Life, Once Again! - Chapter 880
“Hyung-nim, they look slightly nervous, but they didn’t freeze up. I think it’ll be fine as long as we can set them up well once the shoot begins. Also, the fellow named Han Maru knows the theme of some of our previous episodes, so if we give him that question, we should be able to get some decent footage.”
The junior had returned after scouting out the waiting room. Younghoon was grateful for Jay, who prepared for the shoot every time. His earnestness from his athlete days still remained.
“Who do you think has the best mouth?”
“I can’t be entirely sure since I’ve only said hello, but I think the one named Yoo Jihyuk will do well as long as we give him a slight push. There was energy in his eyes. He was the one who proactively asked questions after exchanging greetings with me. As for the girl named Choi Jeonghee, I’m not entirely sure. Even if I talk to her, she just smiles back at me. As for Park Hamin, she’s very positive, so I think she’ll liven up the show.”
“What about the kid who you said knows about the program?”
“He’s the type to react. He won’t say anything first, but he’ll react well once others talk about things. But this is all just a first impression, so I’m probably wrong about every one of them.”
“How long do you think I’ve been working with you? I’m asking you because your intuition tends to be spot on. Let’s have some hope for that Yoo kid for now. We’re already running low on views, so producer Kang is getting wrinkles. We should make him hold a get-together in happiness.”
“I wish that could happen. The others aren’t here yet, are they?”
“They called me just now and told me that they’re on the way. Leaving aside Taeksoo since he’s coming from another job, I think Hyuktae, that kid, slept in after drinking late into the night.”
“He did just barely get one day to rest after going on a tour in Japan.”
“If he was going to rest, then he should’ve just slept obediently.”
“He lived a busy life when he was supposed to be playing around, so I’m sure he’s just doing all that now. TTO isn’t TTO for nothing. They’ve been a top-tier idol group for ten years now, so I’m sure he wants to play around freely whenever he has the chance.”
“You have such a good nature, being considerate of things like that. No wonder everyone comes to you to whine.”
“Hyungnim, you lead everyone strictly like the father, while I softly support everyone from the back like a mother. Isn’t that how our duo works? Oh, I got some pear concentrate that my wife made for me. Would you like some?”
“Why bother asking? Give some to me.”
The pear concentrate that had been boiled with honey was fulfilling from just a sip. Jay brought this pear concentrate on the first day they shot together. After seeing that he didn’t act that stiff in front of him, who was known to have a terrible personality in the industry, he thought that Jay would become successful. If he had to pick one thing he did well in the past ten-plus years in the TV industry, it was to snatch Jay and put him by his side. Thanks to that, he had become a lot more flexible that it was to the point that a new writer could talk to him.
“I’m so damn tired.”
Producer Kang opened the door to the waiting room, and Jay poured some pear concentrate and gave it to him.
“Thanks for the drink.”
“You came here to get that, producer Kang, didn’t you?” Younghoon nagged.
“You’re always out to nag me whenever you see me, hyung.”
“Hey, I’m saying that for you to laugh. You always frown like something’s going to go bad which makes me all worried.”
“It’s because the higher-ups all come to me to nag. I thought I was going to get past the fall restructuring without trouble, but YBS stole all our views thanks to a new program. It’s driving me crazy. Whenever I hold a meeting with the writers, they always ask me if I have more budget or if there are any big figures we can invite, so it’s driving me nuts.”
“Like hell they’ll assign a lot of budget to a program that’s nothing but talking inside a studio.”
“My words exactly. Should we quit using the set and start running outside? How about a running talk show where you have a talk show while running?”
“The day you do it is the day I quit. Think about my belly fat and my age.”
“Why? Someone in KBS is running around all over the country even when he’s nearing his fifties. And in RBS, an elderly is sleeping in tents outside.”
“That hyung can do that because he was born with strong bones, but I have a feeble heart despite how I look.”
“Feeble? After all that roasting of our new recruits in your early years? Man, our bro Younghoon has gotten soft.”
“I am talking to you like this because I’ve become soft like a lamb. So? Why are you here anyway?”
“I just had something to talk to you two alone about.”
Producer Kang took off his glasses and started wiping them. It was a habit of his to wipe his glasses before announcing good news.
“It might be just a brief sparkle, but we should be able to get some decent viewing rates this time. We got a call scheduled with Lee Hyuk and Kwon Dayoon. They’ll be backing Park Hamin up.”
Lee Hyuk and Kwon Dayoon were two actors who were notorious for not showing up in variety shows. Kwon Dayoon appeared in various shows during her idol days, but she hardly showed up on TV ever since she switched careers to being an actress, and Lee Hyuk also no longer did any TV activities after becoming hugely popular through ‘Those Guys.’ They were both cards that they could play to attract interest from viewers.
“This must be the first time those two are appearing at the same time after Those Guys. Now that I think about it, both of them gained popularity after that movie, didn’t they?” Jay said.
“Director Park Joongjin is an amazing guy. He used that single movie a few years back to make them both into icons of the era. Lee Hyuk also overcame his slump after that movie, while Kwon Dayoon escaped her terrible acting. But why are those two backing up Park Hamin?”
“Because the three of them – Park Hamin, Lee Hyuk, and Kwon Dayoon – are all from Soul,” replied producer Kang.
Younghoon had also heard about Soul being the single biggest influential company in the music industry. They were large to the point that getting on their bad side would make it hard for anyone to become popular through acting. He knew that they did acting management on the side but did not know that they possessed bigshots like Lee Hyuk and Kwon Dayoon.
