“2015 remains a year where I’m extremely satisfied with. I don’t know how everyone sees it but personally, I studied and took vocal lessons which I’ve been wanting to do and more than anything, it’s because I was given an opportunity that allow myself to do the best. Regardless of what the results are, I had fun.”
The maknae of idol group BEAST, Son Dongwoon, once again stand on the musical stage. It is his first musical since his last ‘Catch Me If You Can’ which was 3 years ago. Son Dongwoon who returns to the musical stage, is even more sincere for this production. He has increased time on stage, and is currently showing a mature self while interacting with colleagues in the waiting room.
Despite BEAST’s overseas schedules, Dongwoon did not neglect his musical performance ‘The Great Gatsby’ at all. Son Dongwoon show smiles within the tiring schedules, telling his determination to fare better in the musical.
“It seems like I put all efforts into musical practice from early September until November. Even right before the musical is about to start, I had no idea that there were this many Japanese schedules. Fortunately, there were no disruptions during the practice period, so I did both performances and schedules at the same time. Initially, I started without knowing (about the Japanese schedules). Perhaps, because of not knowing, which had allowed me to attempt this musical (laughs).”
Son Dongwoon’s appearance on ‘The Great Gatsby’ was surprising. Unlike ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a musical for small theaters. As a result, it didn’t have many idol singers in its lineup, unlike ‘Catch Me If You Can’. In fact, Son Dongwoon is the only idol currently active in the musical. Son Dongwoon who seemingly did not fit with ‘The Great Gatsby’ in many ways was vested with trust by the musical’s director Byun JungJu.
“When the musical proposal came to me, I met director-nim. He has the charisma to attract people. I was persuaded by his charisma, eventually, I’ve become a part of ‘The Great Gatsby'”.
‘The Great Gatsby’ is not an easy production. It requires singing numerous high notes and acting powerful scenes continuously . If there isn’t a strong foundation of skills, there is a high possibility that it would ruin the character of the musical. As compared to musical actors Kang KiDong or Jung Donghwa who plays the same role, although Son Dongwoon is still inexperienced, he is attracting the audience with his way of portraying ‘Gatsby’. Because of his good looks, when 페르수 asked for a breakup, Gatsby Son Dongwoon’s “I am ugly, is it?” can’t be easily changed nor understood. Just that he’s a handsome yet simple Gatsby, has turned to become his charms.
“Since I am a singer, I thought that I could act while singing, which makes it even better and more comfortable for me. But it wasn’t that way after I have started it. (Musicals) Are not done just by good singing skills, it needs emotions and expressions. As a result, it was really difficult. In order to sing songs like reading its lines, I did much effort in hopes to deliver the right emotions.”
All these while, Son Dongwoon is far from acting. As mentioned earlier, his acting experience was up to ‘Catch Me If You Can’ before ‘The Great Gatsby’ came. He had no other experience in drama or movies, not even webdramas which are popular among idols nowadays. Although it’s a ‘Song Through’ musical, the emotions of a character in ‘The Great Gatsby’ varies greatly. It is a production that requires not just good singing skills, but pronunciation and acting skills as well. For Son Dongwoon who had almost zero acting experience. ‘The Great Gatsby’ was nonetheless a difficult production for him.
“The mood changes are quick, and those parts are really difficult. There are exhausting times right after acting those scenes. Since these are scenes that links to another scene, instead of going back stage after one scene, there are many times where there is another scene and another situation on the same stage. These connecting scenes aren’t easy at all. There are times where it felt so difficult because I wasn’t able to deliver the contents of the script.”
Son Dongwoon shows his genuine side for this production. Standing on the musical stage after 3 years, Son Dongwoon is comparatively more positive and had gained stronger skills. He received recognition for his strong singing skills on ‘Mask King’, which once again gave him the help he needed for this musical.
“Previously, I would only want to show myself more frequently from time to time. But this time round, I put in my best efforts to concentrate. Since it is a production with many good singers, comparatively, I am fully aware that I am very much lacking with other actors in terms of voice volume and acting. Because of this, I learn something through the production everyday, to see if I’ve improved even a little for every step I’ve taken. In reality, I am the youngest among all the actors, so Hyungs and Noonas helped me in a kind manner, thus, I could enjoy the production.”
He is a young adult below the average age of the cast in ‘The Great Gatsby’. While Gatsby is a young man who had many downturns in life. As the maknae of a popular idol group, it is hard to find similarities between Son Dongwoon and the character he’s playing, but among experienced actors, he is named as having the charms of a ‘kind Gatsby’.
“To be honest, I am nothing similar to Gatsby. I have a ‘follower’ personality, which is unlike Gatsby, neither do I had experience in emotion acting that changes very fast. I had times like this when I was younger as a trainee, but thankfully, I lived through that and received many loves from people too. I did not think much about it after I have started working. I did not have a passionate love experience like Gatsby too. As there were little relevance with my character and ‘Gatsby’, it is definitely hard to be close to the role. Even so, as I am given the chance to act this role, it became even more interesting and amazing. The Gatsby I see, is a kind person. He’s kind yet selfish at times too. I don’t know if I showed that in my acting, but I practiced acting with that as a starting point.”
Like how Son Dongwoon himself points it out, Gatsby and Son Dongwoon are different not just from the visual perspective. He had nothing in common with Gatsby in terms of personality. For Son Dongwoon who has been blessed with love all these while, it will be difficult for him to wear the shoes of Gatsby for the very first time.
Among BEAST members, Son Dongwoon is not the only member who had musical attempts. Member Yang Yoseob was in prominent productions like ‘Joseph Amazing’ ,’Robin Hood’, ‘Cinderella’, collecting an increasingly wide filmography of his own as he gains recognition. In fact, Son Dongwoon and Yang Yoseob, both are having their musicals at the same period with ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘Cinderella’.
“We didn’t share much of talks of support with each other. Rather than that, we share stories of each other’s working environment and directors as well as the story plot of the musicals. Just by that, we could gain strength.”
25 years old Son Dongwoon spent his 2015 to his fullest. Although there is nothing spectacular in regards to the results of his musicals, he felt satisfied with the efforts he had made.
“Not just 2016, if I have a long-term wish for the future, I hope to be a recognized singer, and to be a recognized actor through good productions. Musical attempts in the future? If (directors) look for me, I’ll be happy to be a part of it. If I have a good opportunity, I have the greed to stand on stage with a high quality production.”
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