“What is it?”
Do Wook and his friends were popular at school but weren’t bullies. Because of that, bullies sought them out and picked a fight with them once in a while. Yoon Jin Sung made a face like something annoying had happened and responded with a hint of frustration in his voice.
However, Do Wook couldn’t help but flinch momentarily. It was, of course, because of the trauma that Bo Myung, who was inside, carried.
“Meet me upstairs for a second.”
He only flinched for a moment; Do Wook faced the upperclassman straight on. What if Kim Bo Myung had stared directly at Seo Kang Jun like this? A fist would have immediately come flying towards him, probably. On the contrary, the upperclassman couldn’t hide the fact that Do Wook’s indifferent gaze was making him nervous. Do Wook let out a short sigh and replied.
“We can talk here.”
The upperclassman that came to see them was nothing special.
“You….are you interested in Lee Ji Hye by any chance?”
Do Wook remembered a second later that it was the girl in his class that gave him the soda. The upperclassman, embarrassed by Do Wook’s reaction, continued.
“It’s nothing. Nevermind if you don’t.”
Yoon Jin Sung immediately realized the upperclassman seeked out Do Wook because he likes Lee Ji Hye. He acted like he was going to start some big fight, but it was just a woman problem. Yoon Jin Sung thought the upperclassman was pathetic and that Do Wook was fascinating for not being interested in Lee Ji Hye, who was very popular.
“Tomorrow? What did you say? Audition?”
“Yes. To be honest I have an audition tomorrow.”
Do Wook told Yoon Jin Sung everything about the audition.
“I didn’t know you wanted to be a celebrity. Was that why you were so out of it lately?”
Yoon Jin Sung was a little disappointed but promptly wished Do Wook luck on the audition.
Today was the day of the audition. Do Wook headed out for the audition.
Do Wook was a little nervous even until yesterday, but today his mind was surprisingly at ease. It might be because he suddenly realized that since he became Do Wook, even if he ran into the upperclassman bully it wouldn’t phase him, or it might be because his friend was rooting for him.
The HIT Entertainment office building wasn’t far from Do Wook’s house but it was a little far from the center of Gangnam.
The agency ends up expanding and moving to a slightly bigger and better building later on but in the present, the agency building was one of the old, six floor buildings. There were offices up to the third floor, and various rehearsal halls and recording studios from the 4th floor on.
In front of the agency, there were groups of female students who looked like frantic Monster fans. They were crowding around to do whatever they could to see members of Monster as they came and went from the rehearsal hall. It was a sight he often saw at the entrance of Q Entertainment too when commuting to and from work. There were more fans camping out than usual because it was the weekend.
Do Wook had a hard time trying to dissuade Kang Seo Hyun from coming with him. It was too obvious what her intentions were. It would get in the way of the audition if she came with him, happened to run into members of Monster, and caused a ruckus.
Do Wook looked for the audition location alone after promising Kang Seo Hyun that if he became a trainee, the first thing he would do was get Monster’s autograph for her.
The audition was being held at the 4th floor main rehearsal hall. Instead of a waiting room, folding chairs were lined up in the hallway in front of the main rehearsal hall. There were about twenty people waiting in the hallway.
Do Wook was assigned to the morning slot which was in 15 minute increments. Five people went in at a time. It meant judges could spend 3 minutes per person.
“Next team, come on in please~!”
5 participants, including Do Wook, got up from their chairs and headed towards the rehearsal hall.
The wide open space that was over 20 pyeong* had mirrors on all sides. There was a long table but only three judges were watching the participants come through the door.
(TL note: 1 pyeong is about 35.58 square feet)
The judges were HIT Entertainment’s Rookie Development Team. Starting from the right was the Rookie Development Team Manager, Assistant Manager, and Team Leader.
“Then Number 55, please step up first.”
The RDT Assistant Manager was leading the auditions.
Number 55, who was standing next to Do Wook, took one step forward. Do Wook glanced at Number 55 from behind, then the three male students standing next to him.
There probably were people who came light-heartedly thinking they want to try to become a celebrity, like the past Kang Do Wook did. There must also be participants who came because they earnestly wanted to become a singer. No matter what heart you came with, you couldn’t help but get nervous if three people were staring at you like they’re going to eat you.
As Number 55 caught his breath to start singing, Do Wook also nervously swallowed his dry saliva for no reason.
The Assistant Manager stopped Number 55 when he got to the third verse of the song he prepared. Next was the camera test.
The five people standing here might all pass, or they might all fail. Do Wook braced himself as he waited for his turn that was just ahead.
What he was certain of was that he would pass.
‘Kang Do Wook will pass! He passed when he couldn’t sing at all. As long as nothing goes wrong…No. So far there hasn’t been anything that went wrong due to our souls changing, he’ll probably pass.’
Bo Myung clenched his fist tightly.
‘This is confidence that I never had living as Kim Bo Myung.’
He was also a lot less nervous because he had confidence.
It would have been nice if Kim Bo Myung also had a little more self confidence. Though, there was nothing he could do about it since he was trampled on before he could get self confidence.
