“Maru, can you hand me a glass from over there?”
Maru gave the empty glass to Lee Joomin. Joomin boldly said that she would become 21 next year as she introduced herself. She looked red in the face after receiving drinks from the adults. Joomin was far from the feminine type as she acted more like the neighborhood brother, making others treat her comfortably.
“I thought I’d see you after I saw you at the audition. Want a drink?”
“I’ll accept it if you’re giving it to me.”
“Can a high schooler drink?”
“An adult is pouring one for me, so I should.”
“Oho, very good attitude.”
He drank a sip of the beer that Joomin poured for him.
The get-together, which started off as one group, scattered into different groups as time passed. The main staff and the writers, as well as the elderly actors, were talking about something around the host seat. The adult actors centered around Suyeon also became close to each other and took photos as they drank.
The rest formed a group of young actors who were minors, so they couldn’t drink so easily. These young people were eating Maeun-tang awkwardly without even talking to each other before Joonmin had decided to join them.
Before Joomin came, the mood maker for the place was Kang Giwoo. He talked to the others with a kind smile on his face, and as the young actors needed a center, they talked to each other while centered around Giwoo. Maru joined the conversation and talked every now and then while eating.
‘I think I made my presence known.’
The reason he sang a trot while using a spoon as a microphone was to introduce himself. If the get-together had a heavy atmosphere that did not allow for him to do that, he would’ve just finished with a greeting, but as the main producer, Park Hoon, liked things to be noisy, he sang to his heart’s content. Thanks to that, he was able to make his name known to the others. He would have nothing more to wish if others remembered him as the ‘funny guy during the get-together’.
“Here, you should drink as well. You, too. Drinking with adults is fine. Also, it’s just beer. Soju might be a little strong, but beer is practically a soft drink.”
Even the ones that rejected her at first received a glass from her when Joomin kept offering them a drink.
“I would’ve felt really lonely if you ignored me. It’s somewhat awkward for me to continue being in that group.”
Suyeon was sitting where Joomin was looking. While they might only be three or four years apart, the actors sitting there were all actors that had works that could represent them. They were practically popular actors. Maru nodded faintly. She indeed would’ve felt some pressure in that group.
“That doesn’t mean I can join those people either,” Joomin said carefully as she looked at the main producer.
The others faintly smiled at those words.
“Unni, you should hang out with us in the future.”
“That’s right, noona.”
“We’re in the same class now.”
Kang Giwoo was the one that said those last words.
Maru glanced at the people sitting around him. There were seven people including him.
Kang Giwoo, Lee Joomin, Park Jichan, Ahn Yeseul, Kim Okseon, Seong Dongho.
These seven people were going to lead the class 2-1 in Myungnang High school.
The lead characters were Ahn Yeseul, Kang Giwoo, and Park Jichan - these three. The drama was centered around these three and talked about the episodes between students and adults. RBS decided to take a deep dive into the inner state of the female lead with their youth drama ‘Youth generation’, while YBS decided to approach it from the angle where they talked about a broader range of problems and conflicts that happened between generations.
Of course, nothing was set in stone since the shoot hadn’t even begun yet, but that was how it was going to go in the future according to the public information. The director of the drama was sitting right next to them, but he couldn’t exactly ask since the director had declared at the beginning that they shouldn’t talk about the drama here.
“So Giwoo and Jichan fancy Yeseul at the same time?”
Joomin asked as she rested her head on her hands. Giwoo smiled and said that that was the case. The lead characters had already received their scripts. According to Giwoo, one of the elements in the drama was that Giwoo and Jichan fell in love with Yeseul simultaneously. Love and one-sided love couldn’t be done without in a youth drama, so it was to be expected. Joomin was Yeseul’s best friend, while Okseon was portrayed as someone that opposed her. The story was that Okseon was envious and jealous of Yeseul, who was loved by all because of her kind heart despite the fact that her character was rather random.
This sounded similar to any other youth drama. It was the producer and the writers’ job to decide how they were going to use these characters.
Maru had the role of the ‘know-it-all’ in the drama. He knew many things, and sometimes even flustered the teachers with his knowledge. While he looked rational, he was actually a prankster at heart and turned out to be the perpetrator of a lot of events that happened in the class. Furthermore, he would always leave himself out of the plan before he got caught since he was smart. Apparently, Dongho and Jichan were the ones that would usually get scolded.
Maru rather liked his character. He even smiled a little when he heard that he always escaped trouble. This character sounded like he had some similarities with him, so he thought that acting would become quite easy.
“I’m already nervous. This is my first time as a lead character,” said Yeseul.
He didn’t know a lot about her since he didn’t talk to her much, but from the way she acted and talked until now, this Ahn Yeseul was a rather cautious girl. She always looked around her once before saying anything. Her distinct facial features seemed to indicate that she would become quite a beauty in a few years. He couldn’t easily picture her acting as a cheerful girl.
Kim Okseon was a girl wearing round glasses, and she didn’t speak a lot as though she wasn’t good with words. Whenever she smiled, her snaggleteeth could be seen, and from the way she covered her mouth in a hurry whenever she did that, she seemed to have a complex about it. That was something to be of note when he talked to her later. She was someone that had to play a character that was jealous of Yeseul. He would probably get to find out what she’s like in the future.
“I hope it goes well,” Dongho said.
He wasn’t saying those words for others to hear. He talked to himself a lot ever since they started talking together, and most of the time, his words had negative connotations. Did he want attention? Or was that just how he was? Maru wasn’t sure yet, but he never met anyone decent who complained all the time, so he decided to maintain his distance.
