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Chapter 859. Sequence 13
Having finished was.h.i.+ng the dishes, Maru got in the car with the outfit he had prepared beforehand. It was 6 a.m. Usually, he only had a couple of scenes to shoot, so he was never called to the set early, but today, the a.s.sistant director told him to come early. He drove over to YBS and headed to the set which was about 2 km away from the TV station. He went inside and said h.e.l.lo to the members of the staff who were busy getting ready. Just then,
“You’re going up first today. Oh, this is your script. We just got it at 4 a.m. Looks like that unni has a lot of stress.”
The script didn’t even have a cover on it. Not to mention typos, there were even wrong names littered throughout the script as though to show how hurried the writer was when writing it. Jayeon told him to read it quickly before leaving. She seemed to be busy coming up with movement lines with the camera director. He went to the corner so that he didn’t disturb anyone and started reading the script.
“You’re early today.”
Heewon walked over with a yawn. His hair looked neat today like he had been to a hairstylist.
“I was called here.”
“Wasn’t your scene supposed to be this afternoon?”
“Apparently, there are extra scenes.”
Maru showed him the script. Heewon had a look at it.
“So we got extra scenes that weren’t there before, huh. And they’re centered around you too. That must be a pain for you. It’s not like you get paid more just because you shoot more.”
“Popular actors like you can think like that. To me, it’s a grateful opportunity.”
“Looks like quite a lot. Was that character originally going to be used like this?”
“Nah, I have someone to thank for this actually. It’s Kang Giwoo.”
“Well, something like that. Anyway, help me out during the shoot today so that I can leave an impression on the audience.”
“I’m sure you’ll do fine without me anyway. Let’s just finish it without an NG and go home to rest. If I’m shooting with you, I’m sure I can finish it early.”
Heewon looked around for a moment before pulling a chair over and sitting down on it.
“Aren’t you leaving?”
“I don’t have anything to do, and if I catch the director’s eyes, I’ll just get an earful. Moreover, that guy will leave me alone when I’m with you.”
‘That guy’ was coming.
“Hyung, didn’t you say you didn’t have any scenes today?”
“You know all sorts of stuff. I got an additional scene, so I came.”
Haewon took something out of his pocket. In his hand was chocolate. It was Heewon’s snack. Haewon always said that it was a method to console a child throwing a tantrum because they were tired, but people who heard him for the first time would just laugh it off thinking it was a joke. They would probably change their minds if they witnessed the miracle of a popular actor that was rolling on the ground because they were unwilling to work, standing up because of a mere piece of chocolate.
“Please take care of my brother today.”
“That’s for me to say to him. He’s a popular actor.”
He put the chocolate in his mouth and started reading the script. He repeated the lines so that they got stuck on his tongue – until the point he could picture the situation when he closed his eyes, and he could say his lines reflexively. He recited everything from the first line to the last line without rest. He then picked out the lines that he had a harder time saying and said them again. After checking that he could say his line mechanically, he woke Heewon up, who was dozing off to the side.
“If you don’t have anything to do, then practice with me.”
Heewon said he couldn’t be bothered, looking clearly annoyed. Maru handed him his script.
“But you’ll do fine by yourself.”
“Who told you to be next to me? If you practice with me, I won’t bother you anymore, so help me out a little.”
Heewon licked his lips and said, ‘just once.’ It seemed that he came to the judgment that delaying sleep for just one round was fine. Maybe he was helping out for the price of blocking his persistent little brother’s eyes.
Maru quickly finished his practice with Heewon. He tried reflecting on the emotions he thought would work well while practicing by himself, and it didn’t look bad. The writer described the character in detail, making it easier for him to express him. As Jayeon said, the writer was pretty skilled. The fact that she was the main writer of a mini-series drama in her mid-30s was proof that she was above the rest.
“That’s one practice done.”
“Then let’s start the second one, shall we?”
“I thought you only needed to do it once?”
“When did I say that? Since we started, practice with me until the shoot starts. Who knows? I might block Haewon for you later.”
Heewon became filled with vitality and picked up the script. Maru decided that it would be later that he told him that it was only lip service and that he would definitely side with Haewon if the two got into a fight. Heewon, who was just uttering the lines dryly before, now started partic.i.p.ating in practice with emotion. Practice became a lot smoother with someone to interact emotionally.
It felt quite ecstatic to practice with a partner who could receive everything he threw at him. It felt like he was throwing random pieces of a 100-piece puzzle on the ground, but it fell into the right place every single time. Heewon even smoothly returned with a line when Maru threw at him an emotion that was completely out of place in the script. For a moment, Maru thought that Heewon would become a good professor in acting. Though, he himself would definitely deny it.
“Hey, are things working out well with Gaeul?” Heewon asked during practice.
“Why do you ask so suddenly?”
“Because I just found out a couple who had been dating for a year broke up yesterday. I was wondering if you two were doing well. Heck, the first people I thought about were you two after hearing that. It means that I was quite worried about you two.”
“Do you think we’ll break up again?”
“I heard people last a long time when they work things out after breaking up, so no.”
“Good. We’ll stay right next to each other for a long time so don’t you worry about it.”
