TM Chapter 105

Chapter 105: Important Between Manager and Celebrity, Compatibility (3)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir

Sponsors: TL and acc0rd


 

“Lee Songha, hey, hey, is that Lee Songha that Lee Songha? Are you going to video chat with her? Right now?”

Kim Taewoong stumbled up to stand when he saw my phone screen. Next to him, his cousin looked at my vibrating phone with a face full of curiosity. During this time, my phone kept ringing.

“Yeah, sorry. Let’s talk after I take this call.”

“Take it, take it. Also, let me get my birthday present now, hyung{1}.”

“When have we ever given each other birthday presents?”

Hiding my torn lip by placing my hand on my chin, I took the call.

The screen was filled with Lee Songha’s face. With worried eyes, she quickly examined my face. Seeing this, I laughed. To be honest, this didn’t feel bad.

A placid girl worrying that I was hurt, that is.

After confirming my face was fine, Lee Songha let out a long sigh.

-Oppa, are you okay?

“Of course, I am.”

-Let’s see. While his face might look fine, his body might be in tatters!

-Are you wearing a cast?

Accompanied by familiar voices, the phone screen shook.

Im Seoyoung’s face suddenly appeared as well as Lee Taehee and LJ. They were examining me with narrowed eyes. Seeing behind them, they were in the company practice room. It seemed that they went to the company for group practice when they heard the news about me and Lee Songha called me as the representative.

“My body is fine, and I’m not wearing a cast. Just what did you hear?”

-I heard that you were one-sidedly beaten up in a fight against Gunyoung oppa! Rumors are spreading throughout the company!

“Who got beat? His fist only brushed me.”

Did the employees see that my lip was torn when I left? Just what rumors were spreading in the company without my knowledge? As expected, that traitor was of no help to me until the very end.

Lee Taehee calmed the excited Im Seoyoung and joined in.

-Just what happened? They suddenly say that you two fought and won’t be coming to work today. We were worried that you were severely hurt that you couldn’t move when Hyunjo oppa said he would be substituting for you today.

“The chief will explain in detail. The story is a bit long to explain through the phone. The reason why I can’t go to your schedule is not that I can’t move but because I have some matters to take care of today.”

-Matters to take care of? Uhhh, but oppa, where are you right now…? Who is he?

Im Seoyoung blinked. Her gaze brushed past me. When I looked to my right, a red-cheeked bear was tilting his head while clasping his front paws. When the girls’ gazes gathered on him, Kim Taewoong opened and closed his mouth a few times before quickly crouching. His ears were red.

“Ah, he’s my-“

-Wait!

Im Seoyoung abruptly shouted. Her gaze looked like a guard who discovered an enemy.

-I just saw a woman’s face in the 9 o’clock direction?

Kim Taewoong’s cousin, who was blankly glancing at the screen from my left, gasped as she squatted down. Just what were they doing, those two. If they hide so obviously, then it seemed like I was secretly in a weird meeting.

Sure enough, the girls’ expressions became odd.

“I don’t know what you’re thinking, but don’t. She’s my friend’s cousin.”

-We were frightened that you were injured, but you were with your friend’s cousin?!

“No.”

-A blind date!

“It’s not.”

-If it’s not, then show us proof!

“My friend asked me about work, no, but why do I have to provide evidence?”

Astonished in mid-sentence, I looked at the girls’ faces.

There was nothing more to be said about Im Seoyoung, whose face was plastered with shock, but LJ’s eyes were sharp, so were Lee Taehee’s.

As for Lee Songha, if the other girls weren’t moving, then I would have thought that the video call froze. She was still since a while ago.

Im Seoyoung hurriedly shouted.

-That, that is. It isn’t the time for us to be dating! We’re banned from dating!

“The ones who can’t date are you, I can. I’m not some celebrity…”

-Ah, you can’t.

Lee Songha suddenly said while shaking her head.

“Why can’t I?”

At my question, Lee Songha’s mouth opened and closed as though she was taken aback. It had been a long time since she couldn’t control her expression like this. When Lee Songha kept fretting for a few seconds, Im Seoyoung joined in.

-Uhh, that’s because if you are in a relationship, your family will be ruined! Society will be ruined!

“What kind of nonsense is that?”

