TM Chapter 77

Chapter 77: Star Manager (1)

TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir


 

“Oh, my god. Look at this. This. It’s good to constantly moisturize your skin and provide it with nutrition during winter. Still, you don’t have any blemishes. I’ll add a light foundation. I think I just need to smooth out your skin.”

“… Please just end it.”

The moment I sat in front of the dressing table, I had emptied my heart.

The mustached artist affiliated with this shop smiled slyly. In his hand was a flat makeup brush. He dabbed the brush in a beige cream instead of paint and brushed it on my face.

“Oppa.”

Im Seoyoung poked my shoulder from the back.

“What?”

“I just wanted to call out to you.”

Im Seoyoung’s face was reflected in the mirror in front of me. Her large, round eyes narrowed into crescent moons. She giggled in a way which didn’t suit the smile from her eyes that seemed like it could even melt ice.

“Oppa, oppa, oppa.”

“What, what, what?”

“Since I already called out your name, I just wanted to say it three more times.”

After saying this, she walked around me and looked as if I was some amazing spectacle. She reminded me of something. Her curly hair reminded me of fur and her shaking flared skirt reminded me of a tail.

She seemed like a dog running in the snow, no, she was more like a puppy.

“I understand that you’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, but come to your senses.”

“Oppa, how do you feel sitting there?”

“What do you mean how do I feel? I feel like I’m receiving punishment.”

No, I would feel more at ease if they just scribbled on my face with permanent markers.

I was extremely lucky that Kim Hyunjo and the traitor weren’t here.

“Ehh, how can you consider this a punishment? I bet you’d be foaming at the mouth if you were to receive full makeup! Do you want to try blush as well? They say this year’s spring/summer color is light coral. This, this, my lipstick color!”

“Stop speaking such nonsense and just sit down. Why are you so excited? You’re going to be exhausted before the recording if you’re like this.”

“I’m fine! My condition today is amazing!”

She raised her fists as she shouted confidently.

“Stop driving me crazy and eat your lunch, dummy.”

LJ approached and slapped Im Seoyoung’s back.

Her blonde cascading hair and her makeup which curved her eyes in a sleek fashion made her look especially cat-like today. A street cat wearing the guise of an expensive breed.

I thought that it would be nice to take a picture of the two of them right now.

People from the fan café had already made comparison photos about how they were like cats and dogs. This would make great bait.

Just as I thought this, LJ shoved her phone towards me.

Then she took my picture.

“What are you doing? Why did you take a picture of me?”

“Because I think it might be useful in the future?”

“… Don’t take pictures and don’t use them either.”

“If you hate it that much, it makes me want to take more. I’ll use it for a good cause.”

Then she smiled slightly. It was an eccentric smile.

Im Seoyoung leaned towards LJ’s phone and said,

“Me, me, me.  Send me those pictures you took!”

“I don’t want to?”

“Ah, damn it. You meanie! Fine, I’ll just take pictures on my phone!”

She brought her phone over and took pictures of me. I sighed as I looked towards Lee Taehee and Lee Songha, hoping they were a bit better behaved.

Hmm. They were as well-behaved as ever. They couldn’t help but be well-behaved.

Lee Songha was sitting on the sofa and eating her lunch while Lee Taehee was sleeping on Lee Songha’s lap.

“When does today’s recording air?”

The artist’s assistant asked while smiling brightly.

“Lunar New Year’s Day.”

“I’ll definitely watch it then. I think the program will be fun. I think it’ll be fun if you just act like this in front of the camera without any MSG{1}.”

“This is fun?”

“Yes. We see celebrities and managers all the time. There are many teams that give off such a bad mood that we can’t even say a joke. But this team seems really close with each other.”

“I hope that it looks that way on the broadcast as well.”

Really.

It was a public network broadcast and I candidly agreed to do it because Kim Hyunjo and Team Leader Park said I was the most suited for it, but I still wasn’t sure if this would be good.

I didn’t have the comedic senses that could make others burst into laughter on entertainment shows, and above all, I didn’t really enjoy watching entertainment shows in general.

Since I was going on the show anyway, I had to be of use to the girls.

It seemed she saw my serious expression as Im Seoyoung patted my shoulder with the tips of her fingers.

