It’s hard to pass an audition but what you will face after becoming a K-Pop trainee is even harder.
To become an idol, to be able to stand on big stages, to sing hits might be the dream of many K-Pop fans and talented young people. At the moment, the doors to that dream is even more wide open after big agencies like SM, Big Hit or CUBE started looking for trainees from many different countries. Passing an audition is hard, but what you have to face as a trainee is a thousand times harder. Prepare yourself with a mind of steel to be able to pass all these obstacles.
Family’s finance is an essential
As a trainee, especially a foreigner trainee, training fee and living expense costs a lot. The agency can only pays for some part for each trainee. If one is lucky enough to debut under a big agency with a good promote plan, then the time needed for that trainee to pay back the debt for the agency will be shorter. In fact, many well-known had needed many years to be able to pay back all the debt for their agency such as FT.Island, EXID, AOA,…
Due to this huge amount of expenses, in order to pursue the idol career which needs a long training time, most of the foreigner trainees need a stable financial state. It can easily be seen that most foreigner idols are from a wealthy family background such as Tzuyu (TWICE), Mark (GOT7), Nickhun (2PM), Ten (NCT)…
Spending all their youth in the practice rooms
To become an idol, one have to be through a long and harsh training process. You have to familiarize yourself with both the theory and the practice process everyday. Not just at the practice room, even at home or at the dorm, you still have to practice your vocal, dance and fitness. Practicing possesses most od the day of a trainee. Bekah – an ex-member of After School – revealed that there were even times when she could only sleep for 30 minutes before preparing for a new day of praticing all over again.
Trainees also have to go through many unbelivable training method. Many agencies require their trainee to hold their breath under water for minutes, hit their stomache with a basketball while breathing to improve their vocal through improving their stomache muscles.
Apart from singing and dancing, trainees also have to study foreign languages (of countries outside of Korea that the agency is targeting), learn soft skills from basic make-up to manners. Many idols have spent all of their youth in the practice studio to train themselves, and lost about 10 years of their life to be able to debut, for example: G-Dragon (11 years), Jihyo (10 years), Johny (9 years), Suho (7 years), Seulgi (7 years).
Being hardworking is not enough, break your own boundaries
Surpassing thousand of contestants around the world to become a trainee is indeed good news. However, let’s not celebrate yet because you still have to surpass hundreds of trainees to be able to debut.
At every agency, there will monthly evaluations, or even weekly ones. Through these evalutation, being able to show your great progress will help you on with your debut chance. Many trainees have been eliminated because they couldn’t keep up with the others’ pace or couldn’t break their own boundaries anymore.
Not just talent and skill, self-discipline and attitude will also decide a trainee’s faith. For example, Heo Chanmi is a trainee who was eliminated from Girls’ Generation at the last minute due to her attitude.
It’s not an easy process for K-Pop agencies to be able to train such normal boys and girls to become worldwide stars. With all the hardships mentioned above, those with dreams of being a K-Pop idol will need a strict self-improvement mind and determination. Are you confident enough to be able to surpass all these harsh challenges?