Korean Star Making Systems and Cases: Trainee in an Entertainment Management Agency, TV Audition Show, and UCC(User Created Contents)
There’s a story about an aspiring singer in Korea. He is currently a trainee in an entertainment management agency, and takes this class to improve his singing skills.
The class period is only 1 hour and 30 minutes, and once a week.
He began singing but his trainer said “You are good at expressing feelings or emotions through your song, but don't get too worked up at this stage.”
He received only a fundamental education, but his mind was urgent.
This man is an ordinary company man. His dream was to become a singer but he had to give up his own personal dreams because of the scar on his face.
Eventually, he got a break. One day he sang a song in a singing room(Korean style karaoke) with his friend, and his friend uploaded the sound of source on the internet. A representative of a entertainment agency found out his talent, and he was invited to take an audition. After that, he finally became a trainee in the agency.
Even if it's a small company, and he can take classes only during the weekends, he was thinking of his dream again.
Making Evaluations of Skills of Dancing and Singing, Academic background, even Personality
To become an entertainer in Korea, to be trainee in an agency is the best way to become a star in Korea. But becoming a trainee is also hard work. And also after becoming a trainee, hard time will be also followed.
A trainee who came through a competition of 7000 to 1 and got this job said “When I passed the audition, it makes me feel like I'm on top of the world. But it'll be a much harder training to set things right.”
He has been practicing a song and dance for 4 hours everyday and he didn’t let the training interfere with your schoolwork. Because his company wants all-round entertainer who is all good at singing, dancing, and studying.
Another trainee said “The company is assessing abilities for the jobs such as skills of dancing and singing, academic background, even personality. So we cannot afford to relax your concentration for a moment.” And she also said “I think when we have the opportunity to do something is when we should do it. If we get a chance, we must make our presence as ‘I am a prepared Artists’ if it becomes necessary to win this contract. And more, trainees have to fight for jobs in a highly competitiveness.”
Not all trainees can become a singer. Entertainment agencies tend to keep rein on their trainees.
And most of trainees are not paid by the monthly salary. No contract has yet been concluded.
In case of small agencies, trainees would pay the training cost at least 300 million won. But trainees are unable to afford to reveal their complaints. A trainee said “Most of popular singers were among countless trainees going through their agencies’ rigorous trainee program for 2 or 3 years. So we can endure the hardships.”
TV audition show
There are also many people to chase the dream of artists through the broadcast.
Like the United States, reality survival programs are popular these days in Korea. Actually, the top 10 successful candidates are ready to debut receiving systematic training from the broadcasting company that sponsored the TV show.
But passing the TV audition also does not guarantee the success. A few years ago, there are several cases of end in failure of debut from reality survival TV programs, and successful candidates had no legs and were soon forgotten.
Niche market ‘UCC’
Many prospective singers spotted a gap in the niche market. That is UCC(User Created Contents).
There’s a case that an indie band became popular through UCC, and was asked by a bottling company to appear in advertisements for their product.
The guitarist of the band said “Indie bands has limitations gaining popularity with their music only. We found out our chance through UCC.”
But if UCC star want to become the real 'star', they must take an existing introductory courses.
A critic of popular culture said “The way of becoming an artist is diversified, but to survive in the field, they must obtain the power of capital, and should be aligned to the existing format.”
And he also pointed out the limitations of new way of debut as an artist saying that the popular U.S. TV show American Idol was aired in Season 8, but not so many people became a real star.