Chapter 517

“How are the expressions of our juniors?”

Break time. He bought a chocolate drink from the vending machine in the cafeteria and handed it over to Daemyung. Daemyung thanked him before receiving the cup.

“Half of them are puzzled, while the other half actually look like they like it?”

“There are a lot of perverts this year, huh.”

“When Miso-seonbae introduced herself, they liked it. They felt like they were actually doing something worthwhile. I feel heavy now. It’s too much pressure for me if they’re too passionate.”

“Someone who belongs to a huge agency is saying that she would teach them, so even the ones that didn’t like that exercise would like her. That’s just how the world works, isn’t it? If you do something and you aren’t capable, people would call you a madman, but if you are capable and you do something weird, people would call you an eccentric.

“Right, right.”

Maru patted Daemyung’s back loudly.

“Rather than that, do your best here. I’m going to escape this hellhole.”

“Don’t leave me alone.”

“It will be fine. Senior Miso will always be at your side. Passionate juniors and an even more passionate senior Miso. Someone like me shouldn’t be there, of course.”

“...You look happy just because it doesn’t concern you, huh.”

“That’s why you shouldn’t take up positions without thinking. Club president Park Daemyung, I hope you have a hard time.”

Since Miso was practically on leave at this point, she should come to the clubroom every single day. They now had as many members as the days Woosung High swept the prizes, and there were also people who seemed passionate, so Miso should be able to teach them well.

“My bones won’t last.”

Maru shook his head in resignation. There was no middle ground in Miso’s training. If someone could do it, she would push them to the end, and if they couldn’t, Miso wouldn’t have them doing something in the first place. The ones that Miso had dibs on after that 10 lap exercise would probably suffer quite a bit. Whether they still liked Miso for being a proper instructor at that time was a mystery.

“What were you talking about before?” asked Daemyung.

“She asked me if I want to help out in an indie movie.”

“She’s shooting a movie?”

“No.”

Maru briefly explained what he talked about with Miso.

“Oh, the film production club.”

“You know them?”

“I only know that such a club exists. The classroom opposite of the applied music clubroom on the 5th floor is the film production club.”

Maru didn’t even know where they were since he never had any interest in any other clubs. Opposite of the applied music club meant that it was at the far right of the corridor. Both the 4th floor acting club’s classroom and the 5th floor hall were just a few steps away from the central staircase, so he never walked to the end of the 5th floor even once.

“Are you going to do it?” asked Daemyung as he grabbed the cup with both of his hands.

Maru replied that he was thinking about it.

“I’ll try meeting them for now. It’s not like I don’t have any interest in shooting a movie with a 6mm film camera.”

“I agree with Miso that you should do it if you have the time. I mean, it’ll contribute to your experience. It’s not like you plan to show up at the acting club regularly, right? If you want to use the remainder of your time in a useful way, I think participating in that is a good idea.”

Maru could feel that Daemyung’s advice came from his heart. Maru nodded his head. Like what Miso said, there was a time for everything. How many opportunities would he have in the future where he got to shoot a movie with someone around his age? This was an opportunity to learn what directors looked at. There might not be any expertise, but it should be very original and creative. If he lucked out and got a prize in the competition, that would add another line to his career, so he thought positively of it.

“You are going to come to the acting club from time to time, right?”

“I will. But tell me the days senior Miso will come beforehand.”

“Why?”

“I’m not going if she’s there.”

Daemyung laughed. After Daemyung finished the chocolate drink, they returned to the 5th floor hall. Miso was sitting in the middle of the hall, while the thirty-two first year students were standing in a line in front of her. The second year students were standing off to one side.

“A play doesn’t happen with just the actors. We need people that can support the actors. That’s what the staff do. Staff members have to take care of everything except acting on stage. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the actors will do nothing. We’re just deciding on roles so that we can distribute work better.”

So it began.

