Ahn Chihwan was mesmerized by instructor Miso at first glance. Her unstoppable actions and crisp voice, as well as the confidence she exuded whenever she did something. She was someone who he thought of as a cool woman, and he respected her a lot. Of course, it wasn’t that he started liking her as a member of the opposite sex. He just liked her as a person. Actually, their age gap was too wide.
Chihwan wanted to catch Miso’s eyes. It wasn’t only because she said that she would give her full support to those that proved their skills to her, he also wanted to hear her compliment him in person. There was nothing better than being acknowledged by the people you acknowledged after all.
It wasn’t that Chihwan was confident in his acting. However, he knew that acting was a form of art, and therefore, vague without clear measures of performance. That was why he thought that he had the potential. Evaluating acting had to be very subjective because of its nature. Since there were no clear answers like mathematics or something, he should be able to win against a senior who started acting much earlier than him.
Chihwan bowed towards Maru-seonbae, who he met eyes with. It had nearly been a month since he entered the acting club, and he had never seen Maru talking to anyone in the first year. He would always be reading a script from far away or be making some props or sets. It would be understandable if he was some peculiar person, but he also looked like a decent person from how the 2nd year seniors and 3rd year seniors talked to him. The food they were eating now was also brought by him.
“Uhm, aren’t you doing the play with us, Maru-seonbae?”
Chihwan asked. Maru was in a vague position among the 1st year students. He didn’t act like a senior, nor did he completely ignore them. He came to practice when it wasn’t the weekend, but he did not practice with them with the intention to go up to the stage together.
He was the only staff member in this club. Chihwan was curious. Why did someone capable enough to show up on TV volunteer to be a staff member? From how he came to practice, it didn’t look like he didn’t have the time either.
“I am doing the play,” said Maru. Chihwan couldn’t understand him.
“That and that. And that thing over there.”
Maru pointed at the stage props piled on one side of the hall. They were items created by Maru when the acting club gathered to practice.
“I’m not participating in the play as an actor, but ‘doing the play’, as you put it, is something I’m doing.”
“But isn’t acting much better?”
“There are plenty of people who want to be actors, so why would I? You and I aren’t that different, and since I’m saying this, I’ll make this clear. To me, the acting club is second on my priority list. Right now, I’m showing up regularly since I don’t have a busy schedule, but I don’t know when I’ll become busy again. It’ll be nonsensical for me to want to be an actor in such a situation.”
Chihwan nodded. He was right. It would be a huge problem if he couldn’t perform when he was an actor.
“Why don’t you talk to us, Maru-seonbae?”
A girl asked. She was Park Hayeon. Last week, the first year students had a get-together by themselves, and she was the moodmaker back then. Chihwan perked up his ears. He was curious about that as well.
“It’s not that I’m trying not to talk to you. Like I said, I’m someone who’ll rarely show up to the club if I become busy. I don’t plan to act like a senior, nor expect the treatment of one, so most of the time, I just end up observing. Daemyung and Dowook are leading you guys perfectly well, so there’s no need for me to interfere with that either.”
“Oh, I see. It would’ve been great if you talked to us though. I thought you hated us first years.”
“There’s nothing to hate, nor anything to like. We don’t know anything about each other after all, and I don’t have a huge interest either. I’m looking at you just like you are looking at me. There’s no need to act friendly just because I’m your senior, right? There’s no law stating that a junior must respect their senior.”
True - Chihwan thought as he sipped on his drink. Now that he heard all that, he thought that Maru was pretty reasonable. He originally thought that this senior was someone who was detached from the rest, but it seemed that he might get along with him.
“But it would be great if we can get close to you.”
“If you want to, then you can try. I’ll always be over there. If you want to become friends with me, then come to me and talk to me. I’ll judge whether you can be a friend of mine after a small interview.”
After smiling, Maru’s eyes swept across the first years before he started speaking,
“For now, this is strictly my personal opinion, so don’t take it to heart. I do not think that you need to become close to someone just because they’re in the same social circle as you. Becoming friends is something very personal. While I’m willing to help you and care for you as your senior, don’t expect any friendship from me. Of course, I will treat you nicely if you treat me nicely too.”
“Then I guess we should talk to you if we want to become close to you, right?”
“Usually, I prepare various talking subjects before I talk to someone who I want to become friends with, and say that ‘we should be friends’ to those that I need to become close to.”
Chihwan nodded subconsciously when he heard those words. He agreed with that statement. The more he listened to Maru, the more he liked Maru. He thought that Maru was a senior who liked quietness, but he was completely off the mark.
Park Hayeon nodded in understanding with a smile. When there was a short silence, Chihwan thought that this was an opportunity and asked,
“Then what do you do usually, seonbae-nim?”
Chihwan became curious about this person named Maru. The way he thought was similar to him.
“Me? Usually, I read books at home.”
“What kind of books do you read?”
“Anything that I can get my hands on. Oh, except self-improvement books.”
“Do you like sports?”
“I don’t really do ball sports. I mostly do boxing.”
“What’s your favorite food?”
“I’m not picky with food, but I like healthy foods. Natural mushrooms, eels, and even octopuses are good too.”
“I like eels too. Though not octopuses. What made you want to become an actor?”
“To earn money. But hey, why does this feel like we’re conducting a hearing here?”
“It was you who said that we should talk if we want to become close to you. To talk to you, we need to have something in common, and to find that out, questions are the best way. I’m going to become close to you, seonbae.”
“I don’t like men though.”
“Think of it as a friendship between men. Oh, can I ask you one more thing?”
“Go ahead. I’ll answer you as long as you don’t ask for something like my bank password.”
“This is my first time learning acting, okay? When I thought about it, I realized that I can only evaluate myself properly if I compare myself to someone else. It’s not that there’s a checklist or something, right?”
