Minho was currently heading towards the company, having been unable to sleep properly because Manager Gong had dropped by the gaming house early in the morning and dragged him out.
“We’re going to prepare for the interview, hold an individual rehearsal, and have a custom fitting.”
He had been idly following along but then he started to angle for a small amount of freedom.
“It’s only a 30-minute segment–why are there so many preparations?”
“It’s standard practice for a celebrity to prep themselves to become more appealing.”
He couldn’t argue with that. It was cumbersome, but those words were very true.
“I found out more about your appearance. It’s a special, so it’ll be visual radio. H University graduate, Rapper Jin Q, will appear as well.”
Educational background and quiz show winner didn’t seem like much of a common denominator to Minho.
“The other person is already well-known, so it won’t be easy for you to receive attention. During a live broadcast, there’s a high tendency for the DJ to only talk to the person who elicits a good reaction from the listeners.”
‘So it’s a competition here too.’
Manager Gong stopped the van at a traffic light and passed Minho a document envelope that was next to the driver’s seat.
“Look over it as we go. It’s the documents provided by the company.”
Deciding to look at it slowly, Minho yawned widely as he took the envelope. It was quite thick.
The envelope contained the KG Entertainment manual, from interview knacks to strategies for handling unexpected questions. It even had correspondence methods organized by programmes and emcees, forming a very thick stack of paper.
‘They sure have prepared all sorts of things.’
It seemed no different from the league tournaments where a player would only aim for the weakness of the opponent’s favorite strategy and strike like a knife in order to receive a GG. It was not his preferred style of play, but he had to follow since he was a rookie in broadcasting.
“The show you’ll be appearing on is a program called ‘The Music Journey at 8.’ You know Mr. Chulhwan Bae, right?”
“Isn’t he a singer who’s a bit older?”
“That’s correct. It’s the program that he hosts, and since it has been on the air for over 20 years, its influence is considerable despite being a radio show. On top of that, today is a special edition.”
Minho searched ‘Music Journey at 8’ and was more than a bit surprised. After a professional gamer finished a tournament, there would be one or two articles on the web at most. But this had more than 10 articles from just yesterday.
“Listen to the radio as we go. This DJ’s style is very similar to The Music Journey at 8.”
While Manager Gong was driving, he clicked the car radio button and adjusted the frequency. The DJ’s calm voice flowed out as tranquil music came from the speakers.
『…The child, who saw a mirror for the first time, became surprised. ‘Huh? Who is that?’ When the child reached out his hand, the child in the mirror reached out his hand too.
The mother who watched, smiling, clicked the shutter of the camera. The child looked back in surprise and then looked forwards again. ‘Huh? She’s there and here too?’ The child, seeing a mirror for the first time, was surprised, curious and filled with interest. It was a day when he had made a interesting friend.
So~ how was today, my friend? Before going to work, before going to school, before opening the doors to our daily life, we see a reflection in the bathroom, vanity and car window. In there, isn’t there a familiar friend who has their mouth shut with a sullen face?
Then, softly greet them. In your heart say ‘Have strength, tomorrow is the weekend!’ and they’ll smile right back at you.
Friday morning, June 27th. It’s A Beautiful Morning.』
As he listened to these remarks, Minho smiled and gazed out the window. Afterwards, with the melody flowing out, he nodded and looked at the documents. He tapped his fingers to the rhythm of the guitar that caught his ears while his eyes were fixed on the paper.
As the music receded and the advertisement came on, Minho asked Manager Gong.
“This music is good, huh?”
The guitar instrumental part was especially charming. Manager Gong lowered the volume and mentioned in passing.
“His name is Sanggun Lee. He’s a famous singer-songwriter in the Indie music world. The title is Dreaming Youth.”
It was unfamiliar to Minho, but it seemed like Manager Gong was an expert on the matter.
“Is he someone you know?”
“It’s a small world.”
Manager Gong made an expression of vague nostalgia andt then spoke.
“I once dreamed of becoming a singer as well.”
“Oh, you must sing well.”
Minho’s expectation of seeing a different side of Manager Gong bloomed.
“That’s why I gave up.”
He gave up because he sang well?
“I have a good voice but I can’t get the tone right, that’s what they said. So, shall I sing for you?”
Manager Gong cleared his throat. Minho laughed awkwardly.
“Please, please restrain yourself.”
Minho strongly declined because he had already fully heard how his junior, Garam, would sing the songs by girl groups. What Garam, who was tone deaf, would always say was, ‘If I fix the tone a bit, I sing really well.’
