How To Avoid Debut - Chapter 2
I received an SNS notification in the morning. I need to delete them but I can’t because the accumulated memories from the comments would be wasted, so I still constantly get SNS notifications. Although the post is already a year old, friend requests steadily come in as well. There are also several calls from other kids that I’m not really close with. Do they not get tired?
After turning off the screen, I checked the face reflected on the TV’s screen.
After graduation, I rarely went outside except to buy daily necessities, so my complexion is a little pale. I should’ve gotten some sunlight, but it’s too late to regret it now.
I walked towards the balcony and leaned against the railing for a while, but the cigarette smoke of the man next door came in my direction so I rushed back into my house.
After two weeks, when it seemed like it would never come, it arrived abruptly.
All I’ve been doing during that time was trying to finish writing what I was working on. As for the TV appearance, no matter how much they edit me out, if you search for it, some posts would still come up. I’m thinking of changing to a 2G phone first.
[I attached a picture of the way to The Art Studio. You’ll arrive in 10 minutes if you go by bus.]
I thought it was a good idea to organize my clothes in advance, so I lined up the three good clothes that I took out last night and thought about it for a while. I looked still at them for about 5 minutes but I finally settled for a gray sweatshirt.
“Ah, the sunlight……”
I raised my hand to cover the sun in this hot weather. Even though it was just my face and hands that were exposed, I could feel the sting all over my body. I looked at the picture my uncle sent me while on the bus, and soon got off.
The building looked overwhelming at first glance because of its enormous size. It was clearly new, painted white with sophisticated designs. I went in cautiously and walked to the elevator, after looking at the floor guides next to it. . The 8th to 11th floor were all studios…… I tried my best to calm my nerves before walking into the elevator and pressing the button for the 8th floor, but the person beside me pressed the button first.
There’s a young man who looks much younger silently looking ahead. I wanted to ask if he was also casted because of his good looks, but his expression looked so stiff for some reason so I couldn’t ask, and he was just fiddling with his cellphone. The person next to me who was staring at the bustling behaviour in the mirror, suddenly opened his mouth.
“What floor are you going to? Ah, are you perhaps going to the same floor as me?”
“Yes? Ah, yes .”
“Wow, did hyung also come here for profile shooting like me?.”
“Ah, I’m sorry. I thought you’re older than me.”
“No, it’s okay.”
The child at best, seemed to have just entered high school, introduced himself with a bright smile. Last name Jung, first name Joon. I had nothing to say, so I just praised his name as concise and neat.
He asked with an innocent-looking smile . When he was silent, I thought he looked stiff, but his eyes looked bright and he hadn’t lost his baby fat so I kept on staring at him, thinking that he’s right at that age.
“I’m really glad that I met you first, I was so worried. Since you’re older, you can talk informally. I don’t know anyone here. How about you, hyung?”
“No, I don’t even know the people who would appear.”
“Did you not receive a list? I took a quick glance at it and I saw some Facebook stars. I also saw some of their selfies, but I’m really curious about the real people.”
Joon, who was talking as fast as a shotgun, finally stopped when we reached the 8th floor.
The door was too big for me to enter alone, so I couldn’t put my hands on the handle easily, and had to take a deep breath first. While Joon, without any hesitation, opened the door, bowed and greeted. I’m glad I met him in the elevator first.
There weren’t as many people as I thought. I looked around and sat on an empty sofa. I came a bit late because I thought it would be awkward if I came early. No matter how friendly he is, I’m the only person that Joon has met, so as expected, he sat next to me with an awkward expression.
“Is everyone all gathered?”
I didn’t properly count, but it seems like there are only around 9-10 people including me. Right as I was thinking how long we’d have to wait, I heard a low sounding voice.
A man, who appears to be a photographer from the studio, counted the number of people and clapped.
“Everyone is all here. You all know that we’re going to do your profile shooting today, right? It’s going to be easy, so no need to feel nervous.”
The staff quickly counted the number of people again, but the people were not rushed for a while.
‘Instead of taking pictures one by one, we’re probably going to be divided into groups’. After reaching that conclusion, I immediately sat in front of a dressing table.
A skillful-looking stylist looked at my face, and then started to get busy. It took them a long time to apply something on my skin, so by the time they started with eye make up, I’d started to feel drowsy.
“Your eyes are really pretty…… but if you keep on blinking like that, the makeup will be ruined.”
“Ah, I’m sorry.”
I was unconsciously dozing off, but when it was pointed out, I felt embarrassed, so I immediately fixed my posture, then I glanced at the people sitting next to me. The people sitting on both sides were wearing makeup casually, as if they’re used to it. I once again regret not being able to reject my uncle’s request because I was the only one feeling uncomfortable.
“Hyung, are you done?”
I think more than 30 minutes passed, and unsteadily came down from the chair.
Joon, who had finished his makeup, walked towards me. Joon, who I’d thought looks young, now looked like an adult with the makeup. They said they only casted handsome kids. I realized that it was true when I looked around.
They were exchanging sensitive glances, curiously checking out each other. It’s a survival program, so it’s natural that there would be some hostility, but the atmosphere is already turning tense. As soon as I made eye contact with a man who had his hair swept back with wax, I grabbed a shirt and escaped towards the changing room.
“No wonder you’re so used to it.”
“Haha, well. I was just casually practicing.”
“If it’s like that, I don’t think I should be here then.”
“Aye, what are you saying. I’m the same as everyone, we’re all participants.”
