After school was over, all members of the acting club gathered on the fifth floor. This was their first gathering after the exam period. No one mentioned a thing about exams and they went straight into practice. They did some exercise under Daemyung’s lead and was just about to start the read-through when Aram asked when they would wear the outfit that Suyeon lent them.
“We need to get them checked anyway, don’t we?”
She wasn’t wrong so they decided to do so. Aram giggled and took Jiyoon to the bathroom while the boys changed in the class. As this was a play set in urban settings, there weren’t any difficulties acquiring the outfits. For the police uniform, there was one their graduates left behind and for the rest, it was fine with casual clothes. The most difficult to prepare was the hostess, but Suyeon took care of that.
Maru also took out a full suit from his bag. It was something that he found while visiting shops that sold carryover products. The owner there sold the suit to him for cheap saying that it was damaged while the previous owner worked in a logistics warehouse.
It was well-repaired. The old lady that told him to tell her his size and told him that he should leave it to her had some great skills.
“I-it does fit, I guess,” Daemyung, who put on the police uniform with difficulty, spoke in front of the mirror.
A jumper with the police mark and black pants. He was also wearing a yellow vest with a walkie-talkie on it. He would perfectly be a policeman with a law enforcement baton.
“Thanks for all the work in drunk driving control,” Maru spoke with a smile.
Behind Daemyung was Dowook wearing a leather jacket. He was the perfect stereotype neighborhood delinquent. He looked like the type of guy that people would offer money to out of fear if they walked by and saw him smoking in a crouching position.
“Be kind to others, Dowook.”
“Don’t bullshit me.”
“Your foul mouth definitely makes you look like a delinquent.”
“Ugh, I should just….”
He would be evaluated well for his delinquent acting as long as he did not get stage frights. Bangjoo tried swaying with his tie still on, but took it off after thinking that it didn’t feel right. Instead, he undid the top two buttons and picked up the empty soju bottle.
“Do I look drunk now?”
Bangjoo’s role was that of a drunkard.
“You can’t be a drunkard with just the outfit alone. You’ll have to do well with your acting.”
“Right? But isn’t this soju bottle good?”
“It’s not like you can bring a soju bottle to a holding cell, but I guess it’s fine since it’s a play.”
Bangjoo nodded back and tightly clenched the soju bottle.
“It would be perfect if I had a sip of soju before I went on stage, right?”
“I don’t think so. If you don’t think that you can do it, you should ask your sister. There’s a splendid acting teacher close to you.”
“I’d rather self-study acting than learn acting from my sister. My sister never lets things go undone. If I ask her to teach me then… urgh, just thinking about it is horrible.”
Bangjoo shook as though he didn’t want to imagine the scenario.
As Maru didn’t have a complete understanding of Joohyun, he just nodded.
“But seonbae, the suit really suits you,” Bangjoo told Maru.
Maru smiled and redid his tie. He wore suits an uncountable number of times in his previous life. If he looked awkward then that would be a problem in itself. He even remembered sleeping in a suit after coming back home from working into the night. He wore it that much so his body remembered how to look good in it.
They saw each other’s outfits and checked whether there were any problems or not. Aram opened the classroom door and entered. She was wearing a vertical striped suit and a white t-shirt. As it was a casual-style suit, she didn’t feel like a company employee. As her role was that of a scammer, she had to look neat and tidy, and the outfit that Suyeon chose for her fit that description perfectly.
“It suits me, doesn’t it?”
“It’s good for sure,” Maru smiled as he spoke.
Aram took out some round glasses from her chest pocket and put it on.
“Don’t I look more intellectual now? Like a proper scammer?”
“Where did you get those?”
“I got them from the instructor’s house. I’ve never seen someone with a dress room before. I didn’t know what to look for the last time I went there, so this time, I had a look at many things. But seriously, clothes filled a room half the size of this classroom.”
Aram raised her thumbs up. At that moment, Jiyoon peeked out from behind Aram. Her body was still hidden behind the door, so her outfit couldn’t be seen.
Aram dragged Jiyoon out and put her in front of herself. Maru made an awkward laugh. Jiyoon was wearing a jacket on top of a one-piece dress that was knee-length.
