Life, Once Again! - Chapter 364
“Many of our seniors and instructors say this: make it look natural. The reason they always say those words is because it’s the most important ability. You should already know how ugly acting can be. The moment it’s obvious that your acting is acting, people come to themselves. Oh, they’re just acting – like that. That’s why we need to keep thinking. Just what is ‘natural acting’?”
Miso watched the three people sitting in front of her before looking at the back of the classroom. Director Park Joongjin, he said he had something to talk about with her, but said that they should talk about it after class. Then, he asked if he could watch the class since it was boring to wait outside. Miso permitted him to. When she heard that his name was Park Joongjin, she became interested as well.
“Miss Gyunglim, can you do an act where you get angry?”
“An act where I get angry?”
“Yes. Should I give you some context then?”
“Yes, I think that will be easier for me.”
“Then let’s go with this. The two of you should think about it as well. I’m going to give you the same situation.”
Miso looked at Gyunglim and spoke.
“I’ll give you a situation. You were fired from work two days ago. Moreover, you just heard that you need to vacate your room this morning, while your parents are asking you for living expenses. You can’t be in a worse situation. Just then, a friend, no, just someone you know appears in front of you and picks a fight with you, asking why you live your life the way you do. Well then, how are you going to get angry?”
Miso pointed in front of her. Gyunglim, who was sitting down, stood up and walked there.
“How would you feel in that situation?”
“I would want to break everything around me.”
“Then express that emotion. Consider me that acquaintance.”
Miso waited for Gyunglim to bring out her emotions. Not long later, Gyunglim nodded her head. It seemed that she was ready. Miso just told her ‘why do you live your life like that’.
“Why I live like that? What the hell are you? Who the hell are you to just show up in front of me and say such things to me? What do you know about me? Why are you sticking your nose into my business? Huh? Why do YOU live your life like that? Huh?”
Gyunglim screamed her lungs out. Miso pointed towards Gyunglim’s side. Gyunglim looked at her before walking to the side.
“Next. Mr. Gwangseok.”
“You’re in the same situation. Begin when you’re ready.”
Gwangseok took some time to bring out his emotions as well before starting his act. Although the repertoire had changed, he also screamed his lungs out.
“Yes. I’ll begin right away.”
Sungjae expressed his anger in a different way. If the previous two burst out with their emotion, Sungjae suppressed his anger. He finished off with raising his voice for a short time at the very end.
“Well then, what did you think of each others’ acting?”
“I don’t know,” Sungjae replied.
Gwangseok replied ‘everyone did well’, while Gyunglim asked back instead, saying ‘you asked because it wasn’t good, right?’
Miso had everyone sit down.
“Everyone did their act according to the way you learned, right?”
The three nodded.
“Well, alright. There is no correct answer like mathematical formulas give when it comes to expressing emotions. However, just coating your skin with emotion is not enough when it comes to expressing emotions. You need the essence. An expression without essence is just superficial.”
Miso looked at the three people’s faces in detail. She could learn a lot from looking at their faces, that is, how much the three were listening to her. For Sungjae, he seemed to understand something from her words and was focusing on her more. People like him were enjoyable to teach.
Meanwhile, Gwangseok and Gyunglim looked like they understood, but they did not seem to be looking back at their own acts. From how they didn’t look back at their acts in retrospect, they seemed to have a long way to go as actors.
“All three of you got angry. But that’s it. If I wanted to see you shout, then I’d just tell you to shout, not get angry. Also, I gave you the contextual situation, right? Getting your emotions together is not getting ready to frown, but about thinking. Anger without reason is meaningless. Anger only has meaning if you give it meaning, that is, you give it essence. We are actors, not crazy people, right? Only crazy people get angry without a reason. Actors need to be able to show their reasons for getting angry through their expression of anger. Do you understand? A three-year-old can act angry if they were told to. Think about what this means and do it again.”
Miso pulled over a chair and sat down. Only the ones that think about what she just said will learn anything from the class.
“You’re fierce when it comes to teaching,” Joongjin, who was sitting at the back, approached her and spoke.
“Class is not over yet, are you okay with that?”
