Chapter 62: Many (1)
Honestly, Woojin was unaware of the role’s setting for ‘Mysterious Man Next Door’. However, in the role he chose without much thought, a situation similar to those in English and Japanese unfolded.
[“A new language other than the base language has been detected. Acquiring ‘Sign Language’ first.”]
A robotic female voice stating that sign language would be acquired. Due to this unexpected turn, a smile appeared on Kang Woojin’s face.
“Sign language? So, this role of ‘Mysterious Man Next Door’ uses sign language, huh? That’s great. The more languages, the better.”
Language is the power of culture, and Kang Woojin had already acquired English and Japanese. Sign language was unfamiliar to Woojin, but not unwelcome. No, it was actually quite intriguing.
Its unfamiliarity made it unique.
It might be easier to learn languages like English or Japanese since they’re more commonly seen, but sign language was not so common. As Kang Woojin heard the robotic female voice again,
[“Preparing ‘Sign Language’ reading ……”]
[“……Preparation complete. Starting ‘Sign Language’ reading.”]
He muttered to himself, “It’s rare, so it might come in handy later. Anyway, this is awesome.”
At the same time, a vast grayness engulfed Kang Woojin. Soon, he felt a tingling sensation in his lower abdomen. However, he wasn’t too fazed as he had experienced this before.
His surroundings were entirely gray, and Woojin was floating.
Woojin smiled slightly and stared straight ahead, knowing that something was coming.
“Here it comes.”
From a distance, some form started to approach. It moved at a speed similar to the English and Japanese. This form was soon visible to Kang Woojin.
Hand shapes. No body, but hands, visible up to the shoulders, flew towards Kang Woojin and seeped into him.
One by one, numerous hand shapes followed.
A moment later.
[“Ending the new language ‘Sign Language’ reading.”]
With that female voice, Woojin’s world shifted from the void space to the meeting room. Kang Woojin’s posture remained as it was when he received the script for ‘Frozen Love’ part one. He then checked his condition.
‘Yeah, I’m okay. Not too tired.’
He was gradually becoming familiar with this process. He was exhausted when learning English, slightly better with Japanese, but with sign language, he felt mostly the same.
A slight heaviness in his body?
Just as his body adapted to repetitive acting, Kang Woojin’s fatigue had significantly reduced upon acquiring his third language. This too must be a feature of this void space.
‘I feel like I can use sign language right away.’
Of course, the sign language from the void space felt vivid to him. Just like English and Japanese, it was now imprinted in him. He felt he could immediately move his hands and convey messages through sign language.
Kang Woojin was somewhat astonished.
‘Seriously, this void space is overpowered.’
While he was familiar with English and Japanese even before acquiring them, sign language was different. He had only seen it briefly in the news a couple of times. For Woojin, it was beyond unfamiliar; it was completely foreign.
But now, Woojin had become an expert in sign language.
Smiling inwardly, Kang Woojin looked down at the script in his hands.
‘Sign language, acquired.’
Then, Writer Lee Wol-seon said, as she just handed over the script. It had only been a few seconds since she had handed him the script in reality.
“The shooting schedule might be just a day or two, but that doesn’t mean the role of ‘Mysterious Man Next Door’ is a minor one. It’s a fairly significant role in episodes 1 and 2. More importantly, there are things related to the character setting that you’ll need to learn.”
At her explanation, Choi Sung-gun tilted his head and looked towards Woojin, who already knew what that ‘something’ was. Woojin said,
Pretending to be engrossed in the script for a few moments, Kang Woojin then directed his indifferent gaze back at Writer Lee Wol-seon.
“You’re talking about sign language, right?”
Choi Sung-gun, slightly surprised, asked,
Lee Wol-seon smiled calmly.
“That’s right. Apart from the inner thoughts, the role of ‘Mysterious Man Next Door’ mostly communicates through sign language. While there aren’t many lines, learning sign language won’t be easy.”
Choi Sung-gun slightly furrowed his brows.
‘The devil is in the details. Indeed, now it can’t be ignored, can it? I tried to skip it by taking a minor role, sigh. Even if the lines are few, studying a language like sign language takes a lot of time. It’s challenging; the cost-effectiveness is not good.’
They tried to kill two birds with one stone, but given the situation, one had to be abandoned. That is, the writer Lee Wol-seon. It’s too much to invest the time needed to learn sign language.
“We need to slightly adjust this role here.”
Choi Sung-gun, mumbling to himself, flashed a business smile at the writer Lee Wol-seon across from him.
“Writer. At a glance, it seems like a role that will stand out, but it feels a bit heavy, doesn’t it?”
“Do you think it’ll be difficult?”
At that moment, a low voice interrupted their conversation. It was Kang Woojin, who had been reading the script.
“Fortunately, I can handle this.”
Both Choi Sung-gun and Writer Lee Wol-seon simultaneously turned their gaze to Woojin. Of course, the production staff did too. Everyone’s eyes widened slightly. Regardless, Kang Woojin calmly continued, with a bit of bravado.
