Aura of a Genius Actor Chapter 83

Chapter 83 - Seeing What The Rookie Actor Had Prepared

༺ Seeing What The Rookie Actor Had Prepared ༻


  The next day, Yoomyeong overslept. 


  It was understandable, considering he had been up until dawn dealing with an unexpected guest. 


  After eating at a restaurant contracted with the film team, Yoomyeong sat on a park bench, basking in the late May sunshine.


  Tomorrow was the script rehearsal for his first shooting as Lee Bang-won.


  Unfortunately, Hansung wasn’t around. 


  Yoomyeong could rehearse his lines alone while imagining his co-star, but it lacked the dynamism of a real interaction. While reading the script, an idea struck him.






  ‘Can you help me practice my lines?’


  {Practice? Hmm…}


  Miho tilted his head playfully, but his large ears fluttered noticeably. Yoomyeong could tell what he was thinking just by looking at his ears. Strangely, his ears always revealed his true feelings. 


  ‘Please help me. It’s hard to get immersed when I’m practicing alone.’ 


  {…If you insist, then I guess I’ll help you, kyung.}


  Miho swiftly joined him on the bench, and Yoomyeong showed him the script.


  ‘Here, let’s start from Scene 30.’ 


  {The tea conversation between Bang-won and Mong-ju?}




  The script of <The Late Goryeo Dynasty & the Early Joseon Dynasty> alternated between the present and flashbacks. 


  The backbone was the conversation between Jeong Mong-ju and Lee Bang-won. 


  Jeong Mong-ju reunited with his ‘student’ Lee Bang-won and was invited for a chat while he was visiting Lee Seong-gye. Mong-ju, who would have sought out Bang-won anyway, gladly accepted the invitation.


  They proceeded to have a meaningful conversation in a secluded pavilion in the garden. 


  The film progressed as past events were interwoven with their conversation.


  ‘The tea conversation scenes are the hardest. It’s the climax… I have to slowly reveal Bang-won’s respect for his teacher, caution against his adversary, his greed for talent, and his overarching control of the situation.’ 


  {Are you filming this part tomorrow?}


  ‘No, it’s the last part. The shooting is done in chronological order.’ 


  Director Son decided to shoot in chronological order, except when international locations like the Ming dynasty palace or when cameo appearances required shooting all at once. 


  The idea was that following the timeline would naturally bring out the evolving emotions.


  {Then why are you practicing this part?}


  ‘Because the tea conversation scenes best showcase Lee Bang-won’s character. I want to get a good grip on this part; I feel like getting this right will help me portray his younger days better… Is that wrong?’


  Yoomyeong explained his intention and sought Miho’s opinion, the best acting expert he knew.


  {No, it’s a good idea. Let’s start the lines.}




  “It was in this room that I first met you, Master. Do you remember?”


  {How can I not?}


  “Your teachings are still vivid to me. Be firm in your purpose, unwavering in your gaze, and decisive in action. In politics, we use whatever means are necessary to achieve our goals, even if they are imperfect.”




  “You did the same in reality. After returning from Japan, it seems as if you had made peace with yourself since you’re even sharing drinks with those you despised.”


  {I regret telling you about that.}


  Miho read his lines without moving his lips. The sound seemed to emanate from a different space, the air vibrating with the sound. 


  Although Miho’s voice maintained its own tone, it conveyed the character of Jeong Mong-ju so vividly that Yoomyeong absorbed every word, savoring them. 


  Despite having ‘reluctantly agreed,’ Miho took his role seriously as if it were his own job and diligently played his part opposite Yoomyeong.




  Meanwhile, the three actors, Bae Geohyeong, Min Gyeong-Guk, and Kim Jin-Beom, were drinking. 


  They had all finished shooting early that day except for Hansung, who was still filming. 


  They gathered in Bae Geohyeong’s hotel room and opened a bottle of soju. It was a much-needed break after more than a month of intense filming. 


