Starting as a Child Actor in This Life Chapter 4

Chapter 4

“Ooh, Hanna!”

“Ah, sunbae. It’s not good to take advantage of children, but it’s also not right to just oppose everything without knowing. Honestly, isn’t it better for him to try various things when he doesn’t know them yet?”

“My son is still young.”

“That means there’s plenty of time to worry about the future. It’s a good experience to have at his age. Just think of it like sending him to piano or taekwondo lessons.”

“Is that the same thing?”

“If they don’t go pro, it’s all pretty similar. That’s just how life is, you know.”

Jiyeon was somewhat persuaded by Hanna’s argument, but she still looked annoyed as she glared at her.

People often believed that the entertainment industry was not good for a child’s emotional development. Still, as Hanna said, Suhyeon can experience the field once or twice while receiving attention for his cuteness.

Just like she said, it could end as a “good experience.”

It’s just that there were overwhelmingly more cases where that wasn’t the case.

“Suhyeon, I have a friend who is a writer, and she’s having trouble finding a child actor for her drama. She needs a cute and lovely kid like you but can’t find one she likes.”


While Jiyeon struggled to find a rebuttal and remained silent, Hanna targeted Suhyeon.

She lured him in with stories of getting autographs from famous actors and the emotional appeal of the writer suffering from not finding a suitable child actor.

Actor Leoo Seohan is in it?

The thing that captured Suhyeon’s heart was the lead actor, Lee Seohan.

The actor he had looked up to the most while learning acting.

He was an actor who still had an active acting career even after turning forty.

The fact that he could share some of that actor’s twenties was tempting to Suhyeon.

And if I’m lucky, we might become close.

However, it was difficult for a budding actor to befriend a rising star.

The entertainment world was a place with distinct “popularity grades,” and it was common for vertical relationships to form between those with mismatched grades.

Especially in the case of meeting on set, it was difficult to become friends even if they were colleagues.

There are many good things about being young.

But that was the case for adults meeting as adults.

If one side was a minor, even a child who hadn’t attended kindergarten, getting along like an uncle and nephew wasn’t impossible.

Not many people would think a five-year-old would approach them calculatingly.

Most adults would see them as “just a child.”

They would foolishly think that even if a child did try to deceive them, it would be obvious.

But Suhyeon was not clumsy enough to miss such an opportunity.

I want to get some advice and even an autograph.

Suhyeon, who had fallen head over heels for Lee Seohan, nodded with sparkling eyes at Hanna’s words.

To anyone, it seemed like he was swayed by Hanna’s persuasion.

“My son… do you really want to do it that much?”

Jiyeon, who thought her brilliant son would refuse on his own, looked at Suhyeon with a shocked expression.

She had expected him to easily refuse such a suspicious and difficult request, but her son actually liked the idea.

“Mom, I want to see the hyungs and noonas I saw on TV up close!”

“Sunbae, this is a weekend drama with 50 episodes planned. The budget is huge.”

“If there are more than 50 episodes on the weekend, it’s a makjang drama targeting housewives.[1] You want our Suhyeon to appear in that? And even if the budget is huge, it’s not like the child actors get any benefits, so what’s the point?”

Jiyeon firmly opposed it with a resolute expression.

She didn’t want to make her child’s first acting role to be a makjang drama, even if it was just for the experience.

It seems that NBC’s current weekend drama has only 10 episodes left, and they’re looking to replace it with another one. I can’t put my son in such a makjang drama.

NBC weekend dramas were notorious for their makjang-filled storylines.

Whether it started as a family drama, a coming-of-age drama, or even a campus love story, they all had a strong tendency to lead to makjang.

They say they even make child actors act in provocative scenes.

NBC would even order child actors to engage in confrontational scenes for the sake of generating buzz.

They would include offensive remarks like “Are you an orphan?” or “You don’t even have a mom” and subtle acts of ostracism that weren’t good for a child’s emotional development just to add more drama.

As a viewer, she would have let it slide, but it was something she wanted to stop if it involved her own child.

“Mom, I really want to do it.”

When he heard the word “makjang,” Suhyeon looked up at Jiyeon with clear, innocent eyes, pleading his case.

Being a fan of actor Lee Seohan aside, this drama was a great opportunity.

