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‘Pretty boy’ k-pop stars rush to musicals
For the past few years, Korean “idols” or members of popular boy/girl bands have begun gracing the musical stage ― rushing into the dramatic arts as a gateway to acting.
Seen as the natural stepping stone for singers looking to make some headway into the dramatic arts, stage musicals have fast become the platform of choice for two reasons: They allow them to do what they’re best at ― dancing and singing ― and a chance to prove their mettle in the acting game.
Some stars have seen success, others have been blasted for their ill-conceived venture.
SHINee’s Onew and SS501’s Kim Hyung-joon have been the most recent additions to the list of boy band members switching gears to musicals, joining contemporaries like former TVXQ member Xiah and Tae-yeon of Girls Generation.
Onew’s fall debut with the Korean adaptation of “Rock of Ages” impressed both theater critics and audiences alike with some even saying the singer-turned-musical actor one-upped veteran Korean Wave star Ahn Jae-wook who switched off with the crooner in the lead role throughout its month-long engagement.
In stark contrast, Kim’s gig as a musical actor kicked off to a stuttering start last week with the original production “Caffeine” at the Baekam Art Hall in southern Seoul.
His debut was met with a lukewarm response, many saying the fledgling actor had looked awkward and even nervous during key scenes which required him to be confident.
This kind of “shoot first, ask questions later” approach doesn’t seem to faze most musical production houses though as the casting of a boy band or girl band member alone is enough to generate huge interest from the public.
Because the industry has been steadfastly in decline due to an oversaturated market, earning the quick buck has become what matters most.
One of the few successful cases has without a doubt been Xiah’s debut.
Xiah, a former member with hugely popular boy band TVXQ, made a debut with “Mozart” earlier in January which garnered the 23-year-old a slew of acting honors and critical acclaim.
Meanwhile, those who crashed and burned at the court of public opinion were largely criticized for their lack of commitment that was reflected in their stilted performances.
Choi Sung-hee, or Bada as most of her fans know her from her heyday with all-girl band S.E.S., is a veteran of the musical scene who has voiced her frank opinion on the veritable gold rush into the theater arts by her younger contemporaries.
Currently starring in the musical “Broadway 42nd Street,” the production’s theater troupe opened its doors to the press earlier in September where Choi took time off from the rigorous pre-show rehearsals at the KEPCO Hanjeon Art Center in Seoul to field questions about her musical ― but most of all about the rising trend of K-pop idols entering the scene.
The production, having wrapped its run in the capital city, is slated to move on to Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, starting Dec. 3.
“You have to be absolutely sure that this is what you want to do before you go any further,” she was quoted as saying.
“You need to have an actor’s mindset and a responsibility to the craft of acting. Acting in a musical requires you to give yourself and open yourself to your cast mates and if you’re not prepared to do that, the audience won’t be engaged in your performance and that type of dedication isn’t something the head of a production company can give you.”
Choi is considered one of the first K-pop singers to make way onto the musical stage, debuting in 2003 with “Peppermint.”
Since then, she has starred in such hit stage musicals as “200 Pounds Beauty,” cementing her status as one of the local performing and dramatic arts scene’s marquee names.
Echoing her sentiment is veteran actor Jo Jae-hyun (“Bad Guy,” “Address Unknown”) who says singers attempting to successfully cross over to acting must be fully committed.
“For anyone looking to break into theater arts, they have to realize the amount of preparation and time it takes to acclimate to performing on stage because stage acting is an entirely different beast to film or television,” he told The Korea Herald.
“Acting for the stage is one of the most difficult crafts ― even for traditional actors ― and for singers to jump into the fray like that is commendable but you really have to be fully committed because otherwise you’re going to learn the hard way that it isn’t something you just pick up on a whim or by suggestions from your management company.”
By Song Woong-ki (email@example.com)
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JYJ Twitter Update
This post will be updated throughout the day with tweets
by Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu ^^
A time will be added with each tweet as our translators will not always be able to provide instant translations
This post includes tweets from 6am KST, November 30th to 5:59am KST, December 1st.
Midnight Snacks don't Go well with Jaejoong
(Jaejoong) Ah.. I shouldn't have eaten at night yesterday.. It must not be good to eat at night (12:47pm KST)
Kokki Kokki gets a Girlfriend
(Jaejoong) Kokki Kokki's girlfriend Kiri Kiri haha
Source: [Jaejoong's Twitter]
Translation credits: firstname.lastname@example.org
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JYJ Attracts 70,000 Fans
To Two-Day Concert
JYJ at their first Seoul concert. (Photo courtesy of newsen.com)
Despite the freezing cold, about 70,000 fans flocked to the Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 27 and 28 to watch the first concert of trio JYJ, composed of Xiah Junsu, Micky Yoochun and Youngwoong Jaejoong.
The JYJ Worldwide Concert in Seoul was a follow-up to the trio’s successful JYJ worldwide album showcase that took them to New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas in North America; and to Asian cities Taipei, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.
Under the direction of choreographer and artistic director Jeri Slaughter, the Seoul concert saw JYJ performing songs from their first English album, “The Beginning,” including “Ayyy Girl” and “Be My Girl.”
The trio also offered their condolences to the victims of North Korea’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island in South Korea where four people were killed.
The stadium was originally planned to be covered to protect the fans from the cold weather. However, hail fell on the morning of the concert, prompting the concert organizer to remove the roof structure to prevent any accident.
During the concert, JYJ announced that they will be having a worldwide concert tour that may take the trio again to different cities.
The trio was overwhelmed by the fans’ support and thanked them for coming to the concert.
“Thanks to all the fans who attended today's concert. Thank you so much, I was so moved when you all shouted out that you love us,” according to Jaejoong’s tweet, which was translated by fan site tohosomnia.net.
Jaejoong added, “All the challenges and situations we're experiencing right now are so unfamiliar and tiring, and they wear me out. But there is one thing that isn't unfamiliar. The people in front of my eyes who still love us.”
Source: [Manila Bulettin]
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JYJ Seoul Showcase
PART I PART II PART III PART IV PART V
PART VI PART VII PART VIII PART VIX PART X
PART XI PART XII PART XIII PART XIV PART XV
PART XVI PART XVII PART XVIII PART XIX PART XX
PART XXI PART XXII PART XXIII PART XXIV PART XXV
PART XXVI PART XXVII PART XXVIII
PART XXVIXPART XXX PART XXXI PART XXXII
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