|Posted by MYR on July 24, 2015 at 5:35 AM|
Translated by Rain @ michelle-ye.com
5th july 2015
Recently, I came back to DongFang TV, and many stirred up the incident where I withdrew from the 'Muse Dress' reality show, probing me the reasons behind my withdrawal. I have never publicly addressed this matter, even when my best friend Monica Mok joined the program and faced similar conditions and was hurt, still, I kept my mum. I always felt nobody will be bothered much, therefore there was no such need to clarify. However, Mr. Mo told me, there will be people who care, and he doesn't wish that I am attacked or hurt in any way, there are fans who care, as well as thoughtful people who are concerned, because the truth should not be hidden, and positive learning experiences should be shared. He encouraged me to write this piece, therefore I penned this down.
It was summer last year when the production crew of 'Muse Dress' reality show contacted my manager to invite me to participate in the show; they introduced the show as one where female celebrity will be partnered with a fashion designer, and come out with a design, tailor the product, and are judged by professional judges before they are loaded onto Taobao online for sales. The show will be aired on Hunan TV.
When shooting the first part of the show, I was really anxious, because I am an actress who knows nothing about fashion design, thus I was prepared to be learn humbly with my designer partner, and was full of praises for the youngster who is talented in fashion design. He demonstrated much persistence and perseverance, winning my admiration and recognition. Especially when he went on stage to say that he is here to contribute towards peers with depression like himself; that he was here for the sake of art, not just a show, I couldn't help silently cheering for him from my heart, and was even touched to tears.
I also faced with much challenges during the shooting. From the first episode of shooting, the five of us female celebrities were trapped within the filming studio for a long time, because the sixth participant have yet appeared. There was no air ventilation in the studio, and we were sweating in the summer heat. Although there were disappointments in such basic mistake of the production crew, wasting much precious time and energy of ours, these did not reduce my excitement in looking forward to design my very own first dress.
Finally, the production crew informed us as the sixth participant was not properly engaged, we needn't wait further, and let the designing start! I was thinking, we will probably now start drawing our design, such excitement! At this point of time, my partnered designer took out a few pre-sketched design drawing, and wanted me to cut the paper design accordingly, thus I happily accepted the assigned task. Once this was completed, it was time to select our fabric materials, and I was wondering what materials I should be selecting from the store. Just as I was turning around to make my way towards the store, the designer's assistance told me in a hushed tone that she has already selected the materials and pooled them in a corner, so that I can save some time searching high and low, and go directly for the materials. Confused, I gradually came to agree that my taste of material selection will not be as good as that expertise of the industry, so that was it. After I have 'selected' the materials and began cutting a few pieces, the designer slowly took out a dress that has been completed prior and told me I just had to iron it out. He told me that due to time constraint, it was impossible to finish designing a dress in the time limits, and thus he rushed to complete the design few nights ago, making me feel really guilty and feeling much pity towards him. I felt that he worked very hard for this. Thus, that was how the dress, which was in fact without any of my contributions and ideas, was 'completed' before the camera with my partnered designer.
At this point of time, the production crew arranged for a few experts to come over and comment on our designs, they made a few comments for the amendments. Based on my years of wearing dresses, I tend to agree with the teachers' comments, and thought we should really make the amendments. However the designer was adamant that his design was perfect and just right for me, and did not wish to make any amendments. Then again, I thought, okay, maybe I am not professional enough, I should just listen to him.
After shooting such few similar episodes with such similar 'designing process', where the dress was without any of my design and participation, and they were all made prior to the show, I gradually came to a realization that this reality show is really just a 'show', there was no need to be 'real', as long as audience are interested. It came to a day, when a cameraman requested us to shoot the process of us drawing our design, my partner took out a blank paper, and was planning to trace it from the completed drawing, that was when my heart skipped a beat, I was thinking, does this mean he doesn't really know how to draw the design? At that point of time, there were too many audience, and I recollected from my realization, and chose to help him overcome it, quietly saying: You can't trace, this is HD shooting, it will be very obvious that you are only tracing, if you are unable to draw it, it is better we don't film this part, but we cannot be filmed tracing from another drawing.
The designer is in fact a very obedient looking youngster, coming from a fine family. His mother sent him to France to learn design at a tender age, and his participation in this contest comes with a huge group of assistants and promotion team, he was well assisted throughout the process, and has quite a style. The PR officer was a lively youngster as well. There was once when I was in the dress which was entirely without my design ideas, and I honestly thought was not too good looking, and feeling a little nervous, the PR officer quietly told me: "Don't worry, we have communicated with the judging panels, you will surely win tonight!"
My heart skipped another beat, wondering again, really? His tone didn’t seem encouraging, but in fact convincing me that his PR skills were excellent. No doubt, I won that night. There was neither honor nor happiness in my win that night, only embarrassment and guilt. Maybe it was my taste which was below par, as the dress which I thought was not good looking, indeed, won first place, maybe I felt awkward winning such an undeserving honor. Maybe when Monica cried saying it was too unfair when she was eliminated at the very first episode, she was actually right.
At that point of time, there was a TV series crew who were going to start shooting soon, they urged me to enter their crew to begin shooting soonest several times. Although I never had any contractual agreement with 'Muse Dress' to finish filming within certain episodes, I still felt the responsibility to finish filming the season, because we should always finish what we have started. And thus, I still insisted to continue shooting 'Muse Dress'.
When I was in my lows, and continued the shooting of my pretense to design dresses every day, the final blow came. My assistant came informing me that the designer's PR officer slipped an information to her behind the stage, the truth: All the attires, from the design stage to the sewing, were all done by others, none of it was done by the designer himself, only the finished products were brought to the show, and that the judges were all communicated with beforehand!
So does this mean my suspicions have been proven right? That he didn't know how to draw and only could resort to tracing? And that he couldn't make any amendments to the design because he didn't know how to? And that this dress that I simply didn't think attractive at all was sold for a cut throat price of 2,000,000 yuan? That in fact everything is a fake? The show was for charity, not for a reality show? I am an actress, I can act well, I am able to convince the audience that this story is real, but I simply can't twist a fake to become real, because my participation this time is in a reality show, not acting.
A reality show should be about spreading the beauty of the actual truth to audience, but in this shooting process, everything was just too fake for me, and thus I began having the idea of withdrawing from the program. A senior from my Wellesley College was holding a higher management position in DongFang TV, and we were quite close. There was once she came to watch my shooting and commented that the show and the attires were not attractive at all. I helplessly told her the fact behind scenes; she quickly supported my idea of withdrawing from the show and not to waste more time and energy.
Out of my respect towards the unrelavant programs and channels, as well as towards the production crew and the kindness of my designer partner, I have never expressed any comment towards this incident. I simply smiled when many also said that after my withdrawal, they edited the show allowing my first position to become 'first' from the back. After all, everything is just a made up story, it doesn't matter which role I played. But what is most important is that, in a reality show which should in fact be showing the truth, I am unable to accept any fakeness and am unable to act it out!
Lastly, I thank all friends and fans who believe and support me through the times. In future, I will surely share more positive energy for everyone!