“With that being the case, uh, I might sound a little rude, but may I ask anyway?”
“I think you’re being plenty rude already, so go ahead. The others seem to want to know as well.”
Chihwan felt everyone looking at him as he spoke,
“I can be better than you at acting, right?”
“Sure. Among the thirty-two people here, there might be people that are even better than me. I believe that talent is more important than effort or being passionate.”
“Then since I’m being rude, can I ask you another question?”
“You don’t have to ask for my permission, just ask. It doesn’t look like anyone else has a question anyway.”
Maru changed his posture and looked like he was a bit interested. Chihwan nodded and spoke,
“I heard that the film production club is coming today. Has it been decided that the main character is going to be you?”
“No, nothing’s set in stone. Like I said before, I was only asked to participate before.”
“Then if the film production club states you as the main character, that means that we don’t have any opportunities, right?”
Chihwan saw that some of his colleagues’ eyes had changed. Everyone probably wanted that role.
“Do you want to do it?”
Was there a need to think about it? Chiwan replied yes.
“Alright, then. I’ll tell the film production club that we should hold an audition. I’ll try to persuade them even if they want me as the main character. I’ll tell them to decide after seeing everyone’s acting.”
“It’s not even that hard, so yes. But you guys will be going home late if that happens, is everyone okay with that?”
Everyone said that they were okay with it. Even the people that didn’t seem to have any interest in becoming the main character seemed to become greedy now that Maru said all that.
Knock knock - there was a knock on the door.
‘They came at the perfect time.’
The door slowly opened and the people from the film production club came in. When the bold girl that always walked at the front came in, she gave Maru a pile of paper. It seemed to be a script.
Maru and Daemyung quietly talked to the film production club. Words like ‘why’ could be heard every now and then. After around ten minutes, a rather skinny man stood in front of the acting club.
“I am Koo Ando from the film production club. Uhm, we were originally going to take people based on recommendation, but we discussed holding an audition to pick people out. That’s why we’re going to hold an audition right now. Also, bear this in mind, but neither I nor anyone else in my club is an expert in acting, so we are only going to base our judgement on our feelings. We don’t know anything about acting.”
Ando smiled awkwardly before stepping back.
The camera was then set up. The film production club sat in front of the laptop connected to the camera. They all looked rather embarrassed. Oh, the first year girl that he thought was the oldest among them was glaring at the acting club with her arms crossed. He overheard her name before - Kang Sora. She was apparently the director of this film.
“We’ll start with the main character. The method is simple. We’ve brought five copies of the script. For now, five of you, please come forward if you want to try out for the main character.”
It was better to take the beating first, so Chihwan went forward. When he did, the others did so as well. After hearing that the main character was a boy, the girls had to watch from the side.
“Please take a copy, each of you.”
Chihwan picked up the script. It was much thinner than the script for the play.
“Don’t read it yet. We’re going to make it a fair competition,” said Sora as she walked forward.
“Is there anyone else who wishes to apply for the audition?”
Hearing her words, all of the first year boys from the acting club raised their hands. The only ones that were not were Bangjoo and Dowook.
“If you don’t plan to participate, please sit over there,” said Sora as she pointed at the first year girls.
“Just one was bothersome enough already. Two sounds like a total pain in the ass.”
“I want to focus on the play as well.”
Dowook yawned before sitting next to the girls. Bangjoo sat next to him.
“Then I’ll take it that the rest of you are all taking the audition, so please step outside for now.”
Sora proceeded with the audition as though she had prepared for this beforehand. As Chihwan had a script in his hand, he remained behind. The four others with the script did the same.
“You have ten minutes to read through the script. After that, you will act the scene you’re most confident with. I won’t mind overlaps between the participants. It will be fairer if we look at you one by one, but that takes too much time. Also, Daemyung-seonbae. Please watch it with us and give us some opinions.”
Daemyung, who was watching from the side, sat in front of the laptop.
“And I hope everyone here can give some judgement as well. When they start acting, please write down your impressions of them. You can write anything you like, whether it be long or short.”
Ripping out pages from her notebook, Sora handed out pieces of paper to the two seniors, Dowook and Bangjoo, as well as the girls. She was really clear-cut when it came to work. Chihwan was inwardly impressed. As the acting club always carried writing equipment with them in order to edit scripts, there shouldn’t be a problem with writing their impressions down.
“Ahn Chihwan, you won’t make it if you do it awkwardly.”
“Seongsoo, you nervous now?”
“Why is Sijoon here? He doesn’t suit the role of the main character!”
The girls giggled and got ready to write. Chihwan felt his grasp of the script tightening. He suddenly felt nervous.
“Then I’ll give you 10, no, 15 minutes starting now. Please read through the script.”
As soon as he heard Sora’s voice, Chihwan opened the script. It was written a bit like a script for a play. What was different was that it was split into even smaller scenes. It didn’t seem like there would be any problems with understanding it.
“You don’t need to memorize it. You can read it while you act, so please find the scene that you’re most comfortable with. The seonbae said before, but we don’t know that much about acting. That’s why we are going to go with the person that we feel is the best. Oh! You need to do actions as well. Lastly, we are going to look at your appearance too.”
Hearing that, Chihwan raised his head.
“Appearances counts towards the score?”
“Well, it is a story about being bullied.”
“Then am I not at a disadvantage?”
He had never heard that he was ugly wherever he went. He was also far from the ‘being bullied’ type according to his appearance. While this might seem cocky of him, it was an important problem to Chihwan. It would be rather frustrating if he didn’t get the role because he didn’t look the part.
“Try doing it for now. It’s the air around you that matters.”
That’s right, I’ll show them what I got.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Ooh, let's see how you do after all that big talk, eh?
Beating Maru in acting when he's just a mere junior. Man is living in a well.