“Aren’t you a little too much in the dark after living in this industry for so many years? Dongha, Kim Soomin, Ahn Chaejeong, Koo Gwangseop and Kang Giwoo all belong to Soul. Moreover, Soul’s parent company is YM. It’s known as the company that has the full support of a big conglomerate.”
“I know that much. But to me, that sounds like Park Hamin is quite a promising talent, huh? The agency is giving her so much support.”
The fact that two bigshot actors who rarely showed up in the media were appearing to support a new actor meant quite a lot.
“From how she’s in Doctor’s Office alongside Kang Giwoo, I’m pretty sure that she’s definitely a rookie who has the support of her company. Honestly, she wasn’t on the list when I first looked for people, but Soul gave us a call first. They wanted us to take Park Hamin and said that Lee Hyuk and Kwon Dayoon can appear if it’s through a call.”
“So Park Hamin is just a sidekick so that we can hear those two’s voices?”
“Don’t call her a sidekick. I’m sure Miss Park Hamin has a charm of her own.”
“I know you, producer Kang, and I’m pretty sure you would never have accepted that Park Hamin kid if not for Lee Hyuk and Kwon Dayoon.”
“There you go again, making me the bad guy. Anyway, I’m just telling the two of you. We’ll get some footage if we can capture Park Hamin being startled. If you get the call through, drag it on as much as possible and get whatever you can out of them. They are actors who the public has great interest in, so if we create a teaser based on that and release articles, we’ll be able to grab viewing rates.”
“Looks like Park Hamin’s face will be everywhere in this episode. You’re going to edit centered around her, aren’t you?”
“I’m not that much of a money grubber. Though, I might add her smiling face from time to time.”
“Tell me honestly. You received money from Soul, didn’t you?”
“Geez, there’s nothing you just won’t say, is there? Even if I did, I’m not so disloyal that I would just keep it all to myself. I’ll make sure to get enough for you and our dear Jay over here, so don’t worry.”
“You know I have an iron rule of not receiving shady money, right?”
Jay also smiled, saying that he’d only receive money that can be put in the bank.
“Don’t say that and accept what you’re given.”
The producer left. Although he said all that, he wasn’t someone who would actually get paid money behind their backs. It was precisely because he knew that that he could joke about it.
The waiting room opened suddenly. Hyuktae, who had his hair dyed in an emerald-green color, sighed and sat down on the sofa.
“Go easy on the door. How many times do I have to tell you this?”
“Sorry, hyung-nim. But I don’t think I can fix this. I’m actually quite well-known for slamming open doors.”
“That’s one weird perk to get well-known for. So, you sober now?”
“No matter how much I look down on shoots, I do everything seriously. I’m completely fine.”
“That’s good, I guess. Jay, give this guy some pear concentrate too. He needs something to get past the hangover.”
Jay disliked being called by his real name even in private places. He even said that he was seriously considering changing his name. Hyuktae received a cup politely with both of his hands. He may act immaturely despite nearing his thirties, but etiquette was buried in him. There was a reason why he managed to maintain peak popularity after all these years.
“Miss Hamin was real cute,” Hyuktae said as he wiped his mouth.
It seemed that he had been to the guest’s waiting room.
“She’ll be our main guest for today, so pay attention.”
“Why is she the main? Is something going on?”
“You’ll see once the shoot begins.”
Not long later, Taeksoo arrived as well. Younghoon told both of them off for being late, but neither of them even pretended to listen. Younghoon also didn’t nag them because he seriously wanted them to reflect on it. It was just that when the four of them gathered together like this, they would each have their own role, and his role was to be picky about everything others said and did. He couldn’t just laugh and smile together with them for five years if it was for the sole sake of money. All three of them were his precious juniors and little brothers.
“I was on my way in, and it looks like there’s a shoot. There are loads of people, including some famous actors.”
“You didn’t see their face?”
“I would cause an uproar if I do go there. Hyung-nim, don’t you know how popular I am?”
He kicked towards Hyuktae, who was being all sneaky. He was careful to not actually hit him.
“I heard that you sold out all tickets to all performances, right? Isn’t Tokyo Dome a huge place?” Jay said.
Hyuktae created a big semi-circle with both of his arms.
“It’s ridiculously large. When I first went there, I wondered if I was actually performing in such a place. Though, I’m quite used to it by now.”
“A global kid surely is different, huh.”
As they were listening to Hyuktae’s story, the main writer of the program intruded and said that the preparations were done. There were bags under her eyes, and it seemed that she too was receiving a lot of stress just like producer Kang, because of the viewing rates.
“Let’s do our best today. We should give producer Kang something to boast about.”
Younghoon patted other people’s backs as he left the waiting room. When he arrived at the studio and sat down, the guests followed in. Younghoon stood up from the spot and greeted each and every one of them. Just as Jay said, Yoo Jihyuk was a person to note. Choi Jeonghee would make a perfect pretty decoration.
“I’m Park Hamin. Please take care of me.”
“Alright. Let’s do our best today.”
He had a close look at Hamin as well. The success and failure of this episode relied on this fellow. It would be great if she was close to Lee Hyuk or Kwon Dayoon, or even better, both of them. He shook hands with her and looked at the next person. It was Han Maru, who apparently knew the previous episodes.
“I’m Han Maru.”
“Let’s do our best together.”
“Please take care of me.”
Younghoon looked at the four people walking out of the studio again. Putting the show aside, the one he liked the most was Han Maru. While the other three were busy looking around the studio, he alone was looking at the people. The moment he made eye contact with him, he felt that today’s shoot would go well. Usually, his intuition was quite accurate.
“Please get ready.”
Younghoon sat down in the center seat of the semi-circular table. It was his seat that he had maintained for years. He drank a bit of the drink that came in as a PPL ad and closed his eyes. The shoot was about to begin.