In my own words, K-pop is an experience to say the least. It’s colourful, fun and rarely ever taken too seriously with rambunctious outfits and choreography. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside as each performance feels unique. In the moment, it ensures that fans make great memories while listening, dancing and feeling their music. I was lucky enough to attend BLACKPINK’s concert in Sydney and found the difference between western and eastern concerts extremely interesting. With K-pop, it is all about the connection between the group/artist and the people in the crowd, in an environment which cannot be replicated.
K-pop has been an increasingly popular medium among western fans for the past few years with superstar groups such as BLACKPINK even playing at Coachella. BTS, BLACKPINK and Red Velvet also came home with Teen Choice Awards this year, winning their respective categories and demanding respect from their international audiences (you hear that 20 to 1?).
BTS and Blackpink have achieved world tour status and needless to say, seeing them live was one of the best experiences. It was the most wholesome concert full of butt-shakingly good music that I’ve ever been to. However, the common people (like myself), always wonder “what did these young girls have to sacrifice to be on top of the K-pop pyramid?” The answer? Their childhood, fun, freedom and basically, their lives for their group and company.
A K-pop idol’s work is never done, from their debut to their final performance. Even before their eventual debut, they work extremely hard to ensure that they have the best possible chance of success. Their regime is strict and ensures that they are in peak performance with time allotted throughout their days with no breaks apart from sleeping. Although, they won’t only be competing with themselves but also others in their company to ensure they aren’t cut. If you don’t improve in your dancing, vocals, pronunciation and studies, you will be cut – no second chances.
It is an intense environment filled with blood, sweat and tears (BTS get it hehe), so I’m going to try and live as a K-pop idol for a week to see if I can handle the heat and play with fire like the girls from BLACKPINK.
To try and train like an idol, I had to research their schedules from the time of debut and work of their regime from there. Needless to say, I underestimated the mammoth task of this challenge. Below is the schedule for a K-pop idol during their trainee stages:
6:30–7am: Wake up
8:30–10pm: Evaluations + Extra Training
1-3am: Extra allotted time (work on fault points, working out, working on schoolwork)
3–3:30am: Usual sleep time
Because this schedule is a little bit insane and I don’t feel like killing myself while trying to live my normal life, I’ve decided to adapt it to my own schedule (and make it a little easier – well a lot easier).
6:30am: Wake Up
12:30pm: Language Basics
7:30pm: Working on anything that wasn’t up to scratch.
The method behind this madness is as follows:
- In the mornings I usually get up and go to the gym, I’m just swapping around training in the night for the morning.
- I’ll have to stuff my face at 6:30am and have no food until 12pm, but I’ll live.
- I’m excited to get into my study and work because I’m a wonderful procrastinator as my parents will tell you. The dishes haven’t been done since Wednesday.
- The real challenge here is going to be dancing and singing because 1. I’m tone deaf and 2. I have two left feet. I guess I’ll be cracking out the PlayStation 2 and chucking on Singstar. The only problem may be is that I only have the ABBA edition… Mama Mia…
During this challenge I will also be attempting a solid diet with an extreme calorie deficit, I don’t recommend this to anyone as carbs are friends and food. Instead of my usual 1650 calorie intake, I’ll be attempting to stay under 1000 calories for the week.
I’ll be splitting my results of this challenge as dieting, singing, dancing, Korean and work/studying along with an overall evaluation at the end.
This was not only hard, but painful. I’m usually quite good with my foods and never tend to snack, get hungry or break my healthy food streak. However, as I was eating less and doing more rigorous activities throughout the day, I found myself having serious cravings around 3pm-4pm. I may have cheated a little bit and neglected to count the 2 or 3 oreos that may have magically slipped into my mouth. Hey, if my eyes were closed the calories don’t count, right?
I would say that I definitely improved my Singstar and Rockband capabilities. That is all.
At the club I have my go-to slut drop, so I thought it was going to be easy for me learn dance choreography. I tried learning BLACKPINK’s ‘As If It’s Your Last’ which proved to be EXTREMELY difficult – it has taken me the whole week to learn the chorus and first verse of the song and I still mess up a lot with my timing. A few days in, I went to my local arcade to play Dance Dance Revolution instead of ‘training’ and actually had a lot of fun. I felt like I’d butchered myself and the eyes of the onlookers seeing my terrible dancing. I’m so sorry everyone.
Apart from the renowned koreaboo phrases of only knowing how to say hello (annyeong) and grabbing a quick bite from kbbq (my precious beef bulgogi yum), I found it really difficult to try and get many phrases or words to stick in my head. The pronunciation is quite different, and I found the inflections in how to pronounce certain words to be difficult as well.
Okay. Usually I’m a mad procrastinator when it comes to my work load and how I study, however, by setting a strict time for when I would study and finish, it actually made me sit down to do my work. I would get up and grab water and a bite to eat of course (only celery because 0 calories = a happy idol) but felt totally focused at the start of the day.
In conclusion, I don’t recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have the dream to be a K-pop idol, so it seems like I’ll have to get used to this way of living so I can make my debut, get famous and tour around the world with my terrible Korean. Annyeong!
Featured image source: E! News