Life, Once Again! - Chapter 451
“Now, the crudeness is what makes it look good.”
Hanna cut the A4 paper with scissors. Little pieces of paper with the line that Daemyung texted as well as the location and starting time of the performance started piling up.
“I brought back the canned coffee. They’re quite hot.”
Sooil came back from the convenience store.
The first thing they did after eating lunch was to go to a nearby convenience store and buy the coffee in the drink warmers. They stored sixty cans of coffee for later across a total of four convenience stores, each with 15.
“Bring them here. We have to stick these on.”
Sooil took out the cans of coffee from the plastic basket.
Maru covered the pieces of paper that Hanna had cut with tape and plastered them on the cans. He firmly pressed the cans with both of his hands so that the tape didn’t look out of place. He stuck them well enough that it wouldn’t come off in the rain.
Since this was a trial run, they originally thought about doing twenty, but Ganghwan said that they should do a hundred since they were doing it anyway. However, Hanna said that that was absolutely nonsensical and said that they should go with fifty, but in the end, it became sixty. Right now, Ganghwan had left to get a heater after negotiating for ten more cans.
“Once you’re done, you just need to lock the door and leave. I’ll appreciate it if you do some cleaning as well,” a rather elderly man opened the door and spoke.
That man had lent them this practice space. Hanna told him not to worry and the man nodded before closing the door.
“It looks like there are a lot of practice sessions going on in Daehak-ro, huh?” Sooil asked.
“There are places run by companies, and there are places like this which are lent to small-scale teams and theater troupes,” Hanna replied.
After they stuck the small pieces of promotion paper on the sixty cans, they started preparing the gifts for the members of the audience that participated in the play. They put some discount tickets for plays in envelopes.
“Now that I look at it, senior Ganghwan must have used quite a lot of money for all this.”
Blankets, coffee, discount tickets, and even food expenses. Everything was paid by Ganghwan. At the restaurant counter, he said that it was fine since it was on company expenses, but there was no way that was true.
“It’s your company’s money though.”
“He said company expenses, didn’t he?”
“He meant that company?”
“That oppa uses that card literally everywhere. While the acting association doesn’t give us a lot of expenses, the money given to him by your president should be quite a lot, you know? Though, he’ll have to pay for them through work later. I heard that president Lee Junmin is a scary man, isn’t he?”
“Yes, he is scary. He’s not someone who would make losses on anything he does, so he might be writing down what senior Ganghwan spent the money on even now.”
“Well, that’s up to him to deal with. Maru, do you have good handwriting? I want to write a word of appreciation on the envelopes.”
“I have horrible handwriting,” Maru said.
He then looked at Sooil but Sooil also shook his head.
“Senior Ganghwan has neat handwriting from what I saw at the restaurant. We should let him do it.”
“Alright then. Blankets, check; coffee, check; gifts, check. I guess we’re done for now.”
Just then, Hanna’s phone started ringing. Hanna, who received the call, gestured at the other two to stand up. When they left the practice room, they saw Ganghwan in a truck parked by the roadside, waving his hand. Apparently, he managed to get a truck from god knows where.
“That should suffice, right?”
On the truck were eight oil heaters and a large barrel.
“Let’s hand out the coffee for now. The play begins at 8 anyway.”
Maru looked at his watch as he spoke. It was just past six. After returning to the practice room, the four of them split up jobs between them. Hanna and Sooil were going to be handing out the cans of coffee, while Ganghwan and Maru were going to carry the heaters.
“Hyung-nim, we have to do this first.”
Maru handed Ganghwan the envelopes. Ganghwan started writing ‘thank you’ on the envelopes on the spot.
“Nothing. We just need to carry the heaters and then the blankets.”
Maru returned to the truck with Ganghwan. Ganghwan passed down the heaters from the truck while Maru received them from the bottom. He carried the rather heavy heaters and went to the public performing grounds. Due to the cold weather though, there were significantly fewer people in the park.
“There aren’t any people since it’s Sunday night,” Ganghwan put down the heater as he spoke.
The photo exhibit had been put away as well. Maru turned around while looking at the rather empty pathways. There were still six heaters to move.
After putting down the last heater, Maru rotated his wrists round and round. His fingers were aching quite considerably. He definitely had to have some work gloves.
“What time is it?”
Sooil and Hanna returned. They had finished handing out the cans of coffee.
“Looks like our advertis.e.m.e.nt was quite effective.”
“Let’s get prepared as well. Hanna put this on, and you two put this around your neck.”
Maru put the name tag that Ganghwan gave him around his neck. On it was written ‘Serious Sighing Patient’. For reference, the one around Sooil’s neck said ‘Terminal Stage Narcissism’.
When Ganghwan and Hanna put their doctor gowns on, people started gathering. Some of them had cans of coffee in their hands.
“It’s cold, isn’t it, everyone?” Hanna spoke to everyone here.
The audience replied ‘yes’. As they were here to enjoy the play, their reactions were quite good.
“Please wait a moment. You see these heaters right? We’ll turn them on at full power so that you won’t feel cold while watching. Also, tell us if any one of you feels cold. We have some blankets.”
