This second instalment in Sports Seoul’s 5-part editorial series on Cube Entertainment focuses on rookie casting director, Shin Min Jung. In order for an entertainment agency’s training system to truly shine, it needs people like her to spot gems from the crowd.
Director Shin revealed, “Every week, we receive about 500 audition tapes online. Only about 100 to 200 of those pass the first round, and then they can participate in an offline audition, which is only held twice a month.”
She continued, “We don’t look at what they have, but at their potential to improve and advance. When we look at auditions, we look at their character, will, and skills. People with the potential to improve have nowhere but to go up when we take them in and foster their skills.”
When asked how many trainees Cube Entertainment hosts, she revealed, “We currently have a total of 23 trainees. Three are from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In order to keep up with their school studies, foreign trainees will use their break to come to Korea and train. We also have four trainees who are living with a lifestyle management counselor in a separate dorm.”
Once you pass your audition, you enter the agency as a trainee. After you’ve gained enough skills and are deemed to be talented enough for a debut, you’re put in a project team to train with to prepare for your debut. Although we’re familiar with the term ‘trainee’, there are actually three levels behind the term: ‘preparation trainee’,'trainee’, and ‘project trainee’.
The trainees are given lessons in vocals, choreography, acting, and foreign languages. Once you enter the Cube office, you can see a board that lists the results of monthly evaluations and opinions from trainers. Colored star stickers by names indicate that they have improved, while black stickers indicate that they need to step it up.
Director Shin explained, “Trainees who receive a star sticker earn more opportunities to hit the stage and actually debut. We give trainees black stickers in an effort to get them to step it up and really work to improve. In short, it prevents slacking.”
One of the most remarkable things about the training system under Cube is their character training courses. The trainers take their roles seriously and consider themselves as guardians of their trainees. Thus, in order to help them grow as respectable members of society, they’re always pushing for clear communication to connect on a personal level.
Director Shin stated, “Because the majority of our trainees are still in their teens, they’re partnered with an exclusive ‘homeroom trainer’ if you will. Trainees hand in their cell phones and diaries the minute they enter the building. Their diaries are used to record their feelings and other problems or concerns that they feel with their training. Our trainers are also responsible for checking their health and school grades. Should they receive a low test score at school, the trainer will sit with them and come up with a goal to bring up their grade.”
Not only are the trainees put through dancing and singing lessons, but they’re also given sex education, volunteer work, and depression tests as well. ”Once a month, trainees participate in volunteer work. Once every two weeks, they’ll go around the neighborhood and collect trash. It’s not only talent that we’re fostering; we’re creating an artist that has both talent and proper character.”
credits : allkpop