“Let’s exchange numbers,” Joomin said as she held her phone out.
“Let’s call each other frequently.”
Just like that, Maru had gotten six more numbers in his contact list on his phone.
“Yeseul. I think you should stop drinking,” Giwoo said as he put away the glass placed in front of Yeseul.
“What’s this? You’re looking after her already? Yeseul, it looks like Giwoo is interested in you,” Joomin said as a joke.
Yeseul shook her hands in front of her and laughed. From what Maru saw, she didn’t seem to hate it.
“I’m a little sleepy,” Dongho said rather suddenly.
His voice was a little loud, attracting everyone’s attention, and when Dongho received that attention, he twitched his lips and looked elsewhere.
“You must be worried sick about something, huh. Why don’t you tell this big sister?”
“I don’t have any worries. It’s just a little boring here.”
“This get-together isn’t really necessary, is it? It would be fine as long as each of us does our work well.”
Dongho sat crookedly as he put his hands in his pockets. Maru let out a faint laugh when he saw that. Was he in the rebellious phase? He probably didn’t like literally everything so it wasn’t entirely out of the question for him to say those words.
“Why is it unnecessary? We got to meet like this and talk to each other, didn’t we?”
Joomin laughed exaggeratedly and poked Dongho’s shoulder. Dongho felt pressured by the gazes around him so he ended up relenting and said said ‘that’s true’. He was a cute guy.
“What was your debut piece, Joomin-noona?” Giwoo changed the topic.
Joomin sighed before making a complicated expression.
“It’s horrible to think about it now. You know, my debut piece was a movie.”
“Yeah, but it turned out to be a scam. It was when I was in middle school, right? I was eating tteokbokki with my friends and some random man gave me a business card, asking if I was interested in becoming an actor since I looked pretty. I was immature back then, so I trusted his words and told mom about it. The problem was that my mom trusted that man as well. That’s why she spent around 5 million won for contract fees, shooting fees, and even lobbying fees for some reason, I think? I did stand in front of the camera though. It was really good back then….”
“What happened in the end?”
“From some time onwards, we couldn’t contact that man and he disappeared without a trace. My mom cried a lot back then. I also thought that I should get myself together and start studying, but it was so frustrating. Being deceived is one thing, but I really tried hard you know? I looked into acting a lot after this happened and ended up meeting my current president. That’s how my life as an actress began.”
“I heard that those kinds of scams happen a lot even now. A friend of mine was an aspiring idol, and a person who approached her asking for money to train her disappeared.”
“I think scams like that happen really frequently in the entertainment industry.”
Everyone nodded their heads as though they had experienced or came across a similar story before.
‘In that sense, I guess I was lucky.’
If he met a scammer like that before he met Lee Junmin, he might have let go of the entertainment industry and start looking into something else.
“Giwoo, what made you want to become an actor?” Yeseul asked in a quiet voice.
“Hm, I always liked drawing. That’s why my dream as a child was to become an artist. But one day, I was drawing a face, and this thought suddenly flashed across my mind - why is this person making this face? That’s when my interest shifted to people’s expressions. Watching people’s expressions was so fun. Then, I saw a foreign movie, and the expressions of the people on the screen looked incredibly cool to me. That’s when I thought that being able to create those expressions as work must be fun. It’s a little strange, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s not like that at all.”
“Yeseul, how about you? What made you decide to become an actor?”
Giwoo smoothly handed the question to Yeseul this time. Yeseul hesitated for a bit before talking about herself in a small voice. After an ordinary story of ‘my dream as a child was to become an actress’ was finished, Giwoo then asked Okseon about it. Thanks to the structured conversation, everyone could speak with ease.
“Maru, how about you?”
Giwoo acted like the presenter of a fair discussion and tossed the right to speak to the next person. When that person finished speaking, everyone would naturally look his way.
“I just became an actor due to a coincidence while I was doing a play. So I don’t really have an amazing story to tell.”
“You were really good considering that.”
“Thanks for seeing me that way. I felt this during Apgu as well, but I think I’m really lucky. I’m not that good, but the people around me make me look good. Giwoo, the producer praised you for your acting during Apgu as well. It was thanks to you that I had an easier time blending in.”
“I didn’t do anything. If it wasn’t for you back then, I would have troubled the shoot. I was at a loss on what kinds of emotions I should have while I was acting, but I got to know thanks to you.”
