Jun 20, 2008

Behind the Press Conference

Satoko's Story - Part 2

When they entered the cafeteria, they saw M-san, an announcer who had turned freelance after leaving NHK. He had the experience of serving as an emcee for a “Winter Sonata” special, an interesting man who insists that the dialect of North Kyushu (of Japan) resembles French.
Sitting close to him in an unintentional manner, they overheard him talking to a formal colleague.

“You see, I had to turn down the offer for the emcee at the event in Osaka. I had a conflict of schedule.”

Judging from the bits and pieces she heard, it seemed like he was initially offered the role.
Too bad… he had done a good job in communicating with YJ in the special he did in the past.

“So, when is he expected to arrive?” one of them asked.

“I think I heard twelve-thirty from the main entrance.”

OOO~~~~~~~~~hh!! That’s really soon! YJ is going to be here in this building any minute now ~~~~~~~~!

Hey, wait a second…. could it be…?

“Unni… Did you by any chance know when YJ will get here? And that he would arrive at the main entrance?”

“Uh, well… kind of… you know…”

“Didn’t you absent-mindedly head for the main entrance a while ago?”

“(cough, cough)”

Spurting out her coffee, Norisuke-unni and Satoko looked out each other and started to laugh.

“Sooo, should we get our homework done before meeting our YJ?”

They decided to finalize the direction of their article, and discuss the content of their question.

“So, all that being said, should we settle on the 'front or back' question? Or should we go for something related to the message of the drama? I’m having trouble deciding. Which do you think it should be?”

“Hm…well, I guess the 'front or back' one will get a laugh out of people for sure.”

“Maybe it’s a bit low class, and he would despise me for it… you know, it’s not question that would come out of someone decent like ME… But I do want to make YJ laugh…”

“You’re right… it would be nice to give him a chance to laugh a bit at a press conference. Maybe he could show a different side of himself.”

“But I still think it’s not me… maybe I should stick to something I really want to ask.
If we had him give his views on why he put so much effort into a hero who doesn’t fight, I think his true nature would really come through.
Maybe I should go along in this line rather than a comical question…I don’t want him to dislike me…”

Though they were not able to reach a conclusion, their time was up and they went back towards the studio. Yang-san and Bae Sung Woong, the CEO of BOF International were coming their way, dressed in well-tailored suits. Their eyes met, so Satoko bowed lightly, and they bowed back in a most courteous manner.

A reporter they knew came by and asked, “do you know them?” but Satoko had never even spoken to them. She had only bowed because their eyes met, but being staffs who meet hundreds of people everyday, they probably extend their courteous greetings regardless of who they meet. It’s a tough job. Yang-san hadn’t changed much, but Bae-san who had seemed like a young boy had become a dignified mature man with natural poise. Both of them looked like capable elite businessmen.

As YJ’s two confidants were already here, it would mean that YJ himself is also very near.
Ah…the time is growing nearer… which should it be…?

They received an e-mail from the photographer who was already in the studio.
He drew number 14!
Great!! He would definitely be able to take good photos from there!

Finally, reception time.
Each company submitted their name cards, received the resume for the conference and entered the studio.
However, they did not draw lots - entrance was on first-come basis, so Satoko and Norisuke-san were only able to seat themselves in a row a little past the middle line.

Ct 113 studio is not a particularly big studio like the ones used in shooting a major history drama. NHK probably said that it was no use in lining up meaning they would be able to see from any part of the room. But if they had known, they would have lined up earlier without eating. The distance to the stage was about the length of a basketball court. They would not be able to catch his expression in detail.

On stage, there were four chairs. According to the resume, they were to be seated in the order of PD Kim, Moon Sori, YJ, E Jiah from stage left. So, it’s YJ and the two actresses...

When Satoko saw the arrangement, she made her decision.

No doubt about it, it had to be the “front or back” question!

If E Jiah and Moon Sori-unni were going to seat side by side, they could expect a diverse outcome from this question which involves them as well. If YJ could cleverly get them to participate in the conversation, it would surely lead to interesting developments.

“But…but…if this was the type of question he disliked…he would despise me for being a nuisance…”

And there was one more matter that was troubling her.
Satoko’s husband was once her colleague, formerly working for a TV station. Undeniably, the camera from that station was also there. If she were to ask a question that would be taken up in a TV show… they would all come to know about it at his office.

