Life, Once Again! - Chapter 846
“Man, I wanna go to a shoot.”
“Then go to a shooting set.”
“I can only go if someone’s calling for me.”
“Then go somewhere else. Anywhere but here.”
“I don’t have anywhere to go. I’ve stopped going to nightclubs and bars, and the girls I’ve been in contact with are no longer contacting me after I ditched them a couple times. When I loitered around the warehouse of the friend who’s still running the clothes business, he told me that we should work together if I didn’t have anything to do, but I didn’t like that either. I was wandering around without anything to do, and I ended up here.”
Hyungseok tickled Woofie’s chin, who was lying down right next to him. He was a good guy who bought stuff for Woofie ever since their first meeting, and he had brought a load of things again today. Dog chew, a cushion, and even a ball for dogs to play around with which was apparently from Germany and incredibly hard to buy.
“Should I just live here? I can look after Woofie.”
“That was the most terrible thing I’ve heard all year. It’s been a long time since I got goosebumps on my arms,” Maru said, showing his arm.
He really had gotten goosebumps.
“Can’t you think of our friendship and tell me that we should live together even if it is a joke?”
“I’ve lived for quite a long time, and I know that words can sometimes jinx things.”
“You haven’t lived that long.”
“Well, longer than you at least.”
“What are you saying? We were born in the same year. Rather than that, how’s romantic business going?”
“I think it’ll go well as long as you stay quiet. I’m asking just in case; you didn’t tell anyone about it, right?”
“I’m not sure about anything else, but I have tight lips. Don’t worry.”
When he got Maru an autograph from Han Gaeul, he never knew in his dream that the two would start dating. Only after he found out that Maru had been dating her right up to his enlistment did he understand the sudden progress in their relationship.
“When is Miss Gaeul coming?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Because I want to see her?”
“What are you going to do by seeing her?”
“Getting an opportunity to talk to a star isn’t that common. I thought I was dreaming last time when we had a meal together. A meal with a celebrity huh.”
“If you have time to loiter around then let’s go do some work.”
“You can’t keep using up the money you’ve earned, right? You should do a short-term part-time job or something. You goin’ or not?”
“I am going. The owner of the house is leaving, so I can’t stay. But hey, your dialect sounds terrible.”
He left, following Maru. When he asked where they were going, Maru opened the door to his car and pointed at it. He got in the car without saying much. He experienced for himself that following Maru’s instructions usually ended benefitting him.
“That’s Miss Gaeul’s voice.”
Han Gaeul’s voice could be heard from the radio. From what she said, it seemed that the radio DJ was on leave and she was filling in. Maru raised the volume. Listening to the consultation corner, he looked outside the window and saw a TV station. It was YBS.
“Is there a shoot for Doctors today?”
“Then why are we here?”
“I said we’re here for a part-time job. You know, the thing you did many times.”
The thing he did many times, huh. He saw a row of large coaches when he got out of the car in the car park and went to the front of the building. Maru walked without hesitation towards the bustling crowd that was carrying various equipment.
A man in his forties, who had a pair of sunglasses around his neck, welcomed Maru. Hyungseok stood next to him in a stiff manner. When he was just glancing around because he didn’t know who it was, a person who was passing by with a box called him ‘director.’ Hyungseok immediately neatened his hair and stood upright.
“Who’s the one next to you?”
“He’s called Yoon Hyungseok; he’ll be working with me today. He appeared as a minor character in Doctors too.”
“Really? If you’re the one who brought him here, then I guess I don’t have to worry about it. I’ll get to use a good actor for cheap after all. Get on coach 1; it should depart soon. I’ll tell the leader about you, so don’t worry about that.”
“Don’t thank me. Rather than that, it’s such a pity that I have to use you like this. I’ll get my own series once my wife’s series ends, so you have to keep your promise at that time, okay? Telling me that you’re occupied with something else won’t work on me anymore.”
“I’m doing part-time jobs right now because I don’t have any work to do, so there’s no way I’ll have work in the foreseeable future. As long as you call me, I’ll immediately heed your call and go shoot.”
“Who do you think it was that betrayed me after saying the same thing five years ago? Anyway, stay where I can see you, and don’t go anywhere I can’t. I can’t have you catching the eyes of another producer and become busy.”
As soon as the man Hyungseok presumed was the director left, he grabbed Maru and asked what was on his mind,
“Director? Is this a drama? Or a documentary? Or is it an entertainment program?”
“He’s producer Park Hoon from YBS’s drama department. He’s also producer Yoo Jayeon’s husband.”
Hyungseok clicked his fingers. He had heard the name during the get-together. It was the name that producer Jayeon called while holding onto her phone while drunk.
“You promised to work with him?”
“If there’s an opportunity, yes.”
“There are quite a lot of people looking for you, huh. Don’t abandon me, and take me with you all the time, okay?”
“I’ll see how you do.”
