Chapter 537

The Maru on the screen had buried his head in his arms. This was when all sorts of trash flew at him from behind. After silently taking the trash, Maru slightly raised his head. All sorts of trash obstructed the frame and slid down Maru’s head before falling down. It seemed like rain. Maru quietly looked at the pieces of trash that fell on his desk. After slowly brushing away the countless bits of trash on his desk, he looked in front of him. His gaze was directly looking at the camera lens. She couldn’t turn her head away from the screen.

Maru’s eyes did not look depressing. He wasn’t frowning and he didn’t groan either. He just kept his mouth shut. He just looked at the lens expressionlessly with his pupils widened to the point that it looked merciless. A rain of trash fell in between him and the lens. She had the thought that the person watching this video would subconsciously hold their breath. It just had such a strong appeal. Maru, who was staring at the lens, slowly lowered his head back to his crossed arms. The rain of trash was still falling.

Tap - Sora pressed the spacebar and stopped the video. The white noise flowing out of the speakers stopped. Whee - the laptop fan started turning in order to dissipate the heat.

“I just chanced on it by luck,” Sora said.

Luck. She understood the meaning of that immediately. She would have been truly surprised if Sora had shot that scene intentionally. The actor looking at the lens, the falling bits of trash, and a noise that was nearly silent. The combination of those bland elements provoked a fearful sense of sympathy within her. If it was just Maru in the frame, no one would have figured out the meaning behind this footage. Perhaps they would have just felt awkward from the actor looking at the camera. However, the trash being thrown from behind, as well as Maru’s bland reaction combined into one to create a gloomy atmosphere. The disharmony of ordinariness. By themselves, these elements were nothing special, but combining them provoked the senses of the viewer.

“I only asked them to throw some trash from behind.”

“You really didn’t ask them to do this?”

“I really haven't done anything seriously since today’s the first day. So, I really didn’t want anything much….”

The only direction was to throw some trash, and if Maru stayed down, the intention behind that might have been unclear. The video only had meaning because Maru looked at the camera. She felt as though Maru was talking to her. Are you going to pretend to never have seen me like the others? - like that.

“Maru-seonbae!”

Sora called out to Maru, who was peeking outside the window. Maru approached her.

“This, this was really good.”

Sora played back the footage. After checking the footage, Maru nodded.

“I was planning to go with this image for the main character before he changes. Are you okay with that?”

“Of course I’m okay with it. If there’s something better, you can try that one, but please go with this if you don’t have anything else. I was originally going to have him frown a little more and express his pain, but I changed my mind after looking at your eyes. The expressionless one looks much better.”

“If the main character is at the point where he refuses to go to school and is even thinking about suicide, he has pretty much given up on everything. There is no resistance in a person who has put everything down. They’re a lifeless being. They get pushed, they get pushed, they get pulled, they get pulled.”

Sora opened the notebook next to the laptop and started writing. She took a step back and looked at Maru and Sora. Both of them were doing what they had to. That made her think - what am I doing here?

The Maru on the screen was doing an act that the director did not intend for. This meant that he researched just that deeply into the character. The acting club, the drama, and even a film shoot to help his junior. He had such a tight schedule, yet he did not slack in any of them. His gaze and that output might have been a coincidence, but his acting definitely was not. If she showed something like that during the sitcom shoot, would the director have told her something other than just ‘cut’?

“Maru-seonbae. I want to try doing this scene as practice. Do you think you can do it?”

She returned to her seat and sat down after looking at Sora and Maru looking at the script together for a while. Her mind felt complex again. Now that she thought about it, she felt like this when she saw Maru’s acting for the first time when they were 1st years. Maru, who went on stage, had a force that attracted people’s gazes. A power that made the viewers keep looking at him. That was an incredibly important talent for an actor. Talent - she erased that word from her mind and shut her lips. It wasn’t that she denied the very concept of talent. People definitely had their differences. There definitely lived a person who could reach heights she could never reach in her life very easily. That was the difference in talent. However, wasn’t it so sad to just use that single word to accept all the differences in this world?

‘And it’s not like talent is everything.’

To show off a character outside the director’s intentions was not in the realm of talent. Analyzing and understanding the character to bring out a new face of that character should be the result of countless repetitions. Trying this one, then that one - a character’s depth and variety was only completed after numerous trials and errors.

She looked at Maru, who returned to his seat with the script. She had seen Maru’s script a couple of times in the amateur acting class. It was filled to the brim with text to the point that she subconsciously exclaimed, nay, groaned. Maru analyzed the character in so much detail that it made her wonder if it was really necessary to go that far. No, that was no longer in the realm of analysis. It was in the realm of creation. A character that existed in the script didn’t have a date of birth, height, or even a precise appearance. Maru came up with a few possibile characteristics based on the clear facts stated in the script, and based on those characteristics, he made new false truths. Under the main points, numerous trivial traits came about, and those traits multiplied to the point that there was no blank space on the script. Maru completed his character by listing a countless number of varieties that a character could be and then selected what he thought was right among them. If the character he completed didn’t receive a good evaluation, he brought out a different combination, and after two or three tries, he got a good reaction from the coach - Yang Ganghwan.