“Anyway, I hope that this kid gets on the music charts while he’s on air.”
“His song sounds good, but I guess he’s not popular?”
“It’s because it’s not easy to satisfy the general audience with only musicality. His circumstances are unfortunate so I want him to see some light. But in that field, it’s not possible just through diligence alone. All I can do is cheer for him.”
Minho, who was very empathetic, shook the papers in his hands.
“Do you think that we can’t be successful in this job with just diligence as well?”
“It’s possible. Absolutely. Unconditionally!”
Manager Gong spoke strongly. Minho was about to put down the documents but his eyes met Manager Gong’s eyes in the rearview mirror, and he had to swallow his breath.
He was sure that Manager Gong had not forgotten that Minho had previously told him not to sing. Minho turned his eyes to the papers again.
Inside a public office on the third floor of KG Entertainment.
Minho was sprawled over the chair with his arms stretched out as he put down the last of the documents.
The reason Manager Gong had zealously given Minho this huge stack of reading was that he had judged Minho to be smart. Most likely because Minho had spoken with Eunha without any difficulty.
‘Is this because he thinks I’m a genius?’
Minho laughed thinking that kind of misunderstanding was not so bad. But his laughter slowly died when he thought of what Manager Gong might do once a heavier schedule was planned.
“Nah, he’s not going to do this again. Will he?”
Just as he was vehemently denying his thoughts–
The doors opened and Manager Gong’s head popped in.
“Did you look over everything?”
As Minho floundered with a reply, Manager Gong showed him another thick stack of papers, saying ‘Of course!’
“Check this as well.”
Manager Gong disappeared after handing him a bunch of radio scripts and saying, ‘Work hard.’
Minho’s fingers that were flipping the pages flipped an empty space. He had finally made a full round through the bundle of scripts and come back to the first page.
Minho relaxed and leaned on the chair, feeling a vast sense of freedom. He was proud of himself for resisting the drowsiness and making it through the scripts.
At that moment–
Manager Gong came in.
“Did you finish?”
Minho was startled and quickly looked at Manager Gong’s hands. If he was holding something, Minho was thinking of saying he hadn’t finished.
Luckily, Manager Gong’s hands were empty. Minho smiled and found himself babbling in relief.
“As you can see.”
He fanned himself leisurely and Manager Gong nodded his head.
“As expected, you have time left over. So I prepared this.”
Manager Gong walked over to the closet and clicked on a button. As the sliding sound started, Minho was seized by a sense of unknown anxiety.
“Check the audiovisual for the visual radio.”
Finally, a white screen came down from the ceiling. The radio scripts all fell from Minho’s hands.
‘……Someone save me.’
A long time passed. He withstood it for two hours, just like how the dog barks but the caravans move on.
“Haha…… Hahaha! I finished?”
Minho hazily finished watching four weeks’ worth of the visual radio, ‘The Music Journey at 8.’ He listened to the sounds outside the door to see if Manager Gong was hiding somewhere.
Sure enough, the sounds of footsteps came tap-tap. Just as if he had installed a CCTV, he appeared precisely whenever Minho had finished!
‘But that should be all for now.’
Manager Gong should have a conscience and not him more to do. He had studied about broadcasting, thoroughly read through the scripts, and consecutively reviewed four weeks’ worth of content. It should be human nature to say ‘Good work’ now.
That was Minho’s common-sense point of view.
The doors opened widely.
“There can’t be more, is there?”
Manager Gong gave Minho, who had abruptly stood up, a thumbs-up.
“You are lively as expected. I casted two trainees and prepared a rehearsal.”
“You even ca-casted?”
“This is the script, there isn’t much so please briefly memorize it.”
Minho took the paper manager Gong handed to him.
Two A4 sheets.
‘It’s filled to the brim in 10 point font!’
The silent outcry continued. Minho was shaking but when he lifted his head, Manager Gong had already walked off.
His energy was sucked out. It was as if his soul had been burnt to ashes.
Minho was dozing off while sitting in the makeup room. He lifted his head, which was drooping, to someone tapping his shoulders. A beautiful person wearing big round glasses with her hair tied back was waving her hands at him.
Minho woke up from the haze and met Eunha’s sparkling eyes before slowly smiling. His eyes were filled with sleepiness from excessively using the head that he was unaccustomed to using.
“You seem very tired.”
Because of her dreamy face, Minho casually answered her,
“Yes, so tired.”
