Life, Once Again! - Chapter 141
"So it's begun . "
Moonjoong quietly opened the door .
"Um, sir, if you may, could we have a few words . . . "
One of the reporters followed behind him, Moonjoong turned to glare at the reporter angrily .
"The play is about to start"
"Ah . . . I apologize . "
Moonjoong clicked his tongue in disapproval, he could see Chulmin smile bitterly as well . The door was already open and the kids inside were acting . These kids surely worked very hard to get on stage today . Moonjoong respected the amount of work these kids put into their plays and he didn't want to disturb them . After confirming that the reporter went elsewhere, Moonjoong quietly entered . The corridor lights were already turned off and only the lights indicating where the stairs were were left on . Moonjoong could see little silhouettes of people moving at the stage in front of him, the play seemed to have just begun .
"It's been too long," Moonjoong whispered .
He's often attended plays held by the government acting theaters, but he hadn't seen a play done by students in a very long time . What did these unpolished gems in front of him have to show? He was starting to get a little excited .
"Are you going to stand?"
Moonjoong nodded at Chulmin's question . The play would likely last for a full hour . Instead of making his way through the crowd of audiences, he would much rather stand calmly at the back .
"You folks should go sit over there . " Moonjoong told the young actors that followed him .
"It's alright, sir . "
Most of the actors shook their head, but Joohyun whispered 'yes' as she took her seat . Moonjoong couldn't help but appreciate the woman for her confidence .
"It's starting . "
The lights turned on, painting the stage with a blue hue . The speakers started emitting sounds of a cold wind blowing . The spotlight turned on, focusing on a young man walking out from the right side .
“In the end, I moved here . I should try to earn money as fast as I can and move to the city . Well, at least the town looks quiet . ”
The boy said his line with a slight smile before walking to the other side . The sound of a car passing came from the speakers and then the sound of construction workers .
“Nice sound effects . ”
“Yeah . ”
The lights came back on again . There were a few houses, a store, and a table . The boy from a moment ago walked towards the store .
“Damned granny! I told you that’s not it!”
“Do you want to get on an express train to hell, old man? I told you I’d break all of your fingers if you gambled with old man Kim again, didn’t I?”
“Y-you…! Watch your language, woman!”
A boy dressed up as an old man quickly ran out of the store . Soon, a girl in grandma’s makeup ran out with a broomstick in her hand . Moonjoong was a fan of the abrasive nature of their dialogue, he also noticed the detail in the way the boy walked . The boy intentionally made a turtle neck as he stumbled forward . Clearly a lot of research was put into this .
“Stupid old man . ”
The grandma character threw the broom to the side of the stage . She threw it with such force that the broomstick spun out of sight . From behind the curtains, the audience could hear the old man shout, ‘ouch!’ The audience laughed lightly as they saw the old lady humph satisfactorily .
“H-hello . ”
The boy awkwardly greeted the grandma . The club seemed to be trying to portray the situation with a bit of surprise from the main character, but it didn’t feel awkward at all . Some actors often overreacted when they showed surprise . That was a mistake . In the end, acting is grounded in reality . It was true that an actor would have to accentuate the drama on stage, but the actor still needs to maintain a balance . Moonjoong narrowed his eye as he looked at the stage, he’s seen the main character somewhere else before .
“Ah, he’s the kid that Junmin took in . ”
“He showed me the kid a while ago asking if I was interested in raising him . ”
“I see . He’s gotten very busy, hasn’t he? I feel like he’s involved in just about everything nowadays . ”
The boy was called… Hong Geunseok? The name reminded Moonjoong of someone else . He looked behind him in curiosity with Chulmin .
“He’s my brother,” Geunsoo responded .
Moonjoong nodded . The boy must’ve developed an interest in acting through his older brother . Very nice . Oddly enough, Geunsoo looked a little conflicted when he looked at the stage . Did something happen between him and his brother? Moonjoong was a little curious but decided to leave it for now .
