Becoming a celebrity is one of the biggest dreams for Korean kids and teenagers, especially with the increased numbers of survival and talent programs on TV searching for a new fresh talent.
Behind the glamor wall of being celebrities however, not many know how much struggle a trainee put into their daily life, making their day busier than adults and corporate workers.
A trainee, those who is undergoing training to become an artist, singer, or idol, starts their day by going to school in the morning and join the hakwon (learning center) right after they finish their class. Here, they do not only receive singing and acting lessons, but also learn how to keep their body in shape as outlook appearance will be one of their assets.
In the vocal lessons, for example, trainees do not only learn how to sing but also practice the right pronunciation and vocalization. The instructor will give them one song to learn and they are expected to show results of their practice in front of the instructor. Apart from singing and dancing, the trainees, also learn how to act as it’s a basic ability they need to have as a celebrity. Here are confession from two trainees, Kim Daso and Shin Eunbi.
“I go to hakwon right after I finish my class at school. First I will practice my singing and dancing and after that I will practice the part I am still weak at. For me singing is my weakness so I practice my singing the most. I usually practice from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. everyday,” said Shin Eunbi, one of the trainees.
Shin Eunbi has been preparing for her dream to become a singer since she still in first year of Junior High School. “I like F(x) Victoria. Sometimes I also want to have fun with my friends, but It’s ok since I can spend time with unnie and friend in hakwon,” she said with a bright smile.
Another trainee, Kim Daso started her training when she was 15 years old. “My role model is 2NE1′s CL,” she said. “I have a packed schedule everyday. After I finished school I go home for a bit and go to hakwon after to take my lesson and practice it. I had a performance at my hakwon few days ago and for the performance preparation I practiced until 2 a.m. midnight every day. It’s normal to finish practice at 12 and when it’s late I usually finish around 2-3 a.m. midnight,” she said.
For an illustration, a trainee usually start their practice after school done, usually starting at 5 p.m.. From 5 to 7 they usually practice their singing and dancing. From 7 to 10 the instructor/teacher will give vocal and dancing lessons. From 10 p.m. onward the trainee will start their individual practice, especially in the parts that need improving. The practice will finish around 12 a.m. midnight. The trainee would usually finish their day by going to health center/gym to exercise and keep their body in shape.
Hakwon also holds a performance showcase every year for their trainee and introduce them to the stage experience. The trainee will eventually gain some fans too from this kind of event. “I upload my training picture through Facebook and get a lot of response even from those who have the same dream as me. We also discuss a lot,” said Shin Eunbi.
As for their appearance, each month the trainees need to check their health condition through hakwon. “As each person has different needs, we will get personal advice on how to take care of our appearance,” said Kim Daso.
The steps of the trainee does not stop here. As big entertainment companies look for new talent, trainees will go for auditions to move and become that company’s trainee.
“However there are a lot of trainees who left the company after entering. Either because s/he could not adjust to the practice system or they couldn’t meet the expectation from the company,” said Kim Daso.
Whatever the path that trainees choose, they believe that the best support comes from their parent. “As long as I have my parent’s trust, I believe I can do my training well and will success someday,” they said in a positive manner.
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