I was a little late, because I spent a bit of time changing clothes in the changing room. When I came out, the awkward atmosphere had already evaporated. Four people were gathered together, talking about something, it seemed like they were talking about the blonde-haired man standing in the middle.
“It’s Kim Seongwun.”
“You know him?”
“Of course, he was in an audition program before. He entered a famous agency then debuted immediately.”
Joonie groped through his faint memories, conveying the information, and later began to button up his shirt.
What was the audition program?
Kim Seongwun was starting to look familiar the more I stared at him, but in the end, I couldn’t think of the name of the program.
“You just have to sit on this chair one by one. Only your upper body would come out, so pay attention to your expressions.”
I was wondering why they didn’t give us pants, turns out it’s not a full body shot.
At the words of the photographer who gave off a professional feel, my body went stiff. He was obviously instructing with a friendly expression and a soft voice, but I strangely felt immense pressure.
The names were called in random order, the person with the last name Jo was first to be called.
Looking at his back as he walked toward the chair with his long legs, I sat on the waiting chair in the corner.
They weren’t called in the studio one by one, and since it’s an environment where everyone was wary of each other, nobody spoke a word.
“Ah, hyung, I think I’m going to be called next for some reason.”
“Is this also your first time doing this?”
“No. It’s not the first time. I’ve helped my aunt as a shopping mall fitting model… Actually, it’s my first time showing my face. Oh, it’s really me.”
Joon, who slightly pouted his lips as he shared his experience, jumped up when his name was called. Joon, who said it was his first time showing his face, did better than I thought. He smiled well, held a good angle, and the photographer constantly pressed the shutter with a satisfied expression.
My name was called next.
“Don’t be nervous and sit comfortably.”
Just like what my uncle said beforehand, as if trying to make me feel as comfortable as possible, the photographer smiled and grabbed his camera.
I was a little nervous at first so my expression was stiff, and then I belatedly recalled that I don’t need it to be taken well, so I quickly became okay.
“That’s good. Keep it up. Your expression looks good.”
The photographer who had an expressionless face and said no particular demand, captured every single small movement, then sent out an end sign with a satisfied expression. It ended sooner than expected. I said my goodbye with a relaxed heart, and went to sit in a corner next to Joon who was fixing his cell phone.
“You did a good job, hyung.”
I was less nervous than I thought.
“I’m still a little bit afraid. It felt like the camera would eat me up? My face won’t show up, my face won’t show up, I tried to hypnotize myself with that as much as I could……. I don’t know what I will do once I’m on stage. Just taking one picture is already too much.”
Joon’s small sigh seemed far from an aspiring idol. I guess he’s still nervous even after the shoot, so he put his hand on his chest and breathed out loud.
“Just do it confidently and enthusiastically. Once you go up, you won’t be as nervous as you thought.”
“Has hyung ever stood on the stage? How many times?”
I threw up so much because of the competition, so I couldn’t exactly remember how many times. As soon as he heard my answer, Joon clapped several times and said that I must be an experienced person.
As soon as the filming was over and I could go home, I changed my clothes, left the studio, and took the elevator.
Like a habit, I found the earphones in my pocket, put them in my ears and wondered what songs to listen to. I eventually chose to play all 100 songs on the current chart and increased the volume.
“I think hyung will do a good job on stage. When I first saw you in the elevator earlier, I thought you were a trainee because you look so handsome! I have to say, you look like a celebrity. I really think that you will debut, even if it’s just your face that shows up, the reaction will be great. But hyung, you’re not listening to anything that I’m saying right now, right?”
“What did you say?”
I was listening to the song for the first time but I thought that the melody was good. I considered Joon as an exception, so I took off one of the earphones asked, then Joon said it was nothing so I put the headphone back in.
Tired from the profile shoot, I left a text message to my uncle that the filming was over as soon as I got home, then I climbed onto the bed to sleep.
[Good job (emoticon)] [Now you just need to prepare your performance]
As soon as I checked the text, my eyes, which were slowly closing, flashed open. What performance is he talking about? When I pressed the call button in a hurry, my uncle answered the phone.
-Have you picked a song?
“What performance am I preparing for?”
-Told you about it the first time we talked. Ah, you don’t need to practice. You just need to choose a song.
My uncle stressed three times in a pacifying tone, that I really don’t need to practice.
Everyone has to prepare one performance for each individual stage because the first dropout selection is based on the number of video views. Ah, but mine will not be broadcasted anyway.
-Within 2 minutes, no rated 19 songs.
After listening to my uncle’s explanation, I lay back down and turned to look at the wall. I didn’t even think there would be a solo stage.
Only a few people watch every single one of the participants’ videos that comes out, so I can just do it roughly.
“I don’t know how to do a trash performance.”
I had never done anything crudely when it comes to dancing. I never learned to do it carelessly nor have I ever tried to. Although I quit doing it, I liked it enough that I spent half of my life on it. Even now, how can I do that to the music that I still love.
-Ah, well, I see. I just thought it’ll be troublesome for you. Don’t force yourself, I’ll contact you again before the pre-meeting.
As soon as my uncle hung up, I turned on my phone and clicked on a music streaming app.
When I was crazy about dancing, I compiled the songs that I used to practice with in a playlist. I put on my earphones and listened carefully to the songs one by one, and without noticing it, time quickly flew by.
I was so excited that I tapped my chest a few times. Before episode 2 comes out, I would be leaving anyway, so I thought it’ll be nice to leave with one good performance.