Previously on Star Life Theater – SNSD Edition Part Three
The girls show off a playful side to themselves as Hyoyeon goes around with a camera recording her own little show. The girls then have to go to work. Sunny and Hyoyeon participate in the recording of “Invincible Youth Season 2.” Despite Hyoyeon not being in the best of condition, they all tried very hard during the recording to provide laughter and enjoyment to the viewers. We also got to see the Girls eating plentifully, disproving a lot of rumours about how the girls only eat one or two meals a day. That definitely wasn’t the case. We then followed Tiffany on her attempts to become a musical actor. We delved into some of her unfortunate past and got to see her work hard towards perusing her dreams. Lastly we moved over to the recording of KBS2 “Go! Dream Team Season 2” and watched the girls as they actively participated in an extremely physical recording despite their exhaustion.
The Girls and the Fans
It’s another day and the girls once again prepare to perform in front of their fans. We are once again at the KBS Studios and the girls are waiting behind the scenes waiting for their turn. They may do a whole bunch of other activities but standing on stage is definitely one of their favourites. Today they are performing “Mr Taxi,” a song that was originally in their first Japanese album, now translated into Korean and being used as one of the other songs they are performing during their domestic activities for their current album.
So what motivates them to keep working? Sunny explains that “I need to continue to do this line of work and pursue it till the very end. I have also started to realise that I need to take responsibility and give back as much as I can for the amount of love I’ve received and continue to receive.”
It’s late at night and the fans are once again demonstrating their love for the girls. So what is it today that is causing all these fans to gather here? It’s a fan sign event to celebrate the release of their 3rd album.
As you can see, the fans have turned out in droves and it’s already a packed house. The large crowds are causing a few issues with the staff and bodyguards in full alert to ensure the safety of everyone there.
The Girls have finally appeared and the fans are extremely excited. Everyone is busy trying to get photos and glimpses of the girls as they pass by. Unfortunately the vast majority will be unable to get signatures from the Girls as they did not get chosen in the event. So why are they waiting here? Well that’s simple to answer, as one fan mentioned it’s just to get a look at them.
Inside the store, the Girls are joyfully waiting for the fan sign event to start. It’s their chance to meet up close and personal with the fans that have provided them with so much love and support.
Amongst the fans, we can see a lot of “Uncle Fans,” a term used to describe the dedicated group of older fans, some in their late 30’s and older, that support the girls as pure-hearted fans. It looks a large group of uncle fans have gathered here as well, most likely coming straight here after a busy day at work.
One of these fans looks familiar. We didn’t mention him in our previous recaps but he would be familiar for people that have watched the actual show.
He was shown in a previous episode waiting in line to watch the Girls during a live broadcast of “Music Bank.” He had taken time off work to come see the girls and explained that SNSD was the way he relieved the stresses of his real-life work.
So we meet him once again at the SNSD sign event and he has come here straight after work. He once again explains that he is not embarrassed about this because it’s a healthy hobby and is a way for even older people to relieve their stresses.
The sign event has begun and the girls are busily signing for their fans. But that’s not the only thing they are doing, there is some subtle banter going to and fro between the Girls and the fans.
Stuff like asking them if they are alright, worrying about Jessica because she was coughing a lot, noting that Tiffany would be very busy because of her musical activities, how they should keep working hard till they become famous across the solar system and providing girls with general words of encouragement and support. The girls return the favour by politely answering back to all their fans and constantly thanking them for their concerns and their support.
We then meet the guy from above and it looks like YoonA recognises him, thanking him and noting that he comes to these events all the time. It’s nice to see the girls recognise one of their fans despite the fact that they would obviously see a large quantity of fans on a day-to-day basis.
Regarding these uncle fans, YoonA notes that “I think there are a lot of people that constantly come to these events. We also find that really amazing and we are thankful of them. You would need a bit of courage to come to these events. We are thankful for them coming amongst the group of other fans that are around our age.”
Uncle fans aren’t the only group of unique fans here; there is also a large quantity of international fans that have made the long trip to Korea to see the girls.
Tiffany mentions that “A lot of international fans have come today. But our Korean fans mentioned something along these lines, because the level of competition has become really high lately. That’s because our international fans have personally come to Korea.”
The fans have also not come empty handed, with fans providing various gifts to the girls, ranging from handwritten letters to books about marriage, love and anything else that might interest a girl in her 20s.
Hyoyeon mentions that the present that she gets the most are (Wasn’t actually said but context wise it seems to be the question asked by the staff) “Books, so that I can read a lot of books. Why is that? I’ll take that as a good thing and read a lot of books. They give me a lot of book presents so that I can become smart. People in their teens and 20s give us things to eat or stuff that I like, I am thankful.”
This area of work may sometimes be hard and arduous but when you have such a large group of fans willing to love and support you, it’s hard not to stay positive and happy. That is why the Girls seem to enjoy such events. If you think about it, it’s not something that any ordinary person can experience in their lifetime.