“I don’t need to specifically learn sign language.”
Choi Sung-gun quickly responded.
“What do you mean you don’t need to learn? Woojin, what are you talking about?”
Following that, Writer Lee Wol-seon slightly tilted her head in confusion and asked.
“You don’t need to learn… what do you mean? Are you saying you know sign language?”
“Yes, a little.”
Writer Lee Wol-seon raised an eyebrow.
“Really? You know sign language?”
Kang Woojin remained composed.
“…Can you show us a bit?”
“Yes, I can. For instance, this part.”
Kang Woojin pointed to the sign language lines of the ‘Mysterious Man Next Door’ in the spread-out script and began signing. His recently acquired sign language skills were remarkably fluent.
He performed it emotionlessly, yet proficiently. It was natural and smooth. Emphasis was added through gestures and emotional expressions via his eyes.
It was unparalleled.
The meeting room was silent, but the surprise among the attendees grew. Kang Woojin stood out, not being ostentatious. Even just the sound of clothes brushing against each other deepened his presence.
Writer Lee Wol-seon, experiencing Kang Woojin for the first time, stared intently without blinking.
‘His movements are minimal and controlled. But his eyes are different. How can they be filled with so much emotion?’
After Kang Woojin’s demonstration ended, he remarked,
“That’s it, Writer.”
Everyone seemed a bit speechless. Writer Lee Wol-seon, who had been captivated by Woojin’s sign language, finally spoke.
“…You said you only knew a little?”
Meanwhile, at the cable broadcasting station HTBS.
The variety department of HTBS was bustling like a market, which was typical for such a department. Desks were cluttered with various props from shoots, and producers and writers, and other staff were constantly busy with phone calls and discussions.
Especially in the entertainment world, this time was the busiest.
With the transition of seasons and changing weather, it is May, which was hot after the cold. Although it was spring, it felt like summer. Outside, a warm wind blew, but around this time, the entertainment world was always in a storm.
New entertainment shows were being planned, or existing ones went through a revamp.
Thanks to that, various shows were discontinued, vanished into memories, and new entertainment shows made their sudden appearance. This was common for all broadcasting stations, including HTBS.
But HTBS had a heavy hitter in their ranks.
『The Entertainment Industry Monster PD Yoon Byung-seon planning a new show? According to insiders, ‘We plan to make it without pressure’』
It was PD Yoon Byung-seon. After receiving a hefty transfer fee from a major broadcasting station, he moved to HTBS. Immediately upon his transfer, he produced major entertainment shows with skyrocketing ratings. He was currently planning a new TV show, not for YouTube.
The location was a medium-sized meeting room.
About ten people were present. Among them, PD Yoon Byung-seon, with a prominent chin, was looking at the whiteboard in front of the meeting room.
Other writers were doing the same. On the whiteboard, there were photos of several celebrities, and PD Yoon Byung-seon, taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes repeatedly, let out a sigh.
“The lineup is pretty good. But it somehow feels lacking. There’s nothing really captivating.”
One of the writers responded.
“So, you’re saying the top 3 are definitely going together, but the middle one seems weak?”
“Are they? Ugh, I don’t know. I’ve been in meetings all day; my brain is fried.”
“For now, let’s leave it at this. You have a shoot for ‘Sports Day’ with ‘Profiler Hanryang’ team tomorrow, right? Don’t you need to prepare for it?”
“Well, I’ve already prepared for that. Once the shooting setup is done, I just need to check.”
Stretching out, PD Yoon Byung-seon, who was in front of them, continued, and picked up one of the many papers laid out.
“We’re planning to go in with a three part series. What do you think-”
He paused again, resting his chin in his hand, and spoke to the writers.
“Wouldn’t it be good to have at least one member who can speak a foreign language? If we only show them struggling abroad, it’ll be boring.”
“That’s true. The main point is to promote Korean food. Then I’ll look for actors who can speak foreign languages.”
“Yeah, they don’t need to be fluent. Maybe with decent English? It’d be great if they could speak Japanese too, but finding someone who can do both might be difficult.”
“We might find some, but apart from the top-tier ones, I doubt there’d be many who can speak a foreign language.”
“There aren’t many top-tiers anyway.”
While saying this, PD Yoon Byung-seon then shifted his gaze back to the whiteboard in front of him.
“For now, let’s find someone who’s decent in English by next week.”
The next morning. Friday, 22nd.
Today, Kang Woo-jin faced two major issues. One was the airing of the third episode of ‘Profiler Hanryang’, and the other was the recording of the YouTube channel ‘Sports Day’.
Thus, the media was buzzing.
『【Issue Talk】’Profiler Hanryang’, which surpassed 20%, will air its 3rd episode today!』
『Can ‘Profiler Hanryang’, which has been a sensation all week, surpass 23% viewer ratings in its 3rd episode?』
While articles poured out about the 3rd episode of ‘Profiler Hanryang’, news related to ‘Sports Day’ was also quickly reported.
