Life, Once Again! - Chapter 169
“Alright, raise your hands if you’re here to look into the acting club . ”
Most of the students raised their hands at the senior’s words, Jiyoon quickly joined in as well .
“Around 15 people, huh? Thank you all for coming . I was worried that no one would come . ”
The senior stepped back before coming out with some yakult in his hands, he handed one out to each of the students .
“Would you all come inside, please? It’s a bit small, your understanding would be appreciated . ”
The door of the clubroom opened, revealing what was inside . The first thing Jiyoon saw was a steel shelf, there were all sorts of stuff laid on it . A pretty lantern, a massive dice, a set of knives… a bottle of some sort? It was a collection of all sorts of odd things .
“Try not to step on each other . ”
Jiyoon walked inside at the senior’s gesture . It was small indeed, barely enough space for the 15 people that were inside . Jiyoon looked to the left of her, there were a bunch of clothes that were wrapped in plastic . Next to the tower of clothes was a hanger rack, which had clothes all over it as well . They probably had more than a hundred, now that she looked at it . Hanbok… suits… dresses… even a Chinese dress . Qipao, was it?
“Good thing it’s not summer, at the very least . Alright, let me explain what the club’s about . Obviously it must be about acting, right?”
The senior took out a large book . Inside it, there were a ton of photos .
“The acting club is 13 years old . A lot of seniors have come and gone through this place already . If you join this club, you’ll be the 14th generation of the club . ”
The senior took out a different album . In this one, he was in the picture as well . There were other seniors holding hammers, ones in makeup, ones acting, et cetera . He handed out each album to the underclassmen .
“Take a look while you listen . The acting club has a set purpose . That is, to win the summer and winter nationals . ”
“There are competitions?”
The senior nodded .
“You probably don’t know this, but there are a ton of acting competitions out there . The biggest ones are the summer nationals and winter nationals as I’ve just mentioned . Each province holds its own preliminaries and the winners of those, compete . You guys heard about the Seoul Arts Center, right?”
“Yes . ”
Jiyoon responded here as well .
“That's the stage for the finalists . We managed to go there last year, too . I didn’t get to participate, unfortunately . ”
The senior showed them the pictures of last year’s competition, there were a lot of photos taken in the Seoul Arts Center . In the middle of the seniors with makeup on, Jiyoon noticed one wearing a cast on his leg . It was the one who was talking to them now, he must’ve been unable to participate because of that injury .
“Since we’re aiming for such a big competition, we can’t just sit idly by like some other clubs . While other clubs meet like twice a week, we’ll be meeting basically every day . ”
“Yes . ”
“Then the weekends . . . ”
“They might as well not exist when a competition nears . We might even practice till night starting from the morning . ”
The room turned a little awkward, Jiyoon was a bit surprised too . She knew that she’d need to invest a lot of time into the club, but even the weekends?
“The weekends are a bit . . . ”
She could hear her friends whispering behind her . Jiyoon turned to look at the senior for a second, the senior was smiling with eyes that seemed to say that he expected as much .
“Of course, you’re free to join casually . Plays aren’t made through just actors, after all . We do need staff members that can make props . Joining in as a stage manager is one of the ways you can contribute if you’re short on time . I used to be a stage manager myself before Autumn . You get a lot more time to yourself that way . You don’t even need to come during the weekends . ”
“But um… you’d need to practice a lot in order to act, right?” One of the girls whispered .
Jiyoon was curious about the answer here as well .
“If you want to participate as an actor, you’ll need to invest a lot of time, as I’ve mentioned . You can make props by yourself, but you can’t act in a play by yourself . The reality is that time investment is necessary . ”
The senior crossed his arms before sighing lightly .
“It’ll be good to make things clear now, so might as well . We don’t have an instructor yet, but once we do, you’ll have a lot less free time . Depending on the instructor, you might even get strained both mentally and physically . The one from last year made us stretch for at least an hour before going into practice . She made us exercise a lot, too . We did get pretty nice bodies thanks to that, but it wasn’t easy . ”
The senior fiddled with his eyebrow before smiling awkwardly .
“It’d be terrific if you all joined, of course . Clubs need people, after all . But people feel stressed when they end up doing something they didn’t think they would do . Plays are fun from the perspective of an audience . Has anyone here watched a play before?”
A few of the underclassmen raised their hands, Jiyoon raised hers after a moment of hesitation as well .
“Quite a few . How was it?”
The senior asked the question to one of the boys at the front . The boy paused for a moment before responding ‘it was fun’ .
“Sorry for the sudden question . But at least I got the answer I wanted . Plays are fun to watch . Because unlike movies, you’re physically close to the actors in plays . When we watch movies, we don’t much care for the present since we know that an actor isn’t going to make a mistake . We just think about what’s going to happen next . Because obviously, movies are edited almost to the point of perfection . ”
The senior put his hands together in front of him gently .
“I’m not saying plays aren’t perfect . But unlike movies, plays take place in real-time . There’s a chance that the actors could make a mistake . That’s what makes plays fun . Having your heart strain a bit in nervousness as you watch . ”
Jiyoon found herself nodding, he was right; she remembered watching the play with a strange sense of nervousness from back then .
“There’s also the matter of focus . We watch movies from the perspective of the director . We aren’t watching what we want to watch, we’re watching what we’re shown . Plays are different . It’s up to the audience what they want to watch in the play . The light might be focused on the main character, but the audience may always choose to keep their attention focused on the villain in the shadows instead . ”
“Ah . ”
They all nodded in understanding .
