Chapter 108: Important Between Manager and Celebrity, Compatibility (6)
TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir
Just what was this now?
I thought he would talk about Nam Joyoon first.
“You originally wanted to be assigned to actors. If you still want to, there’s a limit to what you can learn in Team 3. While the people there might be veterans in the music industry, the acting industry is a completely different ballgame. If you want to learn properly before it’s too late, then you need to transfer quickly.”
The team 2 leader said as though he was sincerely concerned about my career.
To be honest, his words were quite persuasive since there were more times where Chief Lee Bongjoon’s advice was more helpful than Kim Hyunjo’s while we were filming the drama.
“Of course, if you transfer, you can still take care of Lee Songha like now. There are cases where chiefs take care of two to three people if they have the capacity so you can also experience taking care of another actor.”
Who was he trying to fool? Did he think I was fool ignorant of the world?
“That other actor, is it Son Chaeyoung?”
“Yeah, our top star who no one can handle.”
The team 2 leader said while slowly rubbing his beard.
“Obviously, it’ll be too much for you to be assigned to both Lee Songha and Son Chaeyoung. I’ll assign you a skilled chief to help you and share your workload. If you do this, you’ll have my full support.”
His voice sounded kind on purpose.
With an awkward expression, I said,
“Putting aside the fact that the relationship between Lee Songha and Son Chaeyoung is so bad that it can’t get any worse, I don’t like Ms. Son Chaeyoung. How could I work with her like this?”
“Why can’t you? It’s just work.”
The team 2 leader leaned towards me. His eyes shined sharply.
“I don’t know why, but Son Chaeyoung is interested in you. Just think of it as using that.”
I heard it as though he was throwing me in like a toy to placate the angry Son Chaeyoung.
“Put everything else aside, and think about what will be more beneficial to you. Your career will be more robust, and I’ll think of you as one of my own from now on.”
Haha, that was the most ridiculous thing I heard all year.
What ‘think of me as his own’? Either way, Im Joowon’s contract was proceeding smoothly thanks to me, yet this man was trying to push me to Son Chaeyoung.
Maybe if we could maintain a relationship where we didn’t bicker every time we saw each other, but he wasn’t someone I could trust and follow from the start. I still vividly remembered how he pushed all the responsibility onto and fired the road manager during the Sung Dowon incident.
“Also, that actor you brought, depending on how you do…”
An unpleased expression flashed on his face.
“I could get you a contract right away.”
“Is Mr. Nam Joyoon a kind of reward? If I refuse your proposal…”
“Then there’s no contract. From our meeting, our opinion is heavily leaning towards not recruiting him. Despite his lackluster profile, I called him for a meeting because he’s the next actor this guy who’s known for his discerning eye is fixated on. I was still disappointed after meeting him. Our mailboxes are filled with actors like him. On top of that, he filed a lawsuit against his previous company.”
My mind went blank.
After clicking his tongue, the team 2 leader returned to the point.
“I’m giving you a lot with this. That’s why come to Team 2. Do you und-“
The smile faded from the team 2 leader’s face when he heard me.
“Hey, if it wasn’t for Chaeyoung, do you think I would listen to your circumstances and take care of you like this? I’ve taken your circumstances into consideration the best I can, which is why-“
“While I am thankful for your words, I want to keep working in my current team.”
Meaning you should clean up your own mess.
While I wanted to say that, I stored it away for another day. However, the team 2 leader’s face flushed with anger at my refusal. Agitated, he stood up.
“Like before and now, you are still someone who can’t receive anything even when spoon-fed.”
That was what I should say.
“Hey, running crew! Quickly load the opened props in the van!”
The film set was being torn down after the filming was over.
Nam Joyoon was carrying boxes filled with props. His face, neck, and even muscular back were soaked with sweat.
He wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand as he stretched his back.
“I just need to carry these, right?’
He asked while stacking a few boxes.
When he finally noticed me, his eyes became round.
“Your friend said you’d be here so I came over.”
“Why did you come all the way here? You could have just called and I would have gone to meet you.”
