personal interaction and produced/directed a show for him; yet not disillusioned but love him more. This experience remind me of my ‘nothing is impossible’ young self. Yes. Life is unpredictable. We won’t know when we’ll die or what will happen to us. We encountered countless obstacles, have feelings of frustration and sadness. But that’s not the reason to be complacent, conforming or cease to reach our goals and just while away our time. It’s also not a reason to be angry or envious, and treat people with contempt. Maybe you tried 100 times and failed, but the one success will be enough to make you appreciate the wonder of life. Facing my life, I choose to believe in miracle. It is the sunshine that brighten a humble life, it gave us will to live.
Finally, I’ll end with these lyrics from Trespassing:
I don’t need no sympathy
I won’t cry and whine
Life’s my light and liberty
And I shine when I wanna shine
I’m grateful for the power of dreams. I wish in everybody’s life there is the light of miracles. There is no ‘impossible’, you just do what you want to do until you find your own Time For Miracle. Go forth!