Chapter 372

Maru returned to his place and calmed his breathing. Although Hochul was glaring at him, glaring didn’t do damage.

“Don’t make a mistake. We’re going to start the shoot now, so get yourself together. Get your breathing together and… cue.”

Hochul softened his lips and got his emotions together before coming over to him and grabbing his shoulder. His fingers were tense. He even pinched slightly as though to ‘put Maru in his place’. There was a slight pain from Maru’s shoulder.

“You heard what I said, right?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Just do as I say. If you do this well, I’ll pull you up in the next round. Trust me.”

That was a mistake on Hochul’s part. There was no such line as ‘just do as I say’. However, since the director didn’t cut them off, there was no need for Maru to mind about that. The judgement was the director’s worth. As long as he wasn’t given the signal to stop, he would continue acting.

He pulled his chin inwards and looked at Hochul. At this very moment, Hochul was a ray of light to him. It might be false hope, but he couldn’t help but be charmed by it. He was the one that might be able to turn team member 1’s desires into reality.

Actions required motivation, and motivation required emotion. It was important to pick out the emotion that was precisely between the boiling emotions and the uneasiness stemming from the fear that everything would fall apart if he was found out.

If it was any other time, he would volunteer to be expendable. He would not dig deep into the emotions of the character and would avoid the emotions of the other party as well. After all, this was something trivial. It was not important.

However, it was different now. It was an opportunity.

Opportunities were like invisible arrows. They just shot past even if one stood still. Those that create the arrows of opportunity by themselves were the so-called ‘prodigies’, and those that grabbed the arrows out of luck would be called ‘talented’. Normally, people would miss all of them. Despite so many opportunities whizzing past, most people don’t even realize that they did. That was normal. However, there were rare occasions where people discovered an opportunity that was coming straight at their faces. A razor-sharp opportunity would rage towards them. Most of the time, opportunities were scary. They did not occur in everyday life. They started from change, and change was something new, and new was something to be afraid of because it was the unknown. This was why people ignored those opportunities or consoled themselves by saying that the opportunity wasn’t for them and just let it go.

Maru was neither a genius nor a talented person. However, he had one weapon that no others of his age could have. It was experience. He had learned to adapt to change and developed his eyes to spot opportunities. This wasn’t given to him for nothing. It was compensation for the experience piled up from the long time he had lived.

At this moment, Maru’s vision widened. He saw the actors lined up behind the producer who was looking at him with an angry face. A small commotion brought them here and attracted their attention. The staff was paying attention to them as well. They were desperately hoping that he and Hochul would calm down the burning personality of the producer.

All of their attention was on the two. Maru barely held himself back from grinning.

A stage was set. A stage that would engrave his image into everyone’s minds.

He followed Hochul’s gaze. He saw the salt. Now, he had to grab it with all of his wishes. However, he couldn’t look excited as he did so. This was an extremely dangerous task, a crime. There was no way a criminal would only be excited thinking about the good results. He had to do it carefully, and with a bit of hesitation as well.

“Sorry, I made a mistake in my line.”

Maru stopped his hand in midair. He slowly turned around to look at Hochul. He had a very ugly expression on. Was his choice really right?

Maru looked at the producer. He wasn’t saying anything. He only raised his hand to stop the camera. Hochul bowed his head and apologized to everyone.

Usually, everyone would just laugh if an NG scene occurred. It was something that humans did. Everyone knew that it would be strange instead if there were no mistakes at all. The producers all knew that the shoot would drag out if they shouted at the actors and the actors became intimidated.

However, there were times where they couldn’t accept NG scenes. Maru noticed. The air was expanding. The situation was about to become really ugly here. Living a corporate life would make a person learn to read the mood. The mood of the office, that is.

Also, the mood of any workplace was decided by the most superior person there. In this place, it was the producer and Lee Miyoon.

There was only one reason that the producer stayed still. That was because there was someone who he couldn’t act as he wished to in front of. Of course, the producer would win if they went to the bitter end with the power struggle. After all, he held the authority to change actors. However, holding power struggles with actors all the time would not allow him to keep shooting. So, he would let go most of the time unless the situation was serious.

“Hey.”

Miyoon pointed at Hochul. Hochul froze up.

“Aren’t you coming?”

“Ah, yes. I’m sorry.”

Hochul immediately stood in front of Miyoon.

“Sorry producer Kim. I couldn’t stay still. That’s why I decided to interfere. Is that alright with you?”

“Yes, okay. Please explain it to him so that he can understand.”

“Alright. Why don’t we take a little break?” Miyoon spoke with a smile.

The producer declared a 10 minute break time. The staff members all walked away as though they were waiting for that moment. Only a minimum number of people remained behind to look after the equipment. The actors walked away as well. Maru was about to join them and leave this place, but a voice stopped him from doing so.

“Hey, you. Come here.”

Maru sighed slightly and stood next to Hochul. Miyoon told the staff that was looking after the equipment to leave the place for a while. The staff members went away. There was no human presence around the storage vault.

“Hochul, was it?”

“Ye-Yes!”

“My dear, an actor must be bold once they start acting. You can’t cower in front of others. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Even if you treat an elderly in the 80s politely most of the time, you must act with the mindset to win against him once you start acting. That is what being an actor is.”

“Understood.”

“You understood? And yet you acted like that? Are you an extra? Or a staff member that’s just filling in because of an accident? If you’re a support actor that came here through the audition, you should overpower any minor actor with ease!”

Miyoon suddenly raised her voice. Her voice was loud enough to ring throughout the entire 2nd floor. Hochul flinched and shrunk his head.

“And who told you that you can stop? Hey, are you that confident in your acting skills? Do you have the confidence to do it flawlessly if you do it again?”

“N-no.”

