Think Idol as Insurance.
“The name is also good.”
Kim Yong Min, no, Choi Ian stared at his passport. Even the passport photo that usually comes out so raw also came out very neatly.
［Isn’t it a body born to be an entertainer?]
Even if he searched through his past memories, this face did not appear in any media. He didn’t become an entertainer with this face? Even something like a model?
［Then from now on, I won’t call you Kim Yong Min but Choi Ian.]
“If so, what can I call you?”
The camera was silent. It clicked as if it was contemplating something. It seemed even the camera expressed its emotions by kept beeping as if focusing.
［Uhm… Jin, call me Jin.]
“Then, what can you do to help?”
After checking his face, his confidence soared. With a face like this, everyone will just say okay even with bad acting and cast him as the lead role. Of course, Ian wouldn’t be that sloppy.
［Well… I think I can do anything you can imagine?]
This one is also very confident. Ian smiled as if satisfied. He has a good face, a good body, and also looks tall.
Looking at the passport, he was born in 1999. If this is 2016… 17 years old. Still growing up. He is a person with fabulous life who has everything, but there is even someone who can help. It was already felt easy to do showbiz activity.
“That’s not it.”
“No, I didn’t say that to you.”
Ian thought so unintentionally and then shook his head hard. It is forbidden to be careless. Life in the entertainment industry was not that easy. To think he had been through it but still loosen his tension.
The camera, which had been floating around as if it was a zero-gravity space, turned its lens.
［First. If it’s 2016, you have to make a good plan. What’s your goal?]
“Goal? Well… I just want to be famous.”
［In Korea? Abroad? What do you want to be famous for? Idol? Actor?]
Those questions left Ian speechless. When he first debuted as an idol, he wanted to succeed as an idol. This or that never worked so he went to the acting field that he had learned.
Dramas and movies were not successful, so he turned to theaters and musicals as well. Because musical could make use of the vocal again.
Come to think of it, he has never settled doing anything properly in Kim Yong Min’s life.
He gave up idol because the inevitable age matter. However, he turned into an actor to simply pursue a vague success. So, he was all over the place like octopus’ feet regardless of genre.
［No matter how significant the handsome face is, you have to make a good plan. If you do something wrong, you’ll only become a ‘flower without fragrance’ and live without any strength.]
“That… That’s right…”
［Still. Your skills were good even with such bad luck. You have to make it work with that.]
By the way, what did Jin do that it also know Kim Yong Min’s days well? Did the Grim Reaper tell it in advance? That being said, it didn’t recognize Kim Yong Min when seeing him for the first time.
［Let’s do it all. Let’s debut as an idol first.]
［Are you going to rot this face? It’s not a good time to debut as an actor. It’s the time when those that come from child actors take the seat one by one1 Most probably mean the competition is pretty fierce and will be hard to get a role. Because the production prefers former child actors because their acting is enough at least. It’s also an ambiguous age to debut as an actor. Not really a child but also not really an adult. .]
Kim Yong Min was just getting a sergeant rank2About to or just finished the military service, I think. at this time, so he didn’t know how the entertainment industry was going.
Come to think of it, what happened to Kim Yong Min in this era? Will Choi Ian’s soul go there?
［Don’t think about anything else. What do you want to do?]
Click-click. Jin pressed the shutter to wake Ian, who was gradually lost in thought.
“At that, aren’t there also a lot of idols coming out?”
［That’s true, but there’s a suitable group when I think about it. Besides those from idols also get roles well. Especially in dramas.]
People used to be busy taking down idol-turned-actor in the past, but the perception is gradually changing.
Some people had good skills even if they came from idols.
As the OTT3 Over The Top. Those streaming service platforms like Netflix or KakaoTV in Korea. market became more active, viewership fell overall. But in some cases, idols were often cast to attract fandom viewership.
As the result, even those who were aspiring actors also make their debut as idol first.
“Who’s that right group?”
［Do you know a group called AWY?]
“Awy? I think I’ve heard of it somewhere?”
［They’re in good hands with their agency. The kids are polite and nice, not like kids these days. After a few years, they lost the momentum, but most idols are like that.]
［Their popularity in Korea is just a dinky, you know? They almost like a mangdol seriously, but their popularity overseas is really good. They also must have sold 150,000 album copies. It’s a bit of a flaw that there’s a lot of froaches out there, but there will be fewer rubbish sasaengs and bad kids, right?]
Froaches is a combination of foreigner fans and cockroaches, which refers to overseas fans with no culture.4(g) Froaches. My own made-up word. The original is 외퀴 (wi.kwi), but it just didn’t flow well in the sentence. E.g. those who bombard the comment with “eng plz”.
It didn’t matter because the fans’ atmosphere was the company’s concern and not of the singer’s. Ian liked that it was less close to sasaeng.
He was not an idol who was well known enough to have sasaengs, but it was shocking to hear that from some acquaintances.
Like installing a tracker and chasing the car or buying a house right next to the dorm and breaking in by pretending to be a delivery man then taking pictures. Later, when they turned around, they hand over the photos to reporters.
“That’s quite good.”
［And no matter how well I set the plan, there is no guarantee that you will succeed. Especially idols, you’ll be fine even if you do it moderately. If you think it’s going to fail, you can turn into an actor. Think idol as insurance.]
Think of it as insurance… Ian frowned reflexively at the words. It didn’t sound good.
［And one person suddenly left the company before their debut, so there’s an empty seat. Debut around next year. You’ll pass even if you just go and breathe, so hurry up.]
I should stop thinking. There’s a long way to go. Ian leaped to his feet.
