Fake Audience Members in China Make $120 Per Show By Crying and Laughing

People with a knack for acting but do not necessarily want to take the stage are earning well in Chinese reality shows.

These actors make up the country’s lucrative “professional audience” industry, now pegged to be worth over 180 million yuan ($26.5 million) since its boom in 2014.

Their job — sit as a member of the audience and make faces for the camera.

They can applaud, cry, laugh and do anything else that is asked of them.

One can earn as much as 800 yuan ($120) per show, which lasts for about three to four hours.

Meanwhile, those who refer a friend can receive up to 30% bonus from their current pay.

For their fake yet convincing reactions, they have been dubbed “Bawling Boys,” “Grieving Girls” and “Emotional Emperors” by social media users, News Weekly said.

Getting in the “professional audience” industry is fairly easy.

In a job ad translated by Mothership, to be part of a reality show’s “interactive audience,” the following requirements must be met:

  • Height: 155 cm
  • Compensation: 300 yuan (roughly $45) remuneration per recording of four hours
  • Role: To enliven the scene with applause
  • Duration: Up to the taker, will be remunerated 300-800 yuan (about $45 to $120) upon completion of four to eight hours

While the job seems like a piece of cake, the challenge comes in keeping up with the rules set by employers. Among these warn against falling asleep, leaving early and using smartphones during the show.

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com