“Let’s find out what the homeroom teacher ‘Hochan’ is thinking today.”
Sikyung’s lesson started with analyzing the psychology and personality of the characters.
It was not only about analyzing the role of “Yeonwu” but also delving deeply into the psychology and behavior of the surrounding characters connected to him.
“Why do you think the homeroom teacher tried to roll up Yeonwu’s sleeve?”
“Because Yeonwu often rubs his arm.”
“Right. Yeonwu unconsciously massages his injured wrist.”
“The teacher always watches over Yeonwu. He’s a good teacher.”
Suhyeon carefully explained his impression of “Hochan” without using difficult words.
The enthusiastic and proactive demeanor befitting a first-time homeroom teacher.
After listening to the story, Sikyung nodded her head.
“Okay, then, how do you think Yeonwu felt when the homeroom teacher did that?”
“Um… I think he was scared of getting caught. Because he likes his mother. Hitting is bad, so he’s afraid his mother might get in trouble.”
The conversation soon shifted to “How did ‘Yeonwu’ perceive ‘Hochan’s’ actions?”
For Suhyeon, who had thoroughly prepared, this was not a difficult question, and his answer satisfied Sikyung.
“Right. No need for further explanation. Now, based on today’s story, let’s summarize what kind of child Yeonwu is and read the first episode’s lines.”
Sikyung’s class focused on in-depth character analysis, understanding the situations within the script, and conveying emotions through lines.
While the curriculum was tough for a young child to follow, five-year-old Suhyeon, who had found his early life dull, enjoyed the busy schedule.
“You did well today. Now, about the homework… Ah, right. Do you have any schedule next week?”
“Nope. For now, it’s only the drama.”
“Would you be interested in appearing in a movie?”
“Yes. It’s a minor role, but I got contacted because they need someone for the part.”
Adult actors would receive casting offers through casting directors or their agencies.
However, child actors often moved personally with parents as managers, so academies with many children frequently received inquiries.
“Actually, you’re the best child actor in our academy.”
“Uhm. What’s the role?”
“It’s a little kid in the same hospital room where the main character is sick. The role’s got a fair bit of character and dialogue with the main character, so it’s pretty decent.”
Suhyeon, with an innocent look, tilted his head, then looked up at Sikyung with a cheerful smile and slowly opened his mouth.
“I think another friend might suit the role better.”
At his mature response, Sikyung’s eyes widened as she gazed at Suhyeon.
She must have thought Suhyeon made the offer not knowing better.
“Suhyeon, even a minor role that involves dialogue with the lead actor isn’t insignificant. If you do well, you could get a solo shot and sometimes opportunities arise.”
“The director is Heo Chunsam, who debuted two years ago and attracted 5 million viewers, and the male lead is the rising star Lee Hyunbin.”
Upon hearing this, Suhyeon made up his mind.
He had no interest in making his movie debut in a minor role, especially with director Heo Chunsam and lead actor Lee Hyunbin.
Director Heo Chunsam is a director of no significant work except his first… and Lee Hyunbin is an actor who detests ruining his good looks as much as he is handsome.’
After getting a manager, Suhyeon not only got to take acting lessons but also had access to entertainment industry information.
This was quite an advantage, and he read the flow by crossing information about the future with the present.
He had become capable of distinguishing between flops and mediocre works.
Even if it’s a minor role, there’s no disadvantage regardless of the box office results…
Since Promise of the Blue Summer was gaining attention because of him and the entertainment industry’s history was slowly changing, perhaps the movie Sikyung was recommending could succeed.
As she said, even a minor role could capture the audience’s attention and catapult him to stardom.
However, Suhyeon was more interested in the changes he could make than in relying on such miracles.
If it’s between a movie role that might be lucky to succeed and a drama’s main role that’s guaranteed to be called well-made, it’s better to focus on the latter.
A well-crafted script.
Reliable fellow actors.
A director who paid attention to even the small details of the work.
Although it was a new cable channel facing challenges, Praise was a drama with solid basic elements.
“I’m going to be filming a drama soon anyway. So I’d like to pass this opportunity to another friend.”
“How can you be so kind? But Suhyeon, you can’t succeed by being kind alone.”
Hearing Suhyeon’s smooth talk, Sikyung stroked his head with a slightly sad smile, as if impressed by the child yet regretful of his naivety about reality.
“Let’s finish up here, and we’ll talk again once your manager arrives.”
Sikyung stroked him once more before explaining the homework to be done before the next class.
She took quite some time explaining what to reinforce through the homework and what was important in it, so Suhyeon listened carefully to every word.
“Suhyeon, take care.”
“Yes! I’ll see you tomorrow, teacher!”
After finishing his acting class, Suhyeon climbed into the car with Sangil.
His body was still frail and small, so instead of the passenger seat, Suhyeon sat in a car seat placed behind it.
“I turned down today’s casting offer again, so the teacher won’t mention it. I’ve already rejected it, so I don’t plan on telling your mom either.”
After securing Suhyeon’s seat belt, Sangil got into the driver’s seat and started the car while sharing the day’s events with Suhyeon.
Suhyeon’s teacher had proposed a minor role to him once again.
And Suhyeon’s complaint that he wasn’t too ambitious was just a bonus.
But even with Sikyung’s subtle pressure, Sangil firmly declined without wavering.
