First Day of Filming
“You look fine,” Kyran muttered for the 6th time after catching me fixing my hair in front of a mirror.
I jumped at his voice.
It had been several days since we agreed to film in the drama for director Choi Sanghyun, and all the paperwork and contracts were done. Unfortunately, we had to ask him to tweak our parts a little so we would have to do a little less filming. We were already busy with other things and a drama project would add to the still-growing pile of stuff to do.
Mr. Choi was more than happy to do so, saying that as long as we were in his drama, everything would work out great. So, with the scripts rearranged a little, we were given a manageable number of filming hours over the next few months. Even our schedules in the U.S. were changed, but the good thing was that we would be able to stay in Korea for a while longer.
“Right,” I murmured, pulling a strand of hair away from my face.
“Come on, let's go,” he led the way out the door of the make-up room.
Everyone else was waiting in the outside shoot, receiving last minute reminders and scanning over their scripts. Catching the sight of Kyran and I, the director beamed.
“Oh good, you're here,” he said. “Did you memorize the script?”
“Um, Director-nim,” I paused. “Who's playing the other lead role? I mean, NiRa and Kyran are playing my best friends, and both Rynn and Saylan are the bullies, so, who's playing this person...” I checked my script. “....um, Kim JaeHoo?”
NiRa looked at me. “They didn't tell you?”
I paused for a second. Maybe they might have. I had been really busy trying to memorize the script, so everything else just floated in one ear and came out the other.
“Well, he's right over there, getting ready....” the Director pointed towards a white tent, and I could just make out someone sitting over with his back towards us, reading the script that was laid out on his lap. I noted that he was drumming his fingers on a nearby table. He wasn't alone, though. Someone else was standing next to him, reading over his shoulder and occasionally pointing out things on the script. The was tall, really tall. With light brown hair. Was that....? I squinted closer to make sure that I wasn't hallucinating.
The leader of EXO-M looked over his shoulder, and upon spotting me, his poker face disappeared and he beamed. He waved me over, and the person sitting down turned around, which shocked me even more when I recognized who it was.
“Xyla?” he stood, grinning from ear to ear. “What are you doing here?”
His Korean had definitely gotten better from his pre-debut days.
“You're playing Kim JaeHoo?” I asked, still recovering from seeing him here.
He nodded. “Yeah, I am. Director Choi almost begged me to take the part. My manager was really unsure about it—you know how we just debuted—but Director Choi really wanted me in this drama. Anyway, what are you doing here?”
“I—I'm in this drama too,” I said. LuHan cocked his head.
“Oh, really? Who are you playing?” he asked.
“The lead role,” I said. “Lee MinHyun.”
LuHan looked surprised.
“They didn't tell you either?” I asked.
He shrugged and gave an apologetic smile. “I don't know, they might have. I've been kind of busy reading the script. It's my first acting job. I didn't even think about doing a drama at all. It's kind of nerve-wracking, actually. I was thinking about focusing on the debut first, then all of this....”
“Yeah, I'm kind of nervous too,” I admitted.
“Yah, I'm here too,” came Kris' deep voice.
I laughed. “Sorry, Kris. Wait, what are you doing here? Don't tell me you're in this movie too?”
He rested his arm on LuHan's shoulder. It wasn't hard, considering he towered over LuHan.
“No,” he replied. “Sorry to disappoint you, though.”
I elbowed him, and he recoiled.
He laughed. “I'm just helping LuHan out. His Korean isn't exactly perfect yet.”
“Right, I forgot,” I rolled my eyes. “I forgot you speak 4 languages.”
He shrugged modestly.
“Xyla-sshi! LuHan-sshi!” the Director called. “We're starting!”
The two of us hurried over and the Director gestured to where we should stand.
“So the flashback scene was already filmed,” Director Choi explained. “That was done with younger actors so you weren't needed. This is the scene that takes place in the 'present' time where MinHyun—Xyla-sshi – gets bullied by No WooHyun—that's Rynn-sshi-- and Park JiWook—Saylan-sshi, stand next to that tree--behind the school.”