“Don’t worry about others and think about your own romance. What happened to the woman you met last time?”
“We split up after eating.”
“Why? You didn’t get along?”
“No. I thought about it seriously recently, and I don’t think I can get married. I imagined it, you know? Me getting married and having a family. But I couldn’t bring myself to imagine it. I have no confidence to be a good dad, and I feel like looking after kids is something impossible for me. Heck, before I am even a good dad, I don’t think I’ll be a good husband.”
“I know this is something that’s probably said to death, but you’re bound to do well if it comes down to it.”
“That’s not like you. You plan everything out in life, don’t you? Having a child at X years old, having your child enter Y elementary school, and what to do in your later years.”
“I’m not actually that calculative, you know?”
“So that’s why you poked Gaeul into a drama and ran to the military? Say something that makes more sense. Anyway, I’m going to live alone for life.”
“You’ll never say that if you see a woman you want to love for your whole life. People like you tend to get married early.”
“Me? I don’t think so.”
“People who say that always arrive at the goal early.”
I really don’t think so – Heewon shook his head and stood up before disappearing somewhere. The person who made Heewon flee walked over.
“We’re going to start right now, so you’re ready right? We can’t afford to have you not be ready.”
For a person who chucked the script at him early in the morning, she had a pretty bold att.i.tude. Jayeon pointed at the set with her chin before turning around. She seemed to be saying, ‘you might as well quit if you aren’t this fast,’ with her back. Maru followed her with the script in hand. The reason he did vocal exercises every single day and practiced his emotions was precisely to catch sudden opportunities like this. To complain that he had too little time and that it was too unfair, there were too many aspiring actors in South Korea to actually do so.
“That’s more like it. That confident-looking face is looking real good right now.”
“That’s because I’m putting on an act that I’m confident.”
“That sounds good too. I know you’ll do well.”
“Your words give me the most pressure.”
“I am giving you pressure. This is a story that the writer created after calling you out separately. It’s a desperate struggle to increase the viewing rate. Ultimately, the only thing that remains is the viewing rate. You’re on the same s.h.i.+p, so you’ll have to work to death.”
“Do I get compensated if the s.h.i.+p sinks?”
“I’m fine since I’m employed at YBS.”
“So I’m the only one in danger, huh. I’ll do my best.”
“Show everyone that there’s an actor like you.”
Jayeon told him some simple movement lines and the emotions she sought in this scene. Maru compared the act he prepared beforehand and what the director wanted him to do and thought about which one was better. Jayeon sometimes took it a little easy and would be strong at other times to set the general atmosphere of the scene.
“You know it too, right? When you’re young, you even buy suffering. Until a while ago, these words earned the sympathy of everyone, but it’s being used a little differently.”
“Yes. I heard someone say that on TV a few days ago. Why do people have to buy suffering when they’re young? It’s not like being young is a crime.”
“The hot keyword these days is pa.s.sion pay. Words like that get reinterpreted accordingly. This scene is based on creating a common ground. Last-minute scripts aren’t always bad. You can keep up with trends like this. If I’m worried about something, it’s that this must not become a soap opera. No one likes forced tears, do they? Sympathy versus soap opera. Tears from sympathy make the viewers pick up their remote and increase the volume, while a soap opera would make them change the channel in annoyance instead.”
“If you put thrilling music in the background, it shouldn’t become a soap opera.”
“I don’t plan to let editing solve this. I’m going to leave this scene entirely in your hands. I’m going to not do my work and will let you do it instead, so try. This morning’s shoot was scheduled solely for this scene.”
“You’re putting me in a pickle here.”
“Would you like a cuc.u.mber instead?”
“Your pun skills have become good ever since you got married. Director Park Hoon laughs a lot when he hears you, doesn’t he?”
He probably even sheds tears from laughing so hard – Jayeon twitched her lips and went over to the monitor. Maru said h.e.l.lo to the camera director, who just picked up the camera and got into position.
“Okay, then. We’re starting.”
Jayeon put on her headset and moved her mouth. Please do well – he could tell what she was saying from a distance. I want to do well too – Maru scratched his eyebrows. It was just the right amount of tension and pressure. When dealing with a controversial topic of the times, delicate acting skills were necessary. The drama would become a mess if it felt like it just rode the flow of the times. The script dealt with the issue of the era in a not too exaggerated manner. It was a good choice for a side story. What was left was up to the skills of the actor and the producer. If this went well, it would be a fresh change to ‘Doctors’ that both the producer and the writer wanted, and if not, it would become their worst move that just wasted time. ‘Doctor’s Office’ had become a lot more fast-paced recently with their political struggles. Both the writer and the producer must be feeling a lot of pressure since they were trying to fill a portion of the drama with the story of a side character instead of a main character. Whether this would become a crouch that leads to a big leap, or it will end with comments saying that the writer has lost her way, he didn’t know. There might not be any mention of it at all. Maru thought that that would be the worst result. If they did something, they needed results, whether good or bad.
“Actors, get into positions. Camera.”
Maru closed his eyes and opened them after a deep breath at the cue sign.
 Pa.s.sion pay is where you get paid with ‘pa.s.sion’(aka work experience) instead of actual money.