“I was nearby so I came over to see you.”
He had to work to earn his food money so how could I make him skip a day?
“Then please wait over there for a moment. After I carry thi-“
“It’ll be faster if I help out. We can talk longer the faster we finish.”
While carrying boxes with Nam Joyoon, who was acting awkward, I went to the point.
“It didn’t work out.”
Nam Joyoon flinched while placing down boxes.
“The meeting. The results came out, but it didn’t work out.”
After loading everything, Nam Joyoon brought over a plastic chair from behind the film set and sat me down. Then he handed me a bottle of water and a roll of gimbap he obtained as he said,
“You could have told me on the phone.”
“I wanted to tell you in person.”
He roughly brushed away the dusty floor before sitting down.
“Don’t stress it. It’s not my first time experiencing this. I was happy that I met someone who remembered me from a project I was cast in when I was youn-“
“Take this and give it a read.”
While chewing on a piece of cold gimbap, I handed him a scenario that I took out from my bag.
“It’s a new project from Pan Production. I know their CEO well. There’s a role I marked on there. If you like it as well, I can try to get you an audition.”
The more I talked, the more confused Nam Joyoon’s expression became.
“I don’t really understand, but what are yo-“
“I am trying to entice you right now. To work with me.”
Nam Joyoon began to cough as if something was caught in his throat. While smiling, I handed him the bottle of water.
To be honest, I came after receiving the team 3 leader’s approval. I asked if he could let me take care of an actor outside work, making sure this didn’t interfere with Neptune.
“There’s no contract, and I won’t be able to use W&U’s background, but it’ll be better than working on your own. While it’s a bit embarrassing to say this, I hear that I’m quite good at my job.”
Nam Joyoon let out a breath after gulping down half the water bottle. Various emotions arose in his barren eyes. As if he didn’t know what to do, Nam Joyoon roughly tangled his hair as he said,
“Why are you… As a chief, you should have better candidates than me.”
“It’s not for you, but for me. I have something I want to confirm.”
Nam Joyoon looked at me with eyes asking what I meant.
Smiling faintly, I said,
“I wanted to confirm if my discerning eye is any good.”
Thud. Lee Songha chopped down with a kitchen knife.
The head of the small octopus on the cutting board was cleanly cut off. After filming that with the camcorder, I moved on. The other girls all had aprons and were working hard to make the kitchen a mess.
They were asked to bring their own lunchbox for the program they were appearing on as a guest tomorrow, but I was concerned whether it was okay to hand this over to the staff. It was a complete crisis. When there were four girls living together, it was likely that one would be good at cooking.
Sweating as she handled the rice, Im Seoyoung shouted,
“Oppa, please! Stop laughing! Cooking is all about confidence!”
“See what you made and tell me it’s not funny.”
I thought she said she was going to make a cat face with fried rice, but she made it looked like a monster that would appear in nightmares.
“This is good for an amateur!”
“If that’s good, then the picture I took worthy of the Pulitzer Prize.”
“Ah, really! What? Do you think you can do better?”
“Why do you think I can’t?”
Im Seoyoung halted. The other girls also stopped what they were doing and looked at me. Lee Taehee threw out the eggs she messed up trying to separate into yolk and whites as she asked,
“Do you know how to cook?”
“Uhh, no? You said you don’t cook when you’re living alone! I remember you saying that you received side dishes from home and your brother’s family.”
“That’s because it’s a bother and I’m busy. How could I not know how to could after living with four kids who ate like pigs?”
“Th-then do it!”
I put on plastic gloves. Suddenly Lee Songha began hurriedly looking around the sink before handing me something.
“Oppa, here. Put this on while you cook.”
It was an apron. A hand-sized one with a rabbit drawn on it.
“You can’t get your clothes dirty.”
“It’s fine, put it away. It’s probably better to cook without my clothes than wear that.”
Above all, LJ picked up the camcorder the moment you handed it to me.