“Next, Number 56.”
Number 55 came back and Do Wook stepped forward. He stood on the spot marked with tape in the dead center, facing the judges.
Was it because it wasn’t his real self? Bo Myung, who had become Do Wook, could rather objectively sense the gaze pouring onto Do Wook.
He could see the judges’ eyes shining. The RDT Team Leader’s eyes were especially sparkly. The Team Leader was inwardly admiring Do Wook’s handsome face from the moment he entered. The Assistant Manager was mostly the one leading, but the Team Leader asked directly.
“I will be singing.”
“Ok. Show us what you’ve prepared.”
The song Do Wook practiced for his audition was Kim Byung Soo’s ‘I Miss You’.
What Do Wook originally wanted to sing was his vocal teacher Kim Woo Yeon’s song. However, Kim Woo Yeon immediately shot down Do Wook’s choice.
There were two reasons. The first reason is it wasn’t a famous song so it was highly likely that the judges wouldn’t know the song, making it a bad choice for the audition. The second reason was it is a song that needs finesse, and Bo Myung lacked the necessary skills.
Kim Byung Soo’s ‘I Miss You’ was a song that relied on emotion more than technique. That meant it’s a song you can master with a somber tone and expressing emotions.
Of course, the reason it was able to become a popular song was due to Kim Byung Soo’s crazy singing ability. Those kinds of skills are not required at an idol trainee audition anyways. You could pass the audition as long as you had even one unique characteristic. If that were the case, Kim Woo Yeon thought it would be good enough as long as Kang Do Wook’s strengths were emphasized.
If he picks ‘I Miss You’ and can reasonably match the pitch and tempo, Do Wook’s strength, which is his comfortable yet appealing voice, will be revealed.
“I- miss- you- I- miss- you-”
Kim Woo Yeon was half right.
“To the point- I start- hating myself- for being like this-”
After a month of intense training, Do Wook was able to match the pitch and tempo almost perfectly. Not only was he feeling competent, he also felt that it was a good song.
As Kim Woo Yeon predicted, the judges were listening attentively and getting drawn in by Do Wook’s low voice.
However, it was not solely due to Do Wook’s tone. The sincere gaze expressed on his face; the profoundly impressive gaze had caught their attention, making them feel as if they had no choice but to pick Do Wook here and now.
“Thank you. Next is the camera.”
There was a simple camera test after he finished the song.
The camera illuminated Do Wook. Front views and side views of him were taken. When an ordinary person sees their face on a monitor, they tend to look more plain than they really are.
“Your bangs! Can you lift your bangs?”
The Assistant Manager, whose eyes had been fixated on the monitor, pointed to Do Wook’s bangs with a reminiscent tone. Do Wook raised the bangs that were covering his forehead with his hands.
Swoosh-, His impression changed as soon as he put his bangs up. The Do Wook in the monitor didn’t look expressionless. Rather, he looked intense, like he was going to rip through the monitor.
It wasn’t just Do Wook and the judges, but the other participants as well. Everyone in the main rehearsal hall predicted that Kang Do Wook passed.
The final audition was held the following Monday. The audition wasn’t with just the RDT, but also two additional production directors. After some personal questions and asking about their mindset, the interviews were finished. It was a 98:1 success rate. There were only 3 people who passed.
Do Wook was one of those three.
“Do Wook! Kang Do Wook! My one and only cousin!”
“You have one other cousin.”
“In my heart. In my heart I only have one. So, have you seen Monster? Even just one member?”
The person who was the happiest about him passing the audition was his cousin, Kang Seo Hyun. She was even happier than Do Wook’s parents were. Seo Hyun said she’ll treat Do Wook to a meal to celebrate and brought him to a family restaurant. He wasn’t completely happy since it was because she wanted something in return, but it was still nice to have someone that was happy for him.
“How would I have seen them? I haven’t seen them yet.”
“Are you going there every day now? When does practice start?”
“It starts tomorrow.”
Kang Seo Hyun stopped in the middle of cutting the steak and took out notes from her backpack one by one.
“Here, take this.”
“What is this?”
“The first mission is easy. Get all the members’ autographs on here by next week. TO: Seo Hyun, understand?”
“What? Why would I…”
“Then spit that out!”
Seo Hyun held out her hand as if to say spit out the food he’s eaten so far. Do Wook shook his head at his immature cousin. A part of him thought she was expecting a lot in return after buying him just one meal. Still, it wasn’t that he disliked his cousin whose joy in life was liking idols without any other worries.
There were many lives that were bright and positive without doing harm to others, different from Kim Bo Myung’s life. It was easy to find them while living as Kang Do Wook. He was envious, but at the same time he had become one of those lives.
“I’ll do it if I’m able to.”
Do Wook replied as he put a piece of steak in his mouth. Do Wook had a calm expression on the outside but inside, his mind was all over the place.
‘Everything has been going smoothly so far. The problem is from here on out.’
Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying the story! We are very excited to announce that Watson has joined our team as the proofreader for Superstar. They have worked on this chapter for your viewing pleasure. Thank you for your support and welcome to the team Watson!