“If I connect the line here and press record….”
When Sora moved back, the laptop screen switched. It was showing a live feed of the camera. Aram stood in front of the camera in curiosity.
“Can you see me?”
Maru pressed the record button which was on the lower left of the video editing program. The recording began and a window popped up that said it was recording. They recorded for about a minute before playing back the video.
“Oh! It’s me.”
It played back everything without skipping from when Aram waved her hand to when Daemyung spoke.
“But the sound is echoing.”
“Don’t worry about that. The graduate seonbae gave us this.”
Sora connected a directional microphone covered with soft fur at the top of the camera. It seemed that she had learned how to use the camera properly from that person.
“Everyone. Walk in front of the camera and say something.”
The juniors walked past the camera one by one. The ones that liked to stand on stage showed some things off, while the others just awkwardly said their names before walking past.
Maru tried playing back the recorded footage. The sound of the wind, the background echoing noise, as well as the voices of the people talking behind the camera were mostly removed. The microphone was pretty good.
“He also gave us this,” said Sora as she opened a long bag that she brought.
Inside were some lines and a boom arm.
“Then we’ll leave for now. Do you guys have practice tomorrow too?” asked Ando.
“We do. We’re going to finish at one since it’s Sunday,” Daemyung replied.
“We’ll be here around 12. We do want to watch your practice as well. Of course, that’s if you guys are okay with it. Will that be okay?”
“An audience is always welcome. Having people around helps during practice as well.”
The film production club left the hall. After the messy atmosphere died down, the acting club started a read-through. Since they hadn’t decided on roles yet, they split into three groups of ten to practice.
“How was the script? Not from a technical perspective, just the content,” Maru asked.
After thinking about it, Daemyung replied,
“It does feel rather common, but it wasn’t that bad.”
“I guess it’s not that uncommon.”
“She isn’t using someone else’s work and everything is coming from her head though. I think that’s pretty amazing. Also, from what I saw today, they all seemed eager to do it.”
Maru leaned against the wall. Daemyung stood next to him. Maru watched his juniors do the read-through for a while before speaking,
“They weren’t that close when I saw them just a while ago, but they looked like they were on really close terms today. Even Ando, who said that he had no intentions of shooting any film, became eager to do it.”
“Looks like that Sora girl managed to persuade him well. She was full of energy.”
“If there's a person like that nearby. It’s one of two things. Either it’s really exhausting, or you become crazy with that person.”
“He didn’t look crazy though.”
Daemyung burst out into a small laughter.
“Maru, has it been decided that the main character will be you?”
“Well, I’m not sure. They just said that they wanted to scout me, but I don’t think I’ve heard them say that I’ll be the main character. Also, it doesn’t matter if I’m the main character or not. What’s important is that I get to talk to the director. I should get to talk to her a lot when we film it. Since neither of us is knowledgeable, I hope I can gain something from this.”
“You are a regular character in a drama and yet you say that you don’t know anything. What does that make me?”
“I’m just saying. Rather than that, if they come back tomorrow with the characters sorted out, we’ll have to pick out actors for those roles from our club, right? You’ll have to talk to the film production club about it, but from the way I see it, I think they’re going to listen to your opinions, no?”
“Well, I’ll have to ask them tomorrow. Since holding an audition does require extra time and effort on their part, I do have to tell them that it might be even more tiring.”
“Don’t you have any thoughts about doing it?”
“I have my hands full just preparing my script and studying. These days, the writer gives me a lot of homework. He told me to analyze the script for the movie Chinatown, and it’s so hard.”
Daemyung stood up.
“Group 1, stand in front of the camera! After we shoot group 1’s read-through, group 2 and group 3 will come up afterwards. Let’s have a monitoring time where we tell each other their good points and bad points. I’m also going to show this to instructor Miso, so watch out for your pronunciation. You know that this isn’t reading lines from a textbook, right?”
Daemyung clapped and started moving.
* * *
He left his house after eating a slice of apple and a handful of cereal with milk. His mother worried about him, asking him if that was enough. Maru said that he was okay. Since he was controlling his weight, he was avoiding oily and salty foods as much as possible. It wasn’t that he had gained weight or something. He thought that he had a suitable weight, but he decided to try this out as a test. He currently weighed 68 kilograms. He was planning to bring it down to 63 kilograms, and then go back again.
