I Will Live as an Actor Episode 35

Episode 35

The light of the fish-attracting lamp illuminated the night sea, and the sound of crashing waves filled the harbor. A solitary lighthouse beam pointed at one spot.

“I’m already so nervous!”

People in Namhang were excitedly watching the Acting Awards show. It was no wonder—a boy known as the son of Namhang was appearing on a nationwide live broadcast. Despite their tired faces from a long day, there was no sign of fatigue on the fishermen’s faces. They all gathered with each a snack in hand, looking quite endearing.

“If Yeongguk sweeps all the awards, the others will be so disappointed!”

“Right! I also think he’ll win! Yeongguk’s acting was excellent. If they don’t give him at least one award, I won’t let it go!”

“But he’s just a child actor. Should he really get an award?”

“Hey, watch your mouth! What’s wrong with being a child actor? Come here, and I’ll teach you a lesson myself!”

The merchants’ gazes turned to the source of the cold water. That’s when it happened.

“Mom, it’s Yeongguk! He appeared!”

On an unexpected stage, like the song titled Young Girl, his pure and innocent singing touched people’s hearts. How could the singing be so poetic, like the lingering emotion of the night sea? Look, not only the people of Namhang but also the live audience at the awards ceremony were sincerely enjoying the performance. It would have been a lie to say they weren’t proud of the boy who occasionally smiled at the live camera like an experienced singer.

“Ha! Yeongguk learned that song from me! He’s doing a great job!”

“Where! Hey, stop lying. You should watch what you say! He learned all of that from me. I taught him all those boat songs!”

“Everyone, be quiet! Yeongguk’s on again!”

People turned their heads at the harsh words of the wife and merchants.

“I’ll become a great actor with this small heart!”

As the boy spoke his acceptance speech, the admiration of Namhang burst out. Who did he take after that he could speak so eloquently, like a clear mountain stream? The merchants were so absorbed in the television that they even forgot to drink their soju. Even among famous actors, Yeongguk did not lose his shine. The host’s following words made their hearts race more than the sound of a ship docking at the pier.

“Now it’s time to choose the best newcomer of the year. Many candidates have been nominated. Choosing just one person from such fierce competition must have been difficult. Let’s reveal this year’s Newcomer Award!”

Though no one spoke, they all looked like they were eagerly awaiting the outcome. Among them, Yeongguk’s mother clasped her hands, praying.

* * *


If he said he wasn’t surprised, it would be a lie. Since he appeared as a child actor, he didn’t even expect an award. He was already grateful for winning the Best Couple Award, but now he also received the Newcomer Award. Yeon Su was already jumping for joy, and other actors, including Park Suyeong, were also happy. All except for a single person, Yang Minjeong, whose eyes were filled with disappointment.

“Yeongguk! Hurry up and go on stage!”

Under the urging of PD Yoo, he moved his feet. As the stage approached, his heart raced wildly. The Newcomer Award was meaningful to all actors, including himself. He didn’t receive the Newcomer Award in his previous life. When his name was on the supporting roles after passing through many bit parts, he was already labeled as an old newcomer. Amidst the applause, he stood in front of the brightly lit microphone. Everyone was waiting for his acceptance speech.

“I’m not sure if I really deserve the Newcomer Award. There are so many people I’m grateful for.”

His choked-up voice continued. He had received so much love that he felt embarrassed to just say thank you to those who made bold decisions, like the PD Yoo Myeonghan, Writer Choi Eunsuk, and the filming crew who liked him throughout the shoot. However, the person he thought of the most was just one: his mother, who was no doubt watching her son from Namhang right now.

“Since I was young, I grew up surrounded by sailors, so I’ve got a strong accent. I know I should speak in the standard Seoul dialect when I’m receiving an award, but I want to speak comfortably since I’m talking to my mother. My mom only knows me.”

My past life was the same. My elderly mother had neatly collected and stored the newspaper articles featuring me. I regretted not finding them earlier when I discovered them in an album with some hidden cash in the closet, but it was already too late. I was sure it was the same now. Until the day she dies, she will probably watch me on the TV screen with a proud smile.

“Mom, thank you so much for raising me. There’s so much I want to say, but I can’t even say a word. You’re probably watching right now, so please live happily from now on. I’ll be sure to repay you this time. I miss you the most right now.”

I looked towards the live camera. A surge of emotions welled up. Why couldn’t I have done this in my past life? Why did I only push my mother away in the shadow of poverty? I never once mentioned my mother’s name, even when I won the Best Actor award at the ceremony. The immense guilt made my lips tremble.


I called her as if I had returned to my childhood.

* * *

“You’ve grown up a lot.”

