Aura of a Genius Actor Chapter 30

Chapter 30 - I Object

༺ I Object ༻



  “I think I should show you my ‘Hyde’ again.” 


  At those words, the air inside the practice room seemed to ripple. 


  Was he saying that he wasn’t satisfied with ‘that’ Hyde and had created another Hyde?

  Yu-ri also suppressed her surprise and sat down again.


  “Go ahead. Act 2, Scene 5, Hyde’s monologue after the death of Sir Danvers.”


  “I’ll begin.”


  For a brief moment, their eyes met. Ryu Shin was staring at him with a predatory expression, clasping his knees and fists clenching so tightly the veins stood out. 


  Yoomyeong composed his breathing. 


  Shaking off the Jekyll he had been portraying just five minutes ago… 


  He quickly immersed himself.




  Watching it, Yu-ri felt puzzled. 


  Compared to the last Hyde, this one stood straighter and seemed larger. The previously hunched form had excellently portrayed Hyde’s grotesqueness, so why had he abandoned that?




  The actor standing in the center of the crowd did a tiptoe stretch and lowered his gaze. 


  As if something was far below the ground. 


  What was it?  


  It was probably a corpse.




  A disturbing laugh erupted. It was a laugh suffused with unpleasant delight. 


  Everyone was startled by that laugh and held their knees.


  “Is he dead? Really? Just like that? Ah…”


  He lifted his gaze and took a shallow breath. The face revealed was clearly filled with unbearable ecstasy. In bizarre contrast, his hands were still trembling.


  “You should’ve refrained from pointless nagging, Sir Danvers Carew. Those chatty lips of yours will never part again. And to think, humans… die so easily. Arms and legs, snap-snap, torn apart.”


  Snap— Snap—


  It wasn’t the sound of words, but the sound made by flicking the tongue.


  The sound resonated from the roof of the mouth and stuck in the ears.


  “It’s quite amusing to see humans squirm in pain. Poor, old Henry Jekyll. To have resisted such pleasure and lived until now.”


  An unbridled desire radiated, not showing any semblance of restraint.


  It was more sullied and more tarnished than the simple, dark evil Yoomyeong had initially portrayed; there was a more intense desire for degradation.


  It sharply contrasted with Dr. Jekyll, who seemed like he would never permit such things.


  They were on completely opposite sides, yet their roots were the same.


  Jekyll’s extreme avoidance of filth, cruelty, and pleasure.


  And Hyde’s extreme craving for them.


  ‘Ah… so that’s it.’


  Yu-ri had thought the old Hyde and the current Jekyll would ‘go well together.’


  But now, the current Hyde and the current Jekyll weren’t just well-matched. They were ‘perfect.’




  Upon seeing that Hyde, Yu-ri decided to change the casting without a moment’s hesitation.


  However, there was one thing she needed to ask before that.


  “Your Jekyll and Hyde are quite impressive. They differ from the prototype, but they’re much more convincing. But I have one question. The last Hyde had a very striking, inhumanly twisted, and shrunken bodily structure, so why is this Hyde…?”


  Although still smaller than Jekyll’s shape, Hyde’s body had grown significantly larger than before.


  The other members also nodded at Yu-ri’s question.


  Yoomyeong answered.


  “Back then, that was Act 1’s Hyde, and this one is Act 2’s Hyde.”




  “In the original work, Dr. Jekyll’s evil self is described as much smaller than his good self, so in the early stages, Hyde is described as grotesquely small and hunched. As the story progresses and the influence of the evil self grows, Hyde’s physique also becomes larger.” 


  “I see… but still…”


  “I intend to stay true to that. Starting with a hunched body, it will gradually straighten until it physically overwhelms Jekyll in the end.”




  A current flowed down everyone’s spine.


  He was talking about an incredibly difficult performance as if it was the most natural thing.


  * * *


  The most surprised, of course, was Ryu Shin.


  This performance couldn’t be explained just by saying ‘because he’s a genius.’


  After finishing his acting and returning, he looked intently at Yoomyeong, who was breathing heavily. 


  His usually good skin seemed irritated. The dark circles under his eyes indicated a severe lack of sleep.


  The portion of the script that was bound with a stapler was frayed, with several pages on the verge of falling out.


  ‘A genius and a hard worker.’


  Had he been that focused?


  In just two weeks, he had created such a character. Ryu Shin had thought he himself had invested all possible resources into dedicated acting practice, but…


  ‘I thought I had a chance of turning it around…’


  Ryu Shin tightly clenched his trembling hands.


  “The role of Jekyll/Hyde has been changed to Shin Yoomyeong.”


  In the end, the announcement he had expected was made, and Ryu Shin lowered his head.


  “Would the actor who didn’t get the role, Ryu Shin, like to apply for another role?”


  The phrase ‘the actor who didn’t get the role’ deeply pierced his heart. It was the official term used in auditions for Oedipus to ignite competition among the actors. He had never known until now how cruelly piercing that term could be because he had never lost before.


  “I’ll take on the role of ‘Extra 1’ that was originally done by Shin Yoomyeong.”


  Nobody misunderstood the meaning behind those words. 


  It meant he would see this to the end. It signified an unyielding spirit and a refusal to give up.


  Yu-ri looked into his blazing eyes and silently nodded her approval.


  After the rehearsal, Ryu Shin extended his hand to Yoomyeong.


  “Your performance was good, but I will definitely take it back.”


  “…I’ll be looking forward to it.”


  And after a brief, awkward silence…


  Yoomyeong, perhaps attempting to break the tension, repeated a phrase he had used many times before.


  “You should speak casually as I’ve told you, hyung.”


