Aura of a Genius Actor Chapter 1

Chapter 1 - An Actor Without a Presence

༺ An Actor Without a Presence ༻



  A man who had staked his life on acting yet remained unrewarded.


  Now, his life begins again.




  An actor must live the life of the character in every moment of his acting.






  “Is Assistant Manager Seo your younger sister?”


  “Yes, so please calm down! I feel like I’m going crazy because of your suspicions!!”


  On the set of the drama <Doom>.


  The atmosphere was more heated than ever as it reached its peak in Episode 17.


  And just behind the leads, a faint cluster of lights was floating about.


  ‘The actors are full of energy, and they’re in a good mood…’


  Of course, it was not visible to human eyes.


  Its identity was an acting spirit.


  It was an entity from another world that wandered around the acting set.


  It roamed the set to feed on the vibrant energy of the actors as they were more lively than ordinary people, especially when it came to the intense energy that leaked out the more the actors were immersed in their roles.


  Then, it noticed a strange fellow.


  “Sir, there’s a call from the National Tax Service…”


  “Can’t you see that I’m in the middle of an important conversation? Get out!!”


  It was an extra actor who had just been framed-in.


  …It was faint.


  His energy was so faint that the radiating presence of the lead actors buried his existence.


  ‘What is that? Is it a human, or a spirit…?’


  Driven by curiosity, the acting spirit followed the man who quickly finished his lines and left.




  A running staff member bumped into his shoulder.


  “I’m sorry.”


  The man responded to the staff’s apology with a nod.


  But as soon as he started walking again…




  Another person bumped into him, and he nonchalantly dusted off his body.


  It seemed to be a pretty familiar occurrence.


  ‘With such a small amount of energy, it’s no wonder that people can’t perceive him. How can a person like that be an actor?’


  The acting spirit’s curiosity was piqued.




  [Scene # 37]


  It was a scene where the main actor, Lee Jaehoon, confronted a staff member from the National Tax Service.


  The man was introduced midway as Lee Jaehoon’s subordinate and a practitioner in the company.


  The supporting actor from earlier was waiting outside the frame. The spirit observed him closely. 


  “I’ve clarified the background of the search and seizure, Sir.”


  “What the hell is going on?!”


  “They said it’s an internal whistleblower.”


  “What?! Wh-who is it?!”


  At that moment, the man made his entrance.


  This was the confrontation between the main actor and the extra. However, the audience’s gaze was only fixed on the main actor.


  The acting spirit fixed its gaze into the void.


  The strong energy radiating from the protagonist engulfed the man’s faint energy.


  Then, the acting spirit pushed its energy toward him.




  It was then that the acting spirit’s energy began to help the man’s energy in pushing back against the protagonist’s energy.




  Having supplied just enough energy for the two energies to confront each other equally, the acting spirit watched the situation.


  “Chief Kim! What are you doing here?!”


  “I am the whistleblower.”




  “It’s exactly as you heard… you should’ve done it in moderation.”


  The extra smirked.


  His facial muscles twisted in an unusual direction.


  A grotesque expression.




  “A cornered rat will bite a cat.”


  Every word that he spoke was laden with emotion.


  His left hand picked up and released the President’s plaque. He exuded a precarious aura as if he might strike his opponent anytime with the object that he was holding.


  The acting spirit looked into the void.


  It had supplied just ‘enough energy to not be pushed back.’


  However, the faint energy of the extra was absorbing the supplied energy and was struggling fiercely like a prisoner who had just escaped from a long confinement.


  Before they knew it, the eyes on the acting set were all on the nameless extra.


  A tense silence filled the set for a moment.


  And then, the main actor screamed and swept everything off the desk.


  “Cut. Okay!”


  “Good job.”


  “We’ll now set up for scene 42. The actors should take a short break.”




  “Ah, but Chief Kim, what’s your name? You’re a good actor. I didn’t notice it in the previous scene.”


  “…It’s Shin Yoomyeong! Thank you, Director!”


  Yoomyeong bowed deeply at a 90-degree angle and greeted him enthusiastically.


  “Give one of your profiles to the assistant director before you leave.”


  “Yes! Thank you!!”


  Yoomyeong couldn’t suppress his pounding heart as he took out his pre-prepared profile from his backpack. He had been acting as an extra and minor character for 15 years, but this was the first time a director had shown direct interest.


  But more than that…


  ‘I felt free.’


  He curiously looked at his arms and legs.


  Unlike when he practiced acting alone, his limbs always felt heavy when he stood on the stage. His acting didn’t unfold as he had imagined. He had always thought it was due to a lack of practice, but…


  ‘I was able to move as I wanted to.’


  He was rather pleased with his acting just now.


  Although he was only an extra, the life of Chief Kim that he had designed carefully was expressed correctly with just a few lines.


  ‘Am I finally showing my potential?’


