Life, Once Again! - Chapter 881
There were many cameras. She had heard about this, but seeing it for real made her dizzy.
“Think of it as talking to some close friends. I’m sure you don’t know where to look because there are more cameras than you’re used to seeing at drama shoots, but you don’t have to be conscious of the cameras at all. You’re more conscious of the actor you’re acting with when doing dramas instead of the camera, right? It’s the same here. Most entertainment shows are scripted to a certain extent, so you just need to do the shoot like you’re doing a rather lax drama. Also, it’s fine to make mistakes. It can all be edited out in post and the producer will bring out what’s best.”
That was what the writer said before they came to the studio. Would she really be able to talk in front of the camera comfortably? Hamin’s fingers fidgeted right against her thighs. The desire to do well and the worry that she must not make a mistake clashed against each other, making her feel dizzy.
“We’ll shoot the opening now. Three, two, one.”
A staff member clapped the slate and fell back, which was then followed by Younghoon speaking from the middle seat.
“Yes, this is Chatterbox.”
Such a simple greeting was how Chatterbox always opened. Following that, the hosts talked among themselves for a bit. Jay asked what happened during the past week, and Hyutkae and Taeksoo would reply to that. Younghoon listened to them from the side and grumbled about the things they did. None of them looked at the script placed on the table. It was improvised, but there was no gap at all. She thought that they were indeed pros after watching them continue the conversation for 10 minutes.
“Let’s stop our chatter here, and allow me to introduce you to the guests who have come to Chatterbox today. To describe our guests today, I dare say that they are like me.”
“Do they have foul mouths?”
“Or maybe get a lot of bad comments on the internet?”
Hyuktae and Taeksoo both made a jab. Younghoon didn’t bat an eyelid and just continued speaking. Hamin chuckled when she saw the theater-like scene.
“They are scene stealers. They, like me, aren’t mainstream but are actors who are great at attracting people’s attention. I guess there’s also the fact that they’ve been gaining a lot of attention recently. Now allow me to introduce to you our guests for the day. Please welcome, actors Yoo Jihyuk, Choi Jeonghee, Park Hamin, and Han Maru.”
The four of them went in while receiving the applause of the hosts. The hosts stood up and walked over to one side of the semicircular table. Hamin sat down on the seat that the writer had pointed out beforehand.
“How did you feel when you heard that the theme was ‘people who suddenly became popular?’”
As soon as she sat down, she received a question. Hamin spoke without getting flustered,
“It didn’t really feel real to me that I had become popular, but I was happy to be invited to Chatterbox because it made me feel like I was a little popular now.”
“If we were as popular as before, you would be correct, but as you know, our viewing rates aren’t that good lately. The ones who really become popular would either go to Happy Day or This is Camping.”
She smiled and wrapped up the question. This was not something she had been told about beforehand, but she didn’t feel that nervous about it as she had prepared herself for it. She had often heard that she was the type to do well on stage, and it seemed that it was true for entertainment shows as well.
“I’m sure the rest of you feel the same. Actually, the reason we called you here today is so that we can get some of that energy from you. We will receive the energy of the people who suddenly became popular and our show will become popular too! Or so the main writer told me as they talked about what today’s theme was. A terrible idea for a theme, don’t you think?”
Everyone laughed as though it was mentioned beforehand. It was easy to figure out when to laugh when watching Younghoon’s gestures. He might act vile, but he was a kind guide. Hamin decided to observe Younghoon closely to have a look at how the show went.
“This is an official corner of Chatterbox. You introduce yourselves. Those who want to make it long, make it long. Those who want to make it short, make it short. We’ll start without giving you any time to think. First, Mr. Yoo Jihyuk.”
Although he said that, it was announced beforehand, and she had also seen it on one of the previous episodes, so she had prepared beforehand. Yoojihyuk turned around to look at the camera and greeted in a polite manner.
“I want to be remembered as a good actor. I am Yoo Jihyuk, an actor who has always dreamed of acting. Nice to meet you all.”
The hosts all applauded. Hamin also clapped as well. Following that, Taeksoo pointed at Choi Jeonghee and asked her to introduce herself.
“Hello. I’m so nervous because it’s my first time on an entertainment show. I may look strange, but I hope you can take a good look at me. Also, is it okay to introduce myself with a dance?”
Before any of the hosts told her to stand up, Choi Jeonghee leaned forward to stand up. She was very bold. She should have known that her cleavage would be emphasized if she leaned forward like that. Choi Jeonghee walked in front of the table. Hamin stared at her back before remembering that there was a monitor that showed the camera footage from the front camera and looked there. Choi Jeonghee bit her lips slightly and winked. When a popular girl idol song flowed out, she jerked her shoulders before showing a very refined dance. Whenever she flicked her body, her black one-piece dress fluttered as well. Hamin felt her mouth go dry. This girl was completely different from how she was in the waiting room. It wasn’t just her outfit that she had carefully chosen.
When the song ended, Choi Jeonghee neatly folded her hands together and took a bow. Yoo Jihyuk rejoiced even more than the hosts did. Hamin had thought this when he had a peek at her cleavage, and it seemed that this man was really helpless in front of pretty women.
“As expected of a scene stealer. Your skills in attracting other people’s attention are incredible.”
“I thought you were really from an idol group. Miss Jeonghee, how long have you been practicing that?”
