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A Thousand Faces Chapter 30

Updated: Jan 31

The leading figures of Actor Kingdom gathered in the meeting room. 

Jo Sungrae, Gu Daewon, Cheong Myeong, Park Jun-gil, and Yoo Sang-jun. 

 

Before they started the second round of filming, they were in the middle of a meeting about the composition of teams 1 and 9. 

 

And in the middle of them sat Jung Hyun. 

 

"I heard you have a video of that kid's acting. Can I see it?" 

 

In response to Jung Hyun's request, Yoo Sang-jun turned on the power to the screen in the meeting room. 

 

Jo Sungrae was tense. He couldn't imagine what Jung Hyun's reaction would be or what he would feel as he was about to discover the existence he had been searching for so long. Would he be happy? Surprised? Or... 

 

Soon, Junwoo's figure appeared on the screen. 

 

-Hello. 

 

Junwoo's voice came through the speakers. It was when he stood in front of the judges in a zombie state because he was hungry during the preliminary screening. 

 

Participant number 97, Han Junwoo. The person on the screen was the same child that Jung Hyun had seen behind the broadcasting station earlier. 

 

He secretly wished that the things that the child was showing were nothing. He wanted to return to the hospital with a little disappointment, spend his days as usual, and end his life. 

 

Junwoo's scenes continued to pass on the screen. 

 

The impromptu performance from the preliminary screening. 

 

Kim Mu-myeong from the first round of the main competition. 

 

A stagehand filmed a 23-minute one-act play called "The Black Spirit" from below the stage with a camcorder. 

 

Even the answers that confused the judges and the way Junwoo played with the camcorder alone in the practice room. 

 

Jung Hyun didn't say a word throughout the video. 

 

He kept his eyes glued to the screen, but he let out long sighs or breaths through his nose every now and then. 

 

However, it was neither. Jung Hyun simply simmered with frustration. 

 

After the video ended, Jo Sungrae's eyes wavered when he saw Jung Hyun's face. 

 

It wasn't the joy of finding the person he had been searching for his whole life or the confusion of being overwhelmed by his unbelievable talent. 

 

Jung Hyun had a sad and despairing look on his face. 

 

He began to desire to live. 

 

*** 

 

Seoul Station Square. 

 

Under the direction of Park Jun-gil, the camera crew was filming with cameras hidden all over the square. 

 

The staff members were blending in with the citizens so that the filming would not be obvious. 

 

"Sir, everyone will see you if you hold the script out in the open like that." 

 

"Excuse me, then, how am I supposed to practice?" 

 

"Look. You have to hide it in your clothes like me. Like this." 

 

Junwoo and his team arrived at the scene and were preparing for the upcoming second round of the main competition. 

 

One of the staff members was watching them from a distance. 

 

With a determined expression, Kim Yoojin pulled on Heo Soon-tae's nylon shirt, and Heo Soon-tae groaned. 

 

From the perspective of a staff member, it looked like the team members were having a serious conversation with the script. 

 

'The filming is about to start, but is there still something that isn't working out?' 

 

The staff member thought that this was a good opportunity for the show and approached them. 

 

"Ahem, how are you doing? Is there anything you're struggling with?" 

 

The staff member slipped in between them with a smiling face. 

 

The members of Team 9 turned their heads to him as he appeared out of nowhere. 

 

The staff member adjusted the small microphone clipped to his shirt. 

 

The plan was to get an interview that would stir up controversy. 

 

"Hmm... Team 9 is relatively unknown compared to the other teams. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any strategies in mind?" 

 

Kim Yoojin pursed her lips. Why did they have to mention that they weren't famous? 

 

But Kim Yoojin answered with a relaxed expression. 

 

"We don't need recognition or anything like that." 

 

"You think you don't need it? Given the topic, I believe it's an important element." 

 

Just then, a young team member tugged at Kim Yoojin's sleeve. 

 

"Sis, what do you mean by 'recognition' or anything like that?" 

 

"Like being instantly recognizable by others?" 

 

"What? Isn't that cheating if you win like that? People will gather before you can even perform properly." 

 

"That's right. You're pretty smart for a kid, aren't you?" 

 

Kim Yoojin rubbed the young team member's forehead. 

 

Next to him, Heo Soon-tae also smiled with a proud look on his face. 

 

They looked relaxed. The staff who knew the situation of the other teams felt strange. 

 

It was common for people to hide their greed and watch each other closely, even if they were on good terms. It was just the way things were in a competitive environment. But these people were different. They didn't show any of that. 

 

'Are those the ones who looked like they were about to die a few days ago?' 

 

The staff left the room awkwardly, realizing that he had nothing more to gain. 

 

'...But where is he? These guys aren't important.' 

 

The official looked around the scene. 

 

Junwoo was taking a final look around the scene, standing a little apart from the others. 

 

Junwoo, who was looking around the square, had a slightly uncomfortable look on his face. 

 

'There will be some errors, I guess.'

 

It was unavoidable because it was a real-time event. Still, it was fortunate that the weather and other things were not too different from what was written in the script. 

 

Junwoo recalled the first time he saw the script prepared by the production team. 

 

'Honestly, they're all crap.' 

 

There were more than a few reasons why he had said that to Yoo Sang-jun. The most annoying thing was that they were lacking in effort. 

 

Seoul Station Square 

 

The production team set the background for the scene in the script with the overall landscape of the square and the people crossing there busily. 

 

From there, Junwoo narrowed his eyes. 

