Edited: Myoni, Yoni
Shoot! I should have thought it through before saying that.
While I was motionless as if my brain was lagging, Songha dried off her sweat and said.
“I can’t act.”
“What? Why can’t you? What’s there not to do?”
And W&U would probably be able to push you in that direction if you want.
“I can’t act.”
“It’s not that I’m not doing it, I can’t.”
“Why? Why can’t you act?”
“If you ask me why I can’t… I just can’t.”
“No, you are go…!”
I flinched while I was speaking.
When I saw Songha, she was staring at me as if I was some strange person. Keep it together. I couldn’t confuse the future and the present. Even though in the future, they said Songha was good at acting and that it was the rediscovery of Songha, it might not be true right now.
Then just what happened?
What did we have to do for that future to occur?
Did she start acting because her future as an artist was faint? No. Looking at how she said she couldn’t act, it seemed like she had already tried.
It seemed like she had bad memories embedded in her. Just the word ‘act’ made her expression stiffen and above all, when she said she couldn’t act, her tone was too resolute.
Then was it through daily practice that she was able to progress from terrible acting to great?
Or was she just a late bloomer?
“Have you learned acting properly? Who said you weren’t good at acting? Could you maybe show…”
I was rapid firing questions until my last question trailed off. Since a while ago, Songha was looking at me while slowly packing her things. She put on her thick padded coat and her bag. Then she approached me who was blankly staring at her and bowed her head.
“I am going to go. Good night.”
Then she disappeared like the wind.
…What the. Did she just escape?
In the end, I spent the rest of my night worrying.
Just why did Songha show such a bad reaction when I asked if she wanted to act?
And the audition video of Songha I saw in the future.
Honestly, at that time, I glossed over it but no matter how much I thought about it laying on the bed, I found it strange.
Unknown title, unknown director, unknown role, yet a closed door audition? Did people even audition like that in this country? How secretive was this project? And she wasn’t even auditioning in front of someone but through a video?
The more I thought about, my suspicions narrowed towards a certain direction.
Keeping the scenario under a strictly maintained system as if it was a military secret. Songha fluently mixing Korean and English in her acting. The casting director coincidentally saw her acting as an interpreter gave her a chance to audition… if it was like that then maybe Holly…
No. Get a hold of yourself, you crazy bastard.
My excitement went too far. It wasn’t like it was the next town over?
Even veteran actors who had spent ten, twenty years in the country couldn’t easily dream of that place. Even though W&U was knocking on every door, indiscriminately pushing their actors in minor and supporting roles, the reality was that it was like filling a bucket with a hole with water.
Let’s stop this silly sleep talking. I couldn’t even sleep a wink.
I rubbed my hands on my face and got up from the bed. The day had already started.
Perhaps it was the effect of Next K-Star but Neptune was appearing on a public network music broadcast. If we wanted to get them all dressed up to look pretty on camera, we had move quickly starting early morning. Well, I was now used to seeing the moon when I leave and the moon when I come back.
On our way to pick up the girls, I asked Hyunjo the question I had been waiting to ask.
“Chief. About Songha.”
“Did she ever get acting lessons?”
Hyunjo chugged down a hangover relief drink and replied.
“Just look at her appearance. Is her appearance something that falls behind others?”
“Then do you think we would have never thought of getting her to act?”
“Obviously, she got personal lessons.”
So she did get them.
“If she wasn’t to the point of receiving insults, we were looking into getting her in a leading role on a public network weekend drama but it didn’t look like God gave everything to a single person. Apparently, Songha has no talent in acting.”
“Who do you think? Her teacher obviously. That person looked at quite a few of our girls. Bora, Suran, and even Chaeyeong received lessons from him. So we sent Songha to him but he apparently said that even though her face was pretty, it couldn’t cover up her poor acting skills. And after getting acting lessons, Songha said she would not act.”
“That’s unexpected. When you see their music videos, she looks like she would be good at it.”
“Since music videos have no lines. Even I was a bit regretful and tried to convince her but she wouldn’t budge. It seems like she lost all interest in that field.”
