It excited her every time. Although she was used to the set now, her heart jumped in excitement every time she came here. Looking at the vehicle with the logo of the TV station made her dazed at times. She would often think to herself that she was actually shooting a sitcom.
“Oh, you’re here?”
She waved at Jiseok, who approached her. Bunbun. She got this nickname at school, but from some time onwards, everyone started calling her that. She was at a point now where hearing her own name felt more awkward.
“Looks like you won’t be here after today for a while.”
“I don’t have a scene in the script. I wondapper if I’m leaving entirely like this.”
“Once the episodes get broadcasted, the viewers will all start asking who that cute girl is, so don’t worry about that.”
“Hm, I think I find that absurd as well. I take it back.”
They entered the set while laughing. To the left of the entrance was the living room of the main character and her family. The sofas placed in right angles and the sitting table in the middle were the start of the entire sitcom.
She sometimes watched the acting of the main characters from afar after her portion was finished. The far seat on the sofa was for sir Choi Taesik, the one next to that was for sir Ahn Jungho. Mrs Lee Haesook always sat down on the floor and poked other people with a back scratcher. Furthermore, an actor that was only three or four years older than her was acting amidst these people as well. The set was filled with laughter and really had funny events like a real sitcom, so she could keep watching them for hours on end. Whenever she did, she always prayed that she would one day act with those people. The admiration towards this field was a curious emotion that did not get absolved even while there.
Of course, there was a mountain she needed to overcome in order to sit with people like them.
“Geez, Taesik-oppa. Please stop making me laugh. You’re making me cause an NG just because you caused one.”
“Girl, I told you to not look at my face. Hahaha.”
Looking at Miyoon who was exchanging words with Taesik, she made a resolution. She kept getting sworn at by her even now. There were times when it would end with just a few rebukes, and sometimes, she would hear harsh words. It was frustrating, and she sometimes wanted to cry, but she wasn’t able to go against Miyoon. She would have talked back if Miyoon was just bullying her and nitpicking her for something unreasonable.
‘But she never says anything wrong.’
While Miyoon’s words were rough, she did not make up facts to swear at her. She only mercilessly sneered when she made a mistake or showed immaturity in some parts. She was frustrated at herself for giving that woman the opportunity to rebuke her, rather than being insulted in front of these people.
“I hope things go well today.”
“It’ll be fine as long as I do well. It’s not like she nitpicks me for something strange.”
“Well, we’ll have to see about that.”
“Rumors exist for a reason. In that sense, if it ever feels hard, then tell me. I am confident in receiving insults. I mean, they say that sharing insults makes you feel better.”
“There is no such saying.”
“Then we can make one.”
Jiseok smiled brightly to the point that his upper teeth were showing. He was a frivolous guy who acted like he’d become ill if he stood still, but at times like this, he seemed to be a deep guy at heart.
For a moment, she felt relaxed that someone was there to worry about her. However, she couldn’t get him involved.
“I’m fine. I might look like this, but I’m actually quite strong. Watch me. I’ll have Miss Lee Miyoon look at me again.”
“In my eyes, you don’t look that strong though.”
Jiseok looked like he had something to say, but did not say it.
“Anyway, tell me if you find anything difficult. What are friends for? Also, you should really tell Maru about it. I think he’s noticed something already.”
“I’ll tell him if I am having a hard time.”
She watched as Jiseok walked to the other side of the set before putting strength into her stomach and walking towards her own set. It was a small room. This room, which had a bed, a closet, and a desk, was her main stage.
She greeted Park Yoonhee, who greeted her from behind. Her character was a friend of Yoonhee in the drama, and she would always stick to Yoonhee to get something from her. She was a poor person that staked her life for even a 100 won coin.
“Looks like madam Lee Miyoon is quiet today.”
Yoonhee approached her and spoke in a small voice.
“I did my best hiding from her.”
“You have it hard. Poor Bunbun.”
Yoonhee grabbed her cheeks and twisted them slightly. When she first met Yoonhee, she thought that Yoonhee would be a year older than her. However, they found out each other’s ages during their first greeting, and she was surprised to find out that Yoonhee was 7 years older than her. She had a really young-looking face. If she wore a school uniform, everyone would take her as a high school student.
As they got along well together, they became close rapidly. This unni, who told her that she did plays for 6 years, really digested the acting of a high school student well. She was also the person she’d go for consultation if she was stuck on something because of her acting.
“Should we try out the lines for a bit?”
“Ah, I almost forgot. You know when you kicked the bed in the last shoot, that looked really good. Finding things like that and expressing them is really helpful. Do as much as you can in the context given by the director.”
She committed Yoonhee’s words to memory before opening the script. Acting in a play was really different from acting in front of a camera. Bringing the acting skills she used in plays in dramas would make her acting look exaggerated. She also had to focus on her body movements. Although every one of her actions would be revealed to the audience in a play, it wasn’t like that when acting in front of a camera.
When she focused on her facial expression that was captured on camera, her hands and feet would sometimes become awkward, and her acting would sometimes become easy because her hands and feet had nowhere to go. Even though she could naturally just put her hands and feet where they should be on top of a stage, it strangely looked unnatural when she stood in front of a camera.
“Don’t be too conscious of the camera. You have to be conscious of it, but it’s hard to do that at first. I was like that as well. The eye of the camera is too stiff, making you feel bad. It’s to the point that acting in front of an audience is better.”
Since the advice came from a senior who experienced the transition from acting in a play to acting in a drama, it felt very useful. While she went through the lines with the help of her senior, they heard a laugh from the other set. From how there was the sound of clapping as well, it seemed that they had finished shooting over there.
