TBN Broadcast Station
It was the day of the all cast meeting for ‘Get Ready 1999’ before filming started in full swing.
It was also the day they would be doing a table reading of the first half of the script after exchanging light greetings.
One by one the cast entered the prepared room inside the broadcast station.
“Hello, Mr. PD.”
“Do Wook! You’re here early.”
PD Shin, who had been sitting in the middle seat and discussing the script with the writers next to him, stood up and welcomed Do Wook.
Except for three or so young actors who played critical roles, Do Wook was able to come the earliest among today’s attending cast.
“I felt I should come early and prepare.”
PD Shin pretended to applaud, replying to Do Wook that he’s already perfect.
PD Shin Yoon Ho had been in charge of the meeting with Do Wook up to the point he agreed to appear on the drama, so the writers, who were seeing Do Wook in person for the first time, couldn’t hide their joy as they welcomed Do Wook.
“Ah, it’s your first time meeting. These are our writers.”
“Hello. Thank you for writing a good script.”
At Do Wook’s words, the writers blushed and asked for a handshake. Do Wook of course shook the hands of the two main writers, but also didn’t exclude the other two assistant writers when shaking everyone’s hands one by one.
“PD Shin praised you so much, and went on and on about how perfect you are for the lead~!”
“Ah, I’ve heard. Thank you, Mr. PD.”
“I’m the one who’s thankful you decided to accept the role!”
‘Get Ready 1999’ was a program TBN had ambitiously planned. It was also a program that was changed from a sitcom to a drama by the end of the meeting because the script was written so well.
However, contrary to TBN’s grand ambitions, its branding as ‘a new type of drama on cable broadcast’ wasn’t particularly appealing to established actors.
That was also the reason why the cast wasn’t as flashy compared to other dramas.
On the other hand, it was also PD Shin Yoon Ho’s ambition. Its lead characters were flawless characters whose mothers were friends, but ‘Get Ready 1999’ was a drama based on empathy regardless.
Even though the ‘Kim Min Ki’ role was a flawless male lead just like in other dramas, the focus was that he’s an umchiah* who feels like a next door neighbor.
(TL Note: umchiah is one’s mother’s friend’s son)
The main purpose of the drama was to create nostalgia by portraying a family you’d often see around in your neighborhood.
PD Shin Yoon Ho came to the conclusion that such a premise would be difficult to achieve with an actor who is already well known.
Therefore, except for a few main characters, he cast actors from plays and independent films for the supporting roles, and actively recruited actors with excellent acting skills but little-known faces.
They were all outstanding actors who were also hellbent on getting their faces well-known. It was guaranteed that they’d give it their all.
Behind Do Wook, the two male actors who would be playing the friends of Kim Min Ki, the role which Do Wook would be playing, arrived at the same time.
(TL Note: Sunbae is a term used for one’s senior)
“Oh, our lead actor. Nice to meet you.”
Han Dong Hui, who accepted the greeting naturally, was someone who was renowned in the live theater world. Even if he looked like he was enjoying himself, once he started acting he’d suddenly change.
“Now that I think about it, you really are my hubae* aren’t you?”
(TL Note: Hubae is a term used for one’s junior)
“Are you already acting like you’re close with him? Oh you.”
The person who teased Han Dong Hui was Ahn Jae Hyung. They were both actors attending KNUA. That might have been the reason why they acted more friendly towards Do Wook.
Do Wook already knew information about the cast inside and out.
They were all people who’d gain substantial popularity through ‘Get ready 1999’ and later get cast as supporting roles in other dramas.
They were also all sunbaes to Do Wook when it came to acting. Do Wook exchanged greetings with the other cast as he called them sunbae.
There weren’t any star actors who were famous for being stuck up so it was a friendly atmosphere without anyone muddying it.
The female lead who would be acting opposite Do Wook soon arrived. She was the lead actress who had been chosen over hundreds of others in the audition.
She was six years older than Do Wook, but she had such a youthful figure that she could easily play a high school student.
