This was what ‘interest’ was, in the end. Maru yawned as he looked at the others in his class. Even though they bothered him every break time until a few days ago by talking about Ahn Joohyun, now they were talking about soccer just like always. Today’s topic was Park Jisung, who played for PSV which was based in Eindhoven.
“Take one each.”
Daemyung seemed to have visited the cafeteria as there was a bunch of snacks in his hand.
“How’s practice going?”
Not too long ago, the acting club decided on the play they were going to do. They chose a play from a list given by Suyeon this time as well.
“For now, there aren’t any problems. The instructor is coming on time as well, but she says she might have a hard time coming in the future because of her drama schedule.”
“You can’t do anything about that.”
An actress who actually worked in the industry was coming to teach them. They had to be willing to take the consequences.
“Why don’t you visit today?”
“I was planning to. The meeting in Anyang is a bit late.”
“You’re starting practice there as well?”
“Yeah. I just received the script yesterday.”
When he thought about yesterday, he was naturally reminded of Sooil’s smile. Sooil greeted him with a kind smile just like he always did, so Maru did not say anything and went along like normal.
“You’re doing it with sir Yang Ganghwan, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, but you can just call him senior. It’s really weird to call him sir. He’s not even 40 yet.”
“I-is that so? Anyway, sounds fun. When will it be put on show?”
“We’re aiming for one month.”
“People working in that field apparently finish their practice in a month or two with tight practice hours if it’s a short play, apparently.”
Maru looked outside as he dusted his hands of the snack dust. The sky looked really blue without a speck of cloud in sight. Today, he was in very good condition.
“It’s been a while since I last went to the club.”
“You really should visit often.”
Just then, the front door opened. That was the end of their conversation. Maru turned his head to the textbook in front of him.
* * *
Aram liked Judo. To be specific, she liked martial arts. When she talked about K-1 or Pride FC, she would often hear people ask why girls like her watched things like those, and she always retorted by saying that a girl’s job wasn’t to sit quietly and do stitching or something. Sweat and passion. Things that are done with the body were honest and you gained just as much as you invested. Winning was only secondary, and what mattered was the sense of achievement.
“But acting doesn’t go the way I expect it to.”
“What do you mean?”
Jiyoon, who was hugging her knees next to her, asked.
“Acting, you know? In my head, I can draw a clear picture, right? I can imagine it clearly just like the excitement I get when I do a clean shoulder throw.”
Jiyoon clearly looked like she didn’t understand, but Aram didn’t mind. She was really talking to herself after all.
“You know I do a lot of sports, right?”
“Yeah. Judo, basketball, table tennis, volleyball and lots of others. You really do a lot.”
Jiyoon started counting with her fingers.
“When I do sports like those, I can always follow the image I have in my head to a certain extent. At first, it’s hard, because you don’t get as much as you invest, but if you keep doing it, you can feel the change. You can gradually feel that you’re getting better, right?”
“That’s not the case with acting. I mean, honestly speaking, I’m quite bad, am I not?”
Jiyoon shook her hand in denial.
“No, you’re really good. I mean it.”
“There you go again. When will you fix your habit of incessant flattery? The world is not such an easy place!”
Aram grabbed Jiyoon’s shoulders and shook them violently from front to back. Jiyoon groaned and closed her eyes. Aram had even more fun shaking her because she found her cute.
“Aram, stop,” Daemyung spoke worriedly.
Aram raised her eyebrows and looked at Daemyung.
“Seonbae, I’d be disappointed if you’re taking her side because you’re her boyfriend.”
“N-no. It’s not like that.”
“What’s not like that? You know? These days, I think you’re looking after her too much. This won’t do. Since Jiyoon is my friend, I forbid you from meeting her from now on!” She spoke as she hugged Jiyoon’s neck tightly.
“Stop teasing them.”
Aram felt a sharp pain on her head before raising it. She saw Maru come in while yawning. His fist must have been what hit her head.
“Oh? Maru-seonbae, what brings you here? Didn’t you only come here on Saturdays?”
“I got some time today. Where’s Bangjoo?”
“He’s on cleaning duty. He’ll come up after that.”
Aram let go of Jiyoon. Jiyoon sighed in exhaustion.
“Dowook went home since something came up, so I guess we’ll be able to start once Bangjoo’s here.”
“You’re practicing as well?”
“I thought you wanted me to. I should do my worth if I don’t want to get scolded by my juniors.”
Maru looked at the wall and started doing some stretches.
“Sorry for being late!”
Just then, Bangjoo opened the door and entered. He was also surprised by the presence of Maru.
“Am I a mythical creature to you?”
“You are,” Aram grinned as she spoke.
All the members would have gathered if Dowook was here, so that was a bit of a pity. She took out the script from her bag and put it on the floor.
“But Maru-seonbae. Have you practiced? We’re almost done going over our lines.”
“I read through it whenever I had spare time, so I won’t screw up my lines. Though, they might sound awkward,” Maru said as he also took out his script.
“Uhm, seonbae, can you give me that for a sec?”
Aram opened her palms towards Maru. She got his script and opened it. Jiyoon, who was watching her by the side, exclaimed in a small voice.
‘This is ‘spare time’ quality?’