“Did something happen at the shoot?” Joomin asked curiously.
“When I was shooting Apgu, the shoot was delayed because my acting wasn’t up to par. I could make an image in my mind, but it was so hard to express it in my acting. Moreover, I was feeling a lot of pressure because there were a lot of great senior actors watching me. That was when Maru stepped up and showed me the direction. I got a hint thanks to him and everything went smoothly after that. I would have been in trouble if he wasn’t there that day.”
Maru smiled and shook his head.
“What are you saying? You were plenty good back then. You were just at a loss since it was late at night. The shoot was tiring after all. You didn’t get to rest properly due to all the heat and had to start the evening shoot like that, so it wasn’t surprising that you were exhausted. You got an okay right after a bit of rest. That was amazing back then.”
Giwoo smiled and shook his hand in front of him. Everyone else asked him to talk about it a little more.
Maru looked at Giwoo who smoothly told his story despite having a complex expression on his face. It had been a while since he was involved in a flatter-each-other situation. He remembered the days he had to say all sorts of good words in order to get the business deal in his previous life. He got along with Giwoo in that sense. He may have other motives in his mind, but it was fine as long as Maru wasn’t the one receiving the damage. There needed to be a center in a meeting, and Giwoo seemed like the perfect fit for such a position. It would be much easier for Maru to let him do what he wanted to.
“Looks like our main characters are getting along well.”
Producer Park Hoon appeared. He seemed to have drunk a lot as he reeked of booze.
“Have you eaten your fill?”
“Yes,” everyone replied in unison.
“We’ll have to see each other for a year whether we like it or not, so I hope we can get along well. You’ve introduced yourselves right?”
“Yes, we did,” Giwoo said as the representative.
No one complained about the fact that Giwoo replied by himself. Park Hoon seemed to have seen how this group of people worked and looked at Giwoo with a nod.
“You know that youth dramas are the gateway to stardom right? The popular actors in their 30s these days all debuted in youth dramas. Lee Joon, Ahn Dogang, Park Joonsik, Yoo Ilmin, as well as a lot of others. We can’t say for sure that the same thing won’t happen for us, so I hope everyone does their best.”
Park Hoon shook hands with all seven of the people sitting at the table. Maru grabbed his hand lightly, and Park Hoon spoke to him with a big grin.
“Please bring a viewing rate fortune to our drama as well. Like what you did for The Witness.”
Park Hoon patted his shoulder before walking over to the adult actors.
“Our director sounds like a friendly person.”
“I know, right?”
Yeseul replied to Joomin’s words.
“I hope it’s like this during the shoot as well,” said Okseon, who had been staying quiet this whole time.
“Does anyone know what his style is?” Jichan sounded a little worried.
He might be acting like a neighborhood man in this get-together, but no one here could say for sure what he was like during shoots.
“I haven’t heard about anything.”
“Me neither. He seems to be a famous producer, but since it’s my first time doing a drama, I really don’t know anything.”
“Joomin-noona, don’t you know anything?”
Joomin shook her head at Dongho’s question. Everyone here hadn’t spent a long time in the entertainment industry, so they didn’t seem to know what producer Park Hoon was like during shoots.
“He’s a pleasant guy.”
A person appeared behind Yeseul. The one smiling with her hands on Yeseul’s shoulders was Suyeon, who had been rather far from them until just now.
“Senior Kim Suyeon.”
Everyone seemed flustered by her appearance.
Maru sipped some water and thought that this was really unexpected. The kids that didn’t seem too awkward with the producer found Suyeon difficult to deal with? That just went to show what she was portrayed as to these kids.
‘Does she pass off as a strict senior in front of the juniors?’
Someone who knew more than that would know her as the devious fox that devours men, but it seemed that such rumors didn’t spread around among the younger generation. Well, it wasn’t surprising since there was no way Suyeon wasn’t cautious of that, and Junmin wasn’t the type of person who would let someone in his company when she couldn’t even manage rumors about herself.
“Why does everyone look so nervous? You’re making me sad. Here, here. I’ll pour you one each.”
Maru ignored Suyeon who blatantly winked at him and held out his glass quietly. After she poured one for all of them, Suyeon looked at her empty glass.
“Should I receive one from the juniors as well?”
When everyone hesitated, Maru looked at Giwoo. When he did, Giwoo grabbed the bottle as though he was waiting for it. Everyone visibly brightened up and nodded their heads. They were urging him to do it.