He smelled something very tempting from the toast shop. He stared for a while before walking to the school. Intentionally losing weight definitely wasn’t easy.
‘No wonder girls always talk about going on a diet.’
It was like a life-long homework. Before he went inside the school, he visited the supermarket to buy some drinks and snacks. There were over thirty high school students with good appetites. The sheer money required for eating was definitely a little heavy for a student to bear. This was why Maru bought the snacks most of the time. Daemyung told him that he’d pay him later, but how much pocket money would a student get? Oh, he did receive some from Dowook, since he was pretty well-off.
Sunday morning. Although it was quiet on the 1st to 4th floors, the 5th floor was noisy. He could hear the voices of his club members through the closed door to the hall. Maru quietly opened the door and went inside. He saw the club members doing some warmups.
Maru waved his hand when he heard the shout. He put down the food he brought before doing some warmups as well. Recently, the baseball club no longer used the hall on the 5th floor. He didn’t know what happened, but he was thankful since it meant that the acting club could use it without worrying.
“Line up. Let’s do a read-through. We’re going to do it standing up today. Also, you can look at the script if you want, but try to memorize as much as possible.”
The juniors, who were divided into three groups, started going over the lines. The thirty of them showed different levels of skill. There were some that seemed to have memorized the lines already and said everything from memory, and some that memorized most of it and just looked at it from time to time. Memorizing lines was the basics of acting. Since that was just pure repetitive labor, more time investment meant more memorization, and it showed. There were seven people who had memorized the entire thing completely, and there were ten who couldn’t take their eyes off the script. Although it was a short period of time, there were clear differences showing up among the kids already.
Maru also looked at the script while leaning against the wall. Although he wasn’t participating, he wanted to get the basics down at least. He thought about the emotions of the characters as he went through the lines and said them out loud.
There was a method that he took great interest in lately, the ‘internalization of the character’. It was a way of acting after bringing the traits of the character being acted inside of the actor. It was slightly different from method acting.
Method acting was an act of becoming the character itself. In order to sympathize and feel the same emotions as the fictional character, the actor would call out a similar experience or emotion he or she had in the past in order to try and understand the character as much as possible. If they didn’t have such experiences or emotions, they would expose themselves to similar situations in order to do that. As a result, the actor would perfectly imitate the character and taking a step further, would become that character.
Internalization was a bit different. It was the same in the regard that it requires sharing the experiences, emotions, and traits of the character, but in this case, the actor would not throw him or herself into the character. Instead, the character would be brought inside the actor.
Maybe these two were just two different stages in acting, or they might be two different formats altogether. Discussing which one was better was meaningless, it was much wiser to think about which method fit the actor more.
Maru was thinking about how to efficiently use his two ‘selves’ inside him.
The self that fulfilled the acting instinct tended to lean towards becoming the character. That self would reach a stage where he forgot about himself to reach a state of selflessness in order to imitate the character to the limits. If it was not possible to imitate and the expressivity of acting was immature, that self would then burst out all the emotions, forgetting that he was acting and would throw everything out there. The act he did with Joohyun was similar to this. Since he couldn’t dig deeper into a character who became a murderer at a young age, he instantly clashed a bunch of emotions together. Putting it simply, he was relying on Joohyun.
Unlike that, the self that watched everything from a step behind chose not to become the character itself, but to bring the character into him. He tried to understand the traits of that character and analyze them to act out the movements that the character is most likely to take in certain situations. It was clearly different from becoming the character itself. When he looked into it, he found that this was a more traditional way of acting. What he did in Twilight Struggles was similar to this. He dug into the character, but ‘Han Maru’ was at the core of that character.
It did not change the fact that both of them required some basic studying. There wasn’t any act that could ‘just be done’. Acting required expressing what an actor knew, or felt before after all.
Maru raised his head when he heard a voice call out to him. There was a junior standing in front of him. He had fallen into contemplation while staring at the script without even realizing that someone was in front of him. That junior laughed foolishly before saying that they should eat some snacks. Looks like it was break time. He had a look at the clock. The hour hand was on 12.
‘I was completely out of it, huh.’
He walked over to where everyone else was sitting.
“Sit over here.”