“A comedy, huh . ”
“They chose a difficult one . I don’t know who their instructor is, but they must be very bold . ”
Making people laugh was much more difficult than making them cry . Take a person crying in a subway, for example . Most people would feel sorry for that person . Sadness was a very easy emotion to share . No other emotion in the world was as infectious as it . Laughter was different . Again, back to the subway example . If someone in front of you was laughing, most would think it to be odd . Some might even find it irritating . In fact, 90% of the time people would wonder why that person is laughing . For crying, it’s very easy to start from that same thought and come to the conclusion of, ‘I should help that person’ . The same thing doesn’t happen often for laughter . Because laughter is often a mixture of several different emotions .
“Challenge doesn’t always land you good scores . ”
“They’re doing very well, though . They clearly got the basics down . ”
Moonjoong nodded . It was very easy to tell from the way that the students acted that they practiced a ton for this play . Their pronunciation, movements, and vocalization, though lacking in some areas, surpassed the standard .
“They were taught well . ”
“That I agree with . ”
They even wanted to see who the instructor was .
“Ah, Blue Sky, was it?”
Blue Sky . Moonjoong had heard of the theater company a few times as well . It was a place where the younger actors of Hyehwa stations liked to experiment, he’s even visited the place a few times .
“It’s a place where I’m currently staying . The people acting there are all my juniors,” Geunsoo responded .
“You must feel quite proud . ”
“Yes . I really am . I hope they win an award . ”
“Just like you?”
“Of course . ”
Moonjoong smiled and turned his attention back to the stage . A plump little boy walked out this time, wearing slightly worn clothes with a book in his hand . Geunseok greeted the boy . They exchanged small talk for a few seconds before the plump boy’s line really began .
“The world, you know, is rotten! Everyone’s trying to get into the government job market, because it’s dumb easy . How stupid is that? If you ask the kids nowadays what they want to be, it’s no longer stuff like the president or a scientist . It’s a government worker or an office worker . Tsk tsk . People need a vision nowadays, don’t you think?”
“R-right . ”
“No matter how hard life is, you need to chase after your dreams! Everyone wants to be a government worker . A government worker! Ugh! No wonder the country is becoming like this . What are you doing, by the way?”
“I’m an office worker . ”
“An office worker? I pity you . ”
“ . . . What do you do, sir?”
“Me? I’m studying to become a government worker so that I can help society . ”
The plump boy looked at the audience seats with pride, the boy had such pride in his eyes that made him comical . The audience laughed a little here and there . No one was laughing particularly loudly, but the general mood of the play seemed pretty set . A difficult feat to achieve, especially for a comedy .
“They’re doing well . ”
“That they are . ”
Geunseok played a very average office worker, the very definition of average, as a matter of fact . On the other hand, all of the side characters in this play were very, very odd characters . In a normal play, a character like Geunseok shouldn’t exist . After all, a play is just fantasy in the end . It would be boring to put someone so average in a play . But the comedic basis of this play came from the interactions between eccentric characters and the reasonable main character . That is, instead of making the story the main point of the play, the characters took the center stage .
Plays like this depended highly on the actor’s talent . Either the play could ingrain all of its characters into the audience’s head, or remain completely immemorable .
“The instructor understands the kids very well . ”
“It’s not a risky bet, it was a challenge . Or a winning lotto ticket . ”
Geunsoo quietly butted into their conversation .
“I might look like I’m bragging, but the instructor’s my friend . ”
Chulmin lightly thonked Geunsoo’s head with his fist . What an amusing guy . Moonjoong’s been surprised and amused many times by Geunsoo’s acting . The man had a ton of passion for acting .
“I kind of want the plump one,” Chulmin commented .
Moonjoong nodded . The plump kid was very good at displaying his character’s personality . He was doing it by showing, instead of just telling . The best part was that shaky legs of the boy right now . If you looked closely, you’d notice that the boy’s left was moving with a certain rhythm to it, meaning that the boy was already calculating all of his leg movements in his head . The fact that his small mistakes were starting to look like a part of his character’s personality was a testament to the fact that the kid was trying very hard .
“Damn, this world is disgusting . ”
When the plump boy exit the stage with a small frown, Geunseok followed the boy out with a big sigh .
“Um, that bread over there . That’s mine!” Geunseok said on the way out .