“Then who the hell are you to stop midway when the director hasn’t said anything? If you aren’t good at acting, at least learn to read the mood. I’ve never seen anyone as stupid as you.”

Miyoon poked Hochul’s shoulder.

“You know? I am flabbergasted when I see idiots like you. People like you, who think anyone can be actors and show up on TV make me wake up at night. Are you one of those idols or something?”

“No.”

“Have you learned acting formally?”

“Yes.”

“Then what is wrong? How old are you?”

“E-eighteen.”

“And you’re old enough too. When I was your age, everyone treated me like an adult. But kids these days are kids even at that age. You still reek of milk. You learned acting? And you can still yap on with that mouth of yours? If it was me, I wouldn’t be able to speak because of embarrassment.”

“I’m sorry.”

Hearing those words, Miyoon stiffened up and clicked her tongue.

“Do you know what I hate the most? It’s people like you who are quick to apologize and want to escape the moment. It’s horrific. Very horrific. Incompetent fools who only know how to apologize. Hey, whose family are you?”

“F-family?”

“I mean your company!”

“G-good People.”

“Good People? I thought of them as a decent agency, but it looks like they made the wrong choice about you.”

Miyoon slapped Hochul’s cheeks with the back of her hand. Hochul swayed.

“Hah, you don’t even have any strength in the legs and waist. Are you still a man?”

Miyoon walked in front of Hochul and tightly grabbed his thighs. Hochul closed his eyes shut and flinched back. Miyoon observed his expression for a while before letting go.

Maru clicked his tongue. This woman was something. Leaving aside good or bad, the pressure she gave off was incredible. She wasn’t called the godmother in the drama industry for nothing.

She turned around from Hochul and faced Maru this time.

“I saw you last time.”

“Yes. We met in Namyangju last time.”

“Yes, I remember you. You’re that smart kid. Now that I look at you today, you have the basics down. Whose family are you?”

“I’m currently in JA.”

“JA, you say… Oh, it’s Junmin’s huh. No wonder your eyes are filled with vitality unlike the other kids these days. So you’re in the same family as Suyeon?”

“Yes.”

“Hm, Junmin does have a good eye for people.”

Miyoon nodded with a satisfied smile.

“How old are you?”

“I’m also eighteen.”

“Really? There’s so much difference between you two even though you are the same age. It’s because people like him are taking the good roles that people like you can’t climb up.”

A wrinkly hand stroked his chin. Maru smiled faintly and stood still. After observing his face for a while, Miyoon stepped back.

“I hope I see you more frequently.”

“Yes.”

Miyoon told Hochul to get himself together before leaving the storage vault. Hochul, who barely breathed, waited for Miyoon to leave. After that, he turned around.

“You damned bastard!”

Maru just watched Hochul come up to him and shout at him. He was someone true to his emotions. He must have grown up in an environment where he didn’t have to read the mood around him. He was a little arrogant, but he had a bit of skill to back it up. He probably never got ignored by others of his age.

Maru understood how he felt. He probably felt wronged. He was probably thinking that it wasn’t his fault.

“Because of you, I….”

“Stop nagging.”

Maru grabbed Hochul’s shoulder. Then he clenched it. Hochul writhed in pain and tried to pull away, but he did not let go. Maru would probably have to see this guy again in the future, perhaps in the shoot of another drama. That was why he needed to set things straight here. If he couldn’t be close to him, then he had to go higher than him. That would make things much easier for him.

“Just do your bit. I will do my bit. It’s that simple. Understand?”

He looked straight into Hochul’s eyes and spoke. This kind of guy only knew how to pretend to be angry, not actually get angry. In some sense, he was a kind and soft guy. Hochul looked away and shut his mouth. Perhaps his last line of pride was that he didn’t nod.

Maru loosened his hand and let go. Hochul left as he looked down at the floor.

‘Phew, this is hard.’

He leaned against the wall and stretched his arms out. He had to make the most of what little break time he had left.

* * *

“I’m sorry, please forgive me.”

“Those who play around with food for the customers don't have the right to cook. Get out of here this instant!”

Maru slowly kneeled as he was scolded by Miyoon. Then, he shouted at her to give him another chance. The camera followed Miyoon. Now, he wouldn’t be on the camera anymore. However, his voice would. He smashed his head against the ground and kept shouting. Just like the script said.

“Okay!”

The producer’s voice could be heard. Maru breathed out one last time at the floor in front of him before raising his head. His throat was getting sore after all that shouting.

“Nice acting.”

The producer smiled and tapped his head with the script. It seemed that he had scored some points with him. Although Hochoul was glaring at him from the corner, Maru didn’t even mind.

“Wow, you’re quite good.”

Gwangseok approached him and spoke. Gyunglim was behind him as well. Maru took off the toque and the cooking uniform and returned them. That was it for minor actors today. Only scenes for the lead and support actors were left. Maru said goodbye to the other actors and the staff before leaving the restaurant.

“I heard some loud scolding back there. What was it about?”

Gwangseok asked what happened in the storage vault. Maru said that it was nothing much.

“Really? Well, that woman did shout at every mistake she saw during the last shoot. No, I guess she’s not a woman but a hag?”

Gwangseok shook his head as though he was fed up with her.

“Hey, it looks like we need to delay our appointment for later. Something came up suddenly.”

“Alright.”

That was good. Maru had something to do at home. It was to watch historical dramas on RBS. Although the elder told him not to worry about the audition, he didn’t know what was coming for him. Just as he turned around after sending Gwangseok off, though,

“Hey.”

Gyunglim approached him.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

I hereby dub Hochul annoying 3
(Annoying 1 & 2 are Number 4 and earphone girl)


Editor's Note:
I agree. Hochul is indeed annoying enough to be annoying 3.