Daemyung made some room for him. Maru sat in that gap. He saw a first year junior smile awkwardly at him from next to him. He had never talked to this person before.
Maru looked at the thirty-two people sitting in a circle. He realized that he had never talked to the first year students. During weekdays when he didn’t have a shoot, he was always making props in the corner, and during weekends, there weren’t any opportunities to talk to them properly since he had shoots. It would be great if the senior-junior relationships were good, but he didn’t feel the need to force himself to try and get close to them, so he didn’t talk to them. Due to this, it seemed that a lot of juniors were awkward with him here.
‘Even I would be awkward if I was in their shoes.’
He was always by himself, and whenever he talked, he was talking to the instructor, so there was no way the distance between them could shrink. Maru picked up some snacks and gave them to the junior sitting next to him, and he flinched when he saw that junior lower his head as he received those snacks with both of his hands. Was he that difficult to deal with?
Fortunately, they were on close terms with the other seniors. Bangjoo seemed to be called ‘hyung-nim’ among the first year boys. For reference, the ‘big hyung-nim’ was Dowook. For some reason, this felt like a mafia organization.
This should be fine. Since he decided to put some distance, this was suitable. It wasn’t like he was going to meet them a lot either.
“Who’s going to be the main character for the film?”
One of the juniors asked. Since the acting club didn’t have any of those strict relationships between seniors and juniors, none of them held back from speaking.
“The film production club will be here in just a bit. We’re going to talk about it then. Though, it’ll probably be Maru.”
“Ah, Maru seonbae-nim, huh.”
Maru looked at the eyes that all looked at him. Some of them had the ‘I see’ eyes, while others questioned ‘why’. Miso declared that she would give her full support as long as they did well. They were probably all greedy for results. Maru in fact welcomed the challenging eyes. It would be no fun if he just snapped their spirits just because he was the senior.
“They’ll probably hold something like an audition, right?”
Another junior asked. His face was even smaller than Aram’s. Oh, how handsome. Maru realized once again that he had zero interest in the new members this year.
“Looks like everyone wants to do it.”
They all replied ‘yes’ as though they were waiting for that line. Daemyung seemed a little surprised by their boldness.
“I’m asking just in case, but who wants to be the main character here?”
An actor always had to be bold - Miso said this all the time, and the juniors all kept those words close. Maru looked at the boys that raised their hands immediately. Out of the seventeen boys here, more than half - eleven of them - raised their hand. A lot of girls also raised their hands as well. Unfortunately though, the main character for this play was a boy. The girls probably raised their hands since they didn’t know about the script, but in any case, they were really eager to do it.
“This was unexpected.”
Although he said those words, Daemyung was smiling in satisfaction. Maru grinned at some of the juniors that looked at him before eating some snacks. He wasn’t overly eager to do this role, but since this was a great opportunity to create a film on equal footing as the director, he did not plan to concede so easily. Of course, if there was someone good, he would gladly hand it over. Having not enough skill in this field of work meant being pushed to a supporting role, or even a minor role.
“Han Maru, are you sure you can keep that main character role?” Dowook giggled as he said those words.
Maru shrugged and looked at the first year students sitting on the other side. There was a boy that was staring holes into him. He didn’t know the boy’s name. He looked like he wanted to duel fair and square or something, so Maru felt quite perplexed.
“What’s that guy’s name?”
Daemyung shortly uttered ‘ah’ before speaking,
“Ahn Chihwan. He’s good looking isn’t he?”
“Ah, Chihwan, huh.”
“You should learn their names at least.”
“Yeah. I really should.”
“But Chihwan’s really staring at you. Maybe he considers you a rival?”
“Hey, I already lost to him in the appearance area. If he’s good at acting as well, I’m gonna be sad.”
“There you go, joking again.”
Maru looked at Chihwan. When he met eyes, that boy became startled before bowing. He was very tall and good looking, but his actions were pretty cute. He was the type that would be popular with the girls.
‘He said he wants to play the main character too, huh.’
Maru nodded and looked away.
 Korean mafia call their boss ‘hyung-nim’. So you can see it as the first years are calling those two ‘boss’ and ‘big boss’.
Go everyone (not Maru)! Show him what you got! Show the results of your training with Miso!
I wonder if Maru's two 'selves' are gonna be more important later on, maybe they're his 2 lives.
Also new cast!