The stage became dark again . It looked like the scene was about to change, but that wasn’t the case . As the stage regained its blue hue, a kid stuck his head out from the side curtain on the left .
“It’s really loud, isn’t it?”
The character talked to the audience as if it was the most obvious thing in the world . The spotlight weakly focused on the actor, making the entire stage feel a little dream-like .
“The lighting’s very good, too . ”
“They made good use of what little they have . ”
Moonjoong didn’t want to analyze the play, but he really couldn’t help it . Chulmin smiled, realizing exactly what Moonjoong was thinking .
“We can’t watch plays normally anymore . We’re too old . ”
“I’m not old . ”
Moonjoong let out a small laugh before focusing on the play again . He couldn’t help but take note of the staging more so than the actors . The instructor was Geunsoo’s friend, was it? That meant the person was likely to be in the industry . It looked like the high school really went all out this time to hire a good instructor .
“In any case, this play really does have everything . ”
“Breaking the third wall… It looks like whoever wrote the script did so in the reference of a standup comedy . Do all high schools nowadays like to try new things like them?”
“No, it’s just this one . ”
“I like it . ”
“Agreed . ”
The actor on stage was standing precariously at the edge of the stage . He was even lifting his heels up, frightening some of the audience members at the front .
“You can see me?”
The actor, who looked like he was about to jump into the seats, took a small turn to return to the center .
“ . . . This is a surprise . ”
Moonjoong crossed his arms . Occasionally when you run a theater company, you get to meet odd actors . Ones that don’t seem special, but still manages to entice the crowd . It’s not like they’re handsome, good at acting, or good at displaying emotions, but they still get the attention of the audience more so than the main characters . Those who are called scene stealers in movies . Of course, that didn’t mean the said actors were bad at acting . It just meant that the actors were more average compared to the others, the odd thing was that you couldn’t help but focus on that actor in spite of it all .
“He has energy,” Moonjoong muttered before looking at Chulmin .
Chulmin was silently focusing at the boy on stage . Moonjoong silently took a peek at the audience . Every single one of them was following the movements of the little actor on stage .
“Dalseok-dong is a very noisy place . There’s an odd student living here, there’s a very loud grandma and grandpa here . Ah, there’s also a lady who likes to overprice everything she sells . She’ll come out a little later . How do I know that? I read the script . It’s all there . ”
The boy moved left and right with each line, almost as if he was talking to a friend . He managed to break the wall between the audience and the stage perfectly and was communicating with the audience . It almost felt like he was whispering words to all of them right next to their ears .
“He’s very well-practiced . Good . ”
Chulmin was smiling . This friend always became happy when he found the star that shone in a play . The boy clearly knew how to grab attention even with a quiet voice . He knew how to talk to a crowd and he was very used to it . He directed attention using the gestures of his hands and he naturally gestured at his face as he stared directly at the crowd .
He was bringing the audience close to him . Quietly .
Moonjoong could tell that the boy was boiling over with energy inside, yet he was doing his utmost to try to control it . Left alone, the boy would be able to run around the stage, gripping the attention of the audience, but doing that would break the nature of his character . The boy knew exactly what he needed to do to make use of the dreamlike scene given to him .
When you walk along Hyehwa station, you end up seeing many young actors acting on the street . Among them, there are many artists who can easily become pros, especially the singers . Many of them are frighteningly good at what they do, but you never end up watching them for long . That’s the difficulty artists face with audiences . Skills? Of course, the skills were important, but it’s not everything .
You can occasionally see it . A singer who occasionally breaks up and stumbles on a chord, he doesn’t even use an amp to help him along . Despite that, he gathers a massive crowd around him . He fills up his mistakes with the guitar with his audiences singing along with him and hides his breaking voice with the cheers from the audience . The quiet noise of the guitar only draws the audience closer to him .
An artist that the audience loves . The children who are loved by the muses . Those who grip the attention of the audience purely through the energy that they emanate .
“Oh, the villagers are coming now . ”
The boy turned to the left after saying that . He turned so quickly that the baseball cap fell from his head . It must’ve been intentional, given how the boy quickly looked at the audience with a “sh” gesture and ran away .
Moonjoong couldn’t hide his smile as he watched the boy’s expression .