He wanted to spew out curses regarding Manager Gong, but since he was in front of Eunha, he restrained himself.
“Manager Gong asked me to give this to you.”
Eunha Seo shook the hot coffee. Minho wondered if Manager Gong was going to reward him with just this, but he decided to tolerate it a second time since the delivery person was Eunha.
“I met him at the cafe in front. He said he’ll come up after the meeting.”
“Was he holding anything? Like a script, or a document of some sort?”
“I didn’t see anything.”
“That’s a huge relief.”
Minho took the coffee and slowly got up from his seat. His hair and makeup had been done while he was dozing off. He wasn’t quite asleep or quite awake, but still in a dreamy in-between state.
Minho sat in the waiting area at the back after expressing his thanks to the male makeup artist. Eunha also sat next to him because she was waiting for her makeup as well. The girls’ line was a bit longer.
“I heard you’re going on the radio?”
Eunha sat close to him but Minho wasn’t surprised nor did he think ‘Is she interested in me?’. He felt comfortable like he was casually sitting with a friend because it was a dream.
“Yes, do you know ‘Music Journey at 8’?”
“That’s a program I listen to sometimes. The DJ’s voice is very charming; it’s warm, and courteous.”
“He’s good at leading the program too. I listened to four weeks’ worth of it till the end even though I was sleepy.”
“What do you mean by four weeks’ worth? Ah, preparation for the program?”
“Don’t even mention it. I found out today, Manager Gong is more elaborate than he seems. Look at my condition. This is the laugh of liberation.”
Huh Huh. Minho laughed like an old man. Eunha covered her mouth and giggled. Maybe it was because of the laugh that lingered, but she kept a smile on her face every time he spoke. And he could see glimpses of her cute dimples in her cheeks.
He was here because of the radio show but why was she here? It didn’t seem like she had come just to deliver coffee.
“You’re here for an appointment?”
“I have an audition.”
“Oh my, a script.”
Minho shook his head after seeing the script in Eunha’s hands. He felt this after doing it for the whole day; no one should cram when it came to studying.
Eunha examined the waiting line on the girls’ side and then checked the time before standing up.
“I was late because of class so I think this will take a while. I think I’ll have to go after just roughly putting on some makeup. Anyway, good luck on the radio.”
“Roughly? You said you had an audition too.”
Eunha smiled sweetly and got up from her seat. Minho fell into contemplation after watching her sit in an empty seat in the guys’ section and start to put on the basic makeup by herself.
‘So it’s standard practice for a celebrity to prep themselves to look more appealing, huh?’
The reason why Minho listened to Manager Gong, who had pestered him all day, until the end was because he acknowledged those words.
Minho walked over to the area where chief Jay Kim’s items were organized. Then he asked the makeup artist next to him.
“Can I use these scissors for a sec?”
“Huh? But your hairstyling is finished. Do you not like it?”
“It’s not for me…”
Minho took out Jay Kim’s scissors and slightly moved the blades. The soft snipping sound rang in his ears and the urge to cut hair sprang up.
Minho didn’t have the time to do his own hair as well so he bore with it patiently and walked over to Eunha. She was putting on the basic makeup in the order he had taught her before.
Eunha looked at Minho in the mirror.
“Huh? What’s up?”
“Let me briefly touch up your hair.”
She opened her eyes wide.
He shrugged his shoulders and looked over her hair.
‘She wears a simple outfit and not much makeup so a lovely look will be good. She has a slim forehead, so an updo?’
Minho began spraying her hair with the spray even though Eunha was half in doubt. He then started to brush her hair until it became soft and smooth. Eunha quietly watched him because his fearless hand movements were more skilled than she thought.
He curled and loosened the hair with the iron over and over again in order to make abundant curls. He loosely tied her hair and pulled out a few strands on the side to make them look like they had naturally fallen out. He finished off by tying the hair in a round bun, quickly completing a cute high bun hairstyle.
While Eunha was expressing her surprise, Manager Gong appeared outside the makeup room.
“Mr. Minho, we have to leave before rush hour.”
Minho took his hands off her hair and stepped back at Manager Gong’s hasty gesture. Well, the hair was good enough like that. Her original looks were outstanding, so the results were doubled even with a slight touch-up.
“Then, good luck on your audition~”
“Thank you, Minho.”
Eunha waved her hands at Minho who was leaving after returning the scissors. She was surprised once again when she examined her reflection in the mirror.
For him to make such a fitting style in such a short time, it was like seeing the elusive chief Jay Kim himself.