Maru’s method was well-known among the people that were a part of the amateur acting class. Everyone knew about it, but they did not imitate him. There were a few people that tried, but they soon gave up. At a glance, selecting a few traits to create a character might look efficient, but the path to that efficiency stage was way too difficult. Analyzing a character was definitely not something fun to do. Listening to the history of a real person was boring enough, so there was no way it was fun to create a false history of a character. The more traits there were, the higher the possibility of two traits conflicting with each other, and one couldn’t just increase the possibilities endlessly because of that.

She also tried to analyze in depth the character she played in the play for her school acting club, but she wasn’t able to do it like Maru. When she spent hours, or even days increasing the number of traits, the thoughts ‘this should be enough’ and ‘is there a need to go this far for a character that I will never see again after this?’ filled her mind and she immediately let go of her pen. The moment satisfaction poked its head up, she couldn’t find a reason to continue.

She wondered what Maru’s script was like right now. She wanted to have a look but decided not to. She felt like she would fall into despair the moment she saw the script filled with text in all of the gaps. He kept forging his way forward, while she kept shaking on the spot. The unease stemming from that difference made her tremble.

More earnestly, with more effort, harder - she clenched her fist. She suddenly felt as though Maru was infinitely far away from her. Acting had always been something fun for her, but it pained her right now. Even though she knew that Maru’s acting wasn’t good because of talent, she felt jealous when she thought about the eyes she saw just now. She remembered something she saw in a book.

-I feel the most tragic when a genius says ‘I tried my hardest’. I don’t feel tragic while looking at the genius, but when I realized my subconscious attitude to devalue his effort.

She brushed her hair upwards with both of her hands in order to shake off the line from a book that echoed in her head. She suddenly felt sorry towards Maru. She also felt frustrated at herself for not being as honest as Maru. Maru sometimes said that there’s nothing that ruins a relationship more than being too honest, however, Maru always showed the right amount of honesty, and relieved her with non-fancy words.

She looked at Maru’s back. Before she came here, she had made a resolve. She made a resolution to not complain while telling him about her worries. She made a resolution to overcome this by herself.

The shoot continued. They shot the classroom scene from multiple angles. When about 40 more minutes had passed, Sora said that they should try shooting the next scene. It was probably the scene that Sora asked Maru whether it was possible.

She sighed a little before standing up. Since this wasn’t a group scene, there should be no need for her to keep sitting down. She wanted to get some fresh air. She should calm down once she left the classroom and cooled her head a little - she thought such as she walked towards the back door when Maru grabbed her hand.

“Help me out a little.”

“You want my help?”

“Yeah. Let’s do this scene together.”

Maru gave her a script. She hesitated a little before slowly opening the script. Just as she had expected, it was filled with text everywhere. Words filled every corner of the page as though they wouldn’t allow the tiniest bit of blank space. She felt a little dizzy as she read the script. This was the scene where delinquent 1 bullied the main character. She had to press on Maru’s head and say words that she would usually think three times before saying.

“But Aram was supposed to play this role.”

“Aram went up to practice.”

Now that she thought about it, Aram couldn’t be seen anywhere. Well, there wasn’t a spare school uniform, so she couldn’t exactly participate in the shoot. However, she couldn’t easily give the okay. She was afraid. She felt as though she would be overwhelmed with guilt if she acted with Maru right now.

“Can’t you… do it with someone else? You just need someone to say the line, don’t you?”

Maru stared at her. She did not avoid his gaze. She wanted to, but she felt like Maru would misunderstand if she did so. She wanted to portray to Maru that she simply didn’t want to do it.

“I want you to do it.”

“Uhm….”

Just as she was about to shake her head, Maru winked at her.

“I know that my handsome face is giving you a lot of trouble, but it’s about time you got used to it, don’t you think?”

“It’s not like that.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“It’s not that there’s a problem but….”

At that moment, Maru took a step closer to her before looking her straight in the eyes.

“Then do it. You can do it.”

It was a declaration. It wasn’t a request nor an offer. It was just a one-sided proclamation. She felt her heart thump loudly when she heard those words. While she was a little angry at Maru’s overbearing attitude, she also felt his boundless trust in her, which made her laugh. She didn’t know whether to get angry or laugh, so she decided to grab the script.

“You know what will happen to you if you tell me I’m bad, right?”

“It hurts when you say something like that to someone who was trampled on several times by Myunghwa High. Well then, please take care of me, my actress.”

She bit her lower lip before opening the script.

Fine, I’ll do it. I just have to do it, don’t I? 

She decided that she would become a really scary delinquent.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Geunsoo - became famous through an indie movie
Joohyun - became famous through an indie movie (The genius Park Joongjin's movie)

Is this Maru's turn to shine!?

Editor's Note:
We have almost never seen her acting before. This is gonna be good.
Also, I feel her pain. The fear that you won't be able to do what u want to do, or heck when u have no idea what u want to do. Pretty sure almost all college students who are near graduation have felt like that.