Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Chapter 131: Are You Ready?

Yes... I'm back! Are you ready? Well... don't get too happy yet cos I don't even know when I can finish the next chapter... but at least I'm working on it. Tee hee! ^_^;; Enjoy!!!

[Yuk Hee]

I arrived at the studios bright and early and it was already bustling with activity.

“Yuk Hee-sshi?” one of the assistants came up to me.

“Ne,” I smiled.

“Come with me to hair and makeup,” she said, indicating me to follow her.

After half an hour in the makeup chair getting my makeup and hair done, I was brought to the wardrobe and asked to put on a slip and a very transparent robe that flowed down, touching the floor.

I was introduced to the director and the producer of the MV, to whom I bowed as demurely as I could.

“Let’s get started first,” the director said. “We’d like to shoot the first section of the video, so if you could just stand on the marked spot and wait for instructions.”

“Ne,” I replied and walked onto the set and stood on the marked spot.

Behind me was a huge white backdrop, brightly lit with hoops of white lights.

“Fan,” the director called out, and a huge fan in front of me was turned on.

I cringed for a minute as my hair whipped about my face and my outfit felt like it was about to be blown off.

“Yuk Hee-sshi,” the director said. “I need you to stand upright, look straight at us and look at the camera when we start. Smile coyly.”

“Ye,” I replied.

“Action!” the director yelled and the music began to play in the background.

I posed and looked straight at the camera, smiling as requested.

“Good, now slowly bring your hands up onto your hips, yes… then turn your hips slowly so that your body is angled with your left facing the camera. That’s it. Look down slowly, your head following, then look up again, eyes first. Yes.”

The shot went on for sometime and at some point, I saw Darren and another 2 guys, whom I presumed were his band mates standing behind the directors’ chair, talking and pointing at me.

After a good half an hour of being blown by the fan until I could barely feel my face for the cold, the director ended the shoot and I was brought to the guys.

“Yuk Hee-sshi,” the producer said, “this is Helix’s Darren, Min Jong and Nakata.”

“Choum poebke seumnida,” I said as I bowed.

“Not the first time for me,” Darren smiled. “Nice to see you again.”

“We’re kinda jealous that hyung got to meet you first,” Min Jong said. “That’s really unfair.”

“Life rarely isn’t,” I smiled, and Min Jong stared at me, all bug-eyed.
“Are you guys good to go?” the director asked them.

“Ne,” Darren answered for his band.

“Choa,” the director said. “I’ve just finished doing Yuk Hee’s takes, so we can do yours while she goes for a break, then we can carry on with the ones that include all of you.”

“Ne,” the guys answered.

“This way, Yuk Hee-shi,” an assistant came up to me and gestured me to the refreshments table.

After a few kimbap and a cup of coffee, I was ushered to another wardrobe and makeup change in preparation for my scenes with Helix. When I was done, it was my turn to observe them. They were shooting scenes of them lip-synching to the song while the track played in the background.

Darren: Give me a minute to reflect on this charade
Girl this is craziness, this emptiness, is eating me away
Min Jong: No matter how hard I try you can take it all away
Just a word, just a glance, you tear me up to shreds

Nakata: So you know, how my heart goes
And the melody it sings for you
So you know, how my heart goes
Yes it’s beating just for you

Helix: Don’t you run away, baby
Won’t you stay
You’re driving me insane
Don’t wanna be alone, baby
When the night is cold
I wish for you to be next to me

Don’t you turn away, baby
Look at me
Give us a chance
Cos you’re my angel, my angel

They were all doing a good job looking like the pained and love-struck heroes they were supposed to be. The song was catchy, but that was what they were going to use to try and upstage S-Cube, my personal opinion was that they were still off the mark.

When the take ended, the guys walked off the set for a quick breather before we continued. Nakata grabbed a bottle of water from his PA and headed right towards me.

“So how were we?” he asked me.

“Not bad,” I said.

“That’s all you’ve got to say?” he asked me. “I thought you were a way more opinionated girl,” he laughed softly before taking a slug from his bottle.

“Well,” I smiled, “I don’t think you’ll be able to handle what I might say.”

“Try me,” he said.

