Life, Once Again! - Chapter 219
“So there’s a week left now?”
“To think that they’ll only hold one round of auditions… they’re quite evil. Even though they know how many people will flock to it.”
“What can they do about it? They’re the ones making the decisions. Rather than that, have you heard? I heard that one person from every nearby acting school is taking a jab at it.”
“It’s not just one. There are many places who have sent profiles of two to three people. Sheesh, how many people are flocking to just a side character role?”
“Since there’s delinquents 1, 2 and 3, they’re picking three right?”
“It’s not for sure. They can adjust the number to their liking after all. Also, there’s no mention of that in the notice. It’s pretty much decided that they’re looking for people for the thug roles, but it’s not like that’s the only side character role available. I can kinda get a grasp on the number from the novel, but it’s hard to get a concrete number since scenes may be taken out or added.”
“Who are you going to send, mister Choi?”
“Me? I told everyone to send their profiles if they want to do it. It’s quantity over quality. The net must be fine, but a fish should get through if I stuff enough of them inside the net.”
“I heard they’re holding the interviews first this time.”
“Jeez, they’re taking unnecessary steps. They might as well be Broadway.”
“You’re going to tell your students to participate anyway, aren’t you?”
“I can’t help it. Rather than that, who did you decide to send, mister Lee? You sent some of your students to create promotion materials, so you don’t have anyone, do you?”
“I had everyone else go.”
“What the heck? You’re not that different from me.”
“Well, isn’t this audition mostly related to luck? Though, the free acting does nag me a little.”
Mister Choi drank some coffee. The acting schools in Gangnam became active after quite a while. This movie was fully created by JA productions, from investment to production. JA company mostly dealt with the production of dramas until now, but this time, they were trying their hand at the movie industry. Rumors about that spread around wide amongst the acting schools, and not long later, visible results started coming out.
“It seems like Lee Junmin, that guy is trying to do something big.”
“I heard that Yoon Moonjoong and An Joohyun were confirmed to be main characters. That’s half a big issue in itself.”
“That’s why everyone is trying to dip their hands in it. A close film director friend of mine was making plans to produce a movie along with a smart producer, and that producer happened to have a close relationship with a talented film director. He’s quite famous for getting good camera angles in this area. He just happened to be free at that time as well. So the two of them quickly put together a team, but when they met him, it turned out that that fella’s team wasn’t doing business at all. The two of them tried to convince him saying that he needed money to live, right? But he said that he is getting paid. The producer was smart and immediately knew what was happening. So he asked who was paying him. It turned out that….”
“JA was holding on to them since last year?”
“Yeah! That’s when the rumors started spreading. Moreover, with the addition of rumors that Yoo Chulmin fella was talking to JA, everyone knew that something was going to happen.”
“Yoo Chulmin? You mean the president of the Acting Association? Didn’t he take his hands off work altogether? As far as I know, his only job nowadays is to mediate between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the theater troupes.”
“Who else do you think called the retired Yoon Moonjoong back to the scene? Everyone knows that the two are on close terms.”
“Then Yoo Chulmin, Lee Junmin and Yoon Moonjoong – these three formed a team? I didn’t know that much.”
Mister Choi took a bite off his donut. Mister Lee also leaned back on his chair and took a deep breath.
“Getting a role in that movie will be harder than a camel going through the eye of a needle. The ones backed by Lee Junmin and the ones backed by Yoo Chulmin will get all the major roles.”
“Then this audition might be just to tell everyone that they aren’t keeping everything to themselves?”
“You figured out just now? Most commercials movie auditions are split into several stages, aren’t they? Because that many people audition for it. On top of that, they will at least have to give a chance to the ones backed by popular schools. They don’t have much time. But the fact that they’re only having one stage audition this time means that they pretty much have all the roles sorted out already and the ones remaining are merely dregs.”
“Does anyone you know get a script, mister Choi?”
“There are some who got the script. They even did an unofficial audition. But they all failed to make it. It seems like they’re respecting the original author’s opinion a lot.”
“What does a writer know about movies?”
“Well, that was supposed to be the condition or something. Anyway, I need to get someone in there, even if it’s just a minor character. It will help promote our school.”
“I heard the principal of Star Academy is going to send food trucks using his own money.”
“That dude is quick when it comes to things like that. He’s trying to make a good image of himself.”
“We should send blankets or something.”
Mister Choi nodded. Although the scenario made him feel that not a lot of money was needed to make the movie, the confirmed actors alone were super expensive to cast. Moreover, the ones participating in the production of the movie were all people that were well-known in the movie industry. It would definitely help if his name was known to them.
“But I heard that the actors for the minor roles will have to completely empty their schedule for three months.”
“For three whole months?”
“They can’t take other roles elsewhere?”
“Wow, that’s just crazy. Just how many times are they planning to reshoot each scene? But the fact that people chose to remain means that the pay is good?”
“Now I want to have a look at that contract. Just how much are they paying?”
“More than enough, probably.”
“More than enough, huh.”
“If I can contact them in the future, I should ask them if they need any staff. It would be profitable if I can get a connection with them.”
“I should do that too.”
These days, many movies stopped in the pre-production phase, but now a movie with super popular actors was about to kick off. The acting schools were all on their edge, and the theater troupes should also be busy as well. Once the concrete details about the audition comes out, it would be a war. Mister Choi thought back to a few of his students with potential as he looked outside the window. At that time, mister Lee brought out an interesting topic.
“Oh yes, I heard that an interesting kid entered Film.”