Jiyoon immediately hid behind Aram’s back. Maru had a glance at the boys behind him. Dowook and Bangjoo were giggling as though they just discovered something fun while Daemyung didn’t know where to look and his eyes were wandering everywhere.
“It suits her, doesn’t it?”
Aram moved sideways and spoke. Jiyoon was now revealed for everyone to see. Her baby face was blushing and she was pulling down the edge of her skirt with all of her might. Meanwhile, Aram pulled up the skirt that Jiyoon pulled down.
“There’s no sexy beauty if you pull it down.”
“B-but it’s too short.”
“It’s fine. That’s normal these days. Just look at the people on TV.”
Jiyoon gave up after arguing with Aram for a while. She looked down and walked a step forward.
“It’s the outfit that the instructor chose. How is it, it suits her, doesn’t it?”
Aram was more excited than Jiyoon for Jiyoon’s clothing. Maru thought that Aram’s purpose in coming to school was to tease Jiyoon. Maru scanned Jiyoon from top to bottom. For now, she fit the stereotypical ‘hostess’ image. Although she didn’t give off a sexy beauty due to her baby face and her embarrassed actions, her clothes definitely fit the bill.
“D-doesn’t it look strange?”
“You’re acting strange. What do you think, Daemyung?”
Maru passed the question over to Daemyung. Daemyung, who was at the back, was startled.
“Wh-what do I think about what?”
“I mean Jiyoon’s outfit. I’m asking your opinion on it.”
“...It does suit her, but.”
“Say it. You’ll have to do the fine-tuning yourself.”
“I’m thinking that it’s a little too lewd.”
Daemyung looked away in embarrassment after saying those words. Jiyoon also flinched and stuck right next to Aram.
“Lewd, you say. I guess that works then. I think she’s got the general theme right,” Maru smiled as she spoke.
Her outfit might need some adjusting so that she doesn’t feel uncomfortable in it, but there didn’t seem to be any visible problems for the time being. Though, she looked cute no matter what she was wearing.
“It’s the role you wanted to do. I can understand that you’re embarrassed but we can’t have you flinching on stage. Also, do you know how a hostess acts?”
Maru groaned. How was he supposed to explain such a thing to a girl who was raised in a good environment? She should be aware of the general things that hostesses did, but completely understanding such a person was impossible without seeing the person in question.
There were many cases where businesses were done in private rooms and occasionally, call girls would be called to such rooms. Everyone knew that it was a bad culture, but within the ecosystem known as society, ethics didn’t always take priority. In Maru’s faint memories, he remembered sucking up to a company executive that distributed the work. He induced them not to call women by having them drink a lot, but he ended up bringing girls to the people who didn’t even glance at the contract form.
Just because a woman worked in a bar didn’t mean that they were all seductive. In fact, most of the time, they looked neat and tidy and it would be impossible to recognize where they worked if they were brought outside. However, as their job required them to steal the hearts of men they see for the first time, those ladies had a seductive aura about them. They didn’t blatantly try to invite men to themselves, but they made it so that the man would want them.
“Do I have to know?” Jiyoon asked.
Maru thought about it for a moment before shaking his head. This play was done by high school students. There didn’t seem to be a need to go that far to be realistic. Although professional actors did all sorts of things to adjust themselves into the role, amateurs, much less people that just got into acting, didn’t seem to require such a thing. It should suffice with just imagination.
‘I should keep the two separate.’
It would be foolish of him to ask his juniors to act on the level of Moonjoong’s. He had somehow set Moonjoong as the standard after being deeply inspired by Moonjoong creating his character. His standards had become too high.
“The instructor will tell you that much. You’ll have to listen to her advice.”
Maru scanned the club members that got into their outfit. Although they looked awkward right now as this was their first time, they would soon get used to it. Acting was like clothes, and doing it for a long time would make them used to it just like how clothes fit the wearer after a long time. What was left now was to act so that they fit the image that they were showing.
“Wow, are those stage outfits?”
Hearing the sudden voice, Maru turned around to look at the door. He saw Miso there who was peeking through.
“I’m here, too.”
Ganghwan was there behind Miso as well. Dowook and the first years clearly didn’t know them. Maru approached the two.
“What brings you two here?”
“I didn’t even get to greet them properly before because you chased me out. So I’m here to see the juniors today.”
