Life, Once Again! - Chapter 645
“Yes, writer. Then see you this evening. Yes, yes. That place sounds good.”
Park Hoon threw his phone and shouted hooray. His work was now finally on track. Once things went according to plan, it wouldn’t be a dream to start airing by the end of the year. Although the drama times were full for this winter, there were times where things didn’t go well for some of them, so he could use that opportunity. He grabbed his mouse and double clicked on the plan document icon on his desktop. The scripting was going well. To a producer, their work was like their child, and as the creator, he would think that it was very pretty, but the thing he was working on this time was actually pretty enough to participate in the Miss Korea contest. Since the writer gave birth to a pretty piece, the producer had the responsibility to put that child on the stage. If the script symbolized the skill of the writer, the plan was the barometer that measured the producer’s skill. No matter how good the script was, if the plan was like an elementary schooler’s diary, it would never see the light of day. As he was staring at the black text on a white background looking for things to fix, he saw Lee Kangho, who had gone out to smoke, return to his seat while ripping out his hair.
“Did you swallow your cig or something? That was quick.”
“I didn’t get to smoke at all because of a phone call I got.”
“A phone call?”
“This is gonna be an unlucky day today.”
“Didn’t I tell you? I told you not to do bad things. Which police branch is it? Do they want you to come right now? Or is it the bank asking you to pay back your interest?”
“I’d be happy if it was one of those right now.”
“Then who was the phone call from? Your wife?”
The moment he heard that name, Park Hoon could sympathize with Kangho’s pain. Some of the producers belonging to the drama department at YBS would shiver in fear when they heard the name ‘Yoo Jayeon’ and Kangho was one of them. Even chief producer Cha and president Jung would helplessly tell her to put down her teacup before calming her down. The members of the drama department knew that an angry rhino was supposed to be avoided, not blocked.
“What did she say?”
“You know she’s doing the one-act play, right?”
“Right, it’s her first work, isn’t it? She gets to do her own work just 3 years after entering the company huh. I gotta say, she has some skill.”
“I sometimes forget because of her personality, but her skills are really goddamn good.”
“So what does her debut piece got to do with her shitting on you?”
“I thought I’d try to help her out as a senior, but I ended up getting a scolding instead.”
“Hey, do you like Jayeon? Otherwise, why would you try to help out that crazy girl?”
“Hey, I’m married, don’t go saying weird stuff. Also, I admit that Jayeon has the looks and the body figure, but what good is all that? She’s a different species. Humans and aliens can’t fall in love with each other.”
“Calling her an alien is putting her in a good way. At least aliens are classified as humanoids. In my opinion, she’s closer to a reptile. You know, maybe a tyrannosaurus rex or a triceratops.”
“Can I tell her what you said?”
“Sure, if you want me to barge into your house at night with a knife in hand.”
Kangho rubbed his face.
“I had my plans. I was planning to help her out this one time and was going to take her next bitching off, but looks like I was too complacent. I forgot about that woman’s eyes.”
“What did you do?”
“I sent in an actor I know of. He’s pretty decent, but it looks like he said a word to Jayeon.”
“What did he say?”
“Even though you’re a woman – that.”
“Hey, is the guy that said those words still alive? Are you sure he’s not encased in concrete and thrown into the sea?”
“For now, she just sent him back. Though, I can’t be sure of that ‘just sent’ part.”
Kangho sighed. He collapsed on his desk without saying anything else. Kangho was the grim reaper to the new producers and was a strict senior to the juniors, but in front of Jayeon, he was just a feeble senior.
“You should’ve thought things through. You know how much she screens the people she works with. I got to know the term ‘human allergy’ thanks to her.’”
Jayeon was someone who refused to even eat together with the people she didn’t like. She wouldn’t even talk to someone if that person got on her nerves. She never made compromises. Her likes and dislikes were too distinct. Above all, she was a ‘crazy bitch’. The ‘crazy’ of ‘crazy bitch’ included many concepts that only the people of the drama department would understand. It even included the meaning of respect.
“Is Jayeon coming back to the company today?”
“She said she’s doing the audition herself, so she’ll probably come back once that’s done.”
“Lee Kangho, don’t talk to me today. I’m not going down with you.”
Park Hoon stood up and clapped. The members of the drama department, who were working, all looked at him.
“Today, our beloved Kangho has gotten on Yoo Jayeon’s nerves. Keep that in mind and avoid him at all costs. I won’t take responsibility if you get caught up in the storm just because you talked to him. Oh, chief producer Cha, you just came. Don’t get involved with Kangho today, hyung-nim. Jayeon is getting ready to tear him apart.”
Chief producer Cha, who had just walked in with a magazine in his arms, nodded before going to his seat. The other producers also looked at Kangho with pity before taking their eyes off him.
“Should I take the afternoon off?”
“She’d probably go to your house if you do that. She’ll probably team up with your wife to tear you apart. Can you handle that?”
“No, I definitely can’t. But rather than that, Park Hoon, you were grinning when I came in. It looks like things are going well for you, huh?”
“It’s going so well that I’m wondering if it’s okay to be this smooth. I can’t believe that she’s a first time writer for scripts. The distribution of cuts and time is just that exceptional. The description of the character’s psychology is good too, and the background is good as well. I will have to work my ass off in order to find a suitable shooting location, but it’s been quite a while since text alone got me so excited.”
“That’s because you have a reassuring ally named Lee Hanmi. Do you know how hard I tried to work with her? And yet she won’t even look my way. You won’t know how much I cried when she told me that she was working with you the last time I called her.”
“Thankfully the writer I’m working with is close friends with writer Lee. Thanks to that, I have no problems with the script. It’s all going smoothly.”