The plan was 60 episodes. It was one episode per week, meaning that the drama would run for more than a year. The number of episodes could be adjusted according to the viewing rates, but unless there were some big changes, it meant that Maru would have to spend a lot of time with these six people.
The first thing he had to do was to find out what everyone was like.
Shooting wasn’t a mechanical type of labor. There was a close interaction of emotions, making it relative labor where the output would differ according to how much the opponent could express in their acting.
It would be ideal if he could become friends with everybody and laugh together, but ideals were ideals because they did not happen.
Even in this get-together, where they could not talk about work, there was a strange confrontation between people. Being young didn’t mean that they weren’t capable of fighting over territory. In fact, the fight could be even more intense precisely because they were young.
“By the way, your historical speech wasn’t that good,” Park Jichan said to Kang Giwoo.
As he said those words rather randomly after a period of silence, everyone’s attention was directed towards him.
“It was pretty hard. I should’ve practiced more.”
“Not anyone can do historical dramas. I was also in one as a child actor 2 years ago, and it was really hard. But I gained some recognition. The director asked me to appear in his next work.”
“That’s good. I also wish I heard something like that.”
Giwoo praised Jichan with soft words. Jichan smiled in satisfaction before speaking,
“Hey, you were pretty good too. You’ll get better with a bit more practice.”
“Really? I don’t think I’m doing it right, so can you show it to me once?”
“Who cares? It’s not like actors care about where they act.”
Kang Giwoo drove Jichan to a corner.
Maru sipped on some beer as he looked at the flustered Jichan. He was unnecessarily talkative. When he smiled awkwardly and said ‘maybe next time’, Giwoo said that it was such a pity.
“Please show me next time. I want to learn too.”
“Alright, I’ll show you next time for sure.”
Jichan, who boasted about himself for a while, did not say anything after that. He seemed like the type of guy who would forget about today’s events once the day changed, but for today, he wouldn’t be able to speak in front of Giwoo.
‘There was the time with Lee Uljin too.’
Giwoo, who met eyes with Maru, made a kind smile and pushed a side dish that Maru couldn’t reach, towards his side. Maru thanked him before picking up his chopsticks.
Each of his actions was filled with favorable impressions. He also didn’t act too considerate. It felt like he kept his territory and respected other’s territory as well. However, he would immediately retaliate once someone crossed the line like Jichan did. Of course, even that retaliation didn’t go too far and break his polite image.
During the summer, a boy named Lee Uljin hit him and pushed him over when he shot Apgu. He could have dodged it, but he got hit because he thought that it would act in his favor, and ever since that happened, Uljin latched onto Giwoo and begged him for something. He looked like a small businessman trying to beg his debtor to push back the payment date. Just what made him beg Giwoo so desperately at such a young age?
“It’s good to talk to you like this. I wanted to stay close to you when we shot Apgu, but there simply wasn’t enough time back then.”
Giwoo talked to him.
“It was quite busy back then. Oh, how are things with that guy named Lee Uljin from back then? You two looked close.”
Maru turned around slightly and asked as though he didn’t have any interest. Maru gave Giwoo a glance through the corner of his eyes while picking up a sea squirt with chopsticks, and saw that his smile had turned slightly stiff. It seemed that the name wasn’t entirely welcome.
“You two know each other?”
Yeseul, who was listening this whole time, quietly interrupted.
“Yeah. Maru was a minor actor in Apgu. He was great back then. Even the producer praised him for his acting. You know The Witness, right? The drama on YBS. Maru appeared in it as a one-off character, and he was really good. I watched that episode, and it made me exclaim out loud.”
Maru faintly smiled as he looked at Giwoo. This guy was talented in switching the topic. He praised Maru as though to tell him to not talk about Uljin anymore. The attention was switched to him. Maru explained about the shoot for The Witness and returned the attention.
“I recently had a photo shoot for a brand recently.”
Jichan spoke again after getting himself together. It seemed that his personality didn’t allow him to leave the center of attention. Maru thought that he would be able to gloss over some annoying things with flattery in the future when it came to this guy.
“Uljin was acting strange. I thought he was a good guy, but I stopped contacting him after I saw him do that to you. I’m telling you this just in case you misunderstand.”
Giwoo stood up, approached him, and whispering into his ears before going to the bathroom. He thoroughly prevented the others from listening to those words. Maru picked up his glass by the lip. He looked at Giwoo, who was walking to the bathroom before taking a sip.
‘A boasty, a mute, a cautious, a muttery, a cheerful and lastly… crocodile tears, huh.’
He tapped the glass down on the table.
Wasn’t this an interesting group of people?
Maru grinned as he looked at the people in front of him.
He had to spend a year with these people whether he liked it or not.
Boasty: Park Jichan (can't stand not receiving attention)
Mute: Kim Okseon (has a complex about her snaggletooth)
Cautious: Ahn Yeseul (looks around everywhere before saying anything)
Muttery: Seong Dongho (pessimistic and talks to himself all the time)
Cheerful: Park Joomin (Eldest. Though, calling her 'cheerful' isn't exactly right since she's half-drunk at the moment. Though, she does get portrayed as a tomboy at the beginning of the chapter)
Crocodile tears: Kang Giwoo (obviously)
Let's come up with a nickname for Maru then, what do you suppose we name him? The mastermind? The mind reader? Comment section is all yours!
I vote for 'the showmaster'. Maru always ends up influencing ppl in certain directions and I'm sure it'll be the same with these guys when he interacts with them.