“Almost debut in China for 5 million won!”
Kim HyunJoong dreamt of becoming a singer even when he stopped high school, but it was full of difficulties until his debut.
He first became a trainee right after he graduated from middle school. He was scouted by the manager while walking along the road, and had strenuous practices everyday as one of the member of a 5-member dance team.
“I was in thrown into confusion because I was immersed in rock and playing base guitar everyday during middle school and suddenly I had to prepare for dances. However, in the thoughts of becoming an entertainer fast, I am able to bear with everything.”
In reality, after he started training, he slowly developed desire for singing, dancing, etc. And in the end, he frequently skipped classes and requested to stop school despite his parents’ opposition.
After he stopped school, his family stopped giving him allowances and he started to suffer hardships. With no money to pay for train rides, he had to escape from being caught taking free rides. He ate at a ddukbokki stall by the road when he was hungry and fled without paying. Kim HyunJoong recalled “I would like to use this opportunity to apologize to Metro (train) and stall owner once again. It was really a tragic then, but I had to endure that time with my pride.”
However, the company he is training with, went through merger and they have to break up. Kim HyunJoong had to pack his luggage and go. His second chance came when he was doing his part-time job. While doing his work at family restaurant T, he was being scouted by one company who is preparing for a Hallyu project group. “I joined them as a trainee but I felt that something was wrong. We trained with all our might and they said that they will give us 5 million won to debut in China. We only know after further inquiry that this company is a bogus company. If we had taken the 5 million won, we would have been helplessly gone over to China to do our activities.”
Kim HyunJoong who condemns himself for being terribly unlucky finally had his third opportunity knocking. He went for an audition through the introduction of a dongsaeng of a noona whom he knew. This dongsaeng is none other than SS501 member, Park JungMin, and the company is DSP Entertainment. After passing the audition, he joined the already selected Park JungMin and Kim HyungJoon, and joined shortly after with Kim KyuJong and Heo YoungSaeng.
The training at DSP was definitely tougher than in any of the other 2 companies. He practically lives in the practicing room for one and a half years with almost no rest days, however he was able to bear with everything on the understanding that he will be able to become a singer this time. With cup noodles and kimbab as substitutes for their meals, it was finally paid off when he debut as SS501 in 2005 with the release of a single.
<To Be Continued>