Starting as a Child Actor in This Life Chapter 20

Chapter 20


└What’s he been up to lately? Did he quit after just one drama?

└Seeing how he keeps popping up in commercials, maybe he’s switched to being a CF star. Child actors make more money in commercials, right? ㅋ

└Ugh, seriously? How could such a talent not be doing dramas ㅠㅠ?

“Hmm. Everyone seems to be longing for my comeback. How admirable.”

Suhyeon couldn’t hide his pleasure as he, away from Jiyeon’s eyes, secretly checked his laptop.

It had already been two months and two weeks since he left Promise of the Blue Summer.

Despite thinking that the interest in him might have waned since his commercials were nearing their end, surprisingly, many people remembered and missed him.

The success of the drama played a part, but so did the blunders made by KBC and SBC.

└KBC and SBC really ruined it by casting crappy child actorsㅠㅠㅠ We need a cleanse.

└I knew KBC liked to copy things, but I didn’t expect them to do it with dramas too, sigh, KBC Suhyeon.

└Please bring back our Jiwuㅠㅠㅠ.

Following the success of Promise of the Blue Summer with its focus on child actors, the other two competing networks also aired similar dramas with child actors in the initial episodes.

Regrettably, the underprepared child actors could only display mediocre performances.

The audience’s expectations, raised by Seora and Suhyeon, were met by the main child actors’ lack of depth, leading to poor initial ratings.

Of course, there were a few standouts, but they were fewer than a handful.

There’s some competition now, but it’s good considering there were too few to begin with.

Too much competition could lead to a harsh environment.

However, increased supply also led to market vitality.

The same was true for the current child actor market.

With Promise of the Blue Summer recognizing the potential of child actors, many management companies specializing in child actors were now popping out.

It was a much earlier change than Suhyeon remembered from the future, but not a bad one from his perspective.

Suhyeon, Sangil-hyung is here! Are you ready?”


Suhyeon quickly hid his laptop and straightened his clothes.

They were a bit wrinkled from lying on the bed, but not noticeably so.


Hello, hyung!”

Please take good care of Suhyeon today as well.”

Of course, madam. Don’t worry.”

As Suhyeon stepped out of the room, Sangil, who was waiting in the entryway, greeted him. He was holding a familiar envelope in his hand, seemingly having received something from Jiyeon.

Mom, I’m heading out!”

Okay. Since you’re going where it’s crowded, listen to Sangil-hyung, stay with him, and also…”

I won’t follow strangers!”

Right. Be extra careful, okay?”


With a spirited voice, Suhyeon said he would be back and took Sangil’s hand as they walked away.

Even though Jiyeon’s greeting at the apartment building’s exit seemed a bit redundant, Suhyeon didn’t mind it as his heart fluttered with excitement.

Today’s schedule is in front of Yeonseok University. It’s a busy place, so be careful.”

Who would have thought we’d actually fulfill the 50 percent viewership promise…”

Inside the moving car, Suhyeon waved to Jiyeon as he muttered to himself.

The identity of Young Jiwu” being revealed as Lim Sihyeok” had driven Promise of the Blue Summer to 47 percent viewership.

But the joy was short-lived.

After the big secret was revealed, the drama, like a deflated cake, lost its momentum and struggled to reach the once seemingly attainable 50 percent mark.

Even though there were no other dramas to compete with and the viewership crept up due to people’s insatiable greed, Promise of the Blue Summer had made a 50 percent viewership promise.

And last Sunday, it surpassed it.

Fifty percent, that’s actually achievable?

Suhyeon was still astounded by the figure.

In the era he was active, surpassing 20 percent was considered a successful drama, and hitting over 30 meant it was a hit.

Different from the current time when the three major networks dominated most of the viewership, 20 years in the future, various media content like cable, internet broadcasting, and OTT services would fragment the viewership.

The prime era of the three major networks, which he only superficially knew before, turned out to be more impressive than he thought.

With nearly 10 episodes left, we’ve hit 50 percent; wonder if it will go higher?”

NBC seems to have high expectations too. They’re even considering extending the series.”