“I thought you’d say we should take it as a safety net, hyung.”
Suhyeon looked at Sangil through the rearview mirror, his expression puzzled.
From time to time, Sangil had suggested that the break between Suhyeon’s next activities was too long, citing examples of other child actors.
The opinion was that it seemed a waste to spend this time, when Promise of the Blue Summer had just surpassed 40 percent in ratings and Taesung’s cellphone commercial was hot, on acting classes alone.
It was surprising that Sangil had declined without even going as far as negotiation.
“Movies can come out later than dramas, right? Plus, I may not have an eye for scripts, but I can read people. If the actor turned it down, there must be a good reason.”
After a month of following Suhyeon around, Sangil had come to trust “Actor Kang Suhyeon’s” instincts and decision-making.
He might not be like a typical five-year-old, but as an employer, he was quite satisfactory.
Which is why Sangil didn’t overturn the decision Suhyeon had made just because he was an adult.
“Thanks for trusting me, hyung.”
Hearing Sangil’s thoughts, Suhyeon smiled more comfortably.
He had guessed from the actions, but hearing it made him feel much better.
“It would be great if you could express your gratitude in the form of salary.”
“Of course. I’ll treat you when the performance fee is settled.”
“I’ll look forward to it.”
Suhyeon grinned widely, accepting Sangil’s half-joking, half-serious banter.
He felt fortunate to have a manager who really clicked with him.
* * *
“I tried to explain it well, but the PD already made the decision. Sorry it turned out this way.”
The man uttered an apologetic word with an annoyed expression in response to the woman’s complaint.
There’s no guarantee that all things will go as requested just because you entertain and accept favors.
The man was irritated by the woman who, not knowing this, acted as if he owed her for the money she had invested.
Who would have thought that Lee Seohan, who was showing signs of refusal, would change his mind?
The man, the sound director for Peace, grumbled about the woman’s unreasonable demands.
He played along because of what he had received, but the woman’s presumptuous behavior didn’t sit well with him.
She should be grateful that they expanded the role originally written for a boy to include girls as well. Why is she blaming me for not being able to wedge her way in properly?
The original lead child actor for Peace had been written for a boy since the incident that inspired the story involved a boy.
However, there had been many difficulties with male child actors in terms of acting ability and availability, so the PD had broadened the search to include any child actor fitting the image of “Jang Yeonwu.”
The woman’s daughter had been the result of pushing into that created gap.
If she had made a space for herself, she should’ve secured a contract by any means necessary rather than hesitating to impress the director.
A verbal agreement was a promise, not a contract.
A contract could still be broken even after it’s signed, but the woman had assumed there were no competitors and had only made noise on the sidelines when it mattered most.
It was natural for her to lose out once Lee Seohan mentioned Kang Suhyeon.
It may be a bit young for the role, but it’s of an abused child, so it’s easier to fit a smaller actor. Was this the third time?
Even the director, who had been angry at the initially written performance fee, had quieted down because Kang Suhyeon was a reasonably hot actor.
With just six drama episodes under his belt, he had caught the viewers’ attention and, before that could fade, he raised his profile with Taeseong’s advertisement, landing him on the list of “usable cards” among industry insiders.
He might have been expensive compared to other child actors, but he was a better choice than ten of his peers.
“Still, you got the second-largest child role, so do your best. Our head director is still a rookie, so if Jiyoon does well, they might add more scenes. Ah, she might even become the double lead.”
The director, meticulous about expressions and lines, wouldn’t disrupt the design he had created just because an actor slightly caught his fancy.
Knowing this, the sound director spouted comforting words to the woman merely to appease her.
“…Right. There’s no way Jiyoon would lose to a kid who has only done one drama. The only thing that kid has over Jiyoon is being a boy.”
“Yes, Jiyoon will do fine. Oh, I have to go to a meeting.”
Having deflected the hostility just enough, the sound director excused himself from the table, using a meeting as an excuse.
It was just a bonus to sneakily add the woman’s number to the block list.
‘There’s no way our Jiyoon could lose to that kid.’
After the sound director left, the woman remained alone, picturing her daughter with proud satisfaction.
Unlike the child actor who had just gotten lucky with some recognition, her child was a true actor.
“Mom, did the talks go well? Did I really get pushed out?”
“Jiyoon, you got the second most important role.”
“Second place is still a supporting role! You said I’d be the lead this time!”
Jiyoon, who had been waiting for her mom at the café, whined and lost her temper upon hearing the result.
Even if it was cable, she had been happy about her first lead role, but being a supporting actor was no different from usual.
The terrestrial channel supporting role she had turned down for Peace seemed better now.
“This is just great!”
“Still, Jiyoon, if you do well, you can do even better than the lead. It’s just cable, so they can easily change the script if you’re good.”
“That’s right. Whose daughter are you? You just have to stomp that parachuted newbie flat.”
“Hm, right? I mean, that kid can’t act, and the only thing to look at is his face.”
Pacified by her mother’s coaxing words, Jiyoon sipped her cola with a smug look.
Despite being tragically bumped from the lead, the thought of showcasing her acting and reclaiming her place made her feel like the protagonist of her own story.
Kang Suhyeon. You dared to take my spot, you little pea? I won’t let this slide.
Filled with hostility toward the child four years her junior, she attempted to eat the remaining ice but was scolded by her mother.