“We’re going over to the B set now.”
She could see the camera moving. The lights on the ceiling were turned on. The art team entered the set and started adjusting various things. The shoot was nigh.
“The weather is quite hot, isn’t it? Let’s finish the shoot quickly and get some rest.”
With the producer’s light greeting, they started the rehearsal immediately. She focused on the producer’s words and actions. A rehearsal was like a milestone. It was a guide that showed which direction the acting should go. The actor’s job was to decide whether they wanted to walk, run, or fly in that direction.
She nodded. She got what the director wanted to say. Now, the problem was how it was going to be expressed. Of course, the one going on the camera was Yoonhee-unni. She was just spice. She had a simple role that was inserted into the scene for just one comedy line. It was highly probable that her role might disappear during editing, but she had to do her best. An actor’s job was to digest a role regardless of its significance in the work after all.
She saw Miyoon standing behind the camera, as well as the other main actors. They were watching the shoot. Although she was nervous, she also felt motivated.
“Let’s focus and do this in one go,” the producer said while clapping.
* * *
“You really don’t know any shame, do you?”
Next to the set where the lights were faint. She lowered her head as she listened to Miyoon’s words. The people that walked by this place didn’t even give them a glance. They just simply ignored it as though it was natural for them to be there. At first, she was disappointed when she saw that, but now she knew that it was their way of being considerate.
“You really are good with words. But why is your acting like that? Who did you learn from? Hm?”
Maybe she got used to it. She hated herself for apologizing mechanically.
“How long are you going to keep this up?”
“I mean how long are you going to act in front of me? No, I can’t even call that acting.”
Miyoon spoke as she pushed on her shoulders. Her legs were shaking. She was in a fight where no one could help, and shouldn’t help either. Right now, she was too weak and was in a position where she never dared to go against her opponent. What if she ran after saying that something came up? What if she went to the producer crying and begging? Wouldn’t she become more comfortable than she is now?
She raised her head. Miyoon’s eyes were right in front of her eyes.
“I’m going to continue. I’m going to do it now and forever.”
She knew the easy way out but didn’t want to take that path. She didn’t want to bend. Breaking was much better.
“You know who you are glaring at, right?”
Hearing her words, her body flinched. Her resolution was separate from her body’s reactions.
“You, I like your eyes.”
She was prepared for a rebuke, but she heard a kind voice instead. She blinked several times as she looked at Miyoon. There was a kind smile on her face.
“This field is quite harsh, you know? And there are a lot of accidents. That’s why I become strict when I see young people like you. However, I’m not doing it because of some malicious intent. It’s just, I’m awkward at expressing myself.”
She looked at Miyoon who grabbed her hand. Although her hands were rough, the way she caressed her was soft. It was to the point that she was reminded of her dead grandmother.
“I treated you too harshly, didn’t I?”
“Eh? N-no, not at all.”
“I’ll treat you well in the future. You only found out what I really meant today. If you have any difficulties, please come to me at any time for consultation.”
The scary person looked like she had changed into an angel. Yes, she didn’t really hate me, when you think about it, I was the one who made the mistake in the first place. Since someone like me was walking around as though nothing had happened in front of her, how annoyed must she have felt? - she felt very complex but sighed in relief since it looked like things had been resolved now.
However, she wasn’t entirely comfortable with the outcome. It felt like things were resolved, but she felt stifled. She felt unpleasant and even disgusting. Was this how it was going to end?
“This is what acting is,” at that time, Miyoon spoke.
She stared at Miyoon in a daze. Miyoon violently shook off her hands before sneering at her.
“That is what you call acting. Okay? Not your awkward mess of a gesture. Okay?”
Ah, it was a lie. The moment she thought that she ended up smiling to herself for some reason. It wasn’t a smile that came from being flustered. She actually liked this situation.
“What’s so funny?”
“Sorry? Oh, nothing.”
“You are completely crazy.”
“I’m not that crazy.”
For some reason, she kept smiling as she said her words.
She couldn’t hold them back.
Miyoon frowned and then scanned her from top to bottom before turning around.
“Hey, hey, hey. You okay?”
Jiseok had approached her and asked. The moment she saw him, she sat down on the floor. Even though she was chuckling, she didn’t have any strength in her legs.
“Nothing, I just found it funny.”
“What’s so funny?”
“She apologized, right?”
“What? Lee Miyoon was the first to apologize?”
“Yeah, but it was all an act.”
“I knew it. But what about it? She was clearly toying with you.”
“The thing is, I felt really strange the moment I heard her apology. I was really annoyed and wanted to cry. Now I think I know the reason. I received so many insults, and I think I got angry when I thought that she was going to make this as if it never happened at all with just an apology. But it’s an act, she says! She says she does indeed hate me.”
“S-so, you are happy that you confirmed her hate for you?”
“...Hey, you are being really weird right now. Your face is laughing, but your arms and legs are shaking. Are you aware of that?”
“I know. I do, but I really think that this turned out well. I don’t want this to end with an awkward apology. This is much better. She might have started things, but I will be the one to put an end to it.”
She looked at Miyoon who walked with her manager. That back was her objective. She would not be shaken and would walk straight ahead until that person praised her for her acting.
“...Oh my word, they have both gone crazy.”
She grabbed Jiseok, who was grumbling, and stood up. Although her legs were shaking, she felt very refreshed for some reason.
“Let’s go! I have to go home now.”
“Fine, let’s go.”
She grabbed Jiseok’s hand, who grinned.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
But WE want to know your name! (referring to beginning of chap)
Man, I love it when authors make strong female charas rather than damsels in distress.
Also, I made it for once. Gotta love doing other work to procrastinate on studying.