Ian left the hotel wearing simple slacks and a white T-shirt. Whether the family was also well off, all of his clothes were luxury goods. He really likes the body and the family.
He stopped by a nearby musical instrument store and bought an acoustic guitar.
‘No matter how dependent on the face, I still have to show my skills. You said it’ll debut next year. So, I have to do it right.’
［Oh~ Indeed, that would be better. Because you were also pretty good in your previous life.]
It was fortunate that Jin could hear him even if he spoke in his heart. Otherwise, he would have been posted on SNS as a handsome man talking to himself on the street.
Ian simply loosened his throat and turned on his smartphone. Speaking of SNS, he remembered something. Ian looked into all the apps on his phone as he was heading to Apgujeong in a taxi.
［What are you doing?]
［Oh~ As expected from someone who had gone to an audition program. I didn’t even think about it.]
After flicking through the list of apps a few times, he found one. Mystargram.
Please. Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs. Absolutely no. Obscene gifs? Seriously no. Sexual jokes abuse, absolutely totally no.
Ian pressed the feed with the feeling of scared to death. Someone would have captured it for a face like this, so he had to be careful.
There were only 32 posts. The latest feed was a photo of a ticket to Korea. Trip to Korea. Perhaps it’s the body’s memory, he also read English well.
When he read it to the end, he would have traveled to Korea, stop by Japan, and returned to America. He lived such a fabulous ordinary person’s life, but not anymore. Ian thought he should also cancel his ticket to Japan.
Most of them were photos of him working out and bed selfies that he took because he was bored. Also, photos of the pet cat raised at home.
It was said the right mind resided in the right face and it was really clean so it did not become gossips.
However. The soul of Kim Yong Min, an attention seeker who wanted to show off his handsome face, thought that he could talk nonsense so he had to strictly crack down on it.
‘Good, nothing found. Now I have to delete the account.’
［Wait! Don’t delete it!]
［Some can be used for boyfriend memes. This will also become a sales point later. Kya. Especially, look at this beach photo. It’s amazing, really.]
It was a photo of him wearing a swimsuit without his top and holding a surfboard. It was a photo that he couldn’t help but understand by itself.
［Deleting this is a real loss to the nation. We’re done with the ideological verification, so leave it alone.]
Ian nodded unconsciously.
* * *
Ian, who got off at Apgujeong Rodeo Station5Apgujeong is a ward of Gangnam. The main shopping area and tourism destinations are around Apgujeong Rodeo Station. It’s an upscale and trendsetter place. Plus, there are many entertainment agencies in Apgujeong and Cheongdam nearby. Such a trendy place is a perfect hunting ground for street casting. , looked around.
‘I came here on a whim, but is it okay?’
［It’s okay. Isn’t it lunchtime now? It’s perfect.]
Wondering what’s with lunchtime, Ian received a business card from an agency employee who came out for lunch as soon as he took a few steps.
Is this the life of a face genius? He showed Jin the business card but said that was not the agency it was looking for.
［I come here on a whim to audition! It’s too unnatural to do that. You should naturally aim for street casting.]
‘But I mean. Is there any chance of getting a business card from the agency we’re looking for? Isn’t this more unnatural?’
［No, trust me. It’s 100%. Especially if it’s your face, it’s a 120%.]
“Please contact me if you have any thoughts.”
Got a business card again. Management Leaf. It was an actor’s agency this time. Wow, this is where I wanted to go.
Everyone passing by stole a glance at him. Two young women passed by him and whispered, ‘Hey, saw him? Awesome’. Ian cringed even though he felt great with the gaze and interest he tasted for the first time. Even when he was an entertainer, he didn’t get this kind of gaze.
［Hey. Straighten your shoulders. Are you guilty?]
“Wa… Wait a minute!”
Someone caught Ian. Seeing him gasping, he seemed to have run from the opposite road. Jin repeatedly clicked.
［Oh, here it is. Him. It’s him.]
‘How do you know that?’
［I took a pic of the employee ID. He’s right from there.]
He can’t believe this method really works. It was absurd and funny, so Ian replied with a big smile.
The man became blank by that smile, looked at Ian, and was startled. He said gibberish and held out a folded business card in his pocket.
“I… I’m not a suspicious person.”
As if he felt the crumpled business card look poor, he opened the business card with both hands.
Planning Team Park Ju Min, BHL Entertainment. It’s a company that reminded him of a chicken franchise.6There is ‘bhc Chicken’ in Korea.
“Do you know idol Black Rush? It’s their agency.”
Black Rush. An idol Ian also knows well. Has solid domestic fandom and is popular overseas as well. One of them succeeds in artistic side, in particular, their leader succeeds as a producer.
As Ian nodded, the man’s complexion became brighter.
“By any chance, are you thinking of becoming an idol?”
Of course, I am.
But should I try to play hard to get? Ian said ‘Well…’, blurring the end of his sentence.
“Tha… That, you had a guitar on your back… Are you going to perform?”
Is he perhaps someone who has already debuted? Park Ju Min was worried.
Ian was taken aback for a moment but soon spoke calmly.
“Oh, this… It is a bucket list. I am going to busking.”
［Such good quick thinking.]
“Then how about you add seeing an agency audition to the bucket list?”
［Oh~ This side also has good quick thinking.]
Jin shook the popcorn bin he brought from somewhere. There were thin arms that came out from the camera.
Wait, where did that come from? When Ian frowned at that bizarre appearance, Park Ju Min was surprised.
“Ah. I am sure you have seen it a lot, but still…”
“Can I see it now? Audition.”
“Th… Thank you!”