“Plays are very fun . But fun things come at a cost, as you might all know . It costs someone else’s effort . I’ll say this again . We need people who can put in the effort . It doesn’t matter if the results are good or bad . All I hope is that we try hard getting there in the end . ”
The senior sounded as kind and gentle as ever, but his words had weight to them . The underclassmen all closed their mouths and looked at the senior . Looking at him now, he looked kind of strict . He was talking gently, but his face looked a little bit scary .
“If you’re thinking about joining the club, please understand this . The club will be difficult . It might not even be fun . So think about it carefully . It’d be very troublesome if you think about leaving midway . ”
The senior clapped his hands and relaxed his posture a bit, that alone was enough to make him look completely different . He already looked much kinder than before .
“Though I say this, I’m actually pretty worried . Hopefully at least a few of you get in . ”
Right then, the door of the club room opened and the other seniors walked in . The tall handsome one and the plump one .
“We’re a bit late . Hello, hello . ”
The tall senior spoke with a big grin, he seemed like a cold person to Jiyoon in the beginning . Judging by his smile, that didn’t seem to be the case . The plump senior was the same as ever though, he was smiling behind the tall senior quietly .
“Did you already hear about the club?”
“Yes . ”
“How was it?”
The students started speaking one by one after a moment of silence .
“Hm, I think it might be fun . ”
“It might be difficult . ”
“Does it really take that much time?”
“I want to know how you guys practice . ”
The tall senior nodded before sticking out his hand, he was holding a bag full of snacks . He was probably late from going to the convenience store .
“Why don’t we talk over some food?”
Everyone nodded at the sound of the plastic bag . Jiyoon was a bit excited, she might even be able to ask a few questions herself .
“Let’s go to the class next to this one, then . ”
They walked over to one of the third year classes near the club . Since school was over already, there was no one inside . The desks and the chairs were all moved to the back of the class . Probably done by the seniors here beforehand .
“You can ask whatever you want . Private, public, whatever . ”
The senior who had been talking all this time closed his mouth when the tall senior stepped in, the tall one must be the president of the club .
“Is becoming an actor difficult?”
The tall senior replied to the question .
“It’s different for everybody, but not really . You know what it’s like memorizing a textbook when you take a test, right? You just have to memorize a bit less than that . ”
“But the senior from before said it’d be difficult . . . ”
The tall senior clicked his tongue at the calm-looking senior lightly . Jiyoon only managed to hear it because she was near the two .
“It must’ve been too difficult for him . Like I said, it differs per person . ”
“Is that so?”
“Of course . ”
“Um, senior . I heard the club meets pretty often . How many times per week?”
The tall senior answered the question again .
“Almost every day last year . But think about it . How efficient would that be in reality? I think it’s obvious that the talented practice less, and the talentless practice a lot . Don’t worry about the time . I’m thinking of lessening practice time greatly . ”
Completely different from what the other senior just said, Jiyoon was a bit confused . As a matter of fact, she could see the plump senior make a troubled expression . He seemed to want to say something, but the calm looking senior was stopping him .
“Plays are led by talented actors . The others just need to pay attention to the set . We’ll be able to put on the play after just a few practice sessions . Don’t worry too much about it . ”
“Could I be a main character too?”
One of the clown-like kids raised his hand with a grin . The tall senior just responded with a ‘if you have talent’ . Jiyoon could feel a ton of pride from him . Was he the leader of the club?
“Which one of you is the best at acting?”
Jiyoon could feel her cheeks get red, she couldn’t believe someone could ask such a question .
“Mm, I don’t know if I want to answer the question myself . ”
The tall senior looked back, prompting the calm looking one to talk .
“Geunseok . That is, this tall guy over here’s the best at acting out of all of us . There’s a lot to be learned from him . ”
“Wow . ”
Everyone turned to look at the tall senior, no, Geunseok . Jiyoon thought back at the play she saw in December . The person who took center stage back then… That must be him, then?
‘So this one . . . ’
Jiyoon looked at Geunseok curiously, their eyes ended up meeting as a result .
“You have a question?”
Jiyoon was surprised at the sudden attention, everyone was looking at her suddenly . She could even feel her heart start to beat faster, it felt like she couldn’t say no .
“U-um . ”
“Go on . ”
“C-can I act, e-even though I’m introverted?”
She immediately looked down nervously, her face was super hot .
“Mm, it’ll probably be difficult to make it as an actor, logically speaking . ”
Geunseok replied without holding back . Jiyoon let out an ‘ah’ of understanding . She asked a stupid question .
They all looked away from her . She was still nervous, she shouldn’t even have thought about acting . She got up first to leave, it felt like she could change something with a bit more bravery, but she couldn’t do anything . She stepped outside to take a breather . Just before she could step back inside, the calm-looking senior stepped outside .
“Being introverted means that you’re more sensitive . That you have more tender emotions than most people . ”
“ . . . . . . ”
“That might work to your advantage . Personality isn’t what’s important when it comes to acting . It’s greed . It’s fine if you’re an introvert . That doesn’t matter in the end . ”
The senior turned around with that . She only realized after a moment that he was trying to console her, his words did calm her down a bit .
“T-then, can I do it?”
“As long as you’re greedy for acting, then yes . Life is all about patience . Ah, I’ll have to admit though, talent does matter . ”
He wasn’t just being nice to her .
“Do you think I have talent?”
“Only one way to find out, right?”
“C-can I try?”
The senior turned back around, he looked a little bit cold .
“That’s not my decision to make, but yours . Ask yourself that question, not others . The answer’s surprisingly easy . Keeping through with it is what really matters . ”