Maru received the paper bag from Miso’s hands. He smelled dumplings from it.
“You guys haven’t had dinner, have you?”
“Then let’s eat first. We haven’t eaten either. Also, long time no see, Daemyung.”
“Haha, it sure has been some time, hasn’t it?” Daemyung scratched his head as he spoke.
Maru secretly asked Ganghwan who entered the classroom.
“You don’t have anything for us?”
“Hey, I bought those dumplings.”
“But why are you guys practicing here? I saw a wide place on my way here.”
“Some things happened. That place is now the baseball club’s gym.”
While Maru talked with Ganghwan, Miso had everyone sit down and was in the middle of introducing herself. She was such a devil when she was here as an instructor, but now that she came here as their senior, she couldn’t be more kind. Perhaps that was Miso’s real self.
“But hey, you look like a total delinquent.”
Miso suddenly pointed that out to Dowook. Even the almighty Dowook slightly panicked when she said that all of a sudden and just smiled back awkwardly.
Maru thought that Miso was as direct with her words as ever. He sat down next to her. He set the dumplings that she brought and they started eating. Daemyung explained that Miso was a graduate of the school. Maru did not miss that Jiyoon’s eyes glistened when she heard that Miso was one of the founders of the club.
“Daemyung is really good at introductions. Oh, by the way, he is Yang Ganghwan, who is also in the acting scene. If you guys continue to make an effort into this field and develop your dreams as an actor, there’s a high chance that you’ll get to meet him. He’s quite a well-known actor after all.”
“What’s up with you all of a sudden? Flattering others like that.”
Ganghwan looked at Miso with a sour face. The rather stiff atmosphere died down a lot thanks to Miso and Ganghwan’s banter. The club members relaxed as well.
The one that had the most questions was none other than Aram. Of course, she wasn’t interested in the acting part, but about Miso’s private life. After hearing Ganghwan say that she might end up getting married to a teacher of this school, everyone widened their eyes and looked at Miso.
“Who is it?”
“Th-then you’re marrying someone who taught you in high school?”
“Who is it?”
Unable to win against the onslaught of students, Miso mentioned Taesik’s name. After finding out that the teacher in charge of the club was the protagonist of the story, Jiyoon and Aram exclaimed and started asking Miso to tell them more about the story.
Maru saw that there was a smile on Miso’s face. It seemed that she was feeling good. They listened to Miso and Taesik’s love story for a while. From time to time, Ganghwan interrupted, saying that Taesik was pitiful, and each time, Miso stuffed a dumpling in Ganghwan’s mouth.
“It sounds like a drama.”
The two girls seemed deeply interested in the romance that surpassed the generation. They really were emotional when it came to things like these.
“But can you make a living off acting? Not just acting but related fields as well.”
Dowook asked his first question. Miso started her reply by saying ‘that’s a sharp question’, before continuing to explain about the overall situation in the acting field. It was definitely not an industry that was easy to make a living off of, and she also mentioned that resolve wasn’t enough to become successful.
“But it’s definitely fun. If you have the intention, then it’s not a bad idea to challenge it. Of course, if anyone close to me told me that they wanted to do acting, or that they wanted to become an actor, I would try to stop them from doing so, very strongly too. If they still want to do it despite that, then I’ll help them to the best of my abilities. Oh yeah, why do you ask? Are you interested?”
“No. I’m going to succeed my dad’s petrol station.”
“You’re quite cocky.”
Dowook looked away.
“Although I only spoke about the bad parts, there’s someone successful right in front of you. I am making a living off acting. This fella next to me is the same. I can’t say words like ‘you’ll definitely be successful if you put in the effort’, but if you do get through that huge hurdle, then you’ll have no problems in making a living off of it. Oh, this dude lives like a poor dude, but that’s because he doesn’t plan his life properly.
Ganghwan blocked his own ears with his hands. He didn’t want to listen to it again.
“If you are serious then try challenging it. You’ll be a made-self woman like me. Don’t be afraid of failure. If you try, then you’ll be able to do it.”
The club members nodded their heads and exclaimed when Miso seemed full of confidence. She became successful both romantically and financially. Although Maru felt bad for saying this, he had to make the correction.
“It’s not a made-self woman, but a self-made woman.”
Maru had to avoid Miso’s sharp gaze after that.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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