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The lobby on the first floor of Cocoa Entertainment building.
Seo Eun-Chan was happily cleaning the plaque “Cocoa Entertainment Actor Lee Seojun” under Seojun’s picture on the wall. When he saw an employee, he quickly came to his senses and headed towards the public relations team.
Even though he used high-quality materials for soundproofing, phone ringing could still be heard beyond the wall.
The day after the fifth episode of the ‘Re-investigation’ was aired, phones of Cocoa Entertainment have been ringing ever since. This was because Seojun’s picture and his schedule were up on their website.
Seo Eun-Chan took a deep breath and opened the door of the public relations team’s office.
As soon as the door opened, the sound of the phone ringing hit his eardrum.
All the phones at work rang and emails were spamming the company’s email.
It was like a war zone.
The employee who answered the phone shouted.
“Excuse me! This is MBS!”
“This is SBC!”
Production companies from dramas and entertainment shows were contacting them.
Before Seojun made an appearance as a cameo in ‘Re-investigation’, they already prepared themselves for incoming proposals but this was too much.
From dramas that are currently being aired to dramas that have just barely gathered their actors, proposals from many different dramas were constantly coming in.
All of these companies wanted to ride on Seojun’s name even if he only appears for a few seconds.
In addition, other than Production Companies, writers contacted them separately from their program.
Employees who did not answer the phone browsed through the Internet.
From KBC’s website to a community with a large number of members. Articles about Lee Seojun continued to appear here and there.
Even those who did not watch the movie knew the “Hollywood Child Actor, Lee Seojun.” When the news about Seojun being casted as a cameo in a drama, those who couldn’t watch the episode, watched the re-run.
“Replay ratings and replay views are higher.”
“To catch many viewers, KBC is re-running episodes 1 to 5.”
“There’s a comment asking if Seojun is going to appear again.”
“How many comments did want him to play soccer?”
Among them, there were people who watched ‘Re-investigation’ and looked for the movies where Seojun appeared.
There were also people who watched ‘The Devil’ aired on KBC during weekend and ‘Re-investigation’.
Broadcasters were also busy with the increasing public interest. Their phones were constantly ringing out.
Kim Soo-Ryeon, head of the public relations team, raised her voice.
“What should we do? Excuse me!”
Seo Eun-Chan scratched his cheek.
“First of all, reject all the dramas.”
After answering the phones, the employees look up.
“He is not filming a drama?”
“Will he be filming a new movie?”
As the employees’ questions piled up, Seo Eun-Chan spoke again.
“Actor Lee Seojun wants to act in a play.”
At those words, a man who came to find Seo Eun-chan, stopped his track while holding a stack of white papers.
Lee Seojun’s manager, An Daho, had read all the scripts of dramas and movies suitable for Lee Seojun in the past two weeks and even wrote reviews and summaries so Seojun could easily choose one.
Seo Eun-chan turned his head to the sound of something falling. He saw An Daho standing at the entrance of the public relations team’s office.
Seo Eun-chan smiled at him and opened his mouth as An Daho looked at him with a confused look.
“That’s great, Daho. You came in the right timing.”
An Daho, nodded reflexively at the president’s words.
* * *
Although Seojun was entrusted to Cocoa Entertainment, Lee Min-Joon and Seo Eun-Hye still want to be involved with Seojun’s career.
Seojun and his mom browsed the Internet together.
“This doesn’t count.”
“Only over 10 years old here.”
There were few plays featuring children. It was rare to find children acting for plays, and there was also the height and age limit.
In particular, Seojun has been unable to write an audition application due to age restrictions of being 8-years-old.
“Seojun, do you want to really act in a play?”
The play he watched with Ji-Seok was impressive.
The close audience seats where he can even hear the breathing of the actors acting right in front of him.
The small theater was stuck in Seojun’s heart.
“Acting so close to the audience… I want to do that, too.”
‘How will people react to my acting in person?’
Unlike the staff watching them during filming, he wanted an audience that would watch and focus only on his acting without editing or thinking about the box office success.
Movies and dramas are good, but he really wanted to see vivid and direct reactions of the audience with his own eyes.
Just thinking about it made his heart pound.
Seo Eun-Hye rolled up her sleeves at Seojun’s sparkling eyes.
“I see. Shall we look for more?”
Seojun searched the Internet on his cell phone and Seo Eun-Hye on her laptop.
This was what Seojun has been doing for the past few days.
After coming home from the academy, he does his homework first and then browses the internet.
Sometimes, Daho would come and hand over the script. Read them and shake his head. Daho was really working hard, he can now choose a script without reading the whole script because of Daho’s summaries.