I said while laughing. While Im Seoyoung’s nonsense was ridiculous, I was more astonished by Lee Songha, who was diligently saying, “That’s right, you can’t, it’ll be ruined,” while nodding her head from the side.

LJ and Lee Taehee didn’t bother to stop them, watching from the side as if this was amusing.

Im Seoyoung, who was speaking gibberish, suddenly shouted.

-Euaah! I don’t know! Anyways, it feels like you’re being snatched from us!

“What? Hey, wait, wait.”

I felt stinging gazes landing on my back at some point. Maybe it was because of their voices, but a few staff members were looking in my direction. There were too many eyes to continue this private conversation.

“Let’s talk about this later.”

I hung up and put my phone down. Only then did Kim Taewoong and his cousin, who were crouching on either side of me, stand up. Now that I thought about it, I couldn’t properly introduce him as my friend to the girls. While thinking this, my cheeks kept itching.

Without me knowing, my lips had curled up and were trembling.

Kim Taewoon stared at me blankly before saying,

“Hey, you bastard.”

“What?”

“I suddenly recalled the nonsense you said before. What? Think that you rejoined the army? Where in the army are there people like them, bastard.”

He sat back down with a dispirited face.

“Was that just now your usual conversation? Is that how you live? While working like that, you receive a salary and a car? Wow, damn… But you were fine talking to four faces like that, amazing bastard.”

“I have a mouth so obviously I’m going to talk to them. Or what? Should I use sign language?”

“But are all celebrities like them? It’s not like it’s computer graphics, how could they look like that?”

Kim Taewoong stared at his cousin sitting next to him.

“Hey, blockhead. The center? Ceeenter? There’s nothing more to say, it’s definitely a scam.”

“What?”

“Think that you would be amongst people like them. A baby octopus amongst mermaids. That CEO person, he definitely has other plans.”

His cousin snorted at him.

“Do you think I’m a fool? If it was a scam, he’d try to rip money off me. Why would he pay money and make an album? That company has already debuted a girl group. While they are unknown in Korea, they are active in China and the Philippines. Also, if I also constantly have cameras pointing at me, I bet I’ll be as pretty as them!{2}

“You won’t, idiot. Quit dreaming.”

While they were cursing each other, I examined the business card I received from her. It would be great if the company was fine, but I had seen too many dirty things in the past six months to only be optimistic.

There were more than 1,700 companies registered as an entertainment management company. There were more if you considered unregistered, illegal ones as well. Among them, countless of them used the entertainment management company as their front business and dealt with escort services in secret.

I first asked whether Team Leader Park or Reporter Park Woojeong knew anything about this company. Next, I searched for information regarding the girl group that had debuted from that company. A message came quicker than I thought. From both of them simultaneously to boot.

I clicked my tongue after reading the messages.

“Hmm, you see, that company. I asked around about it.”

“Yes!”

His growling cousin immediately looked at me.

“How is it? They say they are okay, right? Right?”

She urged with eyes filled with expectation and hope. I thought that she was just excited from being scouted, but beneath that were unease and worry as well as a desperation, urging me to tell the company was okay.

When I turned my gaze, Kim Taewoon was also looking at me with a serious expression.

It felt bitter.

The company had a lot of bad rumors. They released a single album with a sexy concept with 20-something-year-old trainees, who were desperate to debut due to their age. That was it. Then, with the title as a Korean girl group, they earned money by going to clubs in China.

While there were only rumors regarding what went on during that process, if even one of them was true, this was a company people shouldn’t even associate with.

I told them while putting it as nicely as possible, but it was no use. His cousin’s face was already pale when she heard that about the sexy concept and going around clubs in China. Her eyes looked like they would cry tears of sorrow at any moment.

“Hey, just think that you’re lucky to avoid that pile of shit-“

He seemed to have become soft-hearted as Kim Taewoong tried to comfort her, but-

“That CEO, I’ll kill him, that asshole! I boasted a ton to my mom and friends that I was going to be a celebrity! So embarrassing!”

“What? Hey, right now’s not the time to be embarr-“

Her reaction broke my expectation. The veins in Kim Taewoong’s neck even bulged. Unconcerned whether her cousin was clasping the back of his neck or not, she kept looking at me with a sad expression.

“Umm, chief. No, oppa. W&U isn’t recruiting any more trainees, are you?”

“Nope, we aren’t.”

