The first thing that people thought of when they thought of pojang-macha would be the bustling noises from the customers.
Going past that orange-colored curtain would increase the noise level by at least double.
It was a place where all the emotions in life reverberated and where glasses hit each other with a clang.
It was a place of complete disinterest when it came to other people making noises.
It might feel desolate at first glance, but people still gained consolation from it.
Maru lightly brushed his hand over the fold-out table.
This pojang-macha in the middle of the set had less of that noise.
Other than the time when a drunk customer came by and complained about life to the owner, it would be very quiet.
The people that came here just sat down and ate udon and paid for their meals before going off to wherever they had to go.
It wasn’t like other pojang-machas where people finished off the day by spending hours here; this place was a refuge where they could rest their bodies and minds.
Maru picked up a boiled egg and looked in front of him at Ganghwan.
He had turned into the owner of a pojang-macha in just one day.
After the cut ended, Ganghwan kept making bowls of udon without rest and handed them to the staff when it was supposed to be a break.
It was 8 p.m.
There was no better time to end their starvation than now.
Everyone in each department, from the youngest to the oldest members, lined up outside the pojang-macha and received bowls.
Ganghwan made bowls of udon leisurely without looking like he was feeling rushed.
He shook off the moisture from the noodles and put them in some hot broth before he added some spring onions, dried tofu, and dried fishcakes.
His movements were very quick and without any wasted movements.
He looked like he had done it for a long time.
Don’t look down on a single man – he showed what he said through his actions.
Sometimes, there were people who approached the set from afar in confusion, and they were mostly the previous customers of the pojang-macha.
When they asked if something happened, like there was something big happening, Ganghwan explained the situation to them in kind.
Although it was supposed to be done by a staff member, Ganghwan drew the line, saying that it was his job.
Ganghwan gave the customers, who looked like they were rather disappointed after listening to the circumstances, a bowl of udon They looked at Ganghwan with suspicion when they received the bowls, but when they ate a little, they would raise their thumbs up.
You learned properly – these were their words.
“That was the agreement, so we can’t help it,” Jayeon said.
One of the conditions to rent this pojang-macha was to explain the situation to the customers who came by and give them food.
While it couldn’t be helped while they were shooting, the pojang-macha’s owner told them that they must absolutely give food to the customers who came during break time.
“You should watch while you eat.
Also, there’s no shoot tomorrow, so you can come by and be at ease.”
Ganghwan gave a bowl of udon to each of the two students that just arrived.
They were the students that Maru saw when he first came here.
This place was probably like the mill for the little sparrows they were.
After the untimely supper, they started preparing for the shoot again.
Maru asked Ganghwan, who was washing his hands,
“When did you learn all that? Your movements looked quite experienced.”
“I came here starting the day after Jayeon, no, our director said she rented this place.”
“Where else? I came here and helped out so that I could learn by watching.
That hyung-nim looks like a man among men on the outside, but he has an emotional side to him.
He especially said that the placing of the toppings must not be done wrong several times.
His wife said that he had an intricate personality, and man, I could nod to that.”
“Then you came here frequently for weeks?”
“I came here every day.
I told everyone I met that the shoot starts this month, but it looks like the regulars who visit this place every now and then didn’t catch the news.”
Now that he thought about it, Ganghwan did talk to the students like they were close.
He was wondering when they got so close, and this solved that question.
“Actors, please get ready,” said the assistant director while clapping.
Looking at the sky where the sun had completely set, producer Jayeon made a satisfied smile.
Maru and Yuna got out of the pojang-macha.
This time, Ganghwan had to act alone.
As soon as they finished cleaning up the surroundings, the shoot began.
Maru flipped his script over.
Both the actors and the production staff would have an easier time acting and editing if they shot in the order of the plot, but shooting environments were always rather restricting.
Even in just one episode, they had to skip back and forth several times.
If they were given more time, they would set the schedule accordingly, but once they started running out of time, they had to go to the future, then back to the past, and to the present again.
Right now, they were on scene 13 after having done scene 1.
They had skipped over the cuts that would show the everyday lives of the various characters so that they could shoot all the scenes they had to shoot at the pojang-macha.
“Thank you for your job today too.”
Ganghwan was talking to a minor actor while chopping up some soondae.
There were five minor characters talking to each other in the pojang-macha.
Jayeon was smiling as she watched them.
It seemed that she had taken a liking to the atmosphere.
Maru called out to Yuna who was dazing out as she looked at Ganghwan’s acting.
“You know that it’s our scene next, right? It should become easier if you think about the incidents leading up to that scene to get your emotions ready.”
Yuna nodded and opened her script.
Her script was stained with highlighter pen ink.
“Should we go through the meeting part in scene 3?”
Maru pictured a classroom in his mind.
The surrounding noises became faint, and he eventually felt like the classroom was real.
It was the masked man helping him out.
The dark stage where he resided could be used in this way by changing the scenery.
He grabbed onto his consciousness which was floating among tens of thousands of thoughts and put it next to the character known as ‘Park Haejoon’.
His focused consciousness started analyzing the character in depth.
After tearing apart the character from all facets, he classified the parts into hundreds of elements and accepted them into his own body, practically imprisoning ‘Park Haejoon’ inside him.
Acting rationally while looking at the traits of the character lying below his consciousness – this was the acting method specialized for Maru.
“How can you be so bold?” Maru spoke.
This was his first line said to ‘Yoon Jihae’, the character played by Yuna.
Park Haejoon was an average student.
Number of family members, household circumstances, academic achievements, hobbies, friends, dreams.
After extracting a mean or median value from every single one of them, they would represent ‘Park Haejoon’.
