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How S.M. Entertainment discovers talent

By Kim Arin

  • Published : Nov 15, 2018 - 12:04
  • Updated : Nov 15, 2018 - 13:13

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(S.M. Entertainment)
Do you ever wonder how stars get discovered by labels?

Stars at S.M. Entertainment, one of the biggest talent agencies in South Korea, shared anecdotes behind the casting process during their joint appearance on KBS talk show “Happy Together” on Nov. 8.

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(S.M. Entertainment)
BoA:
“I competed at a lot of dance contests back in elementary school, and that’s where I’d gotten a ton of business cards from record labels and talent agencies. S.M. Entertainment was the first to give me a call for an audition. I was worried it might be a scam, but Mr. Lee Soo-man (CEO of S.M. Entertainment) was there.”

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(S.M. Entertainment)
EXO’s Sehun:
“I was having snacks in front of my elementary school and somebody approached me and asked for my mom’s number. I told him I couldn’t because my mom told me not to tell stranger things. But he persuaded me somehow and called my mom, and we later found out that it was S.M. Entertainment.”

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(S.M. Entertainment)
EXO’s Baekhyun:
“I was about to take an entrance exam at a college when the casting manager accosted me out of nowhere. I got suspicious and asked him where he was from. He didn’t tell me but he was persistent so I ended up giving up my number.”

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(S.M. Entertainment)
NCT’s Taeyong:
“I got cast on the street. The casting managers told me that the agency was one of the ‘Big Three,’ and I didn’t know what that was. I thought it was either KBS, MBC or SBS (television networks). I thought the managers must be nice people because they gave me lots of good food.”

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(S.M. Entertainment)
SHINee’s Key:
“You guys are lucky you could afford to get suspicious. I knocked on the company’s door myself and begged them to let me in.”

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)