Later, the middle-aged actors who’d play the parents of the younger cast arrived one after another and sat down where the name of the character they would be playing was written.
Except for a few people, the entire cast was sitting around a circular table facing each other. The actors’ agency representatives were behind them, either leaning against the wall or sitting on a small chair.
Even though only absolutely necessary agency representatives were permitted, including them, the number of people present was rather big. The table reading room that had seemed very big was packed.
The actors who already knew each other chatted pleasantly as they waited for the table read to start.
Do Wook glossed over the script he had already completely memorized one more time.
Greeting everyone in a high voice, Joo Min Ah, who was cast as the female sub lead, entered the table reading room.
Joo Min Ah was also an idol going into acting like Do Wook. The group that Joo Min Ah was a part of, Sweetie Girl, had debuted 2 years earlier than KK and was one of three girl groups Ara Entertainment had managed up to now.
Although they weren’t doing as well as Ara Entertainment’s other two girl groups, they were quite popular.
The leader of that group was Joo Min Ah. More than through singing, she became popular through her acting projects. She was very active, to the point that people would say “what drama isn’t she in?”.
The broadcast station TBN knew very well the benefits of having a celebrity from Ara Entertainment in their drama. Of course it’d be good for the OST business, but it’d also be a substantial help for PR activities.
PD Shin Yoon Ho also calculated that, since it was weird they had only fresh faces as the main characters, it would be good to add someone like Joo Min Ah.
Of course Do Wook already knew that Joo Min Ah was the female sub lead.
It was true he had bad feelings towards Ara Entertainment, but he didn’t hold bad feelings towards all of their agency’s celebrities.
However, when it came to the guy who came in after Joo Min Ah, it was a different story.
Do Wook looked at the man and gripped the script tight. It was Director Seo Joong Won.
3rd year of middle school.
It was when the school violence that Seo Kang Jun’s gang inflicted on Bo Myung was at its peak.
He lived life praying everyday that today would be less lonely, that it would hurt less. He even imagined how nice it’d be if Seo Kang Jun got hurt in a car accident on the way to school and was absent for a while.
Bo Myung, who was so inherently nice to the point of foolishness, felt guilty just thinking about it.
Was it because he was having bad thoughts of wishing someone getting hurt?
Bo Myung got beat up a lot that day. It was because Bo Myung couldn’t withstand the pain and screamed and resisted.
Seo Kang Jun, who typically found it more fun to give orders from the back, kicked Bo Myung’s abdomen for the first time in a long time.
It happened at night in the alley behind the school.
Bo Myung threw up blood. Even after his aggressors left, he had to lay down on the cold ground for about an hour. It was hard to get up.
‘If this goes on…really…I might die.’
Only after an hour and a half passed did someone who was passing by discover Bo Myung and shake his body awake.
That day Bo Myung’s mother saw Bo Myung, whose entire body was messed up, and screamed almost to the point of fainting.
He ran into his mother, who had been working at the restaurant until late at night, in front of the screen door that was rusted all over. It was a situation that he couldn’t hide from her.
“What, what in the world happened?!”
Bo Myung couldn’t say anything in front of his mother, who was scared out of her mind and crying.
His mother was crying because of his pathetic self.
Sadness turned into rage. Bo Myung thought that he needed to break free from these chains quickly.
Bo Myung dragged his badly bruised body the next day to the teacher in charge of the school violence committee.
The teacher saw Bo Myung, who had come to see her in the counseling room, and was initially so shocked that she urgently treated Bo Myung.
With a sorrowful expression, the teacher encouraged Bo Myung, asking how he kept it to himself all this time.
“Who in the world did this to you? Huh?”
“…teacher, if I tell you…”
“Don’t worry Bo Myung. There will have to be an investigation, but the kids who did this to you will either be forced to transfer or be expelled. ”
There was no way there would be no retaliation. So he was incredibly fearful, but he couldn’t just stay this way out of fear. He thought he should do whatever he can.
“Class 8 Park Jun Soo, Jo Jin Hyuk…”
The teacher wrote down the names and comforted Bo Myung.
“Class 9 Seo Kang Jun.”
