CONFESSIONS OF AN EX-SM TRAINEE

I cannot confirm if this is true, but it was an interesting read.

Fiction or true, this was a cool glimpse into the trainee world - and shows how no matter who the idol is, they have to work their butts off to debut...and sometimes even that is not enough.

Kpop Secrets.

This is NOT me:

So, yes I was an SM Trainee.

never got to debut.

I studied Korean in my high school and got to the third year in the language and my school had found some sort of program which would allow for students to kind of study abroad, but it was more of a Summer kind of thing so it wasn’t really.. idk, kind of hard to explain but that’s not the point~ So a bunch of students including me went into this program and we actually got in. Since the program was based off of a more CLASS type of thang, the two Korean teachers at my high school came along with us to South Korea. This all happened in the summer of 2007.

actually A LOT of free time

audition for SM

So I got all EXCITED~~~

It was a weekly audition, before I actually went down to audition, we had to call in and schedule and fill out applications and whatnot. It wasn’t until like mid-July when I actually got confirmed for an audition. I went down to the little audition building (it wasn’t the actual SM building, it was like a miniature SM building, they have more than one SM building, this wasnt the main one though) and there wasn’t as many people as I had expected, maybe about 30 of us, probably not even. It was like a normal high school class size. We all waited patiently to go in to audition and while in line everyone stayed quiet, I was expecting people to be rehearsing and whatnot but no one was doing that. It was extremely awkward and quiet.

As soon as they called my name everyone turned and looked at me

I went and auditioned, sung my heart out cause singing is my specialty. The judges smiled and nodded and they asked me in English “How long have you been singing?”, “Were you born in Japan?” and that’s really all I could really remember.. After I answered, I left the room.

and continued on with life.

they finally pulled out the contract

I signed it with no hesitation.

(biggest mistake).

Now this gets more interesting.

I began to do intense training. At SM there are different levels for every category, the categories are Singing, Dancing, Acting, Rapping, Language (English, Japanese, Chinese (Korean for foreigners)) and instruments.

There are levels 1 through 6. Lvl 1 being NOVICE and Lvl 6 being EXPERT. For me, when I first entered, my stats were Singing: 3, Dancing: 2, Acting: 1, Rapping: 1, Language: Korean-1, Japanese-3, English-6, Instrumental: Saxophone-3.

SM encouraged us to focus only on our mains but never to forget about the other ones, so I only stuck to singing, dancing and language, brushing the others to the side.

There wasn’t a day when I didn’t train.

Intense vocal training in the morning till about lunch, then Dance practice from then on until about Dinner, then after that you do whatever you want. I mostly just focused on my singing and dancing. There were probably a total of like.. 40 trainees.. But I could be wrong.. All varying from like ages 8 to 25 …

Trainee life really is harsh, but very rewarding.

Basically you have all the freedom in the world

Actually I wasn’t bullied for not being Korean, there are a lot of scenarios where you are and whatever, but it really depends on how you portray BULLYING. I mean, duh, I was looked at as a waste or energy or whatever because it is KOREAN pop, but that wasnt BULLYING. It all came down to how determined I was, that’s what determines my drive for being something in the KPOP world.

We are encouraged to not become close with anyone

You would expect some trainees to have entered SM just to get close with idols, but nahhh, that was BARELY the case. At first, I was very excited to meet BoA, Super Junior, etc. but once we were in the company, they were just like everyone else, they weren’t seen as stars anymore..

scripted and ‘fake’

At the end of the day it all depends on your drive, determination and character.

SM has like four buildings I think..?? One is for the trainees, one is for the artists and the others is just for staffs, representatives, etc. for business purposes. I was ALWAYS at the trainee building, duh. I was only at one of the business buildings for financial issues such as our weekly allowances ($25 a week). Trainees only ever went to the Artist building when we had showcases, which were monthly and it was an evaluation of how much trainees improved and whatnot. Many trainees were sent home because of showcases. I, surprisingly made it far .. not to be conceited..

NOW on to your favorite, the idols..

Like I said, they aren’t all that after entering the company.. They’re just as human as everyone else. They didn’t come around the Trainee building much, but they were always at the Artist building.

MOST DOWN TO EARTH

the only ones that ever greeted us were Sunny, Tiffany, Taeyeon and Yoona

I say Luna is the most down to earth

She speaks up for a lot of trainees

SERIOUS

Now, onto EXO..

Since I trained for 5 years, you’d expect me to have been a line-up member, right? Well no.. sadly. I mean one of the managers brought it up to me and told me to work extremely hard, this was in 2010, when the ‘New Boy Group’ rumor was spreading throughout trainees. We all began to work EXTRA hard, but I wasn’t even chosen to be a POTENTIAL member..

Suho is VERY hardworking and he is very popular amongst trainees

you are all wrong

Like I said, I didn’t know these guys personally, but who wouldn’t know who the popular guys were? The EXO members come around just a little and when they do, they aren’t as lively. Chanyeol is way different off-screen. He knows that he’s cute, so he’s a bit cocky and not too much a great guy. Kai is short-tempered, that’s just what I heard, so the EXO members don’t talk to him off-screen, the only one who does is Chen, but Chen talks to all the members.

Chanbaek was created through staffs

After EXO debuted, the question of me still being in SM while I was 21 came to be questioned..

SM was probably not going to be ever debuting another boy group any time soon and I was right. My manager talked to me and said that reps discussed that the New Girl Group (GE7) would debut in 2014 and another boy group would have to settle for 2016, I’d already be like 26 .. I evaluated all my goals and I realized that what I had been doing all this time was just a waste of my time.. I was looked upon as just an extra and I didn’t even have a chance.

The KPOP world is definitely HARD and it you’re not a stand out, then don’t try.

all you can do is learn from things like this.

Oh and also, I got a call from a rep from CCM and they want me in as a trainee and I just shook my head like NO and declined.. Really..? Uhh.. no, after all the controversy..

This is all I have to say.. Sorry for it being so long.. I hope this helped OR just was enjoyable.. Thanks for reading :))

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