I Will Live as an Actor
When you’re caught up in non-stop filming, it’s only natural to get hungry.
The staff and actors alike have to stay on edge all day, as some focus on acting while others pay attention to the subjects.
This consumes a lot of energy.
It’s a series of delicate and picky tasks, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as art, and sometimes as manual labor.
“Jiyong, where did you order food from today?”
“I ordered from the Hamba place up front.
It’s cheap and delicious, so I had to call several times to ask them to deliver.
They said it was too much quantity, but I persuaded them, and they eventually agreed!”
The appearance of food trucks on set began shortly after the millennium.
There were only a few companies operating food trucks nationwide, and they were mostly used in places like Chungmuro, where the production cost was relatively higher than broadcasting filming.
So how did drama filming teams secure their food?
“Kid, they must’ve been scared that you would have to cook if they refused, huh?”
“Yeah, my cooking is honestly tasteless.
They probably wouldn’t want to eat it, right? Or should I make something quickly right now?”
“Forget it, just thinking about the indigestion I had last time I ate your kimchi fried rice…ugh.”
“That was because PD’s digestion is weak.”
It was somewhat manageable in the city.
Even the restaurant with the humble signboard felt like a feast, and having a Hamba place nearby that could deliver directly to the set was the icing on the cake.
As someone responsible for food for dozens of people, there was no room to nitpick.
On the off chance that filming took place in a remote rural area, it was a complete mess.
The youngest staff members had to transform into chefs after the shootings.
So, a running joke on set was that having a Korean cooking certificate was an advantage for the youngest staff member.
“Yeongguk, I’m starving.
Can you give me one of your sausages?”
Jiyong, an FD from Busan, was friendly with everyone on set, regardless of whether they were extras or supporting actors, and had a great sense of humor.
“You should eat more, hyung-nim.
How can you have an appetite when you’re suffering like this away from home? I can’t give you my sausage, but please take this egg.
Does the hen have no strength, laying just one small quail egg? Who would be satisfied with just that?”
“Kid, you found this place well.
It tastes pretty good.
How was the morning shooting, by the way?”
“What could be difficult about it? I only had a short scene where my face was shown in a classroom, but it must’ve been harder for you, hyung-nim.
Managing those little kids isn’t as easy as it sounds.
And today, a couple of guardians showed up, right?”
“Indeed, you’re the only one who understands my heart.
How do you know my troubles so well?”
Too much of a good thing can be bad.”
The filming location was a school.
They had secured a small middle school in the suburbs, which was great since it was summer vacation, and there weren’t many people around.
However, many child actors appeared instead of the extras and supporting actors they had seen at Jagalchi Market, which was a problem.
Child actors are either tantrum throwers or incredibly talented at acting naturally.
It’s not so much that their acting requires an incredibly high level of skill, but rather that they’re surrounded by their parents’ skirts since they were young, and the reactions come naturally.
Thus, child actors were harder to control in a filming set than the lead actors.
“Yeongguk, I’m really grateful for you in that sense.
You’re the most mature and well-behaved of all the child actors I’ve seen.
At Jagalchi, you even saved us from being dismissed because we couldn’t withstand the anger of the merchants!”
“Hyung-nim, I didn’t save anyone.
I just steered us through a crisis.
So, we have to make this shoot amazing so that whether it’s Jagalchi or Namhang, it becomes famous.
If not, I won’t be able to return to my Jagalchi ever again.”
“Heh, don’t worry! You’ll do great! By the way, did you see your co-star Yeon Su who came to shoot with you today?”
“I saw her.”
“How was it? Isn’t your heart pounding like an old man’s? She’s quite a famous child actor in Seoul.
She’s already shot a few films in Chungmuro, and she’s pretty and acts well, so there’s a lot of buzz about her at the broadcasting stations!”
How could I not know?
Yeon Su — a peculiar surname and a foreign name, but not hard to remember.
In her past life, she was an actress who was considered the epitome of purity and loveliness.
Not to mention, her acting skills were outstanding, making her one of the most popular actresses in the country.
Who would have thought that the child actress Yeon Su would play the role of Kim Hajin’s first and last love? It was quite a surprise.