Well, she did run away as soon as I brought up acting yesterday.
But in the future, Songha was definitely acting… good even. Then did that mean that there would be something that would change her mind later on?
Anyways, it looked like I had to investigate further. I needed to finish my other priorities first.
We picked up the girls at their apartment and went to the shop. From there, we drove for a long time and arrived at the Yeouido studio. Still, the scheduled time was later than Knet so it had been a while since the sky turned bright.
“Huh? It’s Neptune.”
“Neptune. They appearing on Next K-Star with my bias.”
Due to the fact that they got much more exposure through entertainment articles, more people recognized them than before. Although there weren’t people taking their pictures and no one clung to them for a sign, I was expecting that day would come once they placed first on a music broadcast.
After they introduced themselves to other groups’ fans for a while, we entered the studio. The waiting room was the same size as the one from Knet. And having nothing to do but wait was the same as well.
I prepared a lot after the last experience. A fully charged backup smartphone battery. I even brought a phone charger just in case.
As well as an eye mask. On my first day, I was too excited and nervous to sleep but after a few days of being a manager, I became a master at taking naps. Now, no matter where I was, I could sleep anywhere. I could say I evolved to survive.
When the time had come for them to greet their seniors, Seoyeong grabbed the back of Songha’s neck. Then she said the words she constantly repeated since they arrived at the shop.
“Songha. Just because you’re a regular member of an entertainment program now doesn’t mean you can get on your high horse since it could mean trouble, okay? They will immediately gossip about us. Okay?”
“Your face looks sullen if you just stay there, so stay conscious of your actions and smile. Okay?”
“I know… Nagging all day…”
As soon as Songha lowered her head and mumbled, Seoyoung’s eyes narrowed.
“Right now, we move together but if we do well in Next K-Star, we’re going to get our own personal schedules as well. How could I rest easy if I let you go by yourself? If you’re like this in front of others, you’re going to be punished for having no manners and you’re going to cry…”
I could memorize that repertoire.
It looked like Songha gave up on escaping Seoyoung’s nagging as she listened with a blank face. And Taehee and LJ stayed far away from them. Only when they entered another singer’s waiting room did Seoyoung’s background music like nagging stop.
We went to greet each waiting room in turn and smiled when new groups and their managers came to introduce themselves. Now that they had a regular program, they were slightly more composed in front of these new girl groups. Somehow, I felt proud.
Since I had already experienced this schedule before, time passed by like a stream. Hyunjo who was closely observing the traitor and me was happy saying that next time he could show up late to show his face.
I rested until 12, then I went to buy their snacks. The traitor was the driver today, so it was my job to buy the snacks. Now that I knew the girls’ preferences, I instantly picked everything out and was about to return to the studio…
What was that?
In the corner of the hallway leading to the waiting rooms, Seoyoung and Songha, as well as three Sugar Cats members, were gathered. Now that we had some uncomfortable meetings, every time I saw our members with Sugar Cats, I became anxious. That one day it would explode.
As the distance between us shortened, I could hear their voices.
“Songha’s the one usually in the center. Right?”
“There is a bit more emphasis on Songha but since there’s four of us, it’s quite similar.”
“Honestly, you’re the best as dancing and Taehee unni is the best at singing. And everyone knows that LJ is skilled at rapping. If you’re going to beat your unnis, Songha, you need to try hard. You bring the team down so what are you going to do if people insult you for getting the center because of your face?”
Was she sarcastically saying that Songha was the worst at singing, dancing, and rapping in the team and that she got her center position because of her looks?
I half-sprinted. I thought that they would exchange superficial greetings and go on their ways today. Perhaps it was because there were no cameras or people but there were thorns in their words. Not hidden ones, sharp thorns that stuck out.
I thought it would be better to act like they were busy and bring them away.
I almost arrived when Seoyoung smiled as she said.
“Don’t worry. She practices a ton. I’m worried that she might even quickly catch up to us.”
“Wow. Your team members are really kind. We weren’t that happy in the past.”
“When you had the center position, we weren’t that happy.”
 Bias is what people call ‘their favorite idol group.