I Will Live as an Actor Episode 33

Episode 33

The average filming period for a commercial movie hovered around three to four months. However, large-scale productions with significant budgets could take almost a year. Nonetheless, the most crucial aspects of filmmaking were the creation of the set and editing. Some directors even spent over a year just setting up and editing their films.

“Hyung, where did you find such a child?”

Camera Director Do Janguk asked while wiping his nose in the cold.

“How many times do I have to say I picked him up from Yeongdo Bridge?”

“Is that really true? At first, I thought you were playing a trick, and he was your son or something!”

“There’s nothing this brat can’t say after being around for so long.”

The Baek Janghun shooting team, also known as the crew, consisted of individuals who had worked together for a long time. Camera Director Do Janguk and Director Baek Janghun had known each other for decades, and Janguk would often joke that he had seen Janghun’s face more than his wife’s.

“Did that kid have much experience in shooting movies?”

“Why? Are you afraid he’ll be sloppy, or are you scared?”

“There’s no way that could happen. I’ve worked with cameras for years, and even if the acting is sloppy, it turns out fine under my hands. Besides, hyung has a good eye for casting. I’m saying that since the kid came on set, the atmosphere has been strangely nice.”

Director Baek Janghun had brought the boy to the set about two weeks prior, and everyone was initially curious. It was like a young deer was suddenly following the lone tiger, Baek Janghun.

“Creating the atmosphere on set is usually no less tense than being in the military. Everyone is on edge because even a small mistake during equipment setup could lead to a significant accident, but that kid seems to act like a lubricant that connects everyone. The atmosphere has become much more pleasant because of him.”


“You may not know this, but since a few days ago, he’s been preparing honey water in a thermos for the staff on set to help them warm their bodies. He even gives hand warmers to melt their fingers before using gloves, worrying they may hurt themselves. The kid is quite considerate.”

Baek Janghun looked at the boy quietly. Generally, actors who first come to a shooting set, regardless of their experience, are busy focusing on their roles and often miss the timing to create a good atmosphere on set. This could eventually lead to disharmony on the set. But this boy was different. Like a master of the house, he moved around the set, adding vitality to the tense atmosphere.

“Hyung, are you really planning on using that kid for the role?”

“What’s wrong with him?”

“It’s not that, but it’s not just any role. He has to perform a chang[1]. Even if we do post-production recording, there could be subtle discrepancies. Given your personality, I’m just asking if that’s the picture you want.”

“No need to worry about that. Bong Deoksu, our friend, already gave his approval.”

“The intangible cultural property?”

Camera Director Do Janguk’s eyes widened.

* * *

“Teacher, you’re here!”

It was Bong Deoksu, the intangible cultural property, who had been teaching me the chang for the past two weeks. He had a beard like a sage and wore a traditional hanbok, which perfectly matched the shooting set deep in the forest.

“Did you practice without slacking?”

“Of course. I’ve been consistently practicing the vocal exercises you taught me and even rinsing my throat and nose with salt water every morning and evening.”

“Good, good. If it were up to me, I would raise you not as a movie actor but a traditional singer. But what can I do, as I’m scared of that old man.”

Bong Deoksu exaggeratedly spoke of Director Baek Janghun. The two were old acquaintances. At first, everyone was surprised when they heard the cameo role was not an ordinary role but a child performing a chang. After all, learning traditional singing could not be done overnight.


Was it a coincidence?

In my past life, I had been obsessed with acting. I had learned everything related to acting, so it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that I had experience in musicals and even had extensive training in Korean traditional music, including samulnori[2], during my time in theater. After all, having more skills meant a better chance of getting myself cast in even a small role. Thanks to that…

It was quite troublesome.

Among traditional singers, Bong Deoksu, an intangible cultural property, had seen my skills and was moved, repeatedly asking if I had ever learned pansori[3] before. It was such a hassle. But…

Did my singing ability improve?

It was a question I had had since Yeongdo. While I had been quite confident in my singing skills in my previous life, it had never been this good. I had become quite exceptional after only two weeks of training with Deoksu. It was then that…

“The drummer has finally arrived!”

Director Baek Janghun greeted Bong Deoksu warmly.

“Do you know how worried I was that you wouldn’t come, Deoksu? You’re not the type to appear on screen.”

“If it wasn’t for Janghun’s request, I certainly wouldn’t have come. But my disciple Yeongguk is appearing, and as his teacher, I have a duty to watch over him.”

“There’s no need to emphasize the words ‘disciple’ and ‘teacher’ so strongly. You’re correct about the singing, though. Anyway, Yeongguk, do you know what you need to focus on during today’s shoot?”

The filming location was a mountain valley with a waterfall cascading down. The scene showed a grandfather and his grandson unfurling a window in the middle of the valley. However, Director Baek Janghun’s instructions couldn’t be that simple.

“I suppose the sunlight will be slating from the right, so you should try to point the camera to the left as much as possible, right? And…”


“Shouldn’t we boldly shout out loud as if we’re really opening the window? Even if there’s some noise, it’ll still look cool.”