But that was it.
After this performance, they might never meet again.
He took a bite of the sweet dates and said, “Eun Jiye, you’re so small, like a child.”
* * *
“Since the weather is cloudy, Mr.
Choi, please increase the Jupiter (daylight) lighting.
We need to show the ripples in the water when it overflows at the faucet, so shoot with tungsten when I give the signal.
Kim, since we’re using a jump-cut following the rail, start with a full shot (F/S), and when the two child actors meet, move from a wide shot (W/S) to an extreme close-up (E/C/U).
Especially, slowly move from their fingertips to their wrists.
We’ll need that footage for the montage during editing.”
“Should we use a dolly in to move from the fingertips to the wrists?”
“That’s why you’re my senior.
Since it’ll be hard to reshoot, please get it in one shot, everyone!”
“Ah! PD Yoo.
I bet the props team chose a great location.
We’re getting a stern lecture from PD Yoo about lighting and filming.”
“Kim Deukhyeong! Why did you leave us, the sound team, out? We have more than one or two things to worry about since it’s a faucet scene!”
“Oh, did the sound director arrive? I didn’t even notice with your sneaky steps and big body.”
“Seniors, please calm down.
It’s all my fault.
I just want to try my best with this scene, alright? I appreciate your help.”
Then PD Yoo, will you treat us to a meal at a fancy restaurant today?”
It was hard to beat the experienced ADs on set.
It was no different now.
They pressured Yoo Myeonghan to treat them to a fancy restaurant as if they had planned it.
It seemed like they had planned this in advance.
Look at them, already moving in a group while laughing.
Yoo Myeonghan shook his head helplessly and called over the FD with a gesture.
“Ji Yong, please pass the script directions to Yeon Su (Son Yerin).
And don’t forget what I said, alright?”
“Understood, just trust in me!”
“Kid, you’re good with words.
I have to go see Kim Hajin for a moment.”
“PD, will you go personally?”
Usually, the FD would relay the acting instructions to the extras and child actors.
It’s rare for the PD to move directly.
It’s not that the FD would give direct directions to the child actors either.
Since child actors usually have their parents accompanying them, the FD would relay the PD’s instructions to the guardian.
The guardian would then explain it to the child in a way that’s easier to understand.
In that sense, a child actor sitting alone on set, as if at a parent-teacher meeting, was even more noticeable.
“Yeongguk, do you know that the next scene is at the faucet?”
“Of course, I was just reading the script.”
“I know you’re the best at memorizing and reading the script.
I came to tell you a few points to be careful about in this faucet scene.
Want to guess what I’m going to say?”
“How would I know that? I’m not the PD.”
“You’re good at talking with tourists in Namhang Market, so just try it.”
“Ahem, since you insist, I’ll just tell you what I think.
When you’re bending your head to drink water at the faucet, don’t open your eyes because of the lighting, and just drink a little water and pretend to drink the rest, in case you choke when you have lines? As for receiving the handkerchief from the female lead, you should know.
How am I supposed to know everything when it’s not written in the script?”
“Alright, you just need to hold the edge of the handkerchief and say you don’t need it.
The camera will zoom in, so just let go slowly.
Let go slowly but nervously, alright? You might not know this as it’s not in the script.
How could he know so well what hadn’t even been explained? Yeongguk’s thoughts were heard first, then the instructions were given based on that, but there was hardly anything left to say because he knew it all so well.
“How did you know the rest of it?”
“When I read the script, it seemed like that’s what would happen in the situation.”
Could one really grasp every situation just by reading the script? Jeez, where could you find an unknown actor who reads a lot of scripts in Korea? Not to mention, this one didn’t even have any acting experience.
Some things can never be learned without experience.
However, the protagonist of that nonchalant answer was a young boy.
The more one looked at him, the more mysterious Jang Yeongguk seemed.
“PD, we’re ready to stand by!”
At the assistant director’s shout, Yoo Myeonghan ruffled the boy’s hair and got up.
It didn’t matter that his hair was messy since it was short.
This boy was like an old man in how he cared for the supporting actors and staff.