“I’d better not,” I replied, and was saved by the director calling for us to be onset.

He wouldn’t have liked what I wanted to say, and I didn’t think my opinions were ready to be heard anyway.

“So you guys continue to sing to the music. Yuk Hee is going to come up to each of you and stand beside each of you. You’ll all have your turn,” he added at the end, and the guys laughed. “The end product would be this ghostly image of her appearing beside each of you for a few seconds at each time, while you sing the chorus.”

The shoot started again, and I was asked to walk down the runway they were singing on, stopping beside each guy and lingering for a while before moving to the other. The first one was Min Jong.

“Put your hand on his shoulder,” the director yelled, and I did. “Look at him fondly… yes… with affection… smile.”

When I put my hand on Min Jong, he twitched a little, but being the seasoned performers he was, he didn’t let it show.

“Alright… enough,” the director yelled. “Move on to Nakata,” the director yelled.

I walked slowly and gracefully, as was called for, and fell into step beside Nakata.

“Put your arm on his shoulder and lean onto him a little,” the director said. “Look at him longingly. Nakata, you need to try not to shrug her off while you’re singing, but she has to be invisible to you at the same time. Yes… good job. Yuk Hee… now look away, smiling wistfully, and walk towards Darren.”

I walked towards Darren, and when I reached him, I had to put my hand on his shoulder and run my fingers from his left shoulder to his right as I walked around, behind him. Then I had to slide down onto the floor, my hands running down his arm, and finally sitting down and curling my legs towards my body, then looking out towards the camera.

“Good, Yuk Hee. Look out, as if you’re looking at a vast ocean and thinking about the times you’ve spent with the man you love. Okay… keep that look, keep it… and cut!” he said.

“Thanks,” I said to Darren as he helped me up.

“My pleasure,” he said. “So where did you learn how to seduce men?” he asked me.

“Excuse me?” I exclaimed, but not yelling.

“Just joking,” he smiled, but his face told me he wasn’t joking at all.

He walked off before I could say anything else.

(Telephone dial tone)

“Yoboseyo… Gotcha! Leave me a message after the beep!”

“It’s me… where are you? Still working? Don’t forget to eat, and remember to get more sleep. I’m missing you lots… wish you were here…”

“Oh… Sierra… I miss you… mwah… mwah… I wish you were here… sob… sob…”

“Shuddup Yoo Chun… Go away…”

“Only you… can make this world seem right…”

“Stop touching me… pyeont’ae!”

(Long beep)


I laughed hysterically when I heard the message on my voice mail, and I wondered if it was scripted.

“What’s so funny?” Skye demanded to know.

“Never you mind,” I said as I stuck my tongue out at him.

“You never let me in on your secrets,” he pouted.

“Oh… be a man!” I drawled as I stood up to stretch myself.

Shoei was inside the booth recording while Skye and I were sitting in the control room with the producer and sound engineer. Shi Kyung hyung sat in the corner at the back, leafing through a pile of documents and tapping away on his laptop.

It’s been almost a year since our last album and we’re now working on the 4th one. The management had given us the ‘go ahead’ to be eclectic and experimental with our style, much to our delight since Skye, Shoei and my music tastes were eclectic by nature. But what we really wanted to see was if we could engineer a shift in the tastes of popular music genre with our upcoming album.

Instead of writing our own songs, we’ve decided to do covers of songs we liked and remix them to fit the theme of the new album. This also meant that we each got a few songs where we sang solo.

We’ve decided that our next single would be a remix of Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E. It was a classic love song, and instead of singing it in the sweet version it was originally sung in, we added a hint of Electronica vibe to it.

Skye: L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
Shoei: V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore

Skye: Love is all that I can give to youLove is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Sierra: Take my heart and please don't break it
Sierra & Skye: Love was made for me and you

The jazzy instrumental plays and halfway, the melody breaks and the fragments of sound gradually blends into a catchy beat and the instruments morph into a digitized sound and the song soon begins to sound like a whole new song, another song.

Sierra: L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore

Shoei: Love is all that I can give to youLove is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Skye: Take my heart and please don't break it
Sierra: Love was made for me and you
Shoei: Love was made for me and you

The song switches back, abruptly, to the jazz style.