She asked him to give it to her because she found the tattered cover a bit strange, but as she had expected, there were a lot of notes inside. Since he said that it was hard for him to focus on club activities, he was in charge of a minor role and a passerby, yet he was able to do so much research with roles like those. He also created some traits and habits so that the roles wouldn’t clash. He even had ideas for clothing on the side.
Aram glanced at her own script. It was a bit worn out since she read through it so many times, but it wasn’t tattered like Maru’s was. She tried looking at Jiyoon’s, but Jiyoon hid it away from her sight already. As for Bangjoo’s script….
Bangjoo was holding a clean copy. Yes, that was the norm. But, why did it look like a completely new copy? Did he not read through it at all?
“You should really read the script. Why is it so clean?”
“Oh this? I made another copy because I didn’t want it to get dirty. This is for notes, and this one’s for practice.”
Bangjoo took out another script, which had its cover missing. He had as many notes as Maru did.
“You are… forget it. Traitors should go away.”
After spending time with Maru, even this kid had become quite hard-working. No wait, was he always hard-working? Aram smiled bitterly and gave back the script to Maru.
“The script doesn’t signify the amount of practice!”
“Did anyone say something? Daemyung, we’re going to start right after warm-ups, right? I’m going to have to go in two hours, so I hope we can start as soon as possible.”
Daemyung nodded his head as he stood up.
“Let’s do a vocal exercise and then read through the script, and then practice with movement. We can start the club after lunch tomorrow, so let’s keep things simple for today before finishing things up, sounds good?”
“But instead, anyone that makes a mistake will have a separate time to practice tomorrow before practice, so don’t make any mistakes. But Maru, can we really start right away?”
Maru nodded without a word.
“The extra practice also applies to Maru-seonbae, right?” Aram asked in excitement.
Daemyung looked at Maru with a sorry expression.
“It doesn’t matter.”
Maru replied blandly.
* * *
Daemyung coughed before looking at the club members. Maru didn’t participate in practice since the start of the semester. This was true even after he received a script. All he did was visit the clubroom and watch them practice for a few minutes before going to Seoul.
He saw Aram sighing in front of him.
“How can you be so natural even though you haven’t practiced with us even once? Someone might think that you’ve been with us the whole time.”
The reason Aram was depressed was simple. It was because she made the most mistakes. Even with parts where she would usually have no problem with, she made a mistake today.
“This was a great chance to one-up him.”
The reason she screwed up her words and moves was probably because of her competitive spirit. The problem was that her opponent was Maru.
“Can we practice just one more time?”
“We’re lacking members since Maru just left.”
“We can just take turns doing the roles that aren’t here. How about you, Jiyoon? Bangjoo, you can just say yes.”
Jiyoon and Bangjoo smiled and said that they were good with it.
Daemyung was planning to end things early, but he looked at the clock once before taking out the script again.
“Let’s just do it one more time. We can look back at the parts we screwed up last time, before doing a run from start to finish. Does that sound okay to you?”
The practice room was filled with vitality. Daemyung thought that Maru’s participation was not so bad from time to time. It was a good stimulus for the rest of the members.
He should’ve been busy preparing for other things, yet Maru prepared a near-perfect role. If he knew things were going to be like this, he should have just had him be one of the main characters instead.
“Seonbae! Let’s start.”
Daemyung smiled as he stood up.
* * *
-I’m practicing with the others. Looks like they felt something when they saw you.
Maru closed his phone after checking the text. As he had to travel to Seoul and Anyang, he couldn’t practice with them every day, but that didn’t mean that he had treated the club activities lightly. He didn’t want to drag everyone down when he was a senior, so he started practicing by himself on the day he received the script. His time on the bus and train was a splendid time to practice for him.
Since he was the one that persuaded the others to enter the acting club in the first place, he couldn’t take things lightly. In order to act like a splendid ‘kkondae’, he had to be responsible for his words.
‘Well, they were doing well without me.’
Although there were some trivial mistakes, the play itself was pretty well done. The three first years were following well. They were showing off their traits within the frame set by Daemyung, and just watching them made Maru satisfied.
The experience at the movie shoot seemed to be of help as Bangjoo’s acting also became more stable. Having him be the main character was a splendid choice.
“Yes, senior. I think I’m going to be around 10 minutes late. Sorry. I was practicing with the others at the club, so I lost track of the flow of time. Yes, yes. I’ll buy some drinks before I go.”
Maru hung up the phone call with Ganghwan and stretched his arms out. If he had some leisure with practice at the club, the practice in Anyang was probably going to drain the life out of him.
“I wonder if my stamina is going to hold out.”
Miso’s lectures and Ganghwan’s practice.
His week was quite dynamic, to say the least.
* * *
“Is he coming?”
“Yeah. I told him to buy drinks since he’s late.”
“Why are you having a kid buy something? It’s not like you’re poor.”
“Hey, Maru probably earns more than me.”
“Urgh, what a mean guy.”
Ganghwan twitched his nose before doing some exercises.
“Sooil, you should exercise your voice as well. Maru’s coming soon.”
Sooil, who was doing a leg split, stood up and started some vocal exercises. Hanna also did some vocal exercises while singing her favorite song.
“Pull out your voice, people,” Ganghwan clapped as he spoke
 Martial arts organizations in Japan.
The whole 'vocal exercises' thing really is hard to translate
Bring back Suyeon. I miss her antics. :((
*No edits for next 2 days cuz Finals