Yoo Myeonghan turned around and walked away, but he heard something.
“By the way, my mother said thank you for the delicious pork belly.
We’re really grateful for filling us up for a day.
I’ll repay you with my acting!”
It’s hard not to like that kid.
“Scene number 13, a relationship that begins at the tap -!”
The sound of the clapperboard was like an alarm bell that heightened the tension on the set.
Like an artist painting a delicate picture, the filming equipment was organically interconnected, keeping an eye on the actors.
The sound team captured the rhythm of the tap like a serene classic, as if to show the waves of Namhang.
The water from the tap flowed incessantly.
“Are you Kim Hajin?”
Her speech was clear, and her accent was not one from Busan.
The boy who had been sipping from the softly flowing tap water lifted his head and listened.
The contrasting appearances of a girl with white skin and long, flowing hair and the boy.
Their height was similar, but they looked completely different.
As for their attire, the girl was wearing a light dress while the boy’s clothes were as dirty as if he had just rolled around in a construction site.
His short hair and bushy eyebrows only added to the image.
However, the boy’s eyes were as clear as the waves of Namhang.
“The class president said you were supposed to show me around the school during lunchtime today since you’re on duty.
But why are you drinking water instead of eating lunch?”
“Have you never seen someone drinking water before? Don’t just stand there like a fool.
Hurry up and turn it off.
If the old nag says anything, just ignore them and keep drinking my water! “
The girl hesitated momentarily, then took out a handkerchief as white as her skin and handed it to the boy.
“What’s this for?”
“To wipe your face and neck.
“Thanks, I got it!”
The boy seemed to hesitate for a moment in the face of the unfamiliar kindness but soon brushed her hand away irritably.
As a result, the white handkerchief fell into the puddle of water by the tap.
The girl didn’t know what to do, so the boy picked up the handkerchief, wrung it out, and returned it as if throwing it.
“Your wrist must not have much strength to carry a backpack around like that.”
“My dad usually drives me…”
“Vitamin D is also good.
That’s why your skin is so pale.
Stop hanging around and get going.”
The girl seemed to turn away but then gathered the courage to speak as the boy tried to fill his water bottle again.
“Um, do you want some chocolate? I like it, so I carry it around.”
The boy unknowingly swallowed his saliva.
The small chocolate made his throat dry.
After all, he had filled up with water, so it was natural to crave something sweet.
The boy snatched the chocolate and smiled awkwardly.
“Lead the way.”
“I’ll show you around the school.
We’re wasting time standing here talking!”
The shooting went perfectly.
Now, they just had to capture the two child actors walking up the stone stairs positioned above the tap from the back angle.
However, the girl hesitated in front of the stone stairs.
Her eyes were anxious, and Yoo Myeonghan immediately knew the reason.
Her shoelace had come undone.
Letting the scene end as an NG seemed like such a waste.
Although they could find an editing point to connect the shots, the camera working would not be as effective.
Moreover, the light conditions of outdoor shooting could change at any moment, causing a subtle shift in the images.
Then it happened.
An unexpected voice burst out.
“Tsk, you can’t even tie your shoelaces properly, you Seoul folk!”
“Wait a minute.
Someone’s thinking about you, that’s why.”
“Who’s thinking about me?”
The boy bent one knee on the mud and tightly tied the girl’s shoelace knot so it wouldn’t come loose.
It was an ad-lib that wasn’t in the script, just as the scene’s dialogue had ended.
“Mom says that when your shoelaces come undone, it’s because someone is thinking about you.”
 Chungmuro is a district in Seoul known as “Korean Hollywood.”
 Yeongguk replied with “치마폭이 너무 길어도 안 좋은 거니까,” which literally translates to “It’s not good if the width of the skirt is too long.” This Korean idiom means being overly generous or lenient is not good.
 The literal translation would be “Arthur, ….” “아서라” is a Korean phrase that is used to ask someone to clarify or explain what they mean by using the name “Arthur.” It is short for “아서 어떻게?” (aseo eotteoke?), which translates to “Arthur, what do you mean?” The name “Arthur” is often used as a placeholder in Korea, like “John Doe” might be used in English.
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