Tiffany definitely seems to think so, “Compared to other schedules, schedules involving fan meetings are the happiest moments. I may be falling asleep but I brighten up when it’s time to do a fan sign event. That’s because if those people gain energy by watching us then we also gain energy when we see them. It really makes you happy and you can sense their sincerity. So even if I am tired I get the spirit and think ‘I’m going to endure it for a bit longer, I’m going to work for a bit longer.’”
A Girl gets some exercise.
It’s still the same day but now it’s just past 10PM. Despite the lateness we see Yuri heading somewhere. She greets the camera with her usual enthusiasm and heads inside. She has just finished a schedule and has come to the gym to exercise.
Despite their hectic schedules, she tries to exercise at least 3 times a week to maintain her stamina. It’s something she has been doing constantly since even before her debut.
Her trainer jokingly notes that during her peak, she used to exercise using two platforms instead of one, causing Yuri to acknowledge that she was past her peak in terms of health because she ate so well lately.
Joking aside, she continues to exercise with all her might. If she didn’t train hard then she would lose her stamina and it’s something that would be hard to get back quickly.
Her trainer states that “There are few members that are the best (at exercising). She’s one of those best members. She is extremely easy to teach and exercise as long as you just lead her along. It’s because she works so hard and she’s naturally born athletic.”
Some might think this is all just to maintain their body lines but this would just be a one-dimensional view of it. It’s also imperative that they exercise to maintain their stamina as Yuri notes that “During the Japanese ‘MTV Music Awards,’ we sang six or seven songs consecutively. It was an extremely hot day with a really high humidity level. Because it was so hot, it was difficult to even breathe. But since I built up my stamina through exercise so it wasn’t tiring at all and I didn’t even get exhausted. Since I have the stamina to enjoy situations such as that, I was able to more comfortably express myself.”
If they don’t exercise like this and maintain their stamina, then it would be difficult for them to give their best on stage. So in essence, exercising is just another activity they need to carry out as part of their activities and Yuri continues to exercise for a very long time.
The Girls are commercial stars
It’s the next day and some of the girls have gathered at an inconspicuous building.
The girls seem to be doing something in extremely slow motion. We then hear the word “Cut” from the director and the girls are back to normal speed. It appears that we have followed them to a recording for an advertisement.
They look over what they’ve done with a keen eye. The director is quick to praise saying that “Since all your actions and expressions are alive.” And then they are back to recording again.
They are recording the same scene once again. This will have to be repeated several times to get the final 30 sec advertisement. But it appears that the girls are doing extremely well, with the staff letting out a hearty laughter and the director constantly saying that it is really good.
They ask Taeyeon what she thinks about advertisement recording, “When I’m recording an advertisement, I just do it so it suits the advertisement. But I think it is harder than singing. Since the concepts and content are always different.”
It looks like YoonA is here as well and it looks like she is preparing for something, she has seated herself in some sort of equipment. We quickly find out what this equipment is for, they are using it to get shots of YoonA flying towards the other members to try and stop them eating.
YoonA mentions that “It’s also the first time I’ve done this sort of (lift) recording but it is fun. In a drama you stay in character for a really long time and it has to connect together scene by scene. So one advertisement is like one scene in a drama.
Recording continues and YoonA continues her lift recording. The mood in the recording set is full of laughter.
A Girl evolves as an actress
It’s interesting to note that YoonA also has a relatively long and distinguished career as an actress as well. She had debuted in the drama “9 Ends, 2 Outs” four years ago. She was praised for her good acting and was picked to be one of the next big stars in the drama business.
She continued her drama work, playing the role of Jang Sae Byuk in the drama “You’re My Destiny.” She cemented her image as a great actor with some extremely impressive tear-inducing scenes throughout the drama. It was the drama that resulted in her receiving the Best New Actress award at the Baeksang Arts Awards in 2009.
Director of “9 Ends, 2 Outs” Han Chul Soo states that “When I was producing the drama ‘9 Ends, 2 Outs,’ she came to do an audition. From what I know she was in the first year of Senior High School but it was hard to believe that this was her first time. She was extremely daring and she was also quick to react to various situations. She was never flustered on set (during the drama recording) and she rarely made any NGs (No-Goods).
In “9 Ends, 2 Outs” she played the opposing role of Soo Ae, the spiteful character of Shin Joo Young. Her ability to fluently express her character and work well with her other actors ensured that viewers were to get immersed in the drama.
YoonA has this to say about acting, “I do have a bigger attraction towards acting than other stuff; I also want to be a good actress and I also want to be good on stage. Later when I get older then I think I might walk more towards the path of an actress. I want to be a good actress because I have those kinds of thoughts about it.”
A Girl is a fashion model.
We once again shift locations and another member is busy pursuing her own line of work. We are here to meet Jessica at a photo shoot for a fashion magazine. She previously made her debut as runway model last March.
As to why she does this, Jessica says “It’s because it’s fun. I think fashion needs to be fun.”
She enters the shoot and starts to freely express herself. She long had an interest in fashion since she was young.
Stylist Kim Woori states “She has a significant amount of confidence in determining how she wants to express herself. Her opinions have a large amount of influence every time she does a photo shoot.”
