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Elyse-Ameican Beijinger persue her Chinese dream

People's Daily Online)  15:43, December 06, 2012

(Xinhua/Hou Dongtao)

In 2008, the "SHIFEN Theatre Festival" was launched by the Elyse's theater troupe, showcasing programs involving Western drama, Peking Opera, improvisation and shadow puppetry, which provided a platform and opportunity for both Chinese and foreign talents.

Elyse is often running around looking for stage space or busy in rehearsal and writing new plays. However, the funding shortage is her biggest problem.

Cheeky Monkey Theater troupe is a non-profit group who always pays their performers. Thus, Elyse took up several part-time jobs to earn her living, such as hosting wedding ceremonies, film shooting, making TV series, and so on. And a large portion of her income is spent on the upkeep for Cheeky Monkey.

Although life is busy and tough, this American girl is optimistic about the future. She works hard and has devoted herself to her love for drama. When in meetings or rehearsals, she seldom answers her phone, which sometimes irritates callers. "Elyse is who she is, and once people realize that she isn't snubbing them, they can understand it," Julie, Elyse's assistant, said.

However, what many people could not understand was why she was interested in such a money-losing business? "Drama is my dream, and I like China, so I hope to make my dream come true here," Elyse answered, "If I wanted to make money, I would not have given up the job at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing years ago, where I had a nice 'iron rice bowl.'"

Since studying abroad in Beijing in 2001, this American girl has been fond of Chinese culture. Besides, majoring in Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she was also passionate about her drama coursework, and now works and now works to combine these two passions.

As she is able to speak Mandarin fluently and is attracted by the cultural diversity between China and western countries, Elyse has also been invited to jointly host a Chinese news program "Laowai Kandian" at China Radio International in Beijing. Elyse said she enjoys working on it, by which she, the American, gets to share and explain U.S. opinions while simultaneously getting to learn more about the countries of the other hosts.

Living in Beijing for almost nine years, Elyse no longer considers herself a new fish, but a complete "Beijinger". On every Christmas eve, Elyse invites her "Beijinger" friends to her home and prepares a traditional Christmas dinner. They eat, drink, and amuse themselves by playing cards and enjoying the happiness of the "foreign festivals" in China.

As Elyse was asked when she planned to return to America, she hesitated for a while and answered, "I haven't thought about it, because, you see, I still have too much to do here."

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