“You are lucky, you know that?”
“I do. Now, I just need to get this proposal approved and pray that one of the winter series goes bust.”
“Hey, wishing your colleague does bad doesn’t sound that good.”
“You know that we can’t all have the good stuff. Only if I slip up will you be able to do your work, and only if you slip off will the juniors be able to take your position.”
“I have never created a hit piece yet. Stop cursing me.”
“You’re gonna get stabbed in the back if you say that even though you hit 30% viewership for a program already. No, wait. I guess you’d get stabbed by Jayeon anyway.”
Park Hoon looked at his friend before sending a text: Good luck finding good actors in the audition and I hope you the best in your work. Hm, it was a flawless text. Since she was apparently angry because of Kangho, her bitching would probably avoid him if he sent a message cheering her on right now. A moment later, Jayeon sent a text back. Senior, I don’t bite just anyone.
“What a good instinct.”
Park Hoon shrugged before putting his phone down. She doesn’t bite ‘just’ anyone, meaning that she will bite ‘someone’.
“Lee Kangho, good luck running away.”
That crazy junior of his would definitely keep her word once she said it.
* * *
“Yes, that’s enough. Is there anything else you want to show?”
“What do you mean by anything else?”
“I mean about the act you just did.”
“Should I try the eating act again?”
“No, looks like there’s no need to have a look from what you’re saying. It’s okay,” Jayeon said.
Minjoo, who was acting, made a bitter expression as she stood up. Jayeon fiddled with her phone before looking at the next person. It was Manjin. He took off his uniform top before sitting down. He looked at the blue table before giving a glance at Jayeon.
“You may begin whenever you’re ready.”
“Also, Miss Minjoo, you can get going now.”
When Minjoo was about to object, Jayeon put her index finger on her lips. Manjin was starting his act.
Maru focused. Minjoo’s acting couldn’t be considered exceptional, but she wasn’t lacking either. It was relatively decent, but Jayeon was fiddling with her phone the entire time Minjoo was acting. There was a time she even took her eyes off Minjoo and smiled while looking at the phone. Minjoo, who failed to get her acting evaluated and was ignored, tried to exaggerate her motions in order to attract Jayeon’s eyes, but even that didn’t end up working. Minjoo’s audition started off silently and ended silently. Jayeon didn’t even tell her ‘thank you for coming’. Just what did she not like about Minjoo’s act? There were a lot of elements Maru could think of, but he couldn’t say which was the right one.
This was why Manjin’s act was important. With two samples, he would have an easier time figuring out Jayeon’s preferences. Once he listened to what Jayeon had to say to Manjin and compared that to Minjoo’s act, he would probably decide on the direction of his act.
Manjin sniffed as though there was a warm gukbap placed in front of him. He fanned with his hand and inhaled deeply before picking up his spoon. He picked up the rice bowl before dunking the rice into the soup. It was enough to know how Manjin acted when he ate during the day. He shook the spoon within the bowl before taking a big scoop. He widened his eyes to express the joy of eating before putting the imaginary spoon in his mouth. He moved his jaws to chew before swallowing exaggeratedly to the point that his Adam\\\’s apple was moving. Fuu, after exhaling in satisfaction, he smiled.
“Okay, you can stop. Is there anything else you want to show me?”
It was the same question as the one she gave Minjoo. Manjin couldn’t reply immediately and thought about it. He should have also noticed that the situation was repeating. Minjoo was unable to answer this question, and as a result of that, had to leave.
“Can I ask what you want to see from me again, producer?”
Manjin replied with a question. Jayeon then answered that question without showing any dissatisfaction.
“I said everything that I want to see before. Think about it carefully. If you don’t remember, you can rest a bit.”
“Then can I have some time to think?”
“Of course, you can. I can give that much consideration to a person who asks the right question. Meanwhile, next. Mr. Han Maru, it’s your turn. Miss Lee Haejung, you are the last one, so you know that you have to do better than the rest, right?”
After gazing at Haejung, who clearly seemed nervous, once, Maru sat in front of Jayeon. Jayeon said that she had said everything she wanted to see. Maru thought about Jayeon’s words. While she said she wanted to see an eating act, she did not place her emphasis on the act of eating alone. The mood of the restaurant, what caught their eyes. What other customers were there.
Maru looked at the blue table that Jayeon brought. That table was a trap. It was a device that restricted the range of thinking by making the actors think that it was the stage. No one agreed to the scope of the stage, but the two before him started off their acts by sitting in the chair. Their thoughts couldn’t escape the frame.
He understood what he had to do. The most important thing was to expand the stage. If he didn’t limit himself to the blue table, he could use the entire room as the set. If he turned the table, which acted as the stage until now, into a mere prop, he would have a much broader scope of acting to do.
Maru did not go to the blue table. Instead, he stood quite far away. There was a limited thing he could do when he ‘ate’. Why he decided to eat at that place, what the atmosphere was like, what he thought as he ate. He took away the spotlight from the act of eating itself and placed more emphasis on the story. Of course, the eating act was important, but it couldn’t be the main dish. At most, it was an appetizer.
Maru decided to start by looking inside the restaurant. The memories and emotions of his past that he was reminded of during lunch, would become splendid ingredients for his acting. Injecting his previous life into his acting was a method he already used before. He had the confidence to do well. However, he didn’t plan to do well. If he stopped at just subliming his past experiences into his acting, he wouldn’t have a long acting career. The current Han Maru had to reinterpret the emotions that he brought out from the past. As there was a middle process, acting it out would become that much more complex, but if he could do so, his skill as an actor would rise by a level.
“You may begin when you’re ready,” Jayeon said.