Since it’s a prime-time weekend show, the ratings will likely be high, and with 50 episodes… If it’s about the main character’s childhood, I’ll appear in about 4 or 5 episodes, and if it’s a supporting role, around 15 episodes.

Even if the drama was a makjang, it seldom affected the image of child actors.

In fact, having a title like “I’ve appeared in a prime-time weekend drama” was considered a good experience.

Having a good profile to introduce to others is always right. Aunt Hanna found me a good opportunity.

While Suhyeon was immersed in his calculations, Jiyeon sighed at her son’s determination.

She tried to pretend to be a strict mother, but she could never break her son’s stubbornness. She was indeed a prime example of a soft-hearted mother.

“…If Suhyeon really wants to do it, there’s no choice. Hanna, contact your writer friend and let me know.”

“Oh! Thank you, sunbae! Suhyeon, thank you too! If you appear, I’ll watch every single episode without missing a day!”


“Sunbae, thank you so much! I’ll have everything settled by tomorrow. Oh, it’s time for me to go back to work. Sunbae, I’ll treat you to a meal next time. Take care on your way home. Suhyeon, see you next time. Bye-bye!”

As soon as she got permission, Hanna quickly ran off with a bright expression after saying her piece.

Seeing Hanna apologize to someone on her cell phone as she left seemed only natural.

She was, after all, a sad office worker with more tasks to do even after a successful advertisement shoot.

“Suhyeon, try it out, and if you don’t like it, tell me anytime, okay?”

“Yes, mom.”

“Alright, if you don’t like it, say ‘I don’t like it!’ And if the PD… I mean, if that ajusshi sitting in the middle orders you to do something strange, say ‘I won’t do it!’ Okay?”


“Our prince is so smart. What do you say if someone asks you to do weird things?”

“I won’t do it!”

“…Is my son really a genius? I worry a lot.”

Expressing her concern once again at her son’s perfection, Jiyeon held Suhyeon’s hand tightly as they headed towards the building with a shining blue sign.[2]

Despite his young age, he needed a bank account suitable for becoming a working person earning money.

* * *

“Hello. This is Lee Hyeona, whom I’ve contacted. This is the PD for this drama.”

“Park Jongsik.”

“Hello, I’m Jang Jiyeon. Suhyeon, say hello.”

“Hello! I’m five years old! Kang Suhyeon!”

“Oh! You’re Suhyeon. You’re really cute. I shouted ‘call’ as soon as I saw your picture. Nice to meet you!”

After opening a children’s bank account, Suhyeon met with the writer Hanna had mentioned a few days later.

She came with PD Park Jongsik, who would be overseeing the drama. He looked up and down at Suhyeon as if observing a product on display, then slightly nodded his head.

It was such a minuscule and fleeting movement that Hyeona and Jiyeon didn’t notice as they exchanged greetings, but Suhyeon, standing like a third-party observer, read the satisfaction on the PD’s face.

After all, they’re not looking for acting skills in young children, just good looks.

Child actors were similar to sugar decorations on a cake.

They were missed when they were not there, tasteless to eat when they were, but not a problem if absent.

In the end, they won’t ask for anything more than if they have a good-looking face and can understand their lines to some extent.

Before his death, the market for child actors had become fierce, and many child actors had showcased their acting skills just as much as adult actors. But now was not that time.

As the industry had categorized them as people who would eventually leave because of the widespread perception that their image was useless once they became adults, child actors were regarded as disposable items that were good as long as they had some talent and could be used for a long time.

The pay is stingy too.

Suhyeon frowned as he roughly recalled the child actor’s appearance fees from the past.

Even if he depended on his parents for a living at his age, that amount was too much.

“Suhyeon, why are you pouting your lips?”

“It’s ticklish.”

“Oh my, maybe you’re growing new teeth. You still have baby teeth, right?”

“Yes. I have another 1 or 2 years before they fall out.”

“How cute.”

Hyeona seemed to really like Suhyeon, and she exaggerated her delight every time Jiyeon talked about him.

She covered her mouth and marveled at everything he did in an enamored manner.

“I never wanted to get married, but seeing Suhyeon makes me want to have a child just like him.”

“I feel the same because of Suhyeon….”