I took my place, sitting on a park bench that was behind a large brick building that was supposed to be the “school”. Kyran, NiRa, and Kris were watching off-screen, and both Rynn and Saylan were waiting for their cue just a few feet away from me. LuHan was nervously watching from around the corner of the building, waiting for when he was supposed to jump in and rescue me.
I felt the camera crew focus on me, and the “action” call rang in my ears, but I kept steady, pretending to read the prop book. I was sitting cross-legged on the bench, feeling the breeze waft through my hair. I pushed my large, fake glasses further up the bridge of my nose.
Suddenly, the book was ripped out of my hands, and I looked up to see the usually laughing Saylan glowering over me.
“Yah, who do we have here, WooHyun?” he sneered, leaning closer to me, and I flinched right on cue. “Lee MinHyun?”
I cowered under his gaze. Rynn strolled up casually, his hands in his uniform pockets.
“Yah, MinHyun-ah,” he glanced carelessly at my book that Saylan was playing catch with, then back to me. “Didn't I say not to come back here again? I thought I made it clear that this was where I hung out.”
“I don't see your name on it,” I said firmly, but adding just the touch of shakiness in it.
Rynn scoffed. Now I understand what the Director was talking about. Rynn did have awesome acting skills.
“What did you say?” Saylan growled.
“I said, I don't see your name here,” I repeated.
Rynn raised his hand, ready to strike, and I recoiled. But he stopped himself.
“Ugh, nevermind,” he dusted his hands on his uniform. “I wouldn't want to waste my energy on an orphan like you.”
“That's right,” Saylan strode up next to me. “I heard your parents ditched you 'cause you're so ugly. Is that right?”
I thought long and hard for something that would make me sad. Eventually, I felt a pain rise in my throat, and a tear welled up in my eye.
I dropped my gaze from the towering boys.
Rynn yanked my glasses off my face, and twirled them carelessly in his hands.
“G-give it back,” I murmured.
Saylan laughed in satisfaction.
“Well you're not that ugly when these things are gone,” Rynn said, and I looked up from staring at the ground, just in time to see him drop them. Saylan exaggeratedly ran by, crushing them.
“Whoops!” he laughed.
Tears flowed down my face.
“What are you doing?” a quiet voice said, somewhere from my left.
Rynn and Saylan stood a little bit straighter, and I turned to see LuHan, quietly walking up to them. He stopped in front of me and reached out to pick the broken glasses up from the ground.
“Yah, Kim JaeHoo,” snarled Rynn. “Don't touch that.”
LuHan picked them off the ground anyway and turned to face them, putting himself between the two other guys and me.
“Beat it,” LuHan's voice was quiet, but surprisingly threatening.
Saylan gave an uneasy laugh. “Really? Make us.”
LuHan took a firm step forward. “Oh, really?”
Rynn looked warily between LuHan and me, before nudging Saylan.
“Come on, let's go. He's the captain of the martial arts club. We'd better just go,” he muttered, and the two off them left.
The director stood and clapped his hands. “Well done, everyone! That was a perfect shot! Take 10 minutes, okay?”
I wiped tears off my cheeks and managed a smile. I stood and bowed at the director and crew.
“Hey, LuHan, that was a good job!” I patted him on his shoulder.
“Thanks,” he blushed good naturedly.
Rynn appeared next to me and looked at me. “Hey, you okay?”
His gaze drifted to the streaks of tears that ran down my face, and I rubbed them off with a tissue that the staff provided for me. Now I was being swarmed with make-up artists who were busy retouching for the next scene.
“Yeah, I'm fine,” I smiled. “Don't worry about it, Rynn. It's just acting.”
“Nice job, Xyla,” Saylan said, and I beamed.
“Hey, I have to go, LuHan,” I heard Kris say to LuHan. He turned to me.
“Xyla, come swing by the dorm later,” he said. “We'll grab some food. It's not everyday we get to congratulate our LuHan on the first day of filming!”
What do you want to do?
Go to EXO-M's dorm later, after filming (chapter 42)
Go to your dorm later, after filming Stay on the Set (chapter 45)
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