  Seeing his excited face, the acting spirit let out a sound of admiration.


  ‘His energy might be lacking, but his acting is quite…no, it’s considerably…’




  The acting spirit pulled out a handful of its silver fur and placed it on its palm.


  It melted smoothly and turned into a liquid that shimmered and sloshed about.




  * Flashback: an editing technique that inserts a series of shots that presents the past.


  As the words fell from its mouth, the silver liquid stretched infinitely thin to create a huge screen. The acting spirit reached out its hand and took out a bag of popcorn from thin air, putting a handful in its mouth and chewing loudly.


  {Play. This human’s life. Compress the key points. 4x speed.}


  A film projected onto the silver screen. 


  The protagonist was the same person from earlier. 


  [A large family gathers. The protagonist’s uncle roughly counts hands for each menu item. The protagonist raises his hand for fried rice. One serving of fried rice is missing. The uncle tilts his head, wondering, ‘Why did I do that?’]


  [After the meal, the protagonist goes to the bathroom. The family leaves without knowing that the protagonist is missing. The protagonist returns from the bathroom to find his family gone. He sighs and searches for a public phone as if it were a familiar occurrence.] 


  The acting spirit clucked its tongue.


  {Yeah. Why did a guy with such a low presence that even his family forgets him become an actor?}


  The scene skips.


  [A stage of a performance that is clearly amateurish. The protagonist is an extra. However, he can’t compare to the central and supporting roles, and the eyes linger on him momentarily when he speaks his lines. He has a flushed expression.]


  [The protagonist was looking at a movie script. The highlighted line in the thick script is just one line. However, the entire script was smeared with black fingerprints. The back of each page was densely filled with writing.]




  {To enjoy acting, and liking acting… It must have been a great stimulus to such a dull life.} 


  The acting spirit pondered as it popped another handful of popcorn into its mouth.


  After that, the roles he played whizzed by.


  There was never a lead role. The supporting roles were few enough to count on one hand. Thus, the number didn’t even compare to that of the main actors.


  It was the life of a man who had lived as a supporting actor for 15 years, taking on dozens of supporting roles, hundreds of minor roles, and thousands of background extra roles. 


  After skimming through that rough life in a flashback, the acting spirit took out a cider from the void and downed it in one shot.


  {Ugh… My throat is dry. Cider! I need cider!}




  Clink Click


  Glug glug


  Yoomyeong drank the cider. He tried to regain his senses, but he remained dazed. 


  Once again, he looked at the examination results in his hand.


  You’re in the terminal stage of liver cancer. The cancer cells have already spread to other organs. You need to be hospitalized immediately.


   What? H-how did this happen all of a sudden…?


  That’s right. Usually, people come to the hospital before this due to symptoms like jaundice or severe fatigue… 


  I didn’t have any of those symptoms.


  He had been frail since childhood.


  Strangely, when he started acting, his fatigue gradually disappeared when he tried to move his arms and legs. It seemed that it was just a feeling.


  Or was it because of the alcohol? Did he drink too much?


  Was it because he drank too frequently to erase the thought of his uncertain future?


  ‘Ha, I don’t even know anymore… ’ 


  There was a casting for the theater troupe tonight.


  It was a regular performance of the theater troupe that Yoomyeong had belonged to for the past 15 years. He had never missed one of these regular performances that took place twice a year.


  In that small, chronically underfunded theater troupe, Yoomyeong couldn’t even get a decent pay. Instead, more of his money went into buying meals and drinks for the younger actors, tightening his budget.


  But because it was such a small theater troupe, he could get roles with more than just a line of dialogue.


  ‘I was going to try for a supporting role this time, but…’


  He recalled the feeling that he felt from this morning. That feeling of being able to firmly grasp his acting.


  At that time, Yoomyeong felt tremendous ecstasy. He thought that he could try out for a more substantial role if he acted according to this feeling.


  However, that was all out of the question now.


  According to the doctor, his body could not withstand practicing anymore.


  Yoomyeong looked down at the cell phone in his hand.




  He typed in two letters and stared down for a long time before slowly erasing them.




  He typed in three syllables again and pressed the name that popped up.


  Ring ring


  Ring ring


  {Huh? Brother? Is that you?}


  “Uh… Jiyeon.”


  {What’s up? You never answer when I call. You should call our house soon. Mom and Dad are so worried about whether you’re eating properly.}


  An endless nagging flowed out. He silently listened to her voice.


  He hadn’t been able to show his face at home ever since he rushed out to do what he loved, regardless of the fact that he lacked a clear vision. It was often out of guilt. Should he show up out of the blue now and tell them that their son will die in a few months?


  Yoomyeong barely swallowed down the choking feeling that welled up in his throat. 


  {Brother. Why aren’t you speaking up? Is something wrong? Are you sick?}


  “No. I’ll visit the house soon. I’m sorry.”