  Ryu Shin, who had always responded to that phrase with laughter, couldn’t hide his true feelings today.


  He looked straight at Yoomyeong and spoke seriously. 


  “If I speak casually, I might lose my focus. It’s more comfortable this way.”


  A palpable tension flowed between the two.


  * * *


  “What? You changed the casting?”


  “Yes. Shin Yoomyeong came up with an overwhelming character.”


  “…I object.”




  Resting her chin on her hand, Min Juran caught Yu-ri’s gaze and spoke again.


  “I said, I object.”


  “You seem to be misunderstanding something. The authority for casting lies entirely with the director.”


  “That is what’s funny. In dramas, the writer gets to participate in casting, and in movies, they can exert influence depending on the situation. Only in theater do they insist that casting is solely the director’s prerogative.”


  “Hey, Min Juran.”


  “Whoa, don’t look at me like that. I’m just as flabbergasted. What more did I ask for besides casting Ryu Shin as the lead? I’m not asking for someone who’s unfit. I’m asking for an already recognized actor.”


  “I’ve told you several times that you can’t interfere with the casting. You haven’t even seen what kind of character Shin Yoomyeong had prepared.”


  “Even if his acting is better, I still prefer Ryu Shin.”




  “Star power. I have no interest in building a kind and humane portfolio. I’m only going to put ‘rising stars’ on my work’s lead role list. This Shin Yoomyeong may be a rising star too, but not right now. So, I’m not interested.”


  “Ugh… you really…”


  “You think I can’t pull the script that’s already out?”


  Yu-ri’s expression hardened.


  She swallowed the words ‘get out’ that were climbing up to her throat.


  “We’ll have a meeting… and I’ll get back to you.”


  “Fine. I’m also looking out for my own interests, so let’s not get personal. You know I like you, right?”


  Min Juran playfully waved her hand.


  * * *


  “What? Is she insane?”


  “Haa… what should we do?”


  An emergency meeting was convened. Only three people attended: Director Seon Yu-ri and the two actors involved in this incident, Seo Ryu Shin and Shin Yoomyeong. 


  Yu-ri, worried that the entire atmosphere at Oedipus might become unstable, had first called only the two of them to discuss the problem with Min Juran. Ryu Shin was the first to bristle at her words.


  “What do you mean, ‘what should we do?’ We have to cut her off.”


  “But there’s no alternative. As you know, the existing scripts are really bad… Even if we find a new playwright, we can’t guarantee the quality, it’ll take time to work on, and it will be burdensome for the actors to memorize a new script…”


  “Don’t worry about the last point. I’m fine with it. What about you, Yoomyeong?”


  “It’s fine with me.”


  In any case, the lines for the role of Jekyll/Hyde made up more than half of this performance.


  Yu-ri felt relieved by the strong assurances from the two reliable actors on that front. However, the problem remained unresolved.


  “The issue of the new adaptation still remains… I absolutely can’t accept a casting change, but should I try to reason with Juran?”


  “Let’s look for someone, starting now. A director shouldn’t easily compromise their pride.”


  “Senior, if it means we can create a good performance, I can bend my pride.”


  “Bending your pride isn’t always the most important thing. You and I as actors, will face a lot of external pressure in the future and there will be times when we have to compromise our pride. But we compromise for something that’s worth it. An arrogant rookie writer with no official work under her belt isn’t worth it.” 


  Yu-ri tightly bit her lip.


  “I’ll look for another writer. You should look, too. Since completely rewriting the adaptation at this point would be difficult, let’s consider modifying the version we used during casting. We’ll cover the shortcomings with our acting.”


  Listening quietly to their conversation, Yoomyeong suddenly remembered someone.


  “Ah, I have a friend who writes scripts; should I ask for a favor?”


  “Huh? Who?”




  Their voices overlapped. Yu-ri’s voice was particularly desperate.


  “He’s my classmate and has been writing diligently on his own for a long time. From what I see, he’s talented and passionate, but he’s still an amateur, so I can’t guarrantee the quality.”


  “Ah… is that so?”


  “Yes. It’s not final, but should I ask him just to see if he’s interested?” 


  “Yes, please do.”


  Yoomyeong immediately called Jun-ho and turned up the volume while everyone leaned in to listen intently. 




  {Yoomyeong, what’s up?}


  “Jun-ho, I have something to ask you. I’m in a meeting at Oedipus right now, and the director and another lead candidate are listening.”


  {Uh…? Okay… Ah, hello.}


  “Do you have experience with adaptations?”


  {Adaptations? Yeah, I’ve done it a few times with the novels I have at home.}


  “Do you want to try adapting a script for an Oedipus performance?”


  {… What?!}


  “We’ve had some issues with the writer, so the script is a mess. We’re looking for a new writer. Honestly, even if you work on it, there’s no guarantee it’ll be selected. We can’t use a subpar script for the main performance, but I recommended you because I think you can do it. Do you want to give it a try?”




  Jun-ho’s hesitation didn’t last long.


  {Sure! I’ve been writing every day without expecting to put it on stage anyway. Are you… are you listening? I’ll give it a try. If it doesn’t work out, please let me know what’s lacking.}


  At the sound of Jun-ho’s excited, trembling voice, Yu-ri’s expression relaxed.


  “Yes, we’re the ones asking for a favor, after all. We look forward to working with you.”


  “Jun-ho, how long do you think it’ll take?”


  {You said Dr. Jekyll and Hyde, right? I’ll go buy the book right now. If I work through the night… maybe two or three days?}


  At his response, both Yu-ri and Ryu Shin wore expressions of disbelief.





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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


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