“Don’t worry, oppa! All you need to do is stick next to me! My talents{2{ are perfect, and I picked out and practiced a ton of possible general knowledge quizzes! I even thoroughly memorized the capitals of countries!”

“She really spent all night memorizing them. It’s not like she’s trying to take a university entrance exam or anything.”

LJ said while clicking her tongue.

Im Seoyoung swiftly turned and leered at her.

“We need to be fully prepared so that we can show up on air often! Entertainment shows are like jungles, jungles! If you go without any preparations, you could be disregarded by other people on the show and even be edited out entirely!”

After scolding in a rapid-fire fashion, her eyes shined as she added,

“Do you know how big of an opportunity this is? I’ll show them everything I have out there!”

 

The title of the special was ‘Star Manager’.

The concept looked simple. The compatibility between celebrities and their managers.

It was a mix between a talk show and a variety show{3}, where they gathered a bunch of celebrities and their managers, talked and played a few games before finally giving a prize to the team that was picked as being the most compatible.

The prize was a high-quality beef set.

It seemed Lee Songha’s drive surged as her eyes shined brightly.

Well, the talk show was simply an attempt in bringing out fun stories from managers who knew the most about their celebrities’ personal lives.

This seemed somewhat fine, but the games were the problem.

The game was called ‘Stop telling me to do this and that and you do it’.

They said it was a ‘walking in someone’s shoes’ type of game where the positions of managers and celebrities were switched. The broadcast composition was so simple that no matter how many times I read over it, I couldn’t tell what we were specifically going to do.

“Hey, you look the part. You really do.”

Kim Hyunjo, who arrived late, said as he glanced at me.

But why was he by himself?

“Where’s Gunyoung?”

“I assigned him some other work and came by myself. How are the girls? They’ll probably be nervous since it’s their first time appearing on an entire entertainment special on a public network, with all four of them to boot.”

“I think I’m the most nervous out of all the people appearing on the show today.”

At my words, Kim Hyunjo grinned.

“It doesn’t really show even if you are nervous. Your impression and mood will give you a boost. You just need to act naturally.”

Although I took the girls around to their schedules without Kim Hyunjo these days, maybe it was because I was a part of the cast and not a manager this time, but having Kim Hyunjo here was reassuring.

“Well, I’ll do my best.”

“Yeah. Also, don’t forget to talk about Lee Songha’s incident during the talk show segment. Since that part is undoubtedly going on air, prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time.”

“Of course, I will. But chief,”

I licked my dry lips and asked,

“Is it really okay to mention him on air?”

“It’s something that came from the higher ups. Even the CEO personally okayed it. Before this airs, the company will also put out a news release.

Kim Hyunjo firmly nodded his head.

“That’s why you don’t need to worry about the aftermath and just talk. That man needs to be screwed over. Although it’s a pity we can’t straight up say his name, even this is disgracing that man’s arrogant face.”

“Right?”

“Of course.”

Kim Hyunjo smiled creepily.

As if infected by it, my lips raised into a creepy smile as well.

 

I thought that I had become used to seeing celebrities after working as a manager for a few months now, but today felt different.

If the majority of celebrities I had seen until now were actors and singers, there were many comedians and TV personalities here today.

While going around the dressing rooms and greeting them, I felt exhausted.

Rather than calling it a greeting, it was more of an investigation. Although Next K-Star was an entertainment show as well, this place was on a completely different level from it. I could understand why Im Seoyoung said that entertainment programs were a jungle.

Not long after, the girls, wearing their sponsored clothes, came to me.

But one person was missing.

“Where’s Seoyoung?”

As if frustrated, LJ clicked her tongue and said,

“She’s in the waiting room. She said she’ll come after practicing her talents one last time before the recording.”

“She’s practicing again?”

This time, Lee Songha replied,

“We came out ahead of her since she said she couldn’t concentrate with us there.”

I was about to go to the waiting room when Lee Taehee held me back.

“It seems she’s overwhelmed by pressure.”

“Pressure?”

Her eyes, which were as calm as lakes, shined with worry.

“Back when we were completely unknown, Seoyoung went on several entertainment programs to spread our name. Maybe it’s because of that, but it seems she thinks everything rests on her shoulders. She looks like she’s feeling a lot of pressure, but she won’t talk to us.”

LJ and Lee Songha both added in,

“She was making an abnormally big deal out of everything at the shop today. She keeps going back and forth like a puppy that has to go. Her condition must be crap since she stayed up all night so it’s concerning she says her condition’s great.”