So jealous…”

And at the year-end awards show, you and Yoon Seora have been nominated for Best Couple.”


Caught off guard by the sudden news, Suhyeon blinked in surprise.

Although it hadn’t finished airing, Promise of the Blue Summer was already being mentioned as a contender for the NBC Acting Grand Prize in various forums.

This year, NBC was determined not to let their biggest hit go unrecognized, resulting in a media play tinged with stubbornness. Naturally, it sparked controversy.

NBC is infamous for piling awards on their popular dramas.”

Sangil shared the inside news that hadn’t been made public.

With a firm resolve not to overlook Promise of the Blue Summer, NBC nominated its leads, who had appeared in only six episodes, for the Best Actor and Rookie Awards by October 31st.

Despite the backlash, the higher-ups steadfastly pushed their agenda, insisting that their performances were comparable to other dramas, even with only 12 episodes aired.

They didn’t stop at major and minor supporting roles; they also aimed to place Promise of the Blue Summer in every award category, including the Best Couple Award.

Still, considering the backlash, they’ve decided to nominate you and Yoon Seora instead of the leads.”[1]

Well, even though it’s an award, the Best Couple is more like a popularity prize.”

Unlike the other awards, the Best Couple was determined by viewer votes.

It wasn’t meaningless, but as it was like a popularity vote, it was a dubious honor to count as a career achievement.

Still, it would be significant for you to win it at his age.”

There’s no guarantee I’ll win.”

I’ll spread the word around.”


In addition to the award ceremony, Sangil also informed Suhyeon about casting and advertising offers that had come in.

Suhyeon couldn’t hide his pleasure, even though no offers were particularly enticing, as the number had significantly increased.

There’s a lot of duds, but there are also many higher-than-average castings.”

Yes. Especially the offers from KBC were quite decent.”

Apart from their lack of principle. It’s outrageous to poach actors, knowing full well that Praise has started filming. Even I know better than that.”

KBC, having miserably failed to emulate NBC, blamed their shortcomings on the child actors’ acting skills and thus sought to cast Suhyeon, a child actor whose talents had been recognized.

Their offers would’ve been tempting to any ordinary child: a similar paycheck to what TNB proposed, significant roles, and the prestige of being on a terrestrial channel compared to cable.

Moreover, unlike the crime thriller Praise, they pitched a mainstream romance drama, assuring a certain level of viewership.

It would have been nice if you hadn’t signed with TNB.”

Hmm… I’m not sure if I would have gone to KBC even if I hadn’t.”

Instead of agreeing with Sangil, Suhyeon gave a noncommittal response.

To be memorable to viewers as a child actor, one had to either lead the show or play a child with a story.

As the child of a romance drama’s lead or a cute nepew, one would only be remembered as an “adorable child actor.”

With that in mind, I hope Praise does well.”

It will.”

I’m genuinely worried though. Even if they push hard with articles now, it still gets buried under other network dramas.”

They said they’ll ramp up marketing once Actor Lee Seohan fully joins the show.”

As they chatted about Praise, half in worry and half in planning, the car carrying them had already arrived in front of Yeonseok University.

As soon as the car stopped, Suhyeon unbuckled his seat belt and hopped out.

Wow. Suhyeon, it’s been a long time.”

Hello, Gunwook-hyung.”

Oh… You remember my name. Didn’t get lost, did you?”

No! My hyung is capable!”

Puhaha. That’s right, that’s right. Shall we go to where the other hyungs and noonas are now? Hold your manager hyung’s hand and follow me.”


An employee waiting in the parking lot greeted Suhyeon warmly as he spotted him.

He carefully adjusted Suhyeon’s furry hat before leading him to the coffee truck and where the main actors were.

Hyung! Hello!”

Wow, who is this? Did you betray us and pretend not to know us after the drama ended? The heartless little traitor who ignored his seniors. Why did you come today?”

Is Chaemin-hyung upset?”

Yes, I’m upset, forever and ever upset. It won’t be easy to make it up to me.”