“It’s fine. I do not think of investing time into people that I think are necessary as a waste of time.”
“Since we have some time right now, let’s continue where we left off before. You said you needed me, correct?”
“Yes. I do.”
“Do you mean as an actress, or as an instructor?”
“I need an on-the-scene acting advisor. And, I came to a decision after I looked at your class. I really hope you can come to my set.”
Miso crossed her arms. Doing something with director Park Joongjin, huh. It sounded attractive to her. The movie ‘Spring Calendar’ was a movie she liked to the point that she watched it several times at the cinema ten years ago. The director stayed away from a soap opera and made the fullest out of actors that were practically new to the industry.
“Who’s the lead actor?”
“For now, Mr. Lee Hyuk is confirmed.”
“Lee Hyuk? Is he the same Lee Hyuk I know?”
“Yes, probably. Also, there’s an idol-turned-actor as well. Named Kwon Dayoon.”
That was not good news. Although the general level of idols has gone up recently, that was only when compared to the past. They ruined the overall picture when they were placed amidst veteran actors.
“You seem worried, but you need not be. I will be managing her. I do not plan to have her act as she wishes to.”
“She’s a lead and you’re not having her act?”
“Yes. She will move just as I instruct her to. She will not become a hindrance to the other actors.”
“Does that change anything?”
“It does. It did ten years ago after all. I only assign work to those that are capable. Those that aren’t, I instruct them personally. So, you don’t need to worry about the atmosphere at the set,” Joongjin spoke with a smile.
For some reason, the way he spoke reminded her of someone. She thought about it for a moment before arriving at an answer.
“The way you talk is really similar to the way senior Junmin, I mean, the president speaks.”
“Him and I?” Joongjin replied with a faint smile.
Miso just replied that they just felt similar. For a very brief moment, she saw Joongjin’s expression turn cold. It seemed that he was not on good terms with Junmin. No, that reaction probably indicated that he did not like him.
“For now, I should resume class.”
“Then I shall go back to watching then.”
“If you’re busy, you can just go. I will think about it and contact you.”
“No, no. I’m staying because this looks interesting. Oh, am I a nuisance?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“Then I’ll keep watching. Let’s have a talk after the class, over a meal or something.”
Miso gave glances at the three people that were looking their way.
“To think that you have the time to think about others, that’s amazing. Looks like you already realized the meaning behind what I said, right? Very well. Start acting again one by one in front of me. Just how good are you to be distracted when you don’t even have enough time to think about yourself? Let’s see, shall we? Ah, for your reference, you will be spending more time moving your body rather than sitting down. You can all do leg splits as the basics, right?”
Miso crossed her legs in front of the three.
“Go ahead, then. If I don’t see any changes in you from last time, I’ll have no choice but to give you an earful.”
* * *
“I’ll finish up things here for today.”
Sungjae fell backwards as soon as he heard those words. He felt like he was getting leg cramps. He turned his head to look at the other two who were leaning against the wall. They were looking at him as though he was some amazing person.
“Mr. Sungjae. You seem like you did some exercise.”
“Yes. I’m an idol after all. *pant, pant*.”
“I like your stamina. You’re quite flexible as well. You seem to know how to use your body, so I’ll decrease training that just focuses on stamina for you. However, the two of you should get ready to run just like today. Why are your bodies in horrible states even though you are actors? Bear this in mind. Unless you are an actor that can speak with just your eyes alone, you need to practice so that you can move every part of your body, from your fingertips to your toes, to your will. Anyway, thanks for today.”
Sungjae lied on the floor and watched as Miso left the class. He felt like he went back to his trainee days. It had been a really long time since he received training as intense as this.
“Wow, hyung. I can’t believe you managed to go through all that.”
“Are you okay?”
He said that he was okay to Gwangseok and Gyunglim who approached him and stood up. After resting for a while, his legs felt better. He remembered practicing like this when he went to acting schools when he was still a student. His heart was satisfied even though his body was tired since he felt like he was learning properly.
Just as he wiped his sweat off with his sleeves, the man that entered mid-way through class approached them.
“All three of you look passionate.”