“So Giwoo is pouring one for me.”
“You were doing well these days, Giwoo. You’ll become rich soon.”
“Please don’t flatter me.”
“Aah~, there was someone I specifically wanted to pour for me, but I don’t think I should stay here any longer so I’ll be satisfied with Giwoo. Well then, pour as much as you love this senior.”
Giwoo filled the glass to the brim. Suyeon raised the glass, which was overflowing with foam, above her head and shouted ‘For the drama’.
The senior actors, who were watching from afar, told her to not make the kids drink too much.
“Let’s get along well in the future.”
Suyeon wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and left.
“Phew, I was really surprised. But I don’t think she’s scary like the rumors say.”
“Apparently, she’s really sharp during shoots.”
“I guess I will have to not make a mistake if I don’t want her to scold me.”
Everyone spoke worriedly. Their words went through one of Maru’s ears and out through the other. Her strict image was probably done to make an image of herself for the juniors. She would have an easier time with the juniors being cautious around her. She was incredibly good at making a product out of herself.
“Well, then. Those that want to go to round 2 can get going, and the kids should go home and get some sleep. I guess the next time we’ll meet is at the shoot. Watch out for your health until then, and let’s hope the shoot goes well. Dismissed!”
Park Hoon shouted in a loud voice. Everyone clapped and fired up their fighting spirit. Some of the actors seemed to have made appointments as they quickly left.
“Watch out on your way home.”
Maru said goodbye to the others and left the sushi restaurant. He was about to call Byungchan as he took in a breath of cold air when he saw people sitting at the table outside the convenience store across the street. When he had a closer look, he found out that they were managers. Byungchan was among them as well.
Maru smiled and approached them.
“Hyung-nims, the get-together just finished.”
The managers couldn’t be seen ever since the get-together started for real, and it seemed that they were spending their time in the convenience store like this. When he talked and laughed together with the other managers, Byunchan asked in curiosity.
“You know these people?”
“I talked to them on the 2nd floor before the get-together started. Oh, hyung-nims, please wait a moment before you go.”
Maru went into the convenience store and bought enough warm coffee for everyone.
“You must be tired, so drink these before you drive. Also, Jaehan hyung-nim. I saw you drinking beer and soju. You aren’t planning to drive, are you?”
“Hey, hey. Don’t worry about that. I only drank because I was given the okay to go home since he had business.”
He gave coffee to all nine managers. The managers told him that they’d treat him to food one day before leaving.
“I was planning to introduce them to you, but you knew them already, huh.”
“I had to get to know them. They are the people closest to us. Only when I become close to them will I be able to make requests in the future.”
“Hey hey, don’t say that with a big smirk on your face. You look like a typical villain.”
Maru sat down on the chair. He could see actors getting in their cars across the street and drive off.
“How was it?”
“People are the same wherever you go. I just blended in.”
“Why do you sound like an old man? Rather than that, were there a lot of people around your age?”
“There’s a lot. Looks like the shoot will be fun.”
“There weren’t any strange kids?”
“Well, I guess I’ll find out who’s strange in due time. Oh yeah, how did your talk go with that manager you knew?”
“He’s looking into some other line of work. He says he’s done with this kind of work.”
Byungchan smiled bitterly.
“Why don’t you get a license too? I heard that welding licenses are the best.”
“Hey, don’t say anything strange. I’m going to become an actor.”
Byungchan sniffed as he drank his coffee.
“But hey, does welding make a lot of money?”
“It’s tough work, but the money makes it worth it.”
“Should I try it out then?”
“I heard you wanted to become an actor.”
“Well, I need to prepare for retirement.”
“Then let’s get it together later.”
“Huh? Why would you get it?”
“To prepare for retirement.”
The two giggled at each other before raising their heads simultaneously.
“It sure is.”
Maru reached out and grabbed a snowflake.
“It looks like it will really be a White Christmas,” said Byungchan with a sour face.
Maru laughed when he saw that.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Maru can grab a snowflake? That's a superpower in itself!
Also, translating anything related to Giwoo leaves a bad taste in my mouth....
I CAN FEEL A BUNBUN FLUFFY CHRISTMAS CHAPTER INCOMING. AUTHOR DON'T RUIN MY HOPES AND DREAMS. DON'T RUIN MY DAY!