January 29, 2013

Tips on Auditioning for SM Entertainment

NOTE:  A lot of my observations come from things I've seen off of "Survival Audition K-Pop Star".  I know it's a reality program and all, but the judges comments still are very useful and very very true.

What SM looks for:
BoA mentioned that she was looking for someone who was a "blank canvas."  This means SM is looking for someone that doesn't necessarily have a musical direction they want to go in and someone who they can "mold" or "paint" into what they want.

What YG looks for:
YG really focuses on personality or a unique characteristic.  G-Dragon's funky personality and style. Lee HI's lazy soulfulness, etc.

What JYP looks for:
JYP looks for someone who is hardworking and diligent and who has a solid foundation for their singing.  He also likes someone who will have staying power for the long run.

Now for the tips and advice:

  • Don't act fake!  What I mean by this is don't try to act or sing like something you're not.  If you don't have a high range, don't try to sing like you do.  If you aren't normally cute or bold don't try to act like that.  The judges can and will see through you!
    • If you have any doubts, just watch the first episode of "Survival Audition K-Pop Star"!
  • As much as I don't want to say it, weight does seem to be a negative mark against you, especially if you are being judged by a man.  (Heck they told Lee Hi and a few other girls to lose weight!)
  • Feel the emotion of the song.  Let the song's melody and lyrics guide your expression and gestures.  You should not be a expressionless statute during your audition!   
    • Make sure every movement counts.  Pacing or fidgeting won't give you any brownie points either and distracts from the performance.
  • Worry more about your talent, not your special talent.  While your special talent(s) might matter a lot down the road, they are still going to judge first and foremost you by your singing and dancing.  At auditions you might not even get a chance to mention what your specialties are!
    • You can be creative with your special talent.  Just because you can't play the violin like Henry Lau, speak four languages like Kris, dance ballet like Stephanie, kick wushu butt like Tao, or can't contort like Victoria, doesn't mean you don't have a special talent.  I can come up with about three "ordinary" special talents right now.  I can a) cross one eye and freely move the other one around, b) shape my tongue into a clover shape or roll it, and c) write legibly with both hands (I'm ambidextrous).  Can you whistle with a piece of grass (or with your fingers)?  Can you tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue?  Can you wiggle each ear individually or individually control each eyebrow?  And etc.
  • Take the judges comments and critiques (aka criticism) with grace and humility.  If the judges say anything to you at all for any reason, take it gracefully and with humility.  If for some reason they critique you, don't take offense.  Learn from what they say.  They are there to help you, not hurt you.  All the judges that judge for SM have experience in the music industry.  They know what they are doing.
  • Watch the judges while the others in your group perform.  What are the others doing that perks the judges' attention?  What are they doing that makes the judge fiddle with their phone with boredom?  You will learn a lot.
  • Just because you don't sing like Alicia Keys or Aretha Franklin or even like BoA, doesn't mean you don't have a shot.  Like BoA says, you don't have to sing well to make people open their eyes and listen!  Star power aka charisma goes a long way as an idol.


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