At Seo Kang Jun’s name, the teacher’s hand briefly stopped.
Seo Kang Jun, who had been clever about his bullying until now, was thinking that he had gone too far two days ago. However, he had been very stressed recently because of his father pressuring him. He couldn’t help it. Seo Kang Jun was only worried to the degree that if the issue became bigger, he would get a beating from his father.
Sure enough, Kang Seo Jun heard the news that Bo Myung had reported him to the school violence committee. The principal personally delivered the news to Seo Kang Jun’s father, Seo Joong Won.
Seo Kang Jun’s father was outraged, saying “what kind of future will you have if you keep acting like this?”. However, Seo Kang Jun knew his father’s anger was only brief and that he would cover this up for him by any means necessary.
“According to the principal, there wasn’t particularly any evidence, is that right?”
“Of course. I know how to cover my tracks at least that much, father.”
“How is that covering your tracks! Geez, tisk tisk. Ok. I’ll take care of it.”
There was evidence that he was a victim, but there was no evidence that ‘Seo Kang Jun’s gang did it’. There was only Bo Myung’s statement.
Although he figured it’d end like that, Seo Kang Jun bit his lips out of anger towards Kim Bo Myung.
‘You dare try to screw me over?’
When Seo Kang Jun ran into Bo Myung in the hallway, he picked a fight with Bo Myung.
“I heard you reported me?”
Without being able to even make proper eye contact, Bo Myung tried to get away from Seo Kang Jun.
“Yes, you should take it as far as you can. So does your mother know about this?”
“Does your father not know since he’s busy picking up trash?”
As he hit a nerve with Bo Myung by talking about his parents, Seo Kang Jun grabbed Bo Myung’s wrist.
“I asked if they know.”
Bo Myung shook off Seo Kang Jun’s hand, which restrained his wrist and was pressing down on his arm tightly. As he shook it off, he pushed Seo Kang Jun who was stuck to him.
He had only used a little bit of power, but Seo Jun, who was one step lower on the stairs than Bo Myung, lost his balance. As his center of gravity moved lower, Seo Kang Jun rolled down the stairs.
“Hurr, isn’t that Seo Kang Jun?”
“Kang Jun? Are you ok?!”
The hallway became abuzz. With an expression full of pain, Seo Kang Jun was holding onto his arm.
Bo Myung stared at Seo Kang Jun with a blank expression, unable to comprehend what was going on. Seo Kang Jun, who made eye contact with him, snickered nastily.
There was nobody who saw Bo Myung get hit, but there were numerous people who saw Seo Kang Jun fall down the stairs and break his arm because Bo Myung pushed him.
Seo Kang Jun’s side shamelessly got a medical report and sued Bo Myung.
Bo Myung’s mother came to the principal’s office, got on her knees and begged in front of Seo Kang Jun’s parents.
In return for not getting treatment fees and dropping the charges, Seo Joong Won got a promise from Bo Myung’s mother.
It was a promise to never use Seo Kang Jun’s name in unsavory things like school violence ever again.
Do Wook became lost in thought, vividly recalling the dream he was having recently once he saw Seo Joong Won’s face.
However, he couldn’t act on it further in this setting.
PD Shin Yoon Ho got up and greeted Director Seo Joong Won. His reputation was substantial, to the point that everyone who worked in the entertainment industry knew Director Seo Joong Won.
“What brings you all the way here, Director Seo?!”
“What do you mean? It’s our agency’s celebrity’s first table reading so I came to encourage her.”
“Haha, Min Ah must feel very supported.”
Joo Min Ah smiled shyly.
The other cast members were also with managers or other agency representatives. Still, everyone thought Director Seo Joong Won’s attendance felt out of place.
Looking around the room, Seo Joong Won spotted Do Wook and said towards Do Wook,
“Is this who is playing the lead?”
“Yes, It’s KK’s Kang Do Wook.”
PD Shin Yoon Ho introduced Do Wook to Seo Joong Won.
Getting up from his seat, Do Wook made eye contact with Seo Joong Won.