After Story 79
-Senior, the journalists have arrived, and I’ve readied the making film. You just need to come and start.
Cha Myungjoon checked his text and got out of his car. Writer Kang Hyojung also followed him out.
“It’s somewhat unnerving,” said Hyojung.
“I’m a little nervous too. I guess that’s natural since it’s the first time for both of us.”
“Are the others here?”
“The seniors will arrive a little late. I’ll check.”
He called his junior to ask what the situation was like in the reading room.
-People are arriving one by one. As always, the minor actors have already arrived, and a few seniors who hate being late are also here….
The junior explaining the situation stopped there and suddenly greeted someone. From the way he had a rushed voice, it seemed to be someone with a high status. Maybe the TV station’s president?
-Senior, come quickly.
-Sir Yoon Moonjoong is here. He’s on his chair now.
“He’s here already?”
Myungjoon tapped on the elevator button continuously.
“What is it?”
“Sir Yoon has arrived already and is waiting.”
“Sir Yoon? You mean actor Yoon Moonjoong?”
“Yes. I knew that he was an upright person, but I never knew he’d come so early. He doesn’t care about formalities, but a great senior is present, so we can’t be dilly-dallying.”
They took the elevator and went straight to the reading room. Some of the journalists waiting outside approached him. Myungjoon greeted them moderately before going inside. He waved his hand to the junior and immediately went over to Moonjoong.
“Director Cha, you’re here.”
“I got a call downstairs and quickly rushed over.”
“Why rush? There’s plenty of time left.”
“I heard you’re here, so of course I’d rush.”
“I did come needlessly early. I was taking a walk and came inside because I thought it was almost time, but I was still too early.”
“You’re way too earnest. Take your time next time. That way, we can applaud when you come in.”
“Yes, yes. I’ll keep that in mind, director Cha.”
Myungjoon introduced Hyojung, who was standing next to him, “Sir, you remember writer Kang Hyojung, right? She was here during the get-together last time.”
“I do, of course.”
Moonjoong stood up and had a light handshake with Hyojung.
“I said this before, but thank you for using me in a great work, writer Kang.”
“Not at all, I’m honored that you’re participating in my work instead. I’ve always had you in mind when I first wrote the role of Taegang. I’ve told the director numerous times that it had to be you.”
“So I met Taegang thanks to you, writer Kang. I’ll repay you with good acting.”
While the two were talking, Myungjoon stepped back and looked for his junior.
“You’re getting all of this on camera, right?”
“You don’t say. We started rolling the moment Sir Yoon came in so don’t worry. We’ll shoot the actors when they come in and edit them all later.”
“Don’t be too focused on the lead actors. There are actors who are not used to shooting making films and some even hate it. If they make eye contact with the camera, then turn it around immediately. Don’t piss them off.”
Myungjoon tapped on the junior’s back and sat down. The journalists and actors started coming into the reading room. It seemed that word had spread that Moonjoong was here, as the other lead actors arrived earlier than he expected.
“Sir, it’s been a long time.”
“Sir, you look much younger than before.”
No matter who it was, they greeted Moonjoong first when they came in and made their presence known. Moonjoong greeted the juniors and asked each and every single one how they were doing. Who would hate a great senior who looked out for them? He didn’t become a senior who was admired by all just because he was good at acting. His genuine heartfelt attitude toward the juniors was what made the juniors respect him.
The reading room became bustling. Even the chairs lined up against the walls ran out of empty seats. The journalists who were given permission to shoot busily shot photos.
Publicizing the script reading session was a form of promotion. It was intended for practice as well, but more generally, it was used as a start signal of the drama.
Myungjoon hoped for the making film to spread the word. There was nothing bad about attracting attention before the drama aired.
The seniors always said that shooting a good drama would naturally make it popular. It was sound logic. He also believed that the work itself decided on the success and failure of a drama, not promotion.
However, now that he actually started his first work, he was too concerned about every little thing. He used to say that he didn’t need to shoot something like a making film, but right now, he was more ardently involved than anyone. This was probably what grasping at straws felt like.
The junior told him that everyone had arrived. It was about time to start. Myungjoon looked at the reading room. He looked at each person one by one, but the man sitting at the end of the wall to the right entered his eyes.
He was Han Maru. That man had given him a strong impression, so he assigned him the role of ‘Park Uijjung’ without hesitation.
Even the main writer, Hyojung, rewrote the script after seeing the audition footage. While there was no change in his death, the number of his appearances was increased and his lines were slightly changed to suit the image of the actor. As it was a character that changed the atmosphere of the drama in an instant, the writer probably put a lot of effort into changing them.
“Shall we begin?” Myungjoon said after checking that the junior picked up the camera.
“I’m Cha Myungjoon, and I’ll be directing this. I’ll do my best to make my debut work my best work.”
After the applause, Hyojung, who was next to him, stood up.
“I’m Kang Hyojung. It’s an honor that all of you here are participating. I’ll write to the death so that there won’t be any last-minute scripts.”
“I’ll look forward to that,” said a middle-aged supporting actor while applauding. He seemed to have taken a liking to Hyojung for declaring that she wouldn’t write last-minute scripts.