He acted righteously from time to time, preferred not to stand out, and wanted to study well but liked playing games more.
To him, who felt a sense of kinship with the ‘average joe’ in textbooks, Yoon Jihae was a mystical being that lived outside the fence of ordinariness.
Yoon Jihae was a firm girl.
When the other people in the class boasted their brand-name student uniforms, she boldly boasted her second-hand one, and she always raised her hand to refuse when teachers asked who was willing to buy postage stamps from the red cross or badges from NGOs as donations.
To Park Haejoon, who unwillingly took out his money because he didn’t want to stand out, that was something very bold to do.
‘Maru’ knew her household circumstances, but Park Haejoon didn’t.
That was why his first line was that of admiration, envy, and respect.
“What do you mean?”
A rather gruffy reply came back.
Maru, no, Park Haejoon thought of that cold answer as an expression of confidence.
Compared to him, who could never say something like that in fear of ruining his relationships, she looked like a strong woman who could survive in the world by herself.
“I mean, before, when we were buying badges.”
“What about it? Are you dissatisfied because I didn’t buy one?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“What then? What do you want to say?”
“So uh… you look really bold.”
“Are you mocking me?”
The moment he saw Yuna’s face as she said those words, Maru felt that the characters of Park Haejoon and Yoon Jihae that were within him were creaking a little.
Maru raised his hand.
Yuna, who was about to follow up, blinked her eyes and didn’t say anything.
“What is it, seonbae?”
“You’re doing well, but can you do that last line again?”
“The one where I ‘are you mocking me’?”
Yuna cleared her throat and said the line again.
With a prickly tone of speech, her lips curled up a little.
It felt a bit like she was mocking him.
“What is it? Was I strange?”
“Before that, can I ask how you interpreted this? I mean, people have their own ways.”
Yuna opened the script and spoke,
“I just said what I felt when I read this line.”
There were no directions for the expression of emotions indicated by the writer for that line.
It just went according to the flow.
“Was it strange?”
“If you’re sure about it, then I don’t really have anything to say to you.”
“No, say it anyway.
I have to learn a lot.”
Maru scratched his eyebrows and spoke,
“You know how when you see the other lines, the writer has indicated what emotions to express and the circumstances, right?”
At those times, I try to follow them.”
“There are times when you should change it according to the requests of the director, but most of the time, it’ll go according to how the writer wrote it.
The problem is when such directions aren’t there.
This is when the actors need to think about the most.
While the director is in charge of everything, she won’t instruct you on everything.
The director’s job is to bring out the best of each part after all.
So in parts like this one, the actor needs to decide how to say the lines and how to show them to the director.
If that process is smooth, the director would entrust the rest to the actor, but if there’s a disparity, the two should start tuning it together.”
“I’m saying this again, but this is an extremely personal opinion of mine, and I’m not telling you that your acting method is wrong, so just take it lightly.
First, the background of scene 3 is the classroom, right?”
It’s when the two first talk to each other.”
“As you know from the script, episode 1 doesn’t portray the household circumstances of the characters.
But we know about it already.
Park Haejoon is the epitome of being average, while Yoon Jihae is someone who feels that poverty is shameful and expresses herself as a vicious girl in order to hide it.”
Yuna flipped through the script and replied ‘yes’.
“If you say that line like how you did with just the information given in episode 1, I would say that your interpretation is good.
After all, these kinds of lines are usually said with a mocking tone in a drama.
It also suits the character of Yoon Jihae shown on the surface.
But you are already aware of what kind of life she leads at home.
Do you remember the script for episode 2? The scene where you hang up your call with your friends, who asked you to go out with them, and then started crying by yourself.
Her personality might be bold on the surface, but don’t you think that Yoon Jihae is actually extremely defensive and shy on the inside? If her exterior personality was because of rebellious psychology or some sort of self-defense mechanism, then I don’t think it’ll be a bad idea to say the line how you did.”
Maru looked at Yoon Jihae’s line.
Would ‘mocking’ be the only thing in her mind when Park Haejoon tells her that the shell she created for herself is cool and amazing? Rather than that, a dry rage without any sort of mocking tone would suit the line better.
In order to prop up the collapsing true self, she had to put up an even stronger barrier of falseness which would increase the intensity of the line instead.
“Are you mocking me?”
Maru said the line mixed with anger and wariness.
He could see Yuna flinching back a little.
Maru loosened his expression and showed her the script.
“You see my line right afterwards, right?”
Extremely flustered and apologetic, that’s what’s written above it.”
“If Yoon Jihae replied with a mocking tone, don’t you think that is overreacting?”
“That’s definitely true.
Now that you mention it, cold rage might suit the flow better.”
“Of course, I might be wrong.”
“No, I’m sure you’re right.
In the last part, the directions also say that Park Haejoon wants to talk to her but he could not.
He could not – this always tugged on my mind and I feel like I finally understand why.”
Yuna’s eyes sparkled as she kept reading through the script.
After she finished, she nodded as she accepted.
“This is what you call attention to detail, right?”
“It’s just a difference of interpretation.
I might be wrong about this, so don’t believe in me too much.”
“We’ll find out when we act it out later.
We’ll see which one the director likes better.
But in my opinion, I think what you said is close to the answer.
Ah, and here I thought I analyzed the script quite thoroughly.
I was unable to connect other characters’ lines to the stage directions.
I guess they don’t give you the script to just look at it.”
Yuna snorted before taking out a pen.
“Uhm, seonbae, let me write things down for a little.”
“Take it slow.
I think it’ll take a while for scene 13 to end.”
Please wait a little.”
Yuna’s hands started moving busily.
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