Maru leaned against a wall in one corner of the hall and looked at the first year students. Not all of them could stand on stage. It might be possible if they did a military drama or something, but that was a bit of a stretch for a high school play. Unless they wrote a play themselves, they would have to alter an existing one, and for a play written for young people, there were barely any that had more than ten characters. Even if they compromised and put fifteen on the stage, the other half wouldn’t get to stand on stage and would have to become part of the backstage staff. Usually, there would be some people that like helping out behind the scenes, but when they selected these thirty-two applicants from the fifty-plus applicants, most of them said that they wanted to be actors.

There was a commotion among the first year students. It was natural since they just found out what being a staff was about. Miso watched the first year students without saying anything for quite a while. A minute passed like that.

“Anyone want to volunteer to become a staff?”

Not even one of them raised their hand.

Miso made a satisfied smile. Maru, on the other hand, sighed. Everyone here should know by now that they would have to be split regardless. In the end, there was only one method. There will be another test.

“The staff will have more free time. You’ll be allowed to not attend club activities if something comes up. For example, it’s like this: Woosung High doesn’t have self-study periods after school. There's no need to come to school on the weekends either. That will allow you to make some appointments with your friends and go on a trip or something. Or, you can visit the noraebang after school or something. Anyone here who doesn’t want to become close to their classmates?”

No one raised their hand. How many people would want to be excluded by the social circles in their class? Maru looked at Miso, who was practically leading them by the nose, and thought that she really was a bad woman.

Hearing that, the first year students’ expressions turned sour.

“Are there really times when we stay at school late into the night?”

“It’s not that there ‘are’ times when we stay into the night, its that you will be spending time here until late into the night most of the time. Of course, that only applies to the actors. As for the staff members, you can easily leave just like I said before. Are some of your classmates enticing you to go playing around after school? Just tell me about it. If you’re a staff member, I’ll gladly tell you to go enjoy your time. But actors are different. I will not allow you to skip unless it’s something major. This is my promise to you. I will not skip teaching you guys unless something major happens to me. School ends at five, and the actors will be staying behind until 10. Cram school? I’ll tell you beforehand, but You. Can’t. Go. If you want to go to cram school and eventually go to college, don’t think about becoming actors. You'll just be an inconvenience to everyone else. 

Maru whistled silently and looked at Daemyung, who stood next to him.

“She’s got complete control over them.”

“I’m worried that none of them will apply to become actors at this rate.”

“Then you would just have to shoot a monodrama by yourself. You have no choice.”

Hearing Miso’s words, the expressions of the first year students turned worse and worse. While they heard that ‘it might be hard’, most of them underestimated how hard it could be, so Miso’s words should come as a shock to them.

“Also, I don’t swear at the staff members. But I will be very picky with the actors. ‘Damn’ will be the lightest form of swearing I’ll use. Of course, some of you might not understand why this is so heavy when it’s just a school club. If you thought that for even a brief moment, apply to become a staff. That will be better for both of us. If you say you want to become an actor and pull out later, I will really kill you.”

Miso looked quite scary when she tensed her eyes. The first year students who experienced Miso for the first time today should be feeling incredibly complex right now. They were imagining a glorious scene where they stood on stage under the spotlight, but Miso was telling them that they would suffer a lot if they wanted to go up there, so it wasn’t that surprising.

Miso said that she would give them five minutes to think about it.

Maru asked Miso, who walked towards him.

“What are you going to do if all of them say that they want to become actors?”

“Then I’ll take everyone with me. In just a few days, I’ll see who’s good. If I have them try acting, I’ll find an answer soon enough. Why? You wanna do it too?”

“My waist is still hurting from the exercises you had me do at the academy. I’ll just be a staff member. Or at most a passerby 1.”

“You might not be able to show up frequently, but you should show them some acting when you do.”

“There’s a splendid instructor here, so there’s no need for me to, is there?”

“The shock is bigger when someone around their age shows them a completely new level of acting. I heard that you guys didn’t even make it to the finals this time.”

“You just had to poke where it hurts so suddenly.”

While Maru casually talked about it, Daemyung shrunk his shoulders, feeling rather depressed.

“How long are you going to give the grand prize trophy to Myunghwa High? You should get it back soon. This year will be the year I get my reputation back.”

“Don’t kill them. You’ll get into trouble.”

“I will push them just enough that they won’t die. Just enough.”