As there was some good action, questions followed up as well. Unlike Yoo Jihyuk, who only did a greeting, Choi Jeonghee answered questions for several minutes. Was she coming on strong from the get-go? Hamin did not know how to dance or sing. She could sing, but it was at most a quiet ballad, and while she could dance, anything fancy was out of her league.
“That must put a lot of pressure on Miss Hamin. I want to give you some time to prepare, but the official corners of Chatterbox will not give you any time. Well then, Miss Hamin!”
“Hello. I’m Park Hamin, an actress who wants to try being the main character of a drama one day. The person in front of me did such a splendid self-introduction and left me with nothing. What should I do?”
She felt like it was a rather decent improvisation. The hosts reacted immediately. It was just as Jay said – the hosts would react to them as long as they didn’t stiffen up.
“Miss Hamin. Do you have any special skills that you’d like to show us? If you’re saving it for later in the show, you might get edited out, so now’s your chance.”
“Err, I can mimic a woodpecker.”
“That’s a little too classic, but it has been a while since we’ve seen one. Would you like to show us once you’re ready?”
Hamin cleared her throat and did an impression of a woodpecker that she had practiced by herself many times. She started off well and sang a clear note, but she eventually lost strength in her voice and started coughing.
“Sorry about that. Can I do it again?”
“Unfortunately, Chatterbox doesn’t give second chances. But you were still cute, so I’ll give you a passing score.”
Hyuktae made a heart with his two hands. With this, she didn’t do as well as Choi Jeonghee, but it wasn’t a bad start. Just as she was thinking about a funny episode to talk about later in relief,
“Everyone, you don’t know how cute I am, do you?”
She heard a song next to her. It was the ‘Princess song’ that was trending these days. She was startled and looked next to her. Han Maru had placed his hands on his cheeks and was shyly singing the princess song. There was no accompanying soundtrack, and he was even doing the dance routine as well. Even the hosts, who were sitting on the other side, looked like they were watching an incomprehensible creature before eventually showing their unique responses. Younghoon nagged him for doing something like that from the get-go, while Jay sang along, saying that he was doing well. Hyuktae and Taeksoo kept just clapping in a daze.
Hamin also zoned out before smiling because she felt like she had to do something. She never imagined that he had prepared something like that. Just watching him made her feel like she wanted to disappear, so how would he feel? He was a scary man after all. That was on a whole new level even compared to Choi Jeonghee’s ‘TV show attitude.’ He looked like he was going to sell his soul in order to attract popularity.
The song changed midway. Han Maru stood up and looked ever so serious. He locked his hands behind his back like a stern King and continued singing the princess song in a low pitch with a big frown on his face. He was looking towards the staff while singing, but his voice was loud like it was being amplified. She didn’t know about anything else, but she had to admit that his voice was good. She exclaimed subconsciously when she heard the thick voice enter her ears.
The childish as heck princess song suddenly felt tragic like a scene from The Phantom of the Opera. Han Maru walked around the studio like it was his stage and sang towards the camera. The sense of tragedy in his actions and expressions made it feel like he was holding a musical.
“Why am I so cute?”
Though, the lines were all like that, so the disparity was unnerving. It still made her strangely want to keep watching it. The chorus “I’m the cutest in the world” sounded like “To be or not to be, that is the question” from Hamlet. The overwhelming detail in his facial expression acting made it so that the lyrics did not feel awkward.
Younghoon, who grumbled at first, stood up from his seat. The other hosts also did not hesitate to praise him while putting their thumbs up. They talked about how this was the first time someone left such a deep impact in the history of Chatterbox.
“This fella. He’s full of wack. Oh hey, are you going to get dragged to the communication commission if I use that word, producer Kang?”
“I’ll take care of that, so don’t worry about it. More than that, Mr. Han Maru. We were totally taken aback. Do you see the camera directors all taken aback? It was good but notify us beforehand next time. Anyway, it was the best.”
From how the producer cut in, it seemed that this part was going to be edited out. Hamin drank a sip of the water placed in front of her. As frustrated as she was, he was both funny and cool. The fact that he chose a trending song and did not simply stop at singing and included acting in his performance – everything was good. How long had he been preparing that? It was only a brief performance, but she could tell for sure that he was not someone who was bad at acting. He made what might be a cringy performance a good one through his acting. His attractive powers were so great that she had forgotten that this was a show.
Hamin looked at Maru, who was chatting with the hosts. This made him even more spiteful. Why did he betray a person’s earnest feelings despite possessing such skills? From Giwoo’s words, Maru was someone who did not know how to pay back his graces. He had enough skills to have a fair showdown through acting, so why did he act like that?
Just then, her thoughts were caught by a speedbump. What did Han Maru do to Giwoo-oppa again?
“I asked this back in the waiting room, but do you have something to say to me?”
“No, nothing. It’s nothing,” Hamin replied hastily.
She was in such deep thought that she didn’t realize that they locked eyes. Thinking back, Giwoo didn’t tell her what exactly happened between them. He fell silent before she did.
“Okay, we’ll start again,” said the producer.
Hamin stopped worrying about it. Just going by the mood Giwoo had that day, it was clear that Han Maru had done something very wrong to Giwoo. Though now, it felt slightly iffy that she didn’t know exactly what it was.
“Looks like everyone who came here today has geared up. Especially you, Mr. Han Maru, I thought you were staking your life today.”
The program resumed with Younghoon’s speech.