I turned a disappointed Lee Songha away and handled rice for once after a long time. I put the fried rice in the lunchbox, formed it into a cat shape, then cut seaweed into its whiskers, eyes, nose, mouth. I was finished in a jiffy.
“Here, it’s done. A cat, easy, right?”
“Not at all! It’s not easy at all!”
I helped the other girls with their lunchboxes a little as well. I didn’t plan on it, but Lee Songha kept admiring from behind whenever I did something.
“Stop staring. It’s not like I’m doing something amazing.”
“It looks amazing to me.”
“Even if you flatter me, there isn’t any for you. I only bought the precise amount of ingredients.”
“That’s not it. I’m not someone who’s always hungry or anything.”
Lee Songha mumbled. At her words, not just me, but all the other girls, who had been working hard on their lunchboxes, burst into laughter.
“Yeah, let’s say that. Can you roll up my sleeves?”
“They keep sliding down. If your hands are dirty, then Taehe-“
“I’ll do it.”
Lee Songha gripped my forearm. Then she steadily rolled up my sleeves with a very serious face, as if she was some sleeve-rolling expert. Her soft, delicate hands brushed my arms. From my elbow, she gradually rolled my sleeves higher and higher.
“Stop. How high are you going to roll them? Up to my shoulders?”
It seemed unintentional as she blinked before stopping.
I left the kitchen and held the camcorder again.
The girls’ expressions were bright. Maybe it was because of his betrayal or some other reason, but the mood had been a little strange since the traitor was fired. I didn’t know whether they were hiding their complicated thoughts, but they looked no different from normal.
Im Seoyoung closed her lunchbox before saying as though she just thought of something.
“Right, oppa. You know. I think we’ve become too used to working with you. It was really awkward when Kim Hyunjo oppa came by himself last time. Maybe it’s because we think of you as good luck, but it felt like we weren’t doing as well either!”
“It’s troublesome if you don’t do well. After handing over my duties, I’ll only be coming to big schedules.”
Im Seoyoung was shocked. The other girls were the same.
Lee Songha was the only one who looked fine.
“Why are you so surprised? I was promoted to chief. I’ll be busy from now on.”
“Th-that’s right. You’re a chief now. I guess you can’t be demoted?!”
“Of course not. My salary increased too.”
“What are you going to do after throwing us aside?!”
Before I could reply, in an excited voice, Lee Songha said,
“You’re probably busy because of me. I have to go to China to promote the drama, set my next project and begin filming. Like while I was filming the drama, the two of us will have lots of work to do from now on.”
Her face brightened at my reply.
I suddenly recalled Nam Joyoon, who I met earlier. While I wasn’t assigned to him officially, they would probably meet each other from now on.
While the other girls were singers, he overlapped with Lee Songha so I had to take special care, especially since there were cases where she was anxious I would be assigned to another celebrity in the past.
I considered telling them but ultimately decided against it. She seemed to be in a good mood so I should tell her later.
Also, she was holding a kitchen knife.
“Right, Songha, were there any synopses you liked out of the ones you read?”
“There are a few I enjoyed.”
Lee Songha quickly rushed to her room.
When I followed her, she handed me a few stacks of paper. The project I had a hard time picking was there too. While thinking that it was a relief, I looked at a few others before realizing what they had in common.
“They are all very melodramatic. You prefer these?”
“They were fun.”
Flipping through each one, I halted on the last scenario.
“This one’s a bit. It’s a passionate melodrama. If you decide on this one, we probably can’t read the script dialogue together.”
Surprised, Lee Songha’s eyes became round.
“Why? We read the script every night last time.”
I grinned as I added,
“I mean, I read this scenario as well. There’s dialogue like ‘I love you. I can’t live without you,’ starting halfway.”
“What’s wrong with that?”
“I’ll have to read your counterpart’s dialogue. Won’t it be too funny to concentrate?”
Lee Songha’s expression became odd. It seemed she was imagining us reading the script together as her well-formed brows and lips twitched a few times.
Soon, she broke the silence and asked,
“… Why? Why is it funny?”
What was with her reaction?