My Cultivation Path at New Century Film
(Minghui.org) I am a young Falun Dafa practitioner. I graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting. I emigrated from China in 2017 and soon joined the New Century Film production company.
I quickly got involved with acting and producing in many projects at New Century Film. This was the first time I took part in a truth-clarification project, so I was very excited. As time went by, I gradually settled into my role at the studio and learned to cooperate with others to get tasks done and do them well.
During the past two years, I have worked on six films, from The Wish to Performance Audition, to Chinese New Year, and most recently Origin Bound. I have worked hard, and the feedback from the audience and media has been mostly positive. Each film documented my growth and cultivation during that particular time.
Turning Into Character I Played
When I watched clips of my acting, I often felt that I was only acting but never truly turned into the character. However, every time I watch Chinese New Year, I couldn’t help but cry because my mother was imprisoned for her belief during the filming of the movie.
There was a scene where with the help of a guard, Shen Yu, the main character who was held at a detention center, made a video of herself greeting her father at home. This scene reminded me of the first time I visited my mother at a detention center.
I remember the small waiting room with rows of chairs and a small television set in the middle. On the television screen, you can see the inside of each visitation room through a security camera.
I watched on the screen as my mother walked into the room and found the clothes that I had brought and left in the room for her. She then looked into the security camera and started making signs and hand gestures. Though I couldn’t hear anything she was saying, I knew she was telling me not to worry.
This experience was imprinted in my brain and helped me relate to my role as Shen Yu in Chinese New Year. I felt that Shen Yu was me and I was her. Every line of hers told my story and came directly from my heart.
Mother used to show me videos of the Tian Guo Marching Band participating in parades overseas whenever I faced a tribulation that seemed impossible to pass. The cheerful parades and great performance of the Tian Guo Marching Band always moved me to tears. Over and over again, it restored my righteous thoughts and renewed my courage and strength to face obstacles.
Now I live in a free country and am so fortunate to be able to validate the Fa and clarify the truth through what I do. I hope that my humble contribution and the hard work and sacrifices of everyone at New Century Film will encourage fellow practitioners in China and around the world.
Cultivation State Reflected in Acting
In the recent film Origin Bound, I played a Dafa practitioner for the first time—I was naturally very excited. However, when we started filming, I quickly realized it was not as easy as I had imagined.
No matter how hard I tried, the director kept calling, “Cut!” He pointed out again and again that my expressions were not right, my acting was off, and I was not very convincing as a compassionate Dafa practitioner.
I tried and tried and tried but couldn’t get it right. I asked myself, “How should I play this role?” I tried to think of the kind of action that’s considered kind and compassionate. It was so hard to play a Dafa practitioner. But, what is so hard about it exactly?
When my mother was arrested, our local practitioners contacted me, encouraged and accompanied me to the local police station to petition for her release. The practitioners shared understandings with me beforehand and reminded me that though we were going to petition for my mother’s release, our goal was to clarify the truth to everyone we encounter. We needed to let go of ourselves and save them.
It was easier said than done. I had just begun to cultivate in Dafa, and it posed a tremendous challenge at the time. How was I supposed to let go of my love for my mother, ignore my own fear, and be considerate of the police? How was I going to clarify the truth from their perspective so that they could be saved?
It was something beyond my level, and I just didn’t get it. I had a mixed bag of feelings and could only think of myself and my family. I felt wronged and hurt. I couldn’t hold back my emotions. What could I do?
I suddenly had an idea. I remembered the many sharing articles I had read on the Minghui website—when being persecuted, practitioners put aside their own safety and only thought about saving others, and thus they were able to move the police and eventually save them.
I thought to myself, “Okay. I will pretend that I am playing the role of a Dafa practitioner who is not concerned with her own safety but only wants to save people.” I wrote scripts for my character for different scenarios I came up with. I carefully designed my conversations with the police in each situation and planned my response to each possible question with the ultimate goal of saving them.
I went to the police station confidently the next day, but things didn’t go as planned at all. Ten minutes into it, I felt defeated facing those unreasonable law-breaking officers. I was angry and felt helpless.
Though I was at the end of my rope, I kept telling myself to stay calm and be compassionate. I made myself smile as my last attempt to convince them. My actions and my expressions contradicted each other, and consequently we didn’t achieve our goal of clarifying the truth effectively.
“I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears.” (“Clearheadedness,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
I realized that the absolute selflessness and compassion toward others is one’s enlightenment to the Fa during one’s long and difficult cultivation journey, and it is a manifestation of one’s elevated mind and state of being.
A professor in college taught me when creating a role, I first have to first understand him, be close to him, get to know him, and become him. A truth-clarification film made by Dafa practitioners is different from all ordinary films, and the character of a practitioner is truly different than any character in an ordinary film. This is because the deep meaning and the messages behind such a character come from the Fa.
As an actor, in order to do a good job at playing this role, I must reach her level to become her. Only when I improve myself in cultivation, rectify my thoughts, emotions, human notions, habits, and actions formed in ordinary people’s environment, truly purify myself, and be rational can I have the essence and quality of a true Dafa practitioner.
When I could truly understand and achieve that state of being, I may not even have to act; as I stand there, my every word and every move would be kind and compassionate. This is not achievable with clever techniques, superb acting skills, or a team of professional filmmakers and actors, because this is cultivation. It is the result of the elevation of one’s realm of mind.
When Origin Bound was released to theaters, many viewers wrote to us that they could feel the actors’ acting was from their heart. I feel that the characters I created are a medium—only when I am purified through cultivation will the divine power and power of the Fa permeate through the film and the characters to reach the viewers. What truly touches the audience is the power of Dafa communicated by the film and the characters.