『【Exclusive】Leads of ‘Profiler Hanryang’ to appear on PD Yoon Byung-seon’s ‘Sports Day’』
Of course, the fact that Kang Woo-jin would be appearing was also reported.
『After only two episodes, the rising star Kang Woojin, who portrayed ‘Park Dae-ri,’ makes his first variety show appearance on PD Yoon Byung-seon’s ‘Sports Day.’』
It was a planned promotion. The popularity of Park Dae-ri was no joke.
With ‘Profiler Hanryang’ dominating the nation for about a week, to say the media and public opinion were crazy was an understatement. The anticipation for ‘Sports Day’ was also explosive.
-Wow…As expected of PD Yoon! Thank you!!! I can’t believe all those actors appearing in a variety show…ㅠㅠㅠ
-Kang Woojin? Seriously, Kang Woojin on a variety show? ㅠㅠㅠㅠI can’t wait… I wonder what kind of character he’ll be…
-PD Yoon definitely has a feel for things lol. Getting the hottest stars immediately!!!! But about Kang Woojin, I’m curious?
-Ryu Jung-min and Hong Hye-yeon… and the amazing actor (Park Dae-ri) Kang Woo-jin… I was really curious. Thank you.
-When I saw Kang Woo-jin’s Instagram, he seemed like a real celebrity lol. Please shoot a rom-com, oppa…..Seriously.
-Among the top actors, there’s Kang Woo-jin, lol. It’s planned, haha. Well, he’s hot, haha. I wonder what kind of personality he’ll have…
Meanwhile, Kang Woojin arrived at a studio in Seoul. Naturally, he looked dashing. Today’s Woojin wore a black trench coat, with well-done makeup and hair.
‘Is this finally the variety show shooting?’
Getting out of the van, Kang Woojin was the epitome of indifference, but inside, he felt increasingly anxious. He thought he had adapted to unfamiliar situations, but it seems he wasn’t quite there yet.
‘Somehow today, I feel totally like a celebrity. I’m not used to it.’
Even his current appearance added to his anxiety. From the expensive trench coat he rarely wore to the scent of perfume emanating from his body. Acting required him to dress up as his character, but this variety show shoot made him feel the pressure of being a celebrity.
‘No, no, I am a celebrity after all. Stay calm, take deep breaths, and don’t forget the concept.’
With these thoughts, Kang Woojin’s vision began to narrow. The first experience of anything is always frightening. At that moment, Choi Sung-gun, who got out from the passenger seat, grabbed Kang Woojin’s shoulder.
“Well, you’re not really nervous, right? I’ve already watched previous ‘Sports Day’ shows.”
No, he felt like he might throw up. Woojin thought intensely about escaping when he saw Choi Sung-gun smiling. However, the muttered voice was incredibly calm.
“It should be fun.”
“Hahaha, right. There are many senior actors and the atmosphere should be pleasant. Like I said, just be yourself. You don’t have to try too hard.”
“Just being myself. Got it.”
At that moment, Kang Woojin made a resolution. To focus solely on his concept, more than ever. There were no scripts or acts to follow. So, one mistake could be disastrous.
‘Phew! Focus, think of this place as a battlefield.’
Soon, Jang Su-hwan and Han Ye-jung stood by Woojin, who was trying to calm himself down. Choi Sung-gun, checking the time, led the team with Woojin. The studio was on the third floor. They could stop by the waiting room, but there was no need.
The reason became clear to Kang Woojin as soon as he saw the studio.
‘Wow, this is crazy. How many cameras are there? And so many people. They’re already filming, aren’t they?’
The ‘Sports Day’ variety show had already started filming. ‘Sports Day’ captures everything from artists arriving to their casual chit-chat. Hence, the dozens of cameras already set up in the studio were working non-stop.
The studio lights illuminating the filming area were no exception.
“Kang Woojin has arrived!”
A shout from a staff member near the entrance echoed throughout the studio. PD Yoon Byung-seon who was talking to the writers, approached Woojin with a smile.
“Hello, Woojin. Nice to meet you. I’ve been enjoying your drama.”
Yoon Byung-seon, wearing glasses, extended his hand to Woojin. Dozens of staff members gathered around. They were all curious about Kang Woojin, the new face.
As a result,
Kang Woojin’s heart rate shot up and his perspective narrowed even more. Only his concept was clear in his mind now.
A short and simple greeting in a low tone. PD Yoon Byung-seon and the surrounding writers exchanged glances. Everyone quickly understood the vibe. They needed to understand his personality first to know how to depict him on screen. Soon, with a devilish grin, PD Yoon Byung-seon asked Woojin a question.
“You portrayed Park Dae-ri very realistically, right? Our writers were thrilled watching your drama. Was it hard playing Park Dae-ri?”
Now, Let’s see what his response would be? However, Kang Woojin simply nodded briefly. Answering almost semi-automatically due to his heightened tension. His response was very short.
For a moment, a thought crossed PD Yoon Byung-seon’s mind.
‘Wow, this won’t be easy, will it?’
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