The acting school, “Film”, was well known for its sturdy infrastructure even amongst the acting schools in Gangnam. It was to the point that their ‘special lectures’ were held by famous actors. They did not hold classes for students aiming for college, and only held classes for people who are aiming to be real actors. As such, it wasn’t easy to get into. Some even said that it was more helpful in an acting career to enter Film than to drama departments of famous universities.
“An interesting kid? What do you mean?” Mr Choi asked.
“It’s a kid Lee Junmin had his eyes on, but there’s a rumor that Film poached him. Apparently, he’s so good at acting that the principal there is willing to support him.”
“I heard he’s participating in the audition this time as well.”
“Dammit, the rich always try to take money from the poor. So they’re planning to bribe the production team to get the kid through?”
“Who knows? They might use skill instead.”
“Jeez, I really hate my job.”
Mister Choi took out a cigarette and put it in his mouth. Mister Lee quickly stopped him from smoking, saying that this was a no smoking area. Of course, Mister Choi didn’t plan to light it up. He just did so out of habit.
“Is there a way I can get a number of the original author? I really want a kid I’m supporting to get in.”
“The security around him is no joke. I already tried the publishers and the producers, but they will never tell me.”
“The security is tight, huh. Tsk, I guess I can only trust luck now.”
“You mean your student’s skills.”
“Yeah right, as if.”
Mister Choi snapped the cigarette in his mouth and put it in an empty glass bottle. He had a feeling that he wouldn’t be able to get anyone he knows into this movie.
* * * *
It was nearing the end of April. Maru was feeling better. The endless assault of sleepiness was disappearing as time neared May. He was very happy that he could keep a clear mind.
“I’m sleepy as heck,” Dojin spoke as he crushed the candy in his mouth. Dowook and Daemyung were already sleeping. It seems that Maru’s drowsiness was transferred over to them.
“Is acting club going well?” Dojin asked as he put his face against the desk.
“It is. Everyone’s smart, so they have no problems memorizing the script. Unlike a certain someone, that is.”
“Now that makes me feel unpleasant. Why do you say that while looking at me? I wasn’t that bad, you know?”
“Sure you were.”
The acting club was going quite smoothly. Jiyoon, who was a source of his worries, seemed to have cleared up her troubles and stuttered less these days. He recently found out that her father, who was working overseas in Japan, had returned recently. She solved the misunderstanding she had with her mother, and her father was there to add to her stability so there shouldn’t be any further problems.
Oh, there was one new problem, though, this ‘problem’ was a rather peculiar one, since the person responsible for the problem was oblivious to it. It was rather fun to watch over him.
Maru smiled while looking at Daemyung, who was sleeping like a small, hibernating bear. A good man will always attract a good woman. It seemed that Jiyoon had taken a liking to Daemyung, who listened to her story even after the consultation, and her eyes when she looked at Daemyung was not like when she looked at anyone else. Unfortunately, Daemyung hadn’t noticed yet, and Jiyoon was also giving hinting glances at him without taking action as she didn’t have the courage. It was fun to watch over teen romance like this. Maru decided to wait for the romance between the two to ripen as he made a dad smile.
Dowook also seemed to have noticed Jiyoon’s feelings, but he wasn’t someone who would interfere with others’ matters, so he would probably stay quiet.
‘Today’s the day the first years get to put emotions into the recital.’
Suyeon seemed to have created a proper curriculum as she took things step by step. She should lead the others well until the national teenage acting competition in the summer.
“Oh yeah. Maru, didn’t you say you were going to an audition?”
“It’s tomorrow. Also, it’s an interview, not an audition.”
He applied for the audition a while ago, and he received a message asking him to attend an interview two days ago. He was worried that his profile might get dropped before the interview, but fortunately, he passed.
“Wow, you’re going to debut now then?”
“I didn’t even take the audition. I don’t know whether I’m going to pass or not either.”
“Why do you sound so unconfident?”
“Because I am not.”
“This isn’t something I’ve done before, so what makes you think I’m confident about it? I’m just going to do what I learned to do.”
He learned about auditions from Geunsoo starting a while ago. As Geunsoo had experience filming an independent movie, Maru thought that he would be able to get a lot of information from him, and as he had expected, he helped out a lot. He also received some tips from Suyeon as well.
“You’ll do fine.”
“Why is endless confidence coming from you, not me?”
Maru smiled as he rested his head on his hand behind his head. JA building in Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam. It was pretty obvious who the building belonged to from the name. He made a visit when he made the application, but it was a super tall building. There were at least dozens of people making an application on that day alone. Moreover, this audition did not reveal how many people they were planning to cast. Since there was a lack of information, it gave rise to uneasiness. Just as he thought about the audition tomorrow, his phone started ringing.
[Are you free today?] It was her.
[Isn’t there a problem if a guy has free time when he’s about to do an interview?]
[Because it’s you.]
There was no reply for a while. Maru could imagine her face which should be a mix of being creeped out and a smile. He soon got a message. However, it wasn’t from her.
[I hope this is the first piece I get to do with you.]
The message was from Junmin. The rather abstract words made him nervous.
Not long after that, another message arrived.
[Don’t feel too much pressure.]
It was Moonjoong.
‘Elder, you’re giving me more pressure instead,’ Maru thought.
That was from Gwak Joon. It was as though they conspired together. Perhaps the three were in the same place. Though, Maru did feel thankful that someone was thinking about him. At the same time, he became a little greedy. He wanted to get the role of the delinquent, but even if it weren't for that, he wanted to participate in this movie in some form or the other.
[I’ll wait for you in front of your school after school ends.]
This time, the message came from her. Maru smiled faintly as he texted back.