Life, Once Again! - Chapter 206
“Alright, let’s go.” 5:32pm. The school was empty, save for a few students. Maru crossed the hallway to make his way to the fifth floor, the auditorium had long since turned to the baseball club’s training room. Their new practice room was an empty classroom next to the student kitchen. The classroom was a space for students to study after school, but it was hardly ever used. Mostly because the baseball club on the other side of the hallway was far too loud. Maru and Daemyung opened the door to enter, Dowook put the chairs and desks aside. The classroom was small, but they’d have to get used to it. “Running is practically impossible,” Daemyung commented. Physical training here would be practically impossible. “There’s no guarantee that she’ll train us like instructor Miso, so let’s not worry about that. If we really need to, we can just go outside.” “True.” Dowook looked up with a surprised expression. “Physical training.” “Sorry, were the words too complicated?” Maru asked with a confused look. He was joking, of course. Dowook was surprisingly fun to tease. “Don’t joke. The acting club, physical training? Why would we even need exercise?” “Acting isn’t all about speaking, so it’s essential. The instructor would explain it properly when she gets here, but you start to lose the sense of your body when you get on stage. It’s practice for natural movement on stage,” Daemyung explained. Dowook didn’t pry further, since the explanation made sense. Daemyung didn’t explain a lot of things though since Miso didn’t use physical training for just training. She tortured their unused muscles in order to increase their ability to express themselves, Maru still remembered the hellish stretches they had to go through back then. ‘We don’t need to be exact.’ At least they weren’t lying, Maru smiled thinking of the justification. Well, even if they told Dowook the truth, Maru was sure that the boy would stay out of sheer spite. “Sorry, I’m late!” “I’m here!” “Sorry.” The first years entered one by one. Before they knew it, Bangjoo and Aram became very good friends; they must’ve formed a connection from their similar personalities and their love of exercising. Jiyoon entered nervously as always, that attitude of hers would probably continue for a while. Maru had no intentions of telling her to fix it, doing that might do more damage than help. He knew better than anyone that problems like that required either themselves or their friends to fix. “Alright, let’s organize a bit before we do anything else.” Maru pointed at the chairs and desks that haven’t been moved yet, the three first years frantically got to work. “This should be good enough for moving around.” They cleared some space after moving all of the desks, Not bad for practice. Maru checked the phone. It was almost 5:40pm. “Hello.” “Right on time.” Maru spoke quietly before turning to look at Suyeon, the woman came here in jeans and a white shirt. Honestly? Looking at her made him think that she wasn’t an actress for nothing. “Hey, hey, you know those gazes are only feeding my ego, right?” Suyeon stepped up to the front of the classroom with a smile, she was holding a paper bag in her hand. “Alright, take one.” She took out a few small water bottles from the bag, the bottles were filled with a reddish liquid. They tasted a little sweet and a little sour. “They are plums and goji berries. If you’re going to be an actor, your body always needs to be at peak condition, especially your throat. From now on, you’ll have to keep drinking water as you practice. This is my first assignment for you.” The club members all tried a little sip, some clearly seemed to like it and those that didn’t. “Alright everyone, go grab a chair.” Maru got Suyeon a chair before grabbing his own, Suyeon grabbed a broken piece of chalk from the board. “The only thing I’m going to teach you guys is technique. I’ll have to work with you guys about everything else, from choosing the play to figuring out the blocking in the play. Why? Because this is my first time. I’m only an amateur in this field as well.” Daemyung widened his eyes at Maru upon hearing that, not like he had an answer though. Maru didn’t know why Junmin sent this woman here either. For now, he gave the boy a nod. Daemyung nodded in response before looking away. “We can start together from theory first, then physically get into it at the end. It has been a while since I’ve done this, so I’m excited. Alright! The second years probably know what’s up, so I’m going to ask you freshmen a question. What’s the main difference between a play and a TV drama?” Jiyoon slowly raised her hand. “Lee Jiyoon, correct?” “Yes.” “Alright, give me an answer.” “I think it’s that one is filmed while the other is live.” “Correct.” Suyeon wrote the word “live” on the chalkboard. “Plays are always done live. No recordings. Unlike movies or dramas, plays don’t stop until it ends.” Suyeon coughed lightly before lowering her voice, her voice that reverberated all over the classroom quickly crawled into a whisper. “How’s my voice? Can you hear it?” “Yes, somewhat.” Jiyoon was the one who answered. “Oftentimes in dramas, actors speak at this volume. Why? Because they have a microphone. It amplifies their voice, so they can act quietly. But what about on stage?” “I don’t think you can.” “Don’t think? No, you just can’t. Jiyoon, you’re going to have to fix that way of speaking a little. I hate it when people say they ‘think’ something is possible. Why