  {Ugh, why are you being so cheesy? If you’re sorry, call us more often.}




  He barely managed to keep his voice steady. It was the performance of his life.


  It was a relief that only his voice could be heard. Faking facial expressions was impossible for him.


  After hanging up the phone, Yoomyeong eventually covered his eyes with both hands.




  Yoomyeong was drunkenly walking down the street at night.


  “What a load of bull…”


  He had applied for the theater troupe casting.


  Even though he knew that he wouldn’t be able to perform, he foolishly couldn’t let go of his dreams.


  Maybe he would recover from liver cancer by some miracle. He thought that he could get a good role if he acted like he did this morning.


  He made such excuses to himself.


  However, reality hit him hard. 


  ‘Even though I felt like I could act just fine this morning…’ 


  However, that feeling disappeared like a lie as soon as he stood on the theater stage that afternoon. He was once again the actor, Shin Yoomyeong, who was there with a seemingly non-existent presence.


  This time, he wasn’t given even a minor role.


  “Idiot. I’m this close to dying, but that was all I could do.”


  As soon as the bitter line left his mouth, he felt even more desolate.




  Yoomyeong unsteadily opened the door to his studio apartment with a convenience store plastic bag swinging in one hand.


  It was a shabby, single room where a lonely bachelor lived.


  An old mattress, a few clothes, and a few dishes in the sink.


  The only thing occupying the desolate landscape of the room was hundreds of piled-up scripts, like the master of a barren scenery. 


  Although Yoomyeong had a calm personality, the dreary room struck him more than usual today.


  ‘Indeed, I lived a pointless life and dreamt highly while being talentless…’


  Yoomyeong kicked aside the scattered scripts, sank down on the floor, and cracked open a can of beer he had just bought.




  “Give me one, too.”


  Just then, someone interrupted from beside him, and when Yoomyeong turned around,




  He screamed.


  A fox was next to him, sitting cross-legged like a human.




  “What… what is this?”


  “What do you mean, ‘what is this’? How rude.”


  The fox picked up a can of beer that was in front of Yoomyeong.


  “I’m called Yeongwi.”




  “It means an ‘acting spirit.’”


  For a moment, Yoomyeong was surprised. 


  Unexpectedly, he quickly regained his composure.


  ‘I must be seeing things because I’m drunk.’


  He was still slightly drunk and was the type to let his guard down when intoxicated.


  Besides, it didn’t look harmful. Although it said that it was a spirit, its appearance was of a shiny, silver-haired fox.


  Several tails spread out like a fan behind its back.


  “Are you a gumiho? Do you need a liver? I have liver cancer; do you want a rotten liver?”


  * Gumihos (nine-tailed foxes) are creatures from Korean mythology that can shape-shift into a beautiful woman. According to legends, a gumiho needs to eat the livers of 1,000 men within 1,000 years to become human.


  The fox began to chuckle.


  “Is that how the gumihos are seen until now? I’ll be blacklisted in the spirit world if I consume livers.”


  The fox, like a human, tipped its neck and gulped down the beer.


  “Terminal liver cancer, huh? It’s not surprising, since the liver is the organ most directly influenced by life energy.” 


  “What does that mean?”


  “You lack life energy. It’s not even at a human’s level; it’s more like a spirit’s?”




  “In fact, it’s strange that you’ve held on so far when you should have died long ago.”


  Yoomyeong looked at the fox incredulously.


  “Hey, that’s harsh.”


  “What’s your name?”


  “Shin Yoomyeong.”


  “Yoomyeong, meaning famous. Haha, well. Who gave you that name?”


  “They said that it was my late grandfather.”


  “Your grandfather saved you.”


  The fox bobbed its long snout.


  Yoomyeong wore a puzzled expression, unable to understand what the fox was saying. 


  “Names are imposed upon existence. Your name emphasized that existence even more by saying ‘I have a name.’ It’s a name that signifies the fact that you are here. Your name protected you during your childhood.”  


  Yoomyeong tilted his beer can as he listened to the confusing explanation that seemed somewhat comprehensible.


  He had heard that his grandfather was a famous physiognomist and a name scholar.


  “But I still don’t get it. Let’s say that your name got you through your childhood, but how did you survive after adolescence? Especially as an actor. Even on the stage, you’d be crushed by the life energy of others and wouldn’t be able to move properly.”


  At the fox’s mutterings, Yoomyeong swiftly turned his body to stare directly into its black, glass-like eyes.


  “Are you saying that the weak life energy you’re talking about affects my acting?”



Aura of a Genius Actor

Aura of a Genius Actor

Score 9.99
Status: Completed Native Language: Korean
[Winner of the 5th Korea Web Novel Contest] He cast his very being into a life of acting, only to go unrecognized.   But now, his life begins anew


error: Content is protected !!


not work with dark mode