“Then, as a rookie actress! I can get you my profile right away!”

“BS! Get your head out of the clouds! Because of this, I…!”

Kim Taewoong exploded, shaking the back of his cousin’s neck. His cousin didn’t give up and fought him back. The staff members’ gazes also fell on me. After tossing them my keys and telling them to fight in my car did my surroundings finally quiet down.

Was this considered ending it well?

I walked towards the film shoot. While Kim Taewoong apologized multiple times for bothering me with his cousin, I didn’t regret coming here at all.

My eyes instantly landed on Nam Joyoon amongst the staff members preparing for the next shoot. He was helping them set up rails with a dry expression. His forehead, which he had cooled on the ride here, was beaded with sweat.

“Don’t worry so much.”

Someone suddenly said beside me. When I turned around, a handsome man with a well-proportioned face was smiling at me.

“Pardon?”

“Your friend’s cousin. Since she wants to be a celebrity rather than an actor, she’ll probably give up after failing a few auditions. Only those who like acting endure until the end.”

His expression read, ‘like me.’ As though wanting to let me listen, the man mumbled,

“Well… It’s a problem if you keep enduring when things aren’t working out no matter how much you like acting. If you don’t see a future, you need to throw it away and find a way to survive.”

The man’s gaze lingered on Nam Joyoon before turning to me.

“I am Lee Sunghyun, a rookie actor. I came to leave an impression since I heard you’re a W&U chief.”

He continued by promoting himself. He talked about how he was currently cast as a minor speaking role in a commercial film and how he was carefully choosing a management company. He also handed me his business card, telling me to contact him if I liked his acting.

I did as he said and asked the director’s permission to watch the actors act.

How much time had passed? A presence behind me brought me to my senses.

“What are you gaping at?”

Kim Taewoong appeared with an exhausted expression. He followed my gaze and quietly exclaimed,

“Hey, that person looks like a real celebrity.”

“Who?”

“That person with the striped shirt.”

The person he was gesturing to was Lee Sunghyun. It was true. Objectively speaking, the most eye-catching person among the actors acting right now was Lee Sunghyun. That was why he was the lead.

However, the person my eyes followed wasn’t the lead but the one next to him.

“How about the actor next to him? Mr. Nam Joyoon.”

“Your preference? Well, I think he’s doing well? But my eyes keep going to the lead.”

As expected, it seemed I was biased. And my bias was getting stronger. My ambiguous thoughts before seeing him act were now becoming more concrete and an impulse was growing in me.

My lips were dry because I felt frustrated and sad and that it was a shame.

There clearly was a role that suited him better. A role that could better compliment his mood and acting skills. The countless scenarios and roles I had read recently crossed my mind.

I felt like I was going crazy. Why was I like this?

Even if I shook my head, this impulse wouldn’t calm.

Fine, let’s think of reasons why I couldn’t. What I had to prioritize right now was Lee Songha’s next project. I was running on thin ice, unsure whether her next project would be a success or not.

To be fixated on a rookie actor at a time like this. I couldn’t. Of course not.

But what was I to do even if I felt it was a shame? Even if I received his profile, it was another matter whether the company would sign him or not.

Since rookie actors were taken care of by Team 2, his profile would eventually be handed to the team 2 leader. There was a question of if that person would look at the profile I recommend in a positive light.

I could end up hurting someone who suffered from management company issues in the past.

Above all, it was different from Lee Songha, where I knew that she would be a success because I saw the future. I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have any hints on whether he would succeed as an actor in the future or on a project that I could bet on.

Even still, despite knowing this, I really wanted him as an actor.

My mind felt like it would explode from my complicated thoughts.

Damn it, what should I do?

 


{1} Kim Taewoong is saying this teasingly, they are most likely the same age.

{2} The raws used the term ‘Camera Massage’ – Getting prettier/more handsome as they are constantly exposed to cameras and gain experience in the entertainment world.

 

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Comments 11

  1. It appears as if Jung Sunwoo’s natural talent at appraising actors is finally appearing. It now makes more sense why he became a CEO in the alternate future where his power never activated.

    1. Actually, before Lee Songha successful as actress vision appear to him. He already think that Lee Songha have good acting skill though. Sunwoo already have innate in the beginning but he don’t have the gut yet.
      Even right he still don’t have it. But I knowwww he will try to.

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