“Ahem. The conversation is enjoyable, but how about we discuss work now?”

When the two women spent about 10 minutes talking about Suhyeon non-stop, the PD, who had been quietly sitting next to them, put a stop to it.

Only then did the two women remember that this was a preliminary meeting and became more focused.

“Ah, well, um, you might have heard it from Hanna, but this work will replace the drama, My Husband is Suspicious, after it ends. The title will be Promise of a Blue Summer.”

“Is Writer seriously going with that title? It’s a bit old-fashioned.”

“Come on, even you, PD, knows. We only came up with weird titles during the meeting.”

Hyeona took out the synopsis and the scripts for episodes 1 and 2 as she bantered with the PD.

The newly printed papers were stiff and fresh.

“Can Suhyeon read?”

“I can read Korean well!”

“You’re smart. You speak so clearly.”

Hyeona patted Suhyeon’s head once and handed him the neatly stapled papers.

Perhaps considering the child, the font was larger than 10 points, with a reasonable amount of spacing in between.

The female lead has two male leads. The male leads are half-brothers, and the female and one of the male leads meet for the first time at a gathering…

Suhyeon skimmed through the short summary, the intention of the work, and the relationship chart before carefully examining the script.

Both episodes 1 and 2 contained the childhood story of the female and male leads, and the two children’s dialogue and actions were quite cheeky and cute.

The typical lively female lead character who drives the story by rummaging around with energy and curiosity has a crush on someone’s face… The male lead appears quiet and gentle, but he’s a sharp-tongued person who knows how to use his looks…

The script itself was so interesting that it was a shame there was no third episode.

However, there was a decisive problem with Promise of Blue Summer.

Giving such complex characters to child actors, is this why it failed?

Child actors who were praised for their acting skills were usually over the age of ten for a reason.

They needed that level of emotional development to understand a character’s complex personality and duality.

The children in the script, around six years old, couldn’t act because they cast actual six-year-old child actors.

It’s difficult to grab early viewers by ignoring the crucial early episodes that focus on their childhood.

Suhyeon, who had skimmed through a few works in the past while getting involved in acting, couldn’t remember the drama Promise of Blue Summer.

It meant that it had failed so ordinarily that it was more productive to check other works, even though he was focused on appearing in one of Lee Seohan’s works.

So, the story goes like this.

Having read the character descriptions and synopsis, Suhyeon stared at the relationship chart.

It was unclear who the real male lead was, but the plotline that would revolve around the female lead was…

It’s makjang.

It was undeniably a makjang drama.

I can understand that the secret recipe was lost because the father died. But it was a restaurant with a long history, passed down through generations. Where did the money go, and why did they suddenly become poor? Moreover, it wasn’t an adult’s promise but a marriage vow made between kids. Can that really be the key deciding factor for Jin Namju?

Suhyeon secretly raised his eyes and stared at Hyeona.

Although there was still fatigue around her eyes, she looked to be in her late twenties.

It was amazing to some extent that she could write such a makjang at such a young age.


“Huh? Did you finish reading? You’re really fast.”

“So, who is it going to be?”

“Oh? You understood it that far? You’re really smart.”

Hyeona looked at him with an impressed gaze and patted his head.

It seemed she liked the fact that a pretty child was interested in her work.

“But I haven’t decided yet.”

Suhyeon, who happily accepted her touch, failed to control his expression for a moment after hearing her words.

That’s how shocking Hyeona’s words were.

[1] A Korean makjang drama (막장드라마) is characterized by its highly exaggerated and often improbable plotlines involving extreme events such as affairs, revenges, or secret identities. Think of it as a soap opera. A good example is SBS’ Temptation of Wife which aired from 2008-2009.

[2] Most Korean banks go for a blue color scheme, from their logo to the look of their branches. Blue signifies stability and trust—traits you’ve want from a bank.

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Starting as a Child Actor in This Life

Starting as a Child Actor in This Life

Score 9.6
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: , Released: 2020
While returning from a late-night shoot, Suhyeon collides with a tow truck driving in the wrong direction with its headlights on... When he regains consciousness, his reflection in the mirror is... a little kid? Even I can see that I'm cute. An unknown idol has become a popular child actor! Get ready, as the captivating performance of actor Kang Suhyeon is about to begin.
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