After An Daho left, Seojun spoke to his father with a sulky face. Lee Min-Joon lowered the sound of the television.
“When can I do this? I want to act in a play!”
“It may take time. Seojun you are still too young.”
“That’s right. But by then I will lose interest in plays.”
“Really? Then why don’t you make your own play?”
Seojun’s eyes got bigger. His own play?
Lee Min-Joon said it half-joking, but his words were deeply imprinted in Seojun’s heart.
Seojun had plenty of money in his bank account, he was close to famous actors, and great directors. All he needs is just a good story.
‘Huh? I really think I can do it.….’
“Isn’t that the play that Seojun watched together with Ji-Seok before?”
Seojun’s thoughts stopped at what his father said. Lee Min-Joon raised the volume as Seojun’s interest turned toward the television.
[Actor Lee Seojun and Lee Ji-Seok who watch ‘My Neighbor’!]
[Interview with Wind Theater Company]
A short video appeared on the news segment for the entertainment industry. Kim Sun-Gon, the head of the Wind Theater, appeared on the screen with the backdrop of a stage larger than the small theater that Seojun attended before.
[How’s the new theater?]
-Everyone feels awkward because it’s their first time acting on such a big stage, but they’ll be able to adapt soon.
[Tell us about the play and ‘My neighbor’]
-My Neighbor is a human comedy play that is made by people’s misunderstanding and delusion.
[What would be your next work?]
A short interview about the play followed, and he narrated how Seojun and Lee Ji-Seok came to watch the play.
No more questions about the play followed that as the next questions were all about either Seojun and Ji-Seok, Kim Sun-Gon’s eyes briefly darkened.
Seojun, who was watching television, hurriedly took out his cell phone and contacted Lee Ji-Seok.
After a few rings, so Lee Ji-Seok answered the phone.
“Seojun? What’s going on?”
“Did you watch TV?”
“TV? No. Why?”
“The Wind Theater Company appeared on TV, but they don’t look good.”
The couple quietly left the living room wondering what was going on. It was better to leave this to veteran actor Lee Ji-Seok.
Lee Ji-Seok searched for his laptop at Seojun’s words.
‘Is it entertainment news if a theater company comes out?’ While searching, he already had a hunch over what was going on.
But, his expression wasn’t good.
No one was as sensitive as actors who acted with facial expressions, so Seojun noticed tiredness from Kim Sun-Gon’s expression.
“I told you last time, right? If they promote it under our name, bad things will follow.”
Seojun sat on the sofa and listened to Lee Ji-Seok.
“We watched the play back in April. It’s June now, right? For almost two months, they must have answered more questions and stories about the two of us than their own works. Even if the audience thinks it’s their first time asking such questions, how hard it must be for them to continue answering the same questions over and over again. It was not even a question about their work.”
“And Kim Sun-gon, the leader, made this choice.”
“Yeah. Rather than putting his work as the main character, he wanted to succeed by putting our names forward. He like plays, but he needed money to continue the play. Did it a work? Was it successful? That’s how he made his choice”
“Until when will they feel bad?”
Lee Ji-Seok smiled at Seojun’s concern.
“Don’t worry. People’s interest changes in an instant, so it won’t last long.”
Lee Ji-Seok read the comments and closed his laptop. Unlike the first day, which was sold out in 30 minutes, there were sparse rumors that tickets were sold out.
As the number of audiences gradually decreased, Kim Sun-Gon, the general manager, would need to appear in a broadcast interview.
The timing of the interview request was good and he immediately grabbed the opportunity.
Now, the general public who watched the broadcast may have already watched the play and will ask questions about Seojun and Lee Ji-Seok again, thus revealing his feelings for a while.
Seeing that there is nothing much to say on the entertainment news forum, it seems that only Seojun noticed it.
“I like your eyes.”
Laughing, Lee Ji-Seok continued.
“It’s okay. Looking at the fact that they are still Playing My neighborhood, I think they can still go on. If it was really hard, they would have started a new work. What people are interested in is the play we’ve watch.”
At Lee Ji-Seok’s words, Seojun replied thank you and hung up the phone.
Those words remained in Seojun’s head.
They have always received attention so far, but they knew that they weren’t the main character. They felt a little tired regardless of their love for acting.
The situation, not the main character, slowly forgot their love for acting.
Who can comfortably concentrate on acting in a situation where they cannot even receive attention and are hidden by others’ shadow?
Will they still be able to like acting?
They will start blaming themselves and eventually quit acting.
Wouldn’t a person who really loves acting be a person who can still act until the end even in such a situation?
Thank you for those who donated towards our co-translator. She has now returned to her home and recovering from the trauma.