She had always been told, “don’t go to the airport, whatever you do, don’t let me catch you on TV”…
So…. I must ask him to bear with me…

When the photographers with still cameras stood up to decide on their positions, their heads got in the way of the TV cameras. The two sides began to fight. When the TV staffs yelled “sit down!” the photographers looked back yelling “raise your tripod!” In the end, the front two rows sat on the floor, and the table which was placed in front of the cast was taken away. As a result, Satoko’s photographer got to be in the very front row, and better, in the position where he could shoot YJ at his best from the front left angle. He pumped his fist in the air towards Norisuke-san and Satoko.

“So, our cover feature is decided isn’t it? Let’s have the two-spread with a layout of YJ’s photos. Kajok Yorobun will squeal with delight!!”

Now, all they had to worry about was the question. Looking at the bulletin board, it was always possible that another reporter would ask the same question.
Satoko thought through all situations imaginable, and waited quietly for YJ’s entrance.

They were a bit behind schedule.

Eventually, two announcers of NHK appeared, and after making a light bow, made a curious announcement.

“The guests will appear shortly, but before that, we have prepared a somewhat long show of music and lighting. Here it is!”

What is this? Satoko and Norisuke-san looked at each other.

This is no premium event, so what kind of presentation was this? He wouldn’t possibly appear in armor? A fight between the Hwacheons and the Geomools?

But all that went on stage was the lights turning red and white along with the music from the opening of the drama. What on earth did NHK want to show?
This was no dingy strip club, what’s with this lighting?

And even after the climax of the music, no one appeared, and they ended up playing it to the very end. Then they started to play the second song of the OST, “To Victory”.
You must be kidding! Is this going to go on?

Just as she was thinking this, they finally announced, “and here is the cast!” and with PD Kim in the front, all of them entered the stage.

In a simple black suit, and with long hair arranged loosely, YJ looked just fabulous!
His upper body was so great looking that Satoko forgot to observe how he was walking.

I wonder if he was able to walk comfortably.

YJ sat with his feet turned in.
Perhaps if he didn’t, his legs would be outstretched. If they had a table, he would have been able to fake it, but they had taken it away. YJ put a notebook on his knees which were turned in and answered the questions asked by the announcer with a microphone in his hand.

When the other people were answering, he was writing in this notebook.

Satoko recalled what she had heard from his interpreter a few years ago. YJ was a memo-freak, and always carried a notebook to write down what ever that came to mind.
It was true. When he first came to Japan, he had a notebook in his hand as he left the hotel…
But it didn’t have to be a big notebook like this…
Could it be that he couldn’t see small letters due to his neck injury?
Or was it to hide the way he was sitting?

Just at the right time, the announcer asked him,
“What are you writing?”

YJ answered, “I am writing my thoughts on the questions that are being asked to the other people in case I am asked the same thing. My memory is deteriorating these days…(laughs)”

Now this was new. He is revealing himself.
Could it be that his memory lasts for only 80 minutes?
Does he have post-its pasted all over his room at home?
Ooops, that was a different story…

We knew that E Jiah is capable of speaking good Japanese with a bit of Kansai dialect, but we were not able to hear it that day.

The conference resumed smoothly, but without much excitement, and the regular questions came to an end.

“Now, we would like to receive some questions from the reporters, please raise your hands.”

“Here!” Some hands went up across the room.

(to be continued)


jaime said...

Oh thank flowerbossa for the second instalment, it's getting more and more excited! Haha, satovic is so funny, a dingy strip club?!

I also notice the awkward position of Yong Joon's feet. Knowing how perfect he wants to present himself, he would never settle for that kind of posture. That makes me worry that his legs and knees are still hurting and he's not totally recovered. Hopefully this NY trip will do him good.

Thanks to you and Satovic for this wonderful account of the press conference.

love ... jaime

gosijo said...

I'm enjoying this very much as well. Looking forward to the rest!

bb said...

me too me too, enjoying this... think flowerbossa must have tried to retain the original writing style and also keep the humour intact. must say she's done a great job of it...

and... satovic's really such a riot! a thorougly lovable one though :p

Lynn said...

Thank you for your trans, flowerbossa. Satovic's description is so vivid that I feel myself was there with them also. WOW, it's really a long piece of work and thanks again for your efforts to bring us this wonderful piece!
BTW, May I get the authorization from you to trans it into Chinese?

flowerbossa said...

Thank you jaime, gosijo, bb and Lynn for your encouraging comments!
Glad to hear that you are enjoying this^^

And Lynn, thank you for your interest in translating this - I hope the Chinese sisters will enjoy this also.


Lynn said...

Thanks a lot, Flowerbossa!