As soon as she said those words, some women wearing skirts raised their hands and asked for blankets. The people that received blankets found some seats nearby to sit and waited for the play to start.
“Looking at the number of people here, I think we should prepare at least two of those twenty-liter hot water dispensers. I don’t think we’ll have enough tea to go around with just one.”
Maybe it was because of all the advertising they did, but the heaters definitely had some effect. Many people came to get some warmth and ended up staying.
“I think we should start now.”
It was 7:52. Ganghwan nodded once before walking in front of the audience.
The audience reacted to his greeting. Ganghwan shortly explained what the play they were going to do now was about. Unlike usual, where the audience came to the play while knowing what it was about, street performances like this required some explanation as the audience didn’t have any prior information. Moreover, since this play required participation from the audience, they had to be briefed on how the play was going to unfold.
Ganghwan induced the audience to reply using some humor. Meanwhile, Maru went around carrying blankets and handing them out to people who came with children.
“Well, then. Since I explained to you that your participation is very important, I think I should start the play now. Those of you that participate will be given a small gift as well, so if you have anything to talk about, you should come up and speak your heart out. We are just here to play along with you.”
After seeing Hanna’s gesture, Maru patted the head of the child that thanked him for the blanket before walking to the stage. The audience members, who were either sitting or standing in a semicircle, seemed to number around 90 people. Since the passersby were also giving them a glance because of all the people that were watching, they should probably reach 100 quite soon.
He heard a guitar sound from afar. The street of youth, the land of artists. The night that descended upon such a place contained a mood that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
Maru took a deep breath in before breathing out slowly. This was a very liberal stage. There was no distinction of acts nor lines that he had to say. What was important was to listen to the member of the audience that came up and to react.
Ganghwan started acting and sat down on the chair as he spoke. Maru sighed in front of the little child in the front row and sighed once again as he walked in front of the lady that sat next to the child before sitting in front of Ganghwan.
“I wonder what worries our patient has this time to be sighing again.”
“The thing is, doctor. I’m so lonely that I keep sighing.”
“Yes. I feel like I’m all alone in this world. *sighs*.”
“Mr. Patient. It’s not like that at all. There are so many of us here in front of you.”
Ganghwan stood up and opened his arms wide in glee. In that state, he spun around elegantly like he was doing ballet as he walked amidst the audience.
“Are you crazy?” Maru said with a sour expression.
The people in the audience giggled. Ganghwan confusedly walked back to the stage.
“Don’t you see all these people in front of you?”
Maru stood up and walked to a man in the front row. He stopped around 30cm away and spoke.
“Is anyone here?”
“Yes. There’s a person right in front of you.”
“It’s a wall though.”
Maru reached out and felt around the man’s shoulders. The man moved around to dodge his hand.
“Why is the wall moving?”
Maru moved a little sideways this time and slowly touched the cheek of a girl that seemed to be around his age. The girl screeched in a small voice before pulling back.
“Tsk! Walls aren’t supposed to move,” Maru said to the girl.
“Mr. Patient. I thought you didn’t see any people?”
“Ah, right. It was like that, wasn’t it?”
“Then what was that just now?”
“What do you mean?”
“I think you reached out to the lady in front of you with indecent eyes.”
“Me? I don’t see anyone here though.”
Maru feigned ignorance.
“Over there, lady. Did you hear what this guy just said?”
Ganghwan approached the girl and asked. The girl replied ‘yes’ with a smile. She seemed to be here with some of her friends as three girls around her started laughing at the same time.
“Who are you calling a pervert!”
Maru snapped and grabbed the hand of a man he had seen beforehand. Then, he saw the man’s face before screaming out and letting go. The man, who gave him a good impression, smiled deeply at him and winked instead.
Ganghwan didn’t miss that moment.
“This fella looks rather dangerous. Why don’t you come up for a moment?”
Ganghwan quickly called that man up to the stage. The man waved his hand saying that he was okay, but when his girlfriend, who sat next to him, pushed him slightly, he made an awkward smile and walked out.
While Ganghwan had a talk with that man, Maru approached the girl he was talking to just now and asked if she didn’t feel displeased or anything.
“It was fun. I think you can be a little bolder.”
“Is that so? Thank you for your opinion.”
He bowed in appreciation before walking towards Sooil. Meanwhile, Ganghwan had that man spit out his romantic history.
“The reactions are quite good,” Sooil said.
People kept gathering around. Ganghwan’s glib tongue shone more and more as the audience increased in number.
“I think we should do it like this for the official performance too.”
The results were pretty good considering that this was just a trial run.
As they started off with comedy, it was hard to get anyone to talk about something serious, but today’s performance could be considered a success just by finding out how much participation they could get from the audience.
“It’s your turn now.”
Maru tapped Sooil’s back. When Sooil walked out with a refreshing smile on his face, people in the audience who recognized who he was cheered out loud. Maru watched the stage for a moment before walking around the audience, checking the heaters. Since they wouldn’t be able to perform anymore if an accident occurred, safety was of utmost concern.
Maru walked amidst the audience while listening to the laughs that came from the stage.