Miso made an evil smile. That was close - Maru patted Daemyung on the back since he would have to spend time with Miso in the future as well.

“Tell Dowook that he should be prepared to die,” Maru said with a smile.

Daemyung nodded powerlessly.

“Well then, you made your decisions, right?”

Miso asked everyone after five minutes. The first year students all nodded. 

“Then those of you that want to become staff, come to this side.”

Miso pointed towards her right, and not even one of the first year students budged. Maru saw a smile appearing on Miso’s face. That wasn’t a smile of satisfaction. That was a smile of competitive spirit.

“Good! From now on, all thirty-two of you will stay behind until ten. Of course, I don’t plan to do that forever. Once we decide on a play that you are going to do, we are going to hold an audition immediately. You guys know what an audition is, right?”

“Yes!”

There’s a limited number of roles, and there are many people who want to do them. We can only solve that through competition. Is there anyone here who wants to become an actor or another kind of entertainer in the future?”

After hearing that question, around half of the students raised their hands, which was quite surprising. Maru didn’t know how many of them were serious, nor how many of them were just swept by the flow, but he still looked at them thinking that it was rather unexpected.

“I will promise you one thing. Putting your effort in is not enough. If there’s anyone who puts in their utmost effort and does everything competitively, and you manage to catch my eye, I will support you. Not just here at the club, but actually help you join an agency and start working.”

Hearing those words, everyone’s eyes changed. Maru clicked his tongue. If someone actually caught Miso’s eye, she would really give that person her full support. With Miso’s connections, finding an agency to join wouldn’t be impossible. Since Miso always kept true to her words, she might even go to the president to talk about it. Miso was fully capable of providing all sorts of opportunities as long as she liked that person.

That was how he started after all. Maru told the first years to really try their best. In the entertainment industry, skills were important, yes, but the right timing and connections were important as well. More exposure to the public meant becoming closer to them, and that was what being a popular celebrity was about. If any of them actually wished to take that path, doing their utmost best here wasn’t a bad idea.

“Well then, let’s start off with self-introductions, shall we?”

Miso stood up from her chair and placed it in front of the first years.

“So she’s doing that again,” Daemyung said in a small voice.

Maru remembered it as well.

“You’re the president, why don’t you show them an example?”

“I don’t want to do that. I think I’m traumatized.”

Meanwhile, Miso pointed at the chair and said that anyone can go and do their self-introduction. The first years all looked at each other and didn’t easily do so. Miso just watched them without a word. When some time passed, a boy who had gelled his hair to look cool, went up on the chair.

“Phew, hello everyone. I am….”

“Hey!”

As soon as he started speaking, Miso shouted. Startled, the boy climbed down from the chair quickly.

“You want to become an actor and your voice is that small? Do it again.”

Looks like that boy will be in for a bad time. Maru looked at the junior who stood on the chair with pity. Miso did not go easy just because he was the first. She did go easy in the sense that she just shouted at him since he didn’t know anything. If he kept shaking after that, then Miso would point at the school field and….

“Hey you, go run three laps around the field. I think you need to loosen up a little.”

… that would happen. Maru patted the shoulder of the boy who walked past him.

“She’ll swear at you if you run slowly.”

“Y-yes.”

The junior climbed down the stairs with quick steps.

Maru crossed his arms and looked at his juniors. They were probably feeling dazed right now. Miso wasn’t joking. Although they did say that club activities would be quite hard when they promoted themselves, it became reality when Miso came as the instructor. Maru said those words in order to make them slightly afraid, but at this point, what he had said became the truth.

“But they have good guts.”

Perhaps because there were a lot of people, or because Miso said that she would give her full support, but the eyes of the juniors as they looked at Miso did not waver at all. This was why rewards were necessary. The atmosphere changed when someone who belonged to a big company like JA said she would try her best to support that person. Kids knew how the world worked after all.

“Phew, so scary,” said Maru with a smile.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Wow really? All of them want to become actors? Is Miso's offer that enticing? I sure wouldn't choose to become an actor after all that...

Editor's Note:
Maru dodged a bullet huh.