I've been out of the blogging world for quite some time since there's just too much on my plate. Whew! Anyway, from now on, I think I'll be sharing more stories about my experiences as an entertainment reporter here in Korea and as a friend of some celebrities (ehem kkk). Even if I wasn't so active I received many e-mails from many readers and one question that's been asked many times, is about the idol managers and stylists.
I'm not sure if they're serious but some K-Pop fans expressed their interests in working as managers or stylists, so let me try to explain.
Who are they?
Managers and stylists in other words could be like "personal assistants" of the celebrities. Usually managers are males. Being able to drive a van is basic and you have to be physically strong to "protect" the celebs who are under you. They usually have the same fashion, I'd say comfortable fashion, and they usually carry car keys and recording gadgets like iPad, smartphones, small camera etc. for them to record the performances of the idols. Idols especially the new ones are very eager to see how they'd do on stage.
Stylists on the other hand are usually females. Basic requirement is knowhow on make-up and a 'sense' of fashion. You don't have to be a make-up expert, at least you know how to retouch (I'm guessing the right word haha) because make-up is usually done hours before an event in a superduper expensive hair and beauty shops, usually in Cheongdam area. I don't know but if you're a star in Korea, you should have your make-up and hair done in Cheongdam area or else you'd look cheap or whatever. (FYI, Cheongdam is a high-end place in Seoul where you could find a lot of entertainment companies. I'll probably write another entry for this). So going back, stylists are also in-charge with the outfits. Aside from make-up kits, they usually carry a lot of clothes with them. Depending on the celebrity, some stylists are given the freedom to just impose on which outfits to wear while some discuss it with the stars or even the company.
Based on my observation, they are quite young, almost the same age with the idols or a bit older and they also have the same fashion, make-up style and even hairstyle. So it's very easy to know which ones which. Many fans envy them because stylists (depending on the celeb) can literally see (and touch) almost everything. Because aside from make-up retouch, they help the idols change clothes, wipe sweat etc. I said depending on the celebrity. I personally know many of them and personally witness a lot backstage. Of course they are expected to be professional. As far as I know, many of them were fans before too. If you decide to become a stylist, you are at least expected to stop fandoming and concentrate on your work.
Just like any other jobs out there, there are also many ways to get this job. Of course one way is to submit your application directly to the entertainment companies but as far as I know, most of them got their jobs through connections. By connections I mean they were referred by fellow managers and stylists. They usually know each other. The pay is not that good (as far as I know) but once your celebrity gets famous, you'll get a chance to travel with them to different places, all for free. Of course they get to meet many celebrities but since it's given in this line of work, I'd never really consider that as a benefit. Just imagine the ones working for the idols who are having world concerts these days.
I think, they play a very important role in the success of these celebrities. They have to deal with the fans, schedule, reporters etc. and they need to have a flexible time. Of course it depends on how busy the star is. Working as an entertainment reporter, I've experience some frustrating things in dealing with these managers. Managers know if their stars are famous or not. So usually, managers of rookie groups are really kind. But there are also some who are not. Especially those who think that the idols they're handling are already popular. If you're from a "lowly" media agency, chances are they're not gonna mind you. You give them your business card but they're not gonna give back theirs. They'd tell you they left it in the car or they ran out of cards etc. But they'd do other way if you're representing a big and influential media agency. I guess no need to explain further. Of course there are very kind managers too.
For me, I think managers have to be smart enough to understand what's going on in the business. Most of them are not aware of how foreigners get all the information about their stars. And many of them still don't know the potential of fans abroad in making their stars famous and more "powerful" so this is actually what I'm trying to change here.
Prince managers and princess stylists
You've probably seen non celebs with your favorite idols who are equally good looking as them. One famous example is the prince manager of Super Junior. Actually there are many! To name a few that you could probably stalk (hahaha) are 4Minute, MBLAQ, B2ST, TeenTop, CHAOS, N:SONIC, Block B, IU, Lee Seunggi, Yoo Ah In's and more. And I personally think MBLAQ has one really pretty stylist ^^;; One would wonder why, well they could also be aspiring celebs but decided or for the meantime wants to get exposure in the showbiz world through this kind of job.
If you have more questions please leave a comment below.
Photos: Managers of B2ST, IU, Super Junior, Teen Top, MBLAQ, 4Minute