“Right, right. It’s fun to have a conversation with you like this.”

Of course, the knack acquired through past experiences was meant to be utilized in such situations. A moment later, Teacher Bong Deoksu, who had been looking around the film set, suddenly shouted out loud. The staff hurriedly preparing for the shoot were startled and looked his way.

“Deoksu, you’re always the same. Whenever you come to a good spot, you shout first and then look at the scene.”

“I didn’t feel comfortable since it’s my first time appearing in your movie, Janghun, but seeing this spot makes me feel at ease. I’d like to come here often and practice.”

“Finding this place took a lot of effort. I had no choice but to go see the spots that hikers don’t usually visit. Finding such picturesque spots with open views across the country is tough. With you and Yeongguk in mind, I chose these locations, so have fun today.”

At that moment, the AD approached and informed Director Baek Janghun that they were ready to shoot. Before I knew it, I had reached my goal of coming to Seoul. My name would appear in Director Baek Janghun’s work, an opportunity I hadn’t had in my previous life. It would be a lie if my heart didn’t flutter. As if sensing my thoughts, Director Baek patted me on the head and added,

“Yeongguk, are you nervous?”

“To be honest, yes, because I’m so happy.”

“It’s okay. No need to be nervous. I trust you enough to give you this role, and you have such a great teacher by your side. Though I tell you not to be nervous, I also feel nervous about shooting after a long time. It’s been years since I’ve felt this way…”

“Are you really nervous?”

Well, Director Baek Janghun wasn’t called the godfather of the film industry for nothing. He had experienced various shoots on the land, sea, and air, so it’s unlikely that he would be nervous just because of a cameo shoot. However, Director Baek insisted it wasn’t a lie.

“Of course, just because you have a lot of experience doesn’t mean the excitement goes away.”

Especially on a day like today.

* * *

Frost covered the gnarled, ancient trees that had grown among the cliffs. The once-pouring waterfall had frozen into sharp icicles. Plump sparrows fluffed their feathers and proudly displayed their round figures over the frozen pond. As they scattered the yellow millet, it looked like a field of canola flowers blooming in winter.

“Grandpa, do we really have to come to a place like this to practice?”

The boy in the center of the frame seemed insignificant. His ragged clothes and unkempt hair, even the drummer who followed behind him with a drum, had the same appearance. At a glance, they looked like beggars from the streets.

“Though you can practice anywhere, it’s best to do it in a place like this, with open space and many listeners.”

“Many listeners?”

“Don’t you see it?”

“Nobody’s here, though?”

The drummer smirked.

“That’s a narrow-minded thought. Just because there are no people doesn’t mean there are no ears to listen. Even if the street spectators were everywhere, they wouldn’t compare to the creatures in this forest. The waterfall has stopped, and the buzzing bees have stopped as well. They’re all here to watch.”

As the camera circled them in an inside walk, the contrast between the performers and the beautiful natural landscape became even more prominent. The cinematographer held his breath, gripping the handle tightly.

He was so tense because of this: the intangible cultural asset, the drummer, had insisted that they couldn’t rehearse to protect the young performer’s throat before the shoot. If the scene didn’t turn out well, the staff’s efforts in setting up the shoot would go to waste.

Director Baek must be aware of this.

There was nothing unusual about casting a cameo role. In fact, the appearance of the performers and drummer added more vitality to the movie. However, bringing an intangible cultural asset as the drummer and a child actor as the performer, there must have been a limit to making up for the difference, even with post-recording.

“Alright, let’s have some fun!”

With the drummer’s beat, the boy smiled and began to sing.

He’s only been learning for 15 days.

According to what he heard from Director Baek Janghun, the boy had only been learning for a mere 15 days. Even if he was taught by an intangible cultural asset, could an ordinary child actor become a great singer in just 15 days? It would have been nice if he could at least imitate a little. That’s when it happened.


At the simple sound, as if just clearing his throat, the filming crew was astonished.

“Up on the mountaintop─!”

As the mournful melody continued, the plump sparrows who had been pecking at the millet raised their heads. The fish swimming beneath the frozen pond began to gather around the performer and drummer.

[1] Chang refers to traditional Korean singing.

[2] Samulnori is a genre of Korean traditional percussion music.

[3] “Pansori” is a Korean genre of musical storytelling performed by a singer and a drummer.

Love the series? Share your thoughts on Novel Updates by rating and reviewing it now!

Private: I Will Live as an Actor

Private: I Will Live as an Actor

Score 9.7
Status: Hiatus Type: Author: ,
I Will Live as an Actor is a heartwarming story of a young man who grows up poor as the son of a widowed fishmonger. Fueled by a passion for acting, he neglects his mother and her sacrifices, only to regret it when she passes away. In a twist of fate, he is reincarnated back to his youth, just before he went down the wrong path. Determined to live a better life and honor his mother’s memory, he embarks on a journey to become a successful actor while also being a filial son.
Don't forget to rate and leave a review on Novel Updates!



not work with dark mode