do you think that’s the case?” “B-because you probably look unconfident…” Jiyoon looked down nervously. “Worse. Using words like ‘probably’ lowers others’ opinions of you. It won’t be obvious, but talking that way affirms to the other side that you’re never serious with your opinions. If that happens, you’ll never be able to change no matter how much you want to. Why?” Jiyoon shook her head with a frown. “It’s because the ones that make you aren't yourself, but rather your peers. Your peers are the ones that shape you. Though of course, some people are free from that. Like me.” Suyeon was throwing a joke in the middle, but she looked more serious than ever. “I’ll give you some homework, Jiyoon. Be confident from now on. Don’t sound so wishy-washy. Always be curt and confident. Got it?” Jiyoon nodded as she bit her lips. “You want to be an actress, correct?” “Yes.” “Then the first thing you need to do is to change how people view you. Once that happens, you can change yourself. This comes from experience, so you know it’s true.” Maru rubbed his chin as he looked at Suyeon, that was surprisingly good advice. It would’ve been good if the advice came from a private setting, but perhaps it was too much for him to expect that much kindness from her. He appreciated that Suyeon made the effort to explain things in a way that made sense to Jiyoon. If she just told Jiyoon to ‘not be wishy-washy’, then Maru would’ve cut the woman off right there. “Every actor is, in the end, just a human. I’d like to teach all of you how to become a confident person, someone that can actually love themselves. Life is hard enough as is, so you might as well love yourself while you’re at it.” Suyeon looked over the students before gripping her chalk again. “Speaking! It’s the end-all, be-all for all actors! Singers aren’t the only ones to make use of their diaphragm. Some actors in big theaters use microphones as well, but most still rely on their voice alone. Machines can’t carry raw emotion, orchestras are a good example. No matter how perfectly the machine plays back the sound, it can never be as good as the real thing.” Suyeon motioned at them to stand up. “Alright, starting with the breathing!”
* * * They stepped out of the noisy classroom for a second, Suyeon was standing in the hallway with him. “You’re surprisingly good.” “There are limits to trying to half-ass everything. Do you think that’d work in this industry? There are tons of women as beautiful as me there. Politics and sex aren’t enough to earn living.” “It was still a surprise, I really did learn a lot. You explained some things better than even instructor Miso.” “Is that a compliment? Oh my.” The two of them walked to a window on the hallway. The classroom was probably going wild inside with the students talking to each other. “So, what’s your plan on teaching from now on?” “I’ll teach what I can and we can work on the rest together. I’ll have to think about why Mr. Junmin put me here as well, maybe you guys are my homework.” “Homework. Makes sense. Mr. Junmin never does things without good reason, after all.” “Exactly. He never tells me what’s going on either. I’m 90% certain that there’s something wrong with his genitals.” “Did you actually try to seduce him?” “Wouldn’t you have, if you were in my shoes? He’s such a big figure in the industry!” “Mm, I would’ve, honestly.” “Right?” Maru took out his phone. “So I can contact you with this number from now?” “No, that’s for work. Here’s my personal phone number.” Suyeon quickly typed in her contacts after taking Maru’s phone from his hands. “Consider this an honor. Not many men have my number.” “Yes yes, thank you very much.” “You’re really bad at flattery, you know that?” “Life would probably be much easier if I was better at it, honestly.” “Hah, you’re just a high schooler, you know? Anyway, I think you and Daemyung can go straight into practice, but the others are going to need some work.” “They’ll catch up quickly, I’m sure. They’re all smart. We can just take care of a few things and the rest they’ll pick up on the way.” “Alright, I’ll let you two take care of that, then. The competition begins in August?” “The prelims would begin even before that, though.” “Man, the nationals, huh? It’s really been a while. Oh, right, I saw you act before.” “Me?” “Yeah, that was the reason why I started going after you. Ah, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. I gave up after realizing how boring you were.” “Thank goodness.” Maru calculated the days in his head before asking his next question. “When do we choose the play?” “Tomorrow. I’ll find a few options and we can pick one from it.” “Please choose something with fewer roles if possible.” “Gotcha. But I’m sure the second years can double up on some of the smaller roles, right?” “We can try.” Suyeon smiled. “Geunseok was no fun, but you guys might be. Don’t disappoint me.” Suyeon walked by after patting his shoulder, right before entering the classroom, Suyeon turned around. “Ah, the auditioning schedule’s out, by the way. It’ll start after the production crew hands over the script to all the big names, so check it out. There might be some tweaks in the middle though.” “Gotcha.” Maru started thinking as he looked at the classroom. Acting was important, but he needed to pay attention to the auditions as well for his personal resume. ‘Movies, huh.’ One thing was sure. It was going to be a lot different compared to plays.
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