笑門来福 Chapter 5 (Part 7) …… Being an actor and an artiste
Translation source: Yoon Sang Hyun International Fans Club
Please indicate the source www.ysh-0921.com should you wish to reproduce it elsewhere.
Translated by: Julee
* Pics not from the original article
It does not matter whether it’s lapis lazuli or glass as long as it shines brilliantly.
Being an actor and an artiste, and discovering the meaning of failure turning into success in the entertainment industry.
A Dream Changes
My success in Queen of Housewives brought to me my debut as a singer in Japan. The song ‘Never Ending Story’ which I sang in this drama became a popular topic and led to my debut in Japan.
Although I could not imagine how it would be like to work in Japan, the thought of it did not feel that special. I remember on one occasion as I was having coffee at Starbucks in Shibuya, I was vaguely thinking “What if I become a singer in Japan?”. When it came true after a year, it seemed as if it had been some divine guidance. Since coming to Japan, a frequent question I had been asked was
“Please tell us something interesting you’ve encountered in Japan”. I would be stuck for an answer since there’s not much difference between South Korea and Japan. My work in Japan is mostly in Tokyo, both Tokyo and Seoul being cities are quite similar and there’s also not that much difference between both cultures that would have left me feeling puzzled.
Come to think of it, there was an incident regarding the taking of photographs which is usually done for the artistes going to Japan for the first time. Even with an important photography session scheduled,
I had gone mountain climbing. Now that my face is well known in South Korea, it is not easy for me to
do that in recent years.
Putting aside my fears of meeting the aunty climbers, being surrounded by them and having my trip turning into an autograph session at the summit, I headed to the mountains with a feeling of excitement and tried to enjoy the climb. As I walked around while enjoying the invigorating feeling of fresh air and inhaling deeply the negative ions, I suddenly found some twigs barring my way. Surely I couldn’t let these hinder me and so pushed them aside. ‘Zap!’ they rebounded back at me like a spring. Of all places and with the face being the most important to an actor, it was where I received a bruise!
When I finally turned up at the shooting venue, all the staff rushed up to ask “Your face ……. what happened?!” I could see for myself the extent of the bruising and had also thought “It is very obvious”. Even though I had expected it, I was surprised by their strong reaction. Since I had to do a shoot, the make-up artist made a desperate attempt to hide the bruise with many layers of foundation. I was sorry to have caused much anxiety for everyone.
Recollection on when I first started out in Japan
Though there would usually be a language problem when working in a foreign country and I was worried about my Japanese pronunciation, I had confidence in my singing and had been filled with
a strong sense of excitement.
Moreover I had been singing my debut song ‘The Last Rain’ for many years. My first encounter with
this song was after my discharge from the army, when I started my preparation in earnest to become
a singer. I had attended singing lessons and as there were many Japanese CDs in the practice room,
we were able to listen to many Japanese songs. Among these was Mr Nakanishi Yasushi’s The Last Rain as well as those by Safety Zone, Mr Toshinobu Kubota, Hikaru Utada, Tube, B’z and others. Having now made my debut in Japan fills me with a deep emotion that I am in the same field as those artistes whose songs I have once been listening to.
I have loved music since childhood. At first I would buy a plastic model with the small amount of money I had and when I had more money, I bought an album. After my discharge from the army,
I started to learn the piano and guitar in addition to singing lessons but eventually stopped halfway
as I came to the conclusion that “I’m still more suited for singing”. I had continued with the piano for some time after that and was getting better at it, but stopped after I received offers to act in dramas. The first song I learnt to play on the guitar was ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. But after such a long interval, I have forgotten the chord progression. If I have the opportunity, I would like to learn to
play the guitar again.
The talk might have gone a little off topic, but my childhood dream had come true in this way.
I have had hopes that I could become a singer even as I continued as an actor. But now that dream has changed a little. At that time when I made a breakthrough as an actor and had also started my singing career in Japan, I had considered to make singing my main occupation. But after seeing how things had turned out, my thinking changed.
Although there was a CD recorded in South Korea in which I had sung one of the OST, it was only in Japan that I have a CD released in my name. I have been asked “Would you release a CD in South Korea?” In South Korea, I would not consider singing as a career but would like to concentrate on being an actor. Instead of doing both, it would be good to participate in the drama OST. At that time if I had the opportunity to be cast in a drama in Japan, perhaps I would not have launched my debut CD.
If I could speak Japanese, I believe I would have appeared in dramas instead of being a singer.
I can say that my dream to become a singer had changed with the situation. My previous dream of becoming a great actor is still strong. At present if I were asked whether I would like to be a singer or
an actor and could choose between both … I will choose to be an actor. I feel that acting is more suitable for me. On the difference between a singer and an actor, a singer expresses his emotion within 4 mins while an actor need to have a concrete form of expression to play the role. I am in accord with an actor’s approach to emotional expression. I like to express this emotion.
My earlier ambition was in music and I had aspired to be a singer but I gave it up when I started acting. And yet as a result of my drama activities, I was able to launch the ‘Precious Days’ album in Japan.
This album was recorded in a happy mood, just like when I was singing songs at home when young.
Although the target of my future goal is not as a singer, I would like to try not only ballads but rock, hip hop and the challenge of various things. What is necessary is being able to enjoy music while I carry on with my work. On second thought if I had not been an actor, this album would not have materialized.
My earlier passion in aspiring to become a singer had burned out long ago. If this album had come about at the time when my passion for singing was still strong, I might not have become an actor.
At present I can act as well as sing in the drama. With a good response to the drama, I believe it would later enable me to participate in singing activities in Japan. Making music and being engaged in acting are not separate activities. An actor’s work can include music as well as singing activities in Japan.
I believe my view on this will not change in the future. Whether in acting or singing, I will perform realistically and with sincerity.
End of chapter 5