Volume 1 / Chapter 44
As Jun Hyuk had said, people from apparel brand XOR came to the cafe. The XOR officials were edgy while Yoon Kwang Hun read through the contract meticulously.
The broadcast had warned them that the cafe owner was very precise. They still had not thought that he would read through all six pages of the contract.
Yoon Kwang Hun began to speak once he was done reading the contract,
“The main point is this? If he has a scandal during the year after ‘Tomorrow’s Star’ starts, we need to compensate the damages. Is that right?”
“Ah… yes. That is content that is typically included.”
“Hm, sir. I guess you haven’t heard the rumors yet?”
Yoon Kwang Hun put the contract down and coughed.
“Jun Hyuk punched another kid during Star Week.”
“Oh, we know about that.”
“He’s a kid plenty capable of cursing at the judges. Live broadcast? He doesn’t know what that means because he doesn’t care about the cameras once he goes into his music. But live like the ideal child for one year? This is asking us not to sign on.”
“Hey, sir. You’re being too much. Surely he won’t cause any accidents on live broadcast?”
“It’s true. What I’m most worried about is that he’ll say ‘You don’t know shit and you’re being annoying!’ if the judges say something he doesn’t agree with.”
The XOR Manager’s face brightened,
“We’re grateful if he causes scandals like that. Ha ha.”
“The concept of this season’s jean is the rebel. We chose Jun Hyuk based on that concept. He doesn’t fear the judges and says what he wants? This overlaps with a teenager rebelling against a teacher or adult. Kids like it. The terms you pointed out are in reference to issues like drinking and assaulting someone, drugs, girls.”
“What… a 17 year old and alcohol, drugs, girls?”
Yoon Kwang Hun had not even thought of such absurd situations. Did people in the entertainment industry act like adults no matter what age they were on they gained fame?
“If Jun Hyuk becomes famous once the program ends, he’ll be called to different places, go to parties for his album release… there will be accidents. Especially with Jun Hyuk, girls will be all over him. He’s at an age where he won’t be able to say no. That’s why kids have management companies. The companies resolve all of these types of accidents. The reason why people like the larger companies is that they stop the articles no matter how big a scandal is. The reporters are scared of them.”
They just had to stay quiet until ‘Tomorrow’s Star’ was over. Jun Hyuk was staying in a boarding house until the end of the program anyway. Whatever the XOR official was worried about would not be a problem.
Once the program was over, Jun Hyuk needed to focus on studying abroad and not on become a celebrity as everyone else was assuming.
Jun Hyuk could not bear being ordered around. The life of a celebrity was hard. He had to do what he was told until he became a recognized star.
“Then let’s do this. Let’s write out what the ‘unsavory acts’ are specifically. The drugs, assault, girls, et cetera you spoke of. Doesn’t a contract need to be specific?”
“That sounds good. We’ll change that part. Do you have any other suggestions?”
“Four poster shoots and two promotional video shoots. This video is for the TV?”
“No, it’s internet advertising. Of course if Jun Hyuk has enough star power, they could go on TV.”
“Then let’s agree to that.”
“Are you satisfied with the guarantee?”
“I realize that $20,000 for a total rookie is a very generous condition. Isn’t it normally $5,000?”
The XOR Manager’s face brightened. When they were first drafting the contract, they were grappling with $5,000 and were allowed to go a little higher, but the marketing director cut everyone off bluntly. She said that he was a model worth the expense. She also said that he might turn against XOR indefinitely if they went too hard from the beginning. The XOR marketing director had a conviction about Jun Hyuk.
The XOR Manager did not lose his chance when Yoon Kwang Hun showed satisfaction at the guarantee,
“Thank you for recognizing this. It really is a generous condition. Our Director really has an eye for people. Jun Hyuk will become a star. Our Director is sure of it.”
The XOR Manager left the cafe saying that he would bring back a revised contract.
That night, Yoon Kwang Hun and Jun Hyuk watched the first episode of ‘Tomorrow’s Star’ together at the cafe. Yoon Kwang Hun watched while drinking a beer, waiting for Jun Hyuk to come out, but all that aired of him was 10 seconds after 1 hour and 20 minutes.
“Hey! Did you know you weren’t coming out this week?”
“No. They didn’t say anything about that.”
Jun Hyuk must have been fascinated that he was on TV because he was a little excited. TV has a strange charm. One begins to think that he is special.
Yoon Kwang Hun worried about what he had to do if Jun Hyuk became more concerned about becoming a star than he did about his music, but it was already too late. He brought up another topic to ease his ominous thoughts,
“Is the girl whose preview came on in the middle Nam Seung Hee? She’s pretty.”
“Right? Truthfully, she does look prettier on the TV screen. I’m going to try to get her to go out with me while we’re living in the boarding house.”
“Why? She said she’s interested in you too?”
“I have to blow her away. I’m going to make her a song. There’s no problem. He he.”
“Do well with her, but you can’t cause any trouble. Oh right, when you go into the boarding house tomorrow, they’ll make you do all sorts of things. They’re going to make you exercise and dance. You saw last season, right?”
“It’s okay. If they bother me too much, I can just quit everything and get out of there. Those people can’t cut me. I overheard them talking about how I’ll be the factor guaranteeing their viewer ratings this season. Ha ha.”
It was understandable since he was a kid who had survived on watching for other people’s reactions alone. He would be able to figure out that he is necessary just by looking at the faces of the staff members.
“Anyway, don’t act too much on your impatience and go along with what they say for the most part. Do what you can and if there’s something you really can’t do, don’t throw a tantrum and go tell the producer.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“You’re really going out in society now. You were on the boundaries of society when you were living alone, but it’s not like that anymore. Now, you have to fit in to a certain extent. You also have to learn to be patient until you become a person that no one can touch.”
“Don’t worry. Am I a child?”
“You’re being cocky. Hey, you’re still a kid.”
Yoon Kwang Hun felt that his nagging was unusually long and shut his mouth to start cleaning the cafe. Jun Hyuk was like his son, but he did not want to become like other fathers and sons. He wanted to be like an uncle and at times, a close friend.
“Go to sleep early. You have to go all the way to Sangam-dong tomorrow morning. Are you done packing?”
“They told me that I don’t need to bring anything. They’ll give me all the clothes I need to wear once I get there… even the underwear and socks. I’ll just take my guitar.”
“Sure. I’ll come early in the morning.”
“No, that’s okay. I can just take the bus.”
“It’s fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Yoon Kwang Hun who came early in the morning to drop Jun Hyuk off in Sangam-dong thought he might know how parents feel when they are sending their children far away.