  “The director seems more sensitive this time…” 


  Min Gyeong-Guk, who was playing the role of Jeong Do-jeon, commented wearily.


  “It’s probably because he’s thinking of retiring, and he wants to give this project his all. But you’re doing well despite the pressure, actor Min,” Bae Geohyeong reassured him, patting him on the back. 


  “You perform better when you’re pressured, hyung. That’s why Director Son keeps pushing you. Look at me. I don’t change no matter how much I’m pushed, so the director… isn’t pressuring me as much,”  Kim Jin-Beom joked, laughing.


  They had all known each other for over ten years. 


  They had worked on projects together and were often part of the same actors’ social gatherings. More importantly, they were bound together by the name ‘Son Chi-wook Faction,’ a title that held significant meaning for them. It represented a shared understanding of having endured extreme pressure.


  “Wow… I felt as stressed today as when I debuted in the director’s film 20 years ago. My mental energy is completely drained.” 


  “Drink up. Alcohol is the best remedy on days like these.”


  Bae Geohyeong poured another drink for him. Drinking it in one gulp, Min Gyeong-Guk suddenly remembered something.


  “Speaking of which, tomorrow is our youngest team member’s debut. Do you think he’ll cry…?”


  “He won’t. He’s still young, but he’s quite tough. Did you see his eyes during the reading?” 


  Kim Jin-Beom chuckled and joined in.


  “He might not cry… but I bet he’ll mess up at least once. Everyone gets a shock the first time with Director Son’s style.”


  “You’re talking about yourself, right? I heard rumors that you ran away during your first shoot with Director Son.” 


  “Ah, hyung! That’s not just a rumor… Well, it’s true. I almost died that time.”


  Bae Geohyeong was forty-five, while Min Gyeong-Guk was forty-two. Kim Jin-Beom was forty, the same age as Yoon Hansung. Although all of them were established actors, Kim Jin-Beom, being the youngest there, agreed with a sly grin.


  “But that young actor is really impressive. How many times did he become an extra again? That’s fifteen excluding the last one, right?” 


  “Sounds about right. But what does it matter?”


  “I heard that Director Son praised him during the last one, but I missed it because I was in the restroom.”


  “Director Son knows how to give and take, after all. He really keeps you on your toes.”




  Jin-Beom’s eyes twinkled as he suggested a bet.


  “How about we bet on how many takes the youngest will need to get an ‘OK’ on his first shooting tomorrow?”


  “Come on, that’s…”


  “I say eight takes!”


  Min Gyeong-Guk, who had to reshoot today’s scene an average of six times, quickly answered. 


  “I’ll go with five. He’s good and it’s his first day, so maybe the director will be a bit more lenient.”


  That was Kim Jin-Beom’s prediction. And Bae Geohyeong, who was initially reluctant, finally joined in.


  “I’ll bet on ten takes…”




  “Ahem. Well, there’s a lot of expectation on the character of Lee Bang-won.”


  The bet reflected a mix of sympathy for the hardships the rookie actor would face under Director Son’s style and a bit of mischief, thinking ‘You’ll understand how we felt once you go through it yourself’. 


  They agreed that the person furthest from the actual number would buy soju at their next gathering and then parted ways to their respective rooms. 


  Of course, none of their guesses was right.




  The weather was clear on the first day of shooting. 


  The film crew crowded around the building set to represent Sungkyunkwan, the royal academy. 


  Hansung easily spotted Yoomyeong among the crowd.




  Lately, Yoomyeong stood out more than usual. Hansung didn’t even have to look hard for him. 


  He was already in makeup, dressed in a white hanbok and the headgear with two feathers attached to either side of it. 


  It was the sixteen-year-old Lee Bang-won. Although Yoomyeong’s stature was that of an adult, his face still held youthful brashness, which was perfectly captured by the makeup.


  The script so far went like this:


  Jeong Mong-ju, on Lee Seong-gye’s request, taught Lee Bang-won from the ages of 12 to 14. Excited by his intelligence and qualities similar yet flexible to his own, Mong-ju wanted to groom him as his top student. 


