I Will Live as an Actor Episode 4

Episode 4

The night sky in Yeongdo was breathtakingly beautiful. The city lights that shimmered across the dark ocean was lovely too, but they paled in comparison to the natural beauty of the stars. The sense of fulfillment from this untamed splendor invigorated me and made me realize how alive we are.

As a child, my father pointed out the Big Dipper among the countless stars in the dark sky. I vaguely recall being carried on his back as we strolled along the night beach. Like an unyielding mountain, his presence was even brighter and more comforting than the lighthouse lighting up the sea.

“Are you tired, son? You can go inside if you want.”

“No, Mom. It’s just that the night sky looks especially stunning tonight. I can even see the Big Dipper, which I usually don’t notice.”

After helping my mother clean up the fish stall, I suddenly realized it was getting dark. The neighboring merchants praised my mother, saying she was lucky to have such a filial son and that I did the work of ten people.

Whenever they said that a mix of emotions would cross my mother’s face. She was proud of the compliments for her son but also felt guilty for making me work harder because of her shortcomings. Knowing her feelings, I just held her hand in silence.

“Excuse me.”

At that moment, an unfamiliar voice came from behind us. It was a man accompanied by a woman; both appeared to be tourists visiting Taejongdae and then stopping by the Namhang Market. Their camera hinted they were probably out-of-towners since locals rarely carried cameras around the market.

“I’m sorry, but we’ve sold all our fish for today.”

“Oh, that’s not what I meant. I just wanted to have a quick chat with the student here. Is this your mother standing next to you?”


My mother’s face showed confusion and worry, perhaps thinking I had done something wrong. The man who spoke hastily pulled a business card from his pocket.

“Ah, I’m not a suspicious person. My name is Yoo Myeonghan, and I’m a producer at KBC Broadcasting. The lady next to me is Writer Choi Eunsuk. We’re here because your son seems such an exceptional and filial young man.”

“Are you the type of people who make TV shows about these kinds of stories?”

“Well, no. I belong to the drama department, not the broadcasting station’s current affairs and culture division. To be straightforward, I wonder if your son is interested in acting as a child actor. He seems to have a lot of talent and potential to excel as a performer. We would be grateful if you could contact us without any pressure.”

My mother was taken aback by the unexpected proposal. It’s understandable, as she had never had any connection to the broadcasting industry. To raise me on her own, she had been working tirelessly from early morning until late at night at her fish stall, and she hadn’t even been able to watch a weekend drama series.

Yoo Myeonghan?

I was flustered for a different reason than my mother. I could never have imagined meeting a figure from my past life like this. I had thought I would never pursue a life as an actor again. I vowed that as long as I could properly care for my mother, I would not regret doing any kind of work. But now, meeting the famous Yoo Myeonghan…

Why was the head of the drama department here?

Yoo Myeonghan had been the head of the drama department at KBC Broadcasting in my past life. Moreover, the person accompanying Yoo Myeonghan was the writer Choi Eunsuk. I didn’t recognize her face, but it seemed familiar once I heard her name.

The ratings-maker, star writer Choi Eunsuk.

She had been a prominent figure who achieved great success with her debut work, creating hit after hit and becoming a flagship writer for terrestrial broadcasters, including KBC Broadcasting. I heard that cable stations offered her an astronomical amount of money to work with them. Her scripts had such tremendous influence that even the head of the drama department couldn’t interfere with her work.

“What’s your name, young man?”

I snapped back to reality upon hearing the question from Yoo Myeonghan.

“My name is Jang Yeongguk.”

“Jang Yeongguk, Yeongguk. What a cool name, and you have a handsome face as well. Please contact me. I’m asking you as a favor.”

Yoo Myeonghan, the producer, seemed to be in a hurry to leave, perhaps worried that we might feel burdened. Nonetheless, he kept glancing back at me with a desperate look to remind me not to forget his request.


“Jang Yeongguk, what’s your dream for the future?”

Kim Bongdu scratched his head and looked at the student before him. It was the regular end-of-semester counseling session where they discussed students’ future plans and provided motivation for their goals, as was the duty of an educator. Middle school students had various aspirations, from becoming president to celebrity. However, he had never encountered a student with such a unique ambition.

“I want to be a local government official.”

“Goodness, this is the first time I’ve heard of a student wanting to become a local government official. Why not a national government official instead?”

“Well, national government positions can be assigned anywhere in the country, whereas local positions only involve transfers within the region, making it easier for me to take care of my mother.”


Kim Bongdu was taken aback by the calm expression in the student’s eyes. Was he an old soul or something? He was too mature to be considered a mama’s boy. His mannerisms and speech were so adult-like that, at times, it felt like talking to a peer.