Shoei: Love was made for me and you

S-Cube: Love was made for me and you…

The day our L-O-V-E single was released, we had so many mixed emotions to deal with. On one hand, we were very proud of how it had turn out because in this album, we were singing songs we all loved, and L-O-V-E was one of the many songs that we all had a share in making it our own style, the way we would have interpreted it. However, it didn’t stop us from worrying that the public was not ready for something that isn’t mainstream pop or hip hop. It was an English song, sung in an unconventional and quirky style. We had a Korean song paired with it in the single because we still had to make sure we were catering to the mass market. But initially, the sales really didn’t hit the target the way the company expected it to.

Our fears were over once the MV was aired. The big break came; they’d decided to make L-O-V-E one of the songs on the soundtrack of the drama I was in with Darren of Helix. As soon as the promo of the drama was aired with L-O-V-E as the theme song, our sales started climbing.

“How does it feel?” Darren asked me while we were filming one day.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“How does it feel to know that your fame can get you whatever you want? And in this case, more fame and success,” he smirked.

“I really don’t know what you’re getting at,” I said.

“Your new single… You think it’s some stroke of luck that they want it on the drama’s soundtrack?”

“I guess so. But of course it will have to do with SM’s marketing skills, and they’re hardly gonna put a shitty song on the soundtrack.”

“Really? Then why don’t they just pick a Helix song and put it on too?”

“I don’t know…” I said. “Maybe your style wasn’t what they were looking for?”

Darren snorted at my comment and walked away. Was he actually jealous of S-Cube’s success? We’ve long suspected that they were really bitter rivals instead of acquaintances in the industry. Would he sabotage us if he had the chance? I started to keep a wary eye out for Darren. Ever since the kissing incident, I have been confused and suspicious of him.

And just as I pondered on about one dilemma, another one came up… I missed my period.


Danita said...


By the way, Sierra, you forgot to mention where it got to your point of view instead of Yuk Hee's. I got a little confused and had to read it twice...

I really hope it's just the period starting late...But it's a really shocking update...

Abby said...

OMG! you have no idea how ecstatic i am feeling right now for seeing an update! haha!

abby...shocked! sierra missed her period? i hope it's just some hormonal imbalance or something...not now when things are heating up for your career! plus, jaejoong's in japan!

can't wait to read your next update! keep it up!!!

P.S. i really missed reading your updates...*wink wink*

시에라 (Sierra) said...

Danita... I did it intentionally cos if I put the POV marker there, the voice mail wouldn't be mysterious... hehe! Should I put it back?

Hello Abby!!! Nice to see that you are still reading. I'm truly touched!

I'll try to get this updated again soon... =.=

Danita said...

Oh, I see...then it adds an effect to the readers then. ^^

시에라 (Sierra) said...

Yea... but after reading your comment, I decided to put it back... but after the voice mail ^_^

Jenny said...

Hi Sierra,

My name is Jennifer & I am from New Jersey. I have recently read your fanfic about 2 months ago after doing a research assignment for my college writing class on fanfiction. On my blog, February 11 Blog 4: The Power of Fanfiction, I included you in my entry.
I must say you have great writing skills & an amazing behind the scenes concept of what the entertainment life is like. Keep up the good work! Take Care.

시에라 (Sierra) said...

Thank you, Jennifer!!! I am very honored. I've read your paragraph about me in your blog, and I have a few small corrections to make on the details:

1. This fic wasn't nominated for Soompi's Fanfic of the Year. Only completed fictions may be nominated and I was nominated for my short fiction, 200 Balloons, 200 Days.

2. I put up the days that I update, but I'm very ashamed that I've not been following that schedule lately :(

3. I'm not famous... am I?

Once again... thank you for mentioning me in your research. It really meant a lot to know that my work is recognized. Thank you!!! Kamsahamnida!!!

lizzy said...

Sierra dear!

You posted!

::does a cute dance of joy::



she missed her period!


and Jaejoongs the father!!


시에라 (Sierra) said...

Dun dun dunnn.... hahaha!

Isn't this exciting? ^_^