“Also, she didn’t eat much this morning. She didn’t even touch her lunch.”

“Hmm, okay. Go in first and let the chief know.”

After leaving the girls behind, I quickly headed to the waiting room.

I should have observed her more carefully.

Although I did think that she was more agitated than normal, I thought it was because she really wanted to appear on entertainment shows. Was she suffering from pressure while showing a cheerfully smiling face?

I immediately opened the door and entered the waiting room.

No, I stopped before I went in. Im Seoyoung stood rigidly right behind the door.

“Seoyoung.”

“Uh, oppa! I was just about to go!”

Im Seoyoung tilted her head. Her voice was as bright as usual. However, it was definitely different. It was the same for her slightly reddened eyes and her trembling pupils.

“Are you very nervous?”

As soon as I asked, Im Seoyoung shook her head in a wide motion.

“No? I’m fine!”

“No, I don’t think you are.”

“I really am. Let’s go quickly, oppa!”

However, unlike her words, Im Seoyoung couldn’t take a single step passed the door. Her round shoes moved hesitantly before returning to its place.

“Ah, damn it. Why am I like this…?”

She squatted on the floor and covered her head with her arms.

I heard sniffling coming from her mumbling voice. I went inside and closed the door. Im Seoyoung, who had lowered her head, raised it slightly. Sure enough, tears had welled up in her large eyes.

“No, I can’t cry. The mascara might run!”

“Ah, really, is it time to worry about that right now? You still have time to fix your makeup so it’s fine.”

I said in the lightest tone I could in order to make her relax a little, but it seemed it didn’t help. I was flustered and didn’t know what to do.

I sat in front of Im Seoyoung and met her gaze.

“You should have told me if you were this nervous. It’s not like you’re committing a sin or anything, why are you trembling in nervousness by yourself in the waiting room?”

“I was definitely fine. I really was. But,”

Im Seoyoung bit her lips.

“This is a really big opportunity. It’s on a public network, and it’s a Lunar New Year’s special. We’ll appear in it for the full hour. I always thought that it would be great if we could get an opportunity like this and that I would really do well if we got the opportunity. That’s why I practiced every day… But I suddenly became scared.”

“Why?”

“… We got this opportunity, but what if I suck?”

I thought her voice was shaking, and in the end, a tear fell from her tightly closed eyes.

The dam that had endured for this long finally broke and it was instantaneous afterwards. A second and third tear dripped.

“Euaah, I’m crying. What do I do?! I need something to wipe it.”

Worried her tear would flow down her cheek and ruin her makeup; she positioned her face towards the floor and flailed her arms.

I pulled out a few tissues from the tissue box in the waiting room and handed them to her. Im Seoyoung received them and carefully patted her tears.

I kept pulling out tissues as I thought about how I could calm her down.

I first patted her shoulders. When I did, she quickly shrunk away.

“Ah, you can’t. If you do that, I’ll cry more! Tears are dripping just by hearing your voice!”

With no other choice, I pulled my hand away and said,

“Will the world collapse if you mess up a little this time? You just need to do better next time. Your next album will be released soon and you’ll have many opportunities to appear on entertainment shows in the future. I’ll work to the bone and keep getting you shows.”

“I have to do well this time too. I went on entertainment shows the most. Hyunjo oppa, Taehee unni, LJ, and Songha. They’ll all be thinking that I’ll do well.”

“What?”

“I’m a stupid dummy…!”

Im Seoyoung slammed her head against the door.

 


{1} So in this case, the assistant is saying that they just need to act natural and don’t need to try to be fun and entertaining.

{2} Explained previously, but basically, ‘impersonations’, ‘imitations’, ‘singing’. ‘jokes’, etc.

{3} A very popular entertainment format in Korea. Examples of these are 2 Days 1 Night, Infinite Challenge, Running Man, and etc.)

 

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Comments 9

  1. Thanks for the update ^-^

    Pressure can easily get to us when we think everything rest our shoulders. Hopefully Seoyoung is able to unburden that pressure and bring out her best self in front of the camera.

  2. More she think about pressure more she will feel it….😵… Lots like night before exam but everything will be fine once the program starts; Definitely, no probably, no definitely a maybe.

    Thanks for the chapter😎

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