“So, what are you going to do during the summer break? Won’t you be like other kids and hang out with your friends at places like the valley?”

“Since summer is the peak season for eels, I’ll probably be busy selling fish at the market. Eels don’t have a high-profit margin, you see. I plan to study English for the civil service exam in my spare time.”


Kim Bongdu had heard rumors from other teachers about a unique boy who could be found at the Namhang Market. He knew that Jang Yeongguk was the young fishmonger who had become a local legend at the market. The principal had even suggested providing Yeongguk with a scholarship during a recent staff meeting, being so moved by his devotion to his mother.

“Here, take these.”

As the counseling session ended, Kim Bongdu handed Yeongguk some study materials and stationery he had prepared beforehand. He felt guilty for having suspected Yeongguk of cheating and was also touched by the boy’s dedication to his mother, selling fish at the market.

Furthermore, stories he had heard through the class president painted Yeongguk even more positively. The boy never shied away from unpleasant tasks during cleaning time and even volunteered to clean the toilets, a job others avoided. In many ways, he acted more maturely than most adults. Kim Bongdu couldn’t help but be curious about Yeongguk, who bowed his head in gratitude and left the room.

“Jang Yeongguk, let me ask you honestly, how can someone suddenly grow up so fast?”

A short answer came in response to Kim Bongdu’s serious question.

“By experiencing death once.”


If asked about the most crucial aspect of life, everyone’s answer would vary. Some would say happiness, while others might say, love. However, the majority would answer money. It’s because poverty made people desperate, and wealth blinded them to desire. After reliving my life, I could proudly say I lost my attachment to money.

A luxury apartment with a panoramic view of the Han River…

It wasn’t even funny. Why did I covet the sight of the gently rippling water? It would transform into a dark abyss that no one could see at night. In this life, I vowed to live for happiness and live without regrets, reflecting on my past life’s mistakes. But then…

“Excuse me, could you please give us a little more time? You suddenly raised the rent.”

My mother struggled to continue the conversation, her voice choked with emotion. If only happiness could continue in the drama of life, how wonderful would that be? But as Murphy’s Law goes, our landlord put a stop to it.


I wanted to grab the phone and shout at him right away. It hadn’t even been a year since we signed the lease, and he was unexpectedly raising the rent. However, the landlord insisted on raising the rent, arguing that he hadn’t taken a deposit for the house. It was ridiculous. Who would pay a deposit for such a shabby place?

“Alright, we’ll skip this month and start paying the increased rent from next month. Thank you.”

For a moment, a flicker of joy spread across my mother’s face as if she had sold some fish. My heart broke as I watched her. It wasn’t ignorance but rather a sense of relief stemming from her desire to protect her son.

“Mom, I’ll be back in a bit.”

“Where are you going at this hour, son?”

“To Byungsik’s house. We agreed to swap math workbooks today.”

I quickly left the house, using the name of a friend I wasn’t even close with. I wanted to give my mother some space, knowing she would be uncomfortable if I stayed. She might have been filled with guilt for showing her son the struggles of a poor mother. Moreover, she had just managed to wash away the anxiety of moving from one lodging to another.

“Damn it!”

Under the dim streetlight, I muttered to myself. Ridiculously, money was the problem again. My pursuit of happiness had been scratched once more. I couldn’t hesitate any longer. I pulled out a business card from my pocket and looked at it. It was the card of Yoo Myeonghan, who had visited Namhang Market a few days ago.


I had vowed never to act again. In my previous life, hadn’t I neglected my mother and gone to the city alone to chase my dream of becoming an actor? Although I gained wealth through that, I ended up losing my mother. In a way, acting was my painful Achilles heel, my tormenting existence. But now…

“What’s the big deal!”

What did it matter? I had witnessed my mother struggling so much. As a young child, I had no way to earn money. Although my past life’s knowledge was about thievery, that pain couldn’t compare to the hardship my frail mother had faced raising her son alone. I walked to a public telephone booth – a sight that would be hard to find in twenty years but, for now, was still present in every neighborhood.

Yoo Myeonghan.

In my past life, when I had won the Best Actor Award and made my name known to the public, Yoo Myeonghan had been the head of the drama department at KBC Broadcasting. I didn’t know his entire filmography, but I knew he was a highly skilled producer who had produced numerous hits in his prime.

Yes, this is that famous producer.

The call was answered even before the signal tone had sounded a few times.

“PD, this is Jang Yeongguk, whom you met at Namhang Market.”

“Oh, Yeongguk!”

“I have something I want to ask you directly.”

After all, there was nothing to lose.

“How much can you offer me?”

In that audacious moment, the Big Dipper shone brightly in the night sky, and somehow, the boy leaning on the public telephone felt as massive as a mountain.

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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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