Lou Jing, you had me at 80% – 100%
Other than the fact she doesn’t look like most other native Shanghainese, Lou is completely Chinese. The way she talks, attitude, is pretty much like any of my China-born nieces. She identifies with a cartoon pig who’s speciality is being ordinary.
She’s more Chinese than I will ever be.
Following is transcript of the 1st half of an interview Lou Jing gave Wangyi News:
WN: Lou Jing, what prompted you to enter the Eastern Angel contest?
LJ: Honestly, our teacher entered us into the contest. Some of my classmates and many in the drama school all went.
WN: How did you do?
LJ: I was really timid the first day. First try out there were 200 of us in the plaza stairway, waiting to be judged. Some people didn’t finish half their song and a bell would ring, telling them to stop. I was so nervous I called my mother – “mom, mom, you have to come, if you don’t come I can’t go thru with this” she was at work and she hurried over.
I did not make the show at first, only as a backup contestant. Two hours later they called and asked me to second try out. From preliminary to Shanghai final it took 7 days, then suddenly I realized, whoa, I’m in the final five.
WN: What score would you give yourself?
LJ: 80%, hehe. I’m more brave now.
WN: You’ve had couple nicknames since little, one is “Ganggang”?
LJ: Yeah “Ganggang”, means simpleton in Shanghainese.
WN: Why people call you that?
LJ: Because I’m the docile type. My Mom always tell me to be forgiving. When I thought I were being angry, my classmates say “is this it, you’re angry?” I can’t be angry at anyone, always like to help. Some people think I’m dumb, because my kindness isn’t always repaid. But I’m okay with that, what makes others happy makes me happy. That’s why they call me that.
NW: Another nickname is “little black”
LJ: Right, that’s because of my skin color. Some of my closer classmates call me that. Other people wouldn’t. Because we know each other well, since junior high. But strangely they wouldn’t let other people call me that, something like – “you can’t call her that, only we can.”
NW: Does that make you angry?
LJ: At first, then I’m used to it. Also when we were young people aren’t mean about it; they give me nickname, I give them nickname.
NW: We’ve seen some of your baby pictures, you always have such a big smile. When did you notice you were different than the other children?
LJ: In the city. You are not always in the same environment. If you’re in one place people get used to you. But if you go some place new, people would say your skin color is different, then I’m more self-conscious.
NW: Anything you are uncomfortable with?
LJ: Not when I was little, now maybe. It’s not obvious when you’re in familiar territory, but Once you’re somewhere new, people don’t know you – if I don’t talk it’s okay, but when I open my mouth people will ask me questions, then it’s like “not again”.
NW; you mentioned your skin color has brought you inconveniences, what inconvenences?
LJ: Not much when I was little. A lot on inconveniences now, especially after this contest, haha. I can’t recall what childhood inconveniences. Proverb goes “when god closes a door, he opens a window”. When I’m out, people always want to talk about me. Some are kind, some are not so kind and yell at me. I just let them talk.
People around me who know me are always nice to me, I thought that’s enough. Until after the contest I realized the world is not like that.
NW: Are there times you’re really angry with the impolite things people say about you?
JL: Does this contest count? Haha. During this contest, some media said irresponsible, untrue things. I feel put out, but us little people can’t really do anything about it.
NW: Anything happen druing the show?
JL: Sometimes. Like that KDS travel agency bad mouthing me, they had people visit the set. They comment about all five finalist’s look, and “black ape’ – I couldn’t care less. Let them talk. When you are on the show people will talk, you can’t shut their mouth.
NW: When You were little, you probably noticed other children have father but you don’t. When did you ask your mother about your father?
JL: About eight. I asked and Mom didn’t want to answer, so I stopped asking. I never do anything against my mother’s wish.
NW: When did your mother finally tell you about your background?
JL: On my 18th birthday. She casually mentioned it over cake, and I casually accepted it.
NW: were you a good kid?
JL: I think I was a good kid. I’d help my mom with greeting cards, cook dinner when she is late. I was a good kid, haha. I got good grades, teacher never called home to complain. Mom didn’t have to worry about me.
NW: You mentioned you were timid when you were little, don’t want to be noticed.
JL: When you are different and have to exist in the environment, you accept the fact you have to be invisible. You try not to attact attention. For example when teacher ask a question, I never raise my hand. Even when I know the answer I’d wish the teacher would pick me, then watch teacher pick some kid who doesn’t know the answer. I’m a very low key student, sitting in the back kind, haha.
NW: I read somewhere you used Maidou’s motto to describe yourself, “not dumb, but good natured”
JL: When my friend saw the Maidou movie, she called me and said “Lou Jing, this suits you, you’re not dumb, but good natured”, and I got upset “what are you talking about? I’m smart!” Then I thought this is true, I never cared about the little things. As long as everyone is happy, I’m okay. That’s why she describe me that way.
[Rest of the interview consists of her denying the online rumors. I will respect her wish and not focus on it.]
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