Sungjae looked at the man. The man was wearing a casual-style suit and a fedora. Although he looked to be over forty years old, his prankful smile made him look younger.
“Are you all dreaming about becoming actors?”
“Of course. But who are you, sir?” Gwangseok asked.
“Ah, I haven’t introduced myself yet, I guess. My name is Park Joongjin, and I’m just a nameless movie director.”
Park Joongjin? Sungjae had never heard of that name. He calmed down his breathing and asked.
“Do you have any business with us?”
“That I do. I am trying to shoot a movie right now, so if it’s okay with you, would you like to participate?”
“In a movie?”
It was a rather sudden proposal. The first feeling Sungjae had was rejection. He thought about stories where scammers approached people and ripped money off them by coaxing them that they will make them idols. Scams like that were everywhere in the entertainment industry. When he looked back at the man warily, Joongjin laughed.
“I’m just giving you an offer right now. Actually, my main business here was with instructor Yang Miso. Let’s talk about the details later, and so? What do you think about appearing in my movie? Of course, I don’t mean that you will be the main characters.”
Just as Joongjin was about to continue, Miso came back in.
“Director, let’s go.”
“Ah, alright. Anyway, the three of you, please think about it. Well, then.”
Joongjin left the lecture room with a smile on his face. Miso watched him leave before approaching the three of them slowly.
“What did he tell you?”
“He asked us whether we wanted to appear in his movie or not.”
Sungjae nodded and affirmed her.
“But is he really a movie director?”
“Yes, he is a director. He’s quite famous too.”
“He’s a very peculiar person, so I don’t know what intentions he had when he said that. Don’t mind him too much for now.”
“Then see you tomorrow. Don’t forget to relax your muscles.”
Sungjae said goodbyes to Miso who left.
“Hyung, he probably said that as a joke, right?”
“I don’t know.”
Gyunglim, who was listening as she packed her bag, spoke.
“He must be joking. Where do you see a director that asks a person to feature in the movie on their first meeting?”
Sungjae packed his bag as well.
“Hyung, why don’t we eat dinner together?”
“Dinner? Shall we?”
“Yes. Also, you should tell me about the entertainment industry. There’s a pork BBQ restaurant nearby so let’s go there. Oh, wait. People might flock if they recognize you.”
“If I wear a cap, not many people recognize me.”
“Really? That’s good then. Let’s go!”
“Just the two of us?”
“Yes. Oh, there’s Gyunglim as well.”
Gwangseok shrugged before calling Gyunglim. In the end, they decided to eat with the three of them. He walked along the corridor while stretching his sore neck when Gwangseok went ahead saying that he had to go to the bathroom.
“Can you eat dinner with just two?”
“Why? You have an appointment?”
Sungjae wondered if she was busy or something.
“N-no. I meant the two of us.”
Gyunglim looked fl.u.s.tered after saying those words. It seemed that she was indeed not on good terms with Gwangseok. First, it was Gwangseok who tried to leave her out, and now Gyunglim was saying this.
Just then, Gwangseok came back. Gyunglim stayed quiet and started walking again. Sungjae smiled bitterly between the two who only talked to him and not to each other.
* * *
He just got a message from Miso. She said that she accepted the offer since the time looked right. Instead of saying well done, Junmin told her to rip a lot of money off him. Miso also replied that she intended to.
“Refusal and yielding is a foolish thing, huh.”
He didn’t know whether Joongjin did it intentionally or it was just a coincidence, but he was somehow acquainting himself with the people around him. If he was someone that was obsessed with the past, he might be planning a petty revenge.
“Perhaps his intention is to steal things away from me since I stole from him.”
Junmin drank the red tea that was steaming as he looked at his monitor. Park Joongjin. After all that’s said, he was a genius. They should be able to learn a lot from him. Since they found the opportunity to grow, he decided to leave them alone. If he stole them, then he had to think about it at that time. He had confidence though since the man named Lee Junmin reached all the way where he was purely through managing other people.
Junmin clicked away on his keyboard. He had a mountain of work to do. The market was changing rapidly, and the ones that could not adapt would be swept away by the waves.
“A true actor.”
He said those words out of habit before pressing enter.