 

The scenes were all taking place in a generic setting of Seoul Station Square, without the writer of the script considering the actual events that were happening on the scene at that time. 

 

Junwoo had to start by fixing that. 

 

The rehearsal was interrupted by Cho Kwang-soo. The filming date was postponed due to that. 

 

In the meantime, Junwoo went out for a few days. 

 

Between 6 and 7pm, when the sun was just starting to set, Junwoo went to the square. 

 

He did this to fully understand what was happening there. 

 

Beyond the visual landscape, Junwoo used all of his senses to make that space his own. 

 

One day, Junwoo observed the types of people who came to the square at that time. 

 

He roughly determined their destination based on their clothing, shoe type, expression, and walking speed. 

 

Another day, he walked around the square. He smelled the different smells that wafted in when he brushed past the buildings, the flow of traffic around him, the time the signal changed, the timing of the honking and engine sounds that followed. He even learned the approximate routes and routines of the pigeons around him. 

 

To properly revise the script, he needed to know the state of the citizens passing through this place, what they were thinking, and the subtle changes in their minds that took place moment by moment. 

 

Human unconsciousness is more affected by the environment than you might think. 

 

After completing his understanding of all the elements of Seoul Station Square at that time, Jun-woo assigned roles to his team members accordingly. 

 

"Make sure you get the attention of the citizens." 

 

He told them not to be a nuisance, but he didn't say they had to watch from a distance. 

 

It was not intended to coerce or attract them. 

 

It was not difficult for Junwoo. All he had to do was to get them to participate voluntarily in order not to cause them any inconvenience. 

 

The first step was important. 

 

That was Kim Yoojin's role. 

 

While practicing, Kim Yoojin was able to improve to a certain extent, but she still couldn't catch the subtle difference. 

 

Junwoo, who was looking around the citizens, approached the team members who were standing off to the side. 

 

As if to underline his point, Junwoo said to Kim Yujin... 

 

"Remember, when you say that line, it shouldn't be too loud or too quiet. It should be audible within a radius of about 10 meters, but it shouldn't make people want to avoid the spot. It should make them stop and wonder what's going on. And..." 

 

Junwoo told Kim Yoojin what needed to be adjusted for the shoot that day. 

 

"Hey, how am I supposed to do that? I'm not a magician." 

 

"You can do it. Just adjust the tone and volume well." 

 

"...Really?" 

 

Kim Yoojin felt a sense of confidence that she could do it again when Junwoo said that. 

 

"Fine. I got it." 

 

On the side, the same staff was interviewing a young team member. 

 

The staff, who was asking about what would be used in the broadcast, heard something strange. 

 

The young team member said, 

 

"Conformity effect. That's what my senior said. People quickly lose interest if they think they're the only ones who think that way." 

 

He pointed to Junwoo, who was standing off in the distance. 

 

The staff didn't understand what the kid was talking about. What did that have to do with the mission? 

 

At least, that's what he thought until the 9th team's filming began in earnest. 

 

*** 

 

This team mission consists of a total of 12 teams. 

 

It was not only the teams' sites that were busy. 

 

Cameras were also rolling in the broadcasting station studio. 

 

The judges and officials were watching their sites in real time. 

 

Jo Sungrae, Cheong Myeong, and Gu Daewon sat at the judges' table. 

 

In front of them, a large screen was spread across the studio wall. 

 

The twelve divided screens. From team 1 to team 12, the screens showed the participants in each location busily preparing for filming in real time. 

 

Jo Sungrae rolled his eyes as if looking for someone in the studio. Then, he soon made a bitter expression. 

 

"He didn't come after all..." 

 

There was no Jung Hyun anywhere in the broadcasting station. 

 

Jo Sungrae hoped that Jung Hyun would definitely see the child during this filming. Was he asking for too much? 

 

He couldn't stop thinking about the expression on Jung Hyun's face after he saw Junwoo's performance. 

 

But now, he was sitting here as a judge on the program. 

 

Jo Sungrae quickly turned serious and fixed his eyes on the screen. 

 

Gu Daewon and Cheong Myeong were also watching the participants on the screen intently. 

 

They seemed excited. Thanks to the changed script, this mission's theme was new and refreshing. 

 

"It's a shame. I wanted to see it in person. Don't you?" 

 

"We'll have to put up with a little inconvenience. We can't go to every site." 

 

But what they were really looking forward to was something else.  

 

They had the same expectation in their minds. It was hard to predict how it would turn out. 

 

"I'm still excited. This filming is focused on teams 1 and 9, right? It seems like Team 9 will be overwhelmingly outnumbered in terms of popularity. What do you think?" 

 

"We'll have to wait and see about that. The topic is about attention, not awareness." 

 

The people backstage were the same. 

 

They were already excited to see what kind of waves team 1, known as the Avengers, would create in this program and how much they would be a hot topic. 

 

But then, not long after filming began, someone said in a trembling voice. 

 

"...What is that?" 

 

One of the officials pointed to one of the twelve screens with his finger. 

 

Everyone there widened their eyes. 

 

"...!" 

 

"What, what is it? Why is that? What's going on?" 

 

The judges were also shocked. 

 

What they were witnessing one by one was definitely strange. 

 

It was difficult to see properly because of the divided screen. 

 

The crowd was murmuring. 

 

At that moment, Cheong Myeong, who was wondering if he was seeing things wrong, suddenly stood up. 

 

He gestured urgently to the stage below. 

 

"Camera! Zoom in on the ninth screen!" 




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