National actor Ahn Junghyeon gave a short nod as if he was proud of the boy’s image on the screen. Director Baek Janghun also had a pleased smile on his lips.

“Hyung, do you remember when I first attended an awards ceremony?”

“You mean when you were shaking and trembling?”

“No, I was just a little nervous and stuttered a bit. I had just turned thirty at the time. I had done quite a bit of filming, but my hands and feet felt numb when I stood on the awards stage. That’s when I experienced the sensation of everything turning white in front of my eyes.”

Being an actor didn’t mean you were always composed, especially at an awards ceremony, where emotions tended to be overwhelming as your hard work was recognized and celebrated. However, the boy was different. Although his emotions were intense, he remained steady, like an old tree standing tall.

“I saw some edited footage from the movie you’re filming now.”

“Did Kim, the driver, show you? How was it?”

“It’s like having a shot of soju. There’s something about it that made my heart feel warm. It’s amazing to see a kid with no experience in commercial films acting so naturally. It’s both scary and exciting.”

Being an actor was always a competitive job. Some competed with actors with similar images, while others competed with themselves. That’s how they grew.

“I can’t wait to see how he’ll grow in the future. Hyung, you said it before, you prefer a wildflower that grows in a barren wasteland rather than a sapling that grows in fertile soil.”

National actor Ahn Junghyeon explained further as he set down his teacup.

“I feel the same way when I see him. He’s the kind of actor you’ve always wanted, someone with a persona close to a wildflower. I feel this way, so I can’t imagine how much you must be looking forward to it, especially considering how long you’ve been searching for that flower.”

On the last day of the year, snowflakes fluttered down. Under the tiled roof, an old pine tree twisted and turned in the winter wind. Baek Janghun and Ahn Junghyeon understood each other’s thoughts, making the phrase “a match made in heaven” seem fitting.

“I wonder how lovely the scent will be when the wildflower blooms.”

* * *

“Kid, you’re the best!”

Park Suyeong gave a thumbs-up as she welcomed him. Faintly smeared mascara was visible under her eyes. The others were the same as if they were celebrating their own successes. It’s an emotion I couldn’t experience in my past life because I was always obsessed with acting and didn’t have time to look around. I never received such warmth and blessings from my colleagues.

Am I allowed to be this happy?

I wondered. In my past life, didn’t I only focus on one path and neglect everything around me? Complicated emotions stirred in my chest as I pondered this.


Yeon Su hugged me tightly. I could feel relief from her tiny hands gripping my shoulders as if comforting me. Yes, it was telling me that this moment was not a dream. I gently put down Yeon Su and stroked her forehead.

“Look at you, all messy.”

Yeon Su’s face was smeared with tear stains as if she was the actress he had once struggled to face in his past life. Taking out a handkerchief, I wiped her face; like magic, her cheeks turned rosy. PD Yoo Myeonghan and Writer Choi Eunsuk looked at her with loving, parental eyes.

“Wow! Are you guys really dating?”

“What are you talking about? Just wipe the smudged makeup under your eyes. You’re going to ruin your outfit.”

“It’s not like I’m going to be in broadcast…”

Nevertheless, Park Suyeong hurriedly fixed the mascara smudging her eye area. And as if it were a lie, her name was announced as the Best Supporting Actress winner. Although it wasn’t the grand prize, it was undoubtedly the biggest honor a supporting actress could receive.


I jumped up from my seat and hugged Park Suyeong. Her face, which was usually calm and composed, couldn’t hide her surprise. She went up on stage and presented more tears than I had seen before, sobbing loudly. It was, after all, the place where her acting was recognized by everyone. The Man of August swept the acting awards as if it were a record-breaking miniseries at the KBC Broadcasting Station.

It’s only natural for celebration to follow the Acting Awards. The connection that began in the warm sunshine of summer had finally reached the first snow of winter. We were together, listening to the chimes of the last day of the year. The people of Namhang Market were surely with us in spirit at this moment, like the grains of sand on the white beach sticking close to each other.

“Oppa! What are you doing? Hurry and make a wish!”

“A wish?”

Yeon Su, who wanted to pray with her hands together as the chimes rang, looked absolutely adorable. Her innocent prayer made her seem even more endearing. As fireworks burst brilliantly at that moment, the bell-ringing ceremony was carried out on a large screen. As the clear and pure sound awakened the beginning of a new millennium, I made my wish.

I will live as an actor.

My past life and determination were the same, but the meaning differed. As the chimes ended, I could see the faces of those around me as I half-opened my eyes. Happiness wasn’t difficult, just like this. As the coldest winter passed and the warmth of spring began, my past life’s scenes flitted by, and a new life began to sprout.

And then…

Three years have passed.

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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.
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