Chinese Communist Party Persecutes My Fiancé
As New Century Film released one film after another, we received praise, critical acclaim, and awards from the audience, the film industry, and the media alike. It also got the Chinese Communist Party’s attention as well.
While my mother was detained, she was threatened and pressured by officials from the 610 Office to convince me to give up my acting career making truth-clarification films. She continued to be monitored after she was released, and her retirement pension was garnished. She eventually decided to leave our hometown.
My fiancé was also affected. Though he knows that Dafa is good and is very supportive of me, he doesn’t practice Dafa. While I left China two years ago, he still lived and worked there until his latest visit. At the beginning of the year, my fiancé took a few weeks off to visit me, and as planned, he returned to China after his vacation.
The day after he left, at around 1:00 a.m. in Toronto, when we were wrapping up the day’s work and getting ready to go home, I received a text message from him saying that State Security agents had called him and asked to meet with him in person to have a talk. Though he refused, they kept calling his cell phone.
After having experienced my mother’s arrest and detention, I knew exactly what the agents meant by “having a talk.” I felt as if the air around me froze.
Practitioners at the studio advised me not to let him go to such a meeting and to get him out of China as soon as possible. After I made up my mind, practitioners helped me search for the earliest flight from China to Toronto. Meanwhile, I tried to keep in touch with him to make sure he was safe.
I later found out that in that short amount of time, the State Security agents had gathered all of his personal and professional information. They knew he had purchased a train ticket to go back to his hometown that night and demanded that he meet with them that day.
He gave the agent an excuse, but the agents found his previous employer and called him from his former boss’s office. Realizing that they had just missed him, the agents called his cell phone and asked, “Where are you? We are coming right now.”
My fiancé responded, “I’m at a friend’s and need to ask for the address.” It hit him during that phone conversation that the agents were locating him through his cell phone. His friends and co-workers all started calling his cell phone and asking where he was. They told him that State Security agents were looking for him.
He felt scared as he knew the agents were determined to arrest him that day. I texted him and told him to leave China right away and that I had booked a flight for him. I told him not to hesitate. He agreed and immediately went back to where he stayed to gather his belongings. I sent him the flight information, and the last text message I got from him was, “I'm on my way.” I was not able to get in touch with him after that.
The practitioners and I started to send righteous thoughts continuously. However, I still didn’t hear anything from him after a few hours. The wait seemed to be an eternity, and I started to panic. I imagined the worst—what if he ran into the State Security agents right after he left? What could they possibly do to him? Could he withstand such pressure? And so on.
Since I came to Canada, he had gained a better idea of what Dafa is. However, the evil wouldn’t let him be and attempted to wipe out the righteousness and goodness in him. I saw clearly how evil the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is and felt hatred toward the Chinese regime. They harassed my family, persecuted my mother, and now they won’t even leave my fiancé in peace.
Helplessness, weakness, resentment, hatred, and other negative substances weighed upon me and pained me so much. I felt exhaustion and tightness in my entire body, and even my bones hurt.
Looking Inward and Improving Myself While Rescuing My Fiancé
I finally received a phone call from him after four hours. He was already at the airport. To avoid being located by the State Security agents, he had turned off his cell phone. His phone call slightly alleviated my worry, but the negative substances were still crushing me. I couldn’t sleep for two days.
I examined myself—why was this happening to me? I realized that it was my attachment to sentimentality that was interfering with me. The old forces were exploiting this loophole and attachment of mine. What did they want?
Since I came to Canada, I have created different characters in several New Century Film productions. Every one exposes the evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party. As these films gained more and more attention from the media and received praise and awards, the evil became anxious and scared. It was trying to control me by exploiting my loophole in cultivation and my attachment to emotion, which I had not completely relinquished.
In doing this, the evil wanted to stop me from making more movies. I would not let this happen. I would not allow the evil to persecute me because of my attachments and thereby persecute the predestined sentient beings around me.
I took out Master’s picture and held it in my hands. The cacophony of emotions I had experienced in the past 72 hours were all released at once. “Master, I will continue to do the three things well no matter what happens. I will steadily follow you to the very end,” I thought to myself.
Protected Every Step of the Way
A few practitioners and I picked up my fiancé at the Toronto airport the next evening. He was still frightened and jumpy. As soon as he saw us, he became very emotional. “Did you know I almost died?” he exclaimed. From this experience, he truly saw through the CCP’s evil nature and the seriousness of the persecution against Falun Gong.
He told us that he felt the protection of a divine power every step of the way as he escaped China. When he was waiting for his flight in Hong Kong, to avoid the CCP agents’ monitoring, he kept moving and didn’t dare to use his credit card.
When he felt the most helpless, he asked Master for help. At that moment, the Chinese flag hanging at the highest point of the airport fell down, yet the Hong Kong flag was still flying in the air.
Tears rolled down his cheeks—he felt that the higher power had heard his prayers and was protecting him. During his escape, such incidents happened many times, which encouraged and sustained him.
I once again realized that Master is always around us and constantly looking after us. As the CCP failed in its attempt to stop my fiancé, it became more scared. As the end of its days is approaching fast, and as the truth about Falun Dafa is spreading far and wide, the CCP can count on more such defeats.
With Master’s guidance, I was able to get out of China. I thank every practitioner at New Century Film who gives me this opportunity to validate the Fa and clarify the truth with my expertise even outside of China. In the past, I looked at acting as my skill, my job, and my career, but now I know that it is all cultivation and the manifestation of the Fa at this level.