  However, in 1380, after sensing Lee Seong-gye’s ambition at the clan council in Jeonju following his participation in the Battle of Hwangsanbeol, Mong-ju made an excuse to stop tutoring Lee Bang-won. He realized that continuing to nurture him would indirectly support Lee Seong-Gye. 


  Young Bang-won, who was unaware of the reason, felt abandoned by his teacher. In 1382, he passed the state examination at the age of 16 and entered Sungkyunkwan.


  Today’s first shooting scene was scene 38 in which, two years later, Bang-won encountered his teacher, who had greatly impacted his youth, when he gave a special lecture at Sungkyunkwan. 


  “We’ll start with the scene of Jung Mong-ju’s lecture. Actors, please go to your positions~” 


  Actors dressed like Yoomyeong in white outer hanbok and headgear hurried to their places.


  Unlike modern schools, the academy was a mix of very old and young scholars. Among them, Bang-won was one of the youngest, but his eyes emitted a determination and composure unmatched by anyone else.


  Dressed in official attire, Hansung sat in front of the students. 


  Director Son came over to give him some directing tips and soon approached Yoomyeong as well.


  “From Bang-won’s perspective, his most trusted and respected teacher abandoned him without a word. Over the past two years, he must have had countless thoughts. Was something wrong with him? Should he visit his teacher? Did he do something wrong…? These thoughts helped shape his character, with a perspective that oversaw situations and a cold nature that holds no lingering sentiment.”


  “Yes, Director.”


  Yoomyeong listened intently and nodded.


  “The Sungkyunkwan scene, marking the rookie actor’s first appearance, should reflect the complexity of longing for and the feeling of being betrayed by a mentor, yet not easily revealing these emotions. It’s the quality of a young, astute politician. Let’s start with the agreed-upon movements and see what the rookie actor has prepared, then adjust and direct accordingly.”




  “Alright, let’s go! Everyone, stand by.” 


  The bustling set quickly fell silent.




  The lecture was held in a pavilion bathed in lazy sunlight. 


  The lecturer was a celebrated figure in Eastern Neo-Confucianism, known for his significant academic achievements and diplomatic feats extending to Ming and Japan. 


  Amidst the idolizing gaze of the students, only one pair of eyes regarded the figure at the front with a detached assessment.


  Dressed in a blue robe, Jeong Mong-ju skillfully and elegantly lectured on the “Interpretations on Great Learning (Great Learning: a text that was once part of the Chinese classic, the ‘Book of Rites,’ which is closely related to Confucian doctrine),” walking step by step across the pavilion’s floor where sunlight and shadows interplayed.


  “The monarch may represent ‘Heaven’s Way,’ but it is not because they are the monarch or because only they can do so. As a human, the monarch must constantly cultivate and strive to understand Heaven’s will. This means that a stable system supported by ministers and officials is necessary if the monarch lacks cultivation or finds it difficult to govern alone, a stable system supported by ministers and officials is necessary.”


  It wasn’t about policies being dictated by the whims of a single king. 


  Instead, administrators ran the state, with overseers vigilantly monitoring their actions, and the king serving merely as the final approver.


  Jeong Mong-ju, through this lecture, was conveying to the future of the nation the ideal world he and Jeong Do-jeon envisioned.


  Yet, his gaze kept returning to one student’s head. Unsurprisingly, a hand rose from that direction.


  “Please ask your question.”


  The student stood up with a respectful bow, signifying deference to the teacher, and then presented a counterargument. 


  “However, won’t good policies be lost under the guise of majority rule or endless discussions without conclusion if the system revolves only around officials? To respond flexibly to rapidly changing political situations, wouldn’t a system with both ‘competent leaders’ and ‘stable administrative system’ be more ideal?”


  The voice confidently challenged the greatest scholar of that time, 


  And Bang-won and Mong-ju’s gazes clashed sharply.




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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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