She looks over the photos from the photo shoot with a sharp eye that could be mistaken for one of the staff members. In this moment she is extremely serious and sincere.
These kinds of image changes are essentials in ensuring that you have a long life within the celebrity world. Sticking to one character and image is not something that will help her in the long run and transformations like this are what constantly makes her seem fresh.
In terms of future aspirations, Jessica notes that “I really want to try and study in fashion, whether it is shoe design, bag design or even clothes design is good. So in the future I hope there will be a day when I can release a shoe designed by Jessica or a bag designed by Jessica.”
You can tell that the girls all have different hopes and wishes for their futures, with fields ranging from acting to fashion. They continue to develop their skills and aim for the future by pursuing a line of work that best suits their wishes and dreams.
The Girls conquer China
As we’ve already established previously, SNSD is no longer just a simple girl group. They are now a global phenomenon with influences in various places.
Investment analyst Lee Sun Yub states that “It is a very amazing situation. First of all the large amount of influence that SNSD and other singers have across the world cannot be ignored. It’s also a source of pride knowing that related industries from South Korea are competitive across the world.”
Now we head back to the girls and they are due to arrive at Beijing International Airport. The girls have yet to arrive but the Fans are already out in force, screaming their names out.
They are waiting in line with a wide range of banners to try and get the attention of the girls as they briefly pass by.
And the Chinese fans are also preparing a special way of greeting the girls. They are going to be erecting a human wall. As for why they are doing this, the leader of the Chinese Fan Club states that it so that they can create a safe passage for the girls, so that the girls don’t get hurt.
The girls have finally arrived and the fans are going wild, you can see in the background that the human wall seems to be working quite well in creating a safe passage for the girls.
The fans continue to follow them all the way from the airport to their buses. Everyone trying to get a brief glimpse of their favourite idol.
And so the girls head off to the studio where the Korean and Chinese Song Festival will be held.
The other singers from Korea and China have begun their rehearsals.
And in the stands is the Girls, watching all the other singers rehearse while waiting for their turn. Everyone looks to be in good mood.
Seohyun warmly greets the camera and Hyoyeon asks “So you’ve followed us all the way here? Where is this place?” Seohyun answers “It was hard getting here right? This place is Beijing in China.”
Their banter continues with Hyoyeon noting that “I can use the Chinese language skills that I learned while I was a trainee. We have come to Beijing today.” Seohyun unfortunately looks like she could do with a bit more practice answering back “Good, ah no that’s right.”
With their conversation over, they head up to the stage and perform an audio check before their rehearsals. They carefully check their in-ear monitors and other aspects of the audio system by saying a brief introduction.
With that out of the way, the girls begin their rehearsals while continuing to check their audio equipment. They adjust a wide variety of aspects including the volume of their in-ear monitors to the volume of their voice coming out of the stage speakers. These kinds of checks are essentials as the girls tend to always sing live during their performances.
YoonA notes that “Even though it’s a country where we (SNSD) don’t actively work in, a lot of fans have shown up (at the airport) and provided us with a lot of love and attention. I want to meet a lot of them so I can repay them. I’m really thankful because it seems like they are watching over us and loving us.”
The concert has now begun and it starts off with a series of elaborate opening performances that are reflective of both Korean and China. Featuring a wide variety of singers from Korea and China, the concert provided a lot of sights to see for both Korean and Chinese audiences.
Meanwhile behind the stage, the girls are making their final preparations before heading up stage, making sure to check everything again and again.
And now the Girls finally step on stage to the cheers of their loving fans. They start off with “Hoot.”
During the intermission, Taeyeon addresses the fans “The Korean and Chinese Song Festival, since SNSD got the opportunity to get up on stage in China, we have personally come here to meet everyone.”
They continue their performance, this time with “The Boys.”
Their Journey Continues.
Like the lyrics in their song “The Boys” the whole world is now paying attention to them. The girls have gone through many years of trials and tribulations to get to this point, where they are now setting new records and going down previously uncharted paths.
So what are their dreams for the future?
Taeyeon, “It would be good if we continue to be SNSD but that may be an obvious thing. It would be good if the SNSD that people remember is the memories of SNSD when we are at our peak. So when we come of age, it would be nice if we were in such a position where we could also look back and think “Oh yeah, SNSD was like that.”
We have seen them since their debut with “Into the New World,” and we as fans have watched them continue to evolve over the last four years. We continue to support them for their ability to continually evolve and pave new paths through previously not ventured. And fans will continue to support them as long as they continue down this path of continual self-development.
So what would they be like in 10 years’ time?
Hyoyeon, “I think I will have around 4 kids.” Seohyun, “Already?”
Jessica, “When we also get old, we said we should go shopping with our daughters once we get children.”
Yuri, “I think I will still be singing and dancing in front of a lot of people. Also I believe that I will be happy as I also express myself through an acting career.”
Tiffany, “Everyone tells us that you wouldn’t be able to work as SNSD when we are 26 – 28 years old but that’s not the case, we can do it. As long as we are in a group and we are ready then we can do it. So I want to continue to forever be SNSD.”
Thank you for reading through our four-part recap of Star Life Theater SNSD Edition.