The other actors also cheered and applauded. But would that really happen? — Myungjoon thought to himself as he looked at Moonjoong.𝙗𝒆𝒅𝒏𝙤𝒗𝒆𝙡．𝙤𝒓𝙜
“I’m Yoon Moonjoong, and I’ll be playing Taegang. I’m an insufficient actor, but I’ll do my best.”
“If you say that, what are the rest of us supposed to say? Also, please show us your evil side now. You live such a good life that we have to be humble as well,” said actress Yang Jisook, who was close to Moonjoong.
There were dozens of people in the reading room, but she was probably the only one who could make jokes with him. Moonjoong laughed heartily. Thanks to the two great seniors, the atmosphere in the reading room became lax. The stiffened young lead actors also followed up by introducing themselves with bright faces.
“Hello. I’m Yoo Jichan, playing Park Seok-oh. I’m happy to be doing this with all of you.”
“Jichan’s from my favorite group, Alte,” Jisook said with a smile.
Jichan smiled and bowed to everyone before sitting back down. There were a few elements that worried him about shooting this drama, and one of them was Jichan, a famous idol playing the lead character.
He grabbed the goblet, knowing that it was poisoned. He confirmed his acting skills through the audition. It was not bad, but not too good either. It was on a level that could be covered up through editing, so he got him for now.
Hyojung was also against it at first, but she soon accepted. Attract attention through idols and raise the tension through veteran actors. She had understood that formula.
Actually, a star writer or a star producer would have created a masterpiece with great actors and would not give idols a single glance. However, as both the writer and the producer were working on their debut pieces, there weren’t many veteran actors willingly reaching their hand out.
No, there was one, one that they could get thanks to Sir Yoon.
“I’m Lee Haena. I’ll do my best.”
Myungjoon tried to suppress his smile and looked at Haena. If Jichan was a lead actor he grabbed with much disappointment, Haena was someone he had to welcome with open arms.
Haena was on the path to stardom ever since the melo film ‘Winter, Yet Winter’ was released last year. She was a young actress who was only twenty-five, but her eyes were really good. As for her acting, it was already proven through the screen, so there was no need to worry about that.
After Haena’s introduction, the male actor standing next to her stood up. If it was a stroke of fortune that he managed to cast Haena, casting this fellow was closer to a blessing.
“I’m Park Sinseo. I was blessed enough to work on this piece with everyone here.”
* * *
Maru looked at Park Sinseo, who made a plain greeting. If his memories weren’t failing him, this man was one of the actors who represented South Korea right now.
He took out his phone and looked up Park Sinseo. An eye-catching filmography and all sorts of photos about him filled the web portal.
He looked up a few of the recent news articles. They were all those that praised his acting skills.
He then had a look at a few blog posts at the top. The blog owner, who had experience working as a film magazine journalist, called Park Sinseo an actor who possessed both power and charm.
It was also written with confidence that including him, Yang Ganghwan, Hong Geunsoo, and Choi Hojung were the top actors in their 30s.
Searching the four actors at the same time, he could find news articles and individual blogs of the same nuance. It was clear that he was an actor acknowledged by numerous people.
“I want his autograph,” said Seungah, who was sitting next to him.
Please visit 𝙗𝙚𝒅𝒏𝒐𝒗𝙚𝙡.𝙘𝒐𝒎
She was looking at Park Sinseo with her mouth agape. She seemed to be a fan.
“Ask him to take a photo with you during the shoot.”
“If I have the opportunity, of course I’m going to ask. But I’m worried that I might be taking away his precious time.”
“You seem to like him a lot.”
“Is there a woman who hates Park Sinseo? Look at him. He’s a total ball of charm.”
“You should close your mouth. Your drool’s dripping.”
“Let it drip. I need to look at Sinseo-oppa.”
The actors sitting at the table finished introducing themselves. Maru opened the script he had gotten beforehand. As this was a reading session that involved a camera, it would start light-heartedly.
However, the people gathered here were all actors, meaning, there wasn’t a single one who took acting lightly. Once some time passes, the lax atmosphere would become stiff and taut again. There might be some time to laugh and play jokes midway, but they would all be serious in the read-through.
How long had it been? It felt like yesterday, and it also felt like a really distant memory. What he could say for sure was that he was unbearably happy. He could do a read-through with the elder present. It was a stroke of luck that he had gotten unintentionally.
“Our Park Uijung should also introduce himself, right?” the director said just as he was waiting after looking at the first page.
Maru received the gaze of the director and stood up after zoning out for a while. He never knew that he would have an opportunity to introduce himself. After all, the tradition was for just the actors sitting at the table to introduce themselves before proceeding.
Maybe director Cha was looking out for him? He felt thankful regardless.
Maru stood up from his seat. He put his hand holding the script against his pants and introduced himself politely.
“I’m Han Maru, and I’ll be playing Park Uijung.”
He couldn’t say anything else other than that. The actors turned around to look at him and greeted him with smiles.
Just as he was about to sit back down in a hurry, he heard someone clapping. The elder, who was sitting at the head of the table, was clapping with a gentle smile.
“We’ve seen each other before, haven’t we? Let us do our best.”
As soon as he sat down, the director said that they should begin. The elder, who gave him a glance, also turned away.
Maru looked at the elder in the distance and turned to the script. A wave of glee hit him later.
So he remembers me — he had to try hard to put the corners of his lips down.