To note: This is an old article from September 2014
[I am Manager] Cube Entertainment’s executive head for acting department, Jung ChulHan’s management.
(Companies) Are always meticulous when idol singers challenge to act in the acting field. Although efforts of hard work and luck may usually earn them recognition from the public, there will always be a negative opinion cast upon them. Having to co-exist with actor-aspired trainees and top actors, rather than skills, there are many who would view idols’ as using their star power and fandom to strengthen themselves (in the acting field).
The acting department of Cube Entertainment (who raised idol groups 4minute, BEAST, BTOB and many idols have) have recently face considerable amount of trouble (in light of such perceptions). Jang ChulHan, who used to be the manager of Woo HeeJin, Cho YeoJung, Park SiHoo, Cho DalHwan, Nam Gyuri, Ryu HyunKyung, Lee ChoHee, Ryu SeungRyung, is now the Executive Head of Cube Entertainment and plays the role to drive new business opportunities in the acting field. It has been a year now since moving to Cube. [T/N: This is an old article dated September 2014]
“It’s a risk, for sure. There is a strong prejudice towards idols acting. But I think this is a responsibility of a manager to break that. When I first came here, I was curious about taking charge of training idols in terms of acting. Unlike what I have thought, I realized that I had a very wrong perception. From what I have experienced in managing rookie actors, I realized that idols are much more diligent. They want to learn more, they want to consult (about their acting) even more (than rookie trainees). I am very sure that the public will be touched to see their hidden hard work. Look at Im Siwan-ssi who is under the spotlight recently. These were not from normal hard work. These were efforts like they’re fighting for their lives.”
“In order to break the negativity, (idols) should have the right attitude about acting”
Jang ChulHan Executive Head quoted President Hong SeungSong’s (President of Cube Entertainment) words, “I want to create a team that can maintain a sustainable competitive advantage,” he aspired. Competitors like SM, JYP and YG are everywhere to create an acting department. Looking at this situation, Executive Head Jang expressed, “Although skills are necessary, it is important that idols’ carries the right values towards acting.”
“I would like to advise the general idol groups who are promoting actively too. Although securing a role and doing well in it is important, it is important as well to have a good attitude since the general public are always looking at you with prejudice. To break all these negative light, recently we started acting classes since trainee times. On average, they would prepare for about 3 years, and we will see after that.
I believe that movies will soon ride the Hallyu wave. Who would think of KPOP becoming a strong influence in South America and in Europe? Japan and Europe that have been actively inviting Korean movies have at least one idol star the main public is familiar with. I see it as a potential advantageous aspect. However, recognized acting skills is required. It’s hard to venture into the field just through popularity. The audience and viewers are now the second critique other than professional critiques. To satisfy their expectation, we need to have trainings in place.”
Executive Head Jang Chul Han emphasized that in order to raise such stars, the secret is ‘to form a consensus’. Sharing the thoughts of artists and understanding their personality and character is the main priority. Executive Head Jang expressed, “In order to discover the potential in people, we have to be a manager that is a family friend to them,” and, “Rather than a business relationship, we have to let them feel the thrill in acting first.”
“Impending need to have a one-of-a-kind management system that exist only in our country.”
Executive Head Jang who was born in 1979 and up till 2003 was just a normal employee. He was once just an employee in a technical sales department of semi-conductor company before he became a manager. “One day, I set face at the department head and asked myself if I will be happy sitting at that position in the next 10 years.” and, “A younger dongsaeng that I knew encouraged me to try management, and that is how I am here right now,” he confessed.
“It wasn’t any so-called elite course. I would receive 300,000 Won per month and I had to manage rookies. About for years ago, I was in charge of a famous actor, and I started to be take interest in the system. I find it interesting to produce and implement a system that raise stars, recruit new talents and provide them education.
“In the early days, I learned a lot from actress Woo HeeJin noona. She was like a shooter. There wasn’t anyone to teach me at the shooting area, noona would ask me to do things and that taught me to learn how to become a manager. She won’t scold even if I did something wrong on the spot, but she will point it out to me when we are alone.
Cho DalHwan-ssi is an actor that follows his heart. As we work together, we fought a lot too. When we talk about the production, Cho DalHwan’s eyes would spark with passion. Rather than money, he is an actor that looks for happiness in what he does. He started Calligraphy when I was his manager too. Together, we have created a synergy effect.
I was really happy when Ryu SeungRyung-hyung found his best production. I get to experienced good movies, and experience advertisements. I was sad when I had to leave hyung. Hyung, too, hoped that I would stay too. We still stay in contact till today too. When I came to Cube, he quietly gave me a suit. I am really thankful and he is a person that I respect a lot.”
A manager’s responsibility is to deal with the conflicts between various medias and the celebrity. Everytime that happens, he see an urgent need to have a proper system in place. Executive Head Jang ChulHan said, “The first generation, second generation and the new generation of managers should not copy exactly American or Japanese systems, but to create our very own system” and, “If we only chase after the success of others, then it won’t be sustainable. It will eventually shorten the life of a manager.”
“Manager is not a person who brings celebrities around”
“I don’t say sweet things even if it’s an actor that I raise. I will express my points in a straightforward manner and try to resolve it. From the perspective of an manager, taking charge of a star doesn’t mean he/she becomes a star. And, it is not like a manager from bigger companies are better managers. Talking with actors and understanding each other is the main priority. We have to have a learning mindset better than a 3rd year high school student when managing artists.
Normally, celebrities will be graded as top, A-list and B-list. Among managers too, we have mainstream and non-mainstream cateogories too. It won’t do if managers do not know which rank they are in. Those who are not familiar with management often think that managers are those that follow celebrities around. But managers are working professionals in the cultural industry. The manager is an educator as well as a person with creativity too. A manager is a person who must be well-verse in many aspects. I think managers should not lack in any aspects.”
His final target is to be a manager that produces good contents. Executive Head Jang ChulHan explained, “While raising a good artists or actors, we have to communicate via our hearts and try out productions that we both are interested in,” he xplained. Currently under Cube’s list of actors, there is Kwak Seungnam, Jo SeoHa, Na JongChan and other rookies. Artists that are currently under the spotlight are important, but he expressed his aspirations to have a “Pearl that will surprise the world”
“Kwak Seungnam-hyung used to be a singer under a group name Indigo, thus, he understands the life of a celebrity. As compared to his age, he is really humble. He will soon show his brightness through his skills. SeoHa has a strong mentality as compared to anyone else. She tried her very best even during the auditions too. She would memorize the whole script for a given role. She has amazing concentration skills too. Na JongChan had been training for 5 years, since JYP times to Cube. He is a sincere and a kind friend. It is my responsibility to help them to bring out each of their strength and uniqueness!”
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Source: Oh My News