Junsu reflects on his musical career thus far
JYJ’s Kim Junsu, who is 24 years old, is the symbol of “musicaldols” (musical + idols). By bringing out the idol card, he stands at the forefront of the industry, leading the way to better and greater things.
Last January, amidst the media and public attention that JYJ was getting for their exclusive contract dispute with SM Entertainment, Junsu became the blue chip of the musical industry when he became a musical actor for the musical “Mozart!”, produced by EMK Musical Company. While appearing in the musical, Junsu shied away from the media and avoided all personal questions during Q&A, only answering those pertaining to his musical performance. Junsu stated that musicals gave him a great amount of courage.
Since the end of his second musical, “Tears of Heaven” (Seol & Company) last month, Junsu’s outlook has become brighter. Looking back on the past year, Junsu commented, “Musicals were the only things that allowed me to perform during troubled times. When I first started out, I told myself that I could be lacking, but I couldn’t make a fool out of the musical or myself.” Last year, within three hours, Junsu was able to sell out all 15 performances of his “Mozart” performances. Through the musical, he received the Best Male Newcomer Award at “The 4th Musical Awards” and “The 16th Korean Musical Awards.” Junsu stated that the gratitude and happiness he felt from receiving the two Best Male Newcomer Awards are indescribable in words. They became his motivation to appear in another production.
Junsu stated that he had heard Mozart was the only musician to be given the title of a “genius.” He also said that although Mozart was in no way lacking, Mozart himself felt that he was an unfortunate soul. Junsu added, “Though I’m not a genius, Mozart’s situation seemed to match so well with mine that I could relate to him.”
For his second musical, “Tears of Heaven,” Junsu set another record by selling out all 17 performances, totaling 27,500 seats in 10 minutes. Through the musical, he was able to work alongside renowned musical actor, Brad Little.
Junsu related on his feelings of having partaken in “Tears of Heaven” commenting, “There was a lot of pressure on my shoulder because I was set to appear in a brand new musical, although I was just a rookie. There was a lot of pressure on me and my fellow actors because we were creating the basis and foundation of the musical. I was really thankful to ‘Tears of Heaven’ because I was able to learn so much from it. It was a great honor to have been given the opportunity to perform with an actor like Brad Little.”
Within the first two weeks of its release, “Kim Junsu Musical Concert – Levay With Friends” DVD sold over 40,000 copies. Although he was new to the musical industry with just two productions under his belt, Junsu was already being compared to the musical industry’s top star Jo Seung Woo. To this, Junsu replied, “It doesn’t make sense for Senior Jo Seung Woo to be compared to a rookie like me. I see Senior Jo Seung Woo as my role model but we keep getting compared, so I sometimes wonder what his fans think about me… I feel the need to be careful when talking about the situation.”
Despite his successes in the musical industry, Junsu was also swept up in the controversy over idols and their high paychecks when it came to light that he was being paid 35 million won ($32,172.07) for each “Mozart” performance. Junsu said, “I am thankful that people think of me so highly regardless of the fact that I’ve only been in two productions. I believe it is my job to showcase a performance that is worthy of the production without being a burden on it.”
Junsu is currently a senior at Myeongji University pursuing a musical major. He has watched all the recent musicals such as “Jekyll and Hyde,” “GwangHwaMun Sonata” and “AIDA”. He stated, “I want to give back to the musical industry as much as I’ve been loved by people for my roles in musicals.” Junsu added that he would accept without hesitation if asked to be a spokesperson for the musical industry.
Junsu closed by saying, “Mr. Levay said that Korean musical actors are so talented that they would be able to succeed wherever they went. But he also said that in Korea, they weren’t getting the treatment that they deserved. As Kim Junsu the musical actor, nothing would make me happier than to see the musical industry grow and evolve due to an increased interest in musicals because of me.”
Source: Newsis via KoreaBoo