After getting on the bus, Hyungseok looked up producer Park Hoon. His name was mentioned as the producer of ‘Flaming Lady.’
“Didn’t Miss Gaeul say something about how you rejected the offer for Flaming Lady when she was drunk?”
“You remember weird stuff. I thought you didn’t remember anything because you were drunk.”
“I do remember some things. But that director is pretty amazing. People don’t usually offer new actors jobs, do they? Moreover, that new actor ended up rejecting without knowing what was good for him. He’s practically a saint for telling you that he wants to work with you again.”
“I’m just that good at acting after all.”
“You sounded really cocky just now. What’s even worse is that I actually have to admit it. Maru, take me with you even if you become famous.”
He grabbed Maru’s hand and shook it back and forth.
* * *
“Why did you bring me here?” Hyungseok wondered as he wiped the sweat from his forehead.
It was October. The air was filled with the smell of autumn, yet he was sweating buckets. That was the result of wearing a heavy piece of armor and a thick layer of cloth to protect his skin underneath. Just this morning, he put on a cardigan because it was pretty chilly, too.
“I thought you told me to bring you around when we got on the bus.”
“I never knew that it would be like this. Didn’t I tell you before that I almost passed out after playing a minor character in a historical drama? I never knew I’d be doing this again. Not only that, I’m even wearing armor.”
“When else do you think you’d get to be a general. Just hold it in and keep going. Hey, the beard looks nice on you too.”
Maru said that with a grin. Hyungseok drank out of a water bottle. This was his second bottle already. He put down the empty bottle and picked up a long sheathe. He could still vividly remember the staff telling him to treat it carefully as it was very easy to damage. He should have realized it back then. It was already too late by the time he accepted the sword and was dragged to the cosmetics van. A beard covered in adhesives was attached to his chin, and he was given some fake scars as well. He liked his look when he checked through the phone camera, but after spending three hours in that state under the blazing sun, he wanted to rip everything off, makeup or whatever. What was fortunate was that the sun was setting.
“But don’t people usually depart early in the morning when shooting a historical drama?”
“I’m sure they must have their circumstances. It did feel rushed too.”
After adjusting his helmet, Maru asked if he looked okay. Hyungseok nodded and raised his thumb.
“The lack of a refined look from your face makes you suited to that kind of makeup. Maru, I feel like you’ll really do well playing a butcher.”
“Am I not more like a thug than a butcher?”
“It’d be awesome if you spray rice wine once and start waving your sword everywhere.”
They waited inside the tent while talking about trivial stuff. After about 10 minutes, other minor characters who had their makeup fixed entered the tent. People who were refugees until just moments ago had turned into armored generals.
“Maru, good to see you here again.”
“Hyung, you look good in that too.”
The minor actors recognized Maru and approached him. Hyungseok felt this the moment he arrived at the set: Maru was rather close to the minor actors. Not to mention people he had got to know before, he even greeted the people he had seen for the first time. He also seemed rather familiar with the leader who was in charge of controlling the background actors. Hyungseok saw him go to the place where background actors were gathered and talk to them first. It didn’t even take ten minutes for Maru to approach them and blend in with them. The guy that called him hyung just now was someone Maru met for the first time today as well.
Thinking back, Maru was rather close to the minor actors and background actors during the shoot of ‘Doctors’ as well. He talked to them and listened to their stories seriously. There weren’t many actors who took interest in extras like Maru did, not among the people he knew at least.
“It gets cold at night, so let’s finish things off the first time,” Maru said to the others.
“It’s not about us not making mistakes. It’s about the actors not causing NGs.”
“He’s right. Just before, I had to stand in one spot for an hour because a certain someone kept causing an NG. Geez, I think I would do better than that.”
Maru just asked for understanding from the grumbling man, saying that it might have been out of nervousness.
“As I said before, this director hates people standing in a daze. Different directors have different styles, so there are directors who don’t really care about the acting of the actors in the background, but this director will catch everything, so he’ll cut things off if you relax just because you’re outside the frame. So watch yourselves. You know how tiring it gets when the leader gets naggy.”
“I hate the leader nagging me more than the director doing it.”
“I’ll get myself together just like you said.”
Hyungseok thought that Maru would do well as a director from how he explained everything. He felt this both when they were shooting a short film and when they were shooting the drama: having Maru around made acting a lot easier. When someone made a mistake, he would be the first one to suggest changes before the director did, and he was absolutely on point every single time. When Hyungseok was stuttering because he didn’t know what was wrong, he felt like he found his path forward whenever he heard Maru’s words. It also felt as though he gained more confidence if they acted together. He was pretty helpful in many ways.
“Still, this is way too tiring.”
Hyungseok lifted his shoulder armor slightly before letting go. He was sweating even though the sun was setting. Also, from what he heard, he was supposed to be running while wearing this. Hyungseok desperately prayed that the chasing scene of young generals was short.