Hey, Choi Sangil. You’re no different, betrayer. Did you think it was enough to just take care of our little guy properly because I introduced you? Huh?”

I’m his manager, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?”

…That’s true!”

Well, then we’re good.”

Wow, you really…”

Suhyeon approached Seohan while leaving Sangil and Chaemin to bicker among themselves.

Standing in front of the displayed coffees, Seohan smiled at Suhyeon.


“Hello, hyung. Not too many coffees, huh?”

“It’s winter, so if we put them in cups ahead of time, they’ll get cold. We’re only putting 30 cups out at a time and will keep supplying more from behind.”


Suhyeon glanced at the coffee cart waiting in the back and nodded.

The coffee cart staff, tense and waiting, looked like soldiers about to go into battle.

It is a war, after all….

His gaze shifted from the coffee cart to the queue he had ignored until then.

The college students, lined up by the instructions of the security personnel, came into view.

“Kyaa. Isn’t that Jiwu? Incredible. So cute.”

“Look over here, be a good boy.”

“Look at how tiny. What to do?”

“Isn’t his nose red? Shouldn’t we start soon and let the kids in?”

Suhyeon checked the multiple windows that had popped up in front of him and timed his gaze accordingly.

Having grown accustomed to his powers, he could sharply sense the timing of the shutters, and thus, the smiling face of Suhyeon was saved in most of the cell phones.

“Oh, our Suhyeon is better than some stiff senior, right? Come on, take one with your hyung too.”

Having finished their squabble, Chaemin had snuck up and draped an arm around Suhyeon’s shoulder.

Seeing the amiable “Young Jiwu” and “Jiwu,” those waiting captured their image with cheers.

“Hello! I’m Kwak Chaemin, who played the role of Lim Sihyeok. To everyone watching Promise of the Blue Summer, nice to meet you!”


After a brief photo time, the main trio and Suhyeon stood side by side in front of the tables.

Though it was just an event to hand out coffee, the scene resembled a concert hall.

“Hello, I’m Lee Seohan playing the role of Lim Jiyeon. We came here to keep our promise as Promise of the Blue Summer reached a 50 percent viewership last Sunday. Thank you.”


“Hello, I’m Choi Ayeon playing Lee Gaeun. Thank you for loving our drama! Love you!”

“Noona! You’re so pretty!”

“Oh my, really.”

Before handing out the coffee, the leads greeted and introduced themselves, and the waiting college students screamed in delight.

Then the microphone was passed to Suhyeon, who was waiting with a bright smile.


“Hey, you say something too.”

“Ah, yes! Hellooo! I’m Kang Suhyeon who played “Young Jiwu!” Thank you for coming today!”

When Suhyeon greeted them with a cute voice, the cheers that were closer to “woah” turned into “kyaa,” and words of adoration were woven into the screams.

Soon after, Suhyeon cheerfully handed out coffee to the surging crowd of students.

Though he couldn’t go back and forth to the coffee cart like the other actors because he was standing on a platform, he did not forget to pass the coffee with his fiddlehead-like hands while offering thanks.

“Thank you for cherishing our drama.”

“Can I take a picture?”

“Sure. But there are many people waiting behind, so please take it from beyond the line.”

“Awww, so kind… Alright, I’ll take it from the front here.”

“Thank you.”

“No, I should be the one thanking you…”

Suhyeon charmed his way around requests that could delay the line.

When a child half their height looked up at them with big blinking eyes, everyone fell for his cuteness and obediently followed Suhyeon’s words.

“Hello, Suhyeon.”

“Hello! Thank you for loving our drama.”

“Yeah, yeah. Noona is grateful too. But Suhyeon, noona is sad she hasn’t seen you lately…”


The student fiddling with their coffee glanced around and stealthily closed the distance to Suhyeon.

In the midst of pondering whether to scream at the sudden situation, the woman with her head bowed whispered in his ear.

“Could you possibly tell me about your next project?”

[1] Sangil continues to refer to Suhyeon as “Actor-nim.” However, it sounds awkward in English, so I decided to simply use “you.”

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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