Travel Tips – Seoul
How to go on a music show – Simply Kpop
There are multiple ways to get on one of the popular Music Shows in Seoul, there is a different one every day of the week. I went on The Show, Mnet Countdown and Simply Kpop.
• Sunday – Inkigayo
• Monday – Simply Kpop
• Tuesday – The Show
• Wednesday – Show Champion
• Thursday – Mnet Countdown
• Friday – Music Bank
• Saturday – Music Core
Simply Kpop was quite different than other shows. It is not shown live, and they film the segments throughout the day, often enough for 2 separate shows. (atleast while we were there).
They only film once every 2 weeks, so you need to know when that day is. I followed their online board (http://www.arirang.com/Tv2/Tv_Announce.asp…) and also them on twitter (@_SimplyKpop). When the filming date for our show opened up, it was on a Friday before the Monday showing, so you get only a little time. The posting will include all of the lineups for that day with the time. You then send in an email for the time/performance you want to attend. If they accept you, you will get a response with directions. I added in that my daughter and I were visiting from Seattle, and I guess this was enough for them to ask us to be interviewed guests on the show. So, I suggest you put something interesting in your email if you want to be chosen for that guest spot. We got our email response on Sunday with directions how to get there on Monday.
The Arirang Studio is in the Seocho-gu, area of Seoul. There are 3 different subway stop you can take, we took a subway, a short bus ride to the TV Studio and a cab home since it ended after midnight and public transportation had stopped by then. When we arrived we saw a bunch of people out front, but previous online accounts said I should bypass those people and go to a security guard (or someone that looks official) so that is what we did. We checked in and they found us on the list, then we got in line. A few minutes later a lady came up who spoke English and asked if we were Christine and Andrea. She said she wanted us to be interviewed on the show. I don’t know her exact role so I’ll just call her the Director since we spent all our time interacting with her before and during the show. After our initial excitement and agree to do the show, we interacted with her a few more times, she would ask us some questions we would be asked, and we’d give her the answer we would give.
When it was time, they escorted us inside the building, down a back hall and then we waited a few minutes until they escorted us into the studio. There is not real audience. There is a low stage that is used for filming the performances and they set up 3-4 rows of steps for us to sit on. The performances here are kinda better than any of the other shows. They singed live and it felt like they were performing just for us in our living room. It was so up close and personal. After each performance, they hang out, and can wave/chat/play around with the fans the camera people are reviewing the performance. If it isn’t good enough, they ask them to perform again. When done they will go off stage and go change and return for a 2nd performance a bit later.
If you go to the night show with the MC’s (In this case Kevin and Jacob from the Boyz) then that is where the interviews are with the selected guests, and they do the intro portion and the middle portion where they read the emails/tweets from fans.
During the segment where they interview the selected guest(s) they practice and film it a few times until its good then you say goodbye and they continue the filming of the musical acts. Kevin and Jacob hi-5’d us before they left and they were seriously so darn nice and easy to talk to.
In the beginning of us sitting with them, we learned they do a foreign greeting at the beginning and end, and they were being coached on German sayings, anyone who knows me, knows I used to live in Germany so i took over the coaching and instructed Kevin on the right way to say Guten Tag and Auf Weidersehen. He asked the director later if we could say it with him at the end because he couldn’t say it that well. She agreed so we did. it was really cute chatting with him. Kevin is from Vancouver, which is just a few hours north of Seattle so we chatted about Seattle and he said went to Seattle to audition for a kpop show and we chatted about that for a bit.
After the show, they walk you out and you’re good to go. If after midnight, the only transportation running are some of the late night bus routes which would have taken us a long time to get home – so we took a cab and it was less than $20. If you think you’ll get out late, write down your address of where you need to go so even if you and the cabbie can’t communicate very well, he can recognize your address. Maybe also include a Subway station so at worse case, you could get that far.
When the show airs, you may be on either or both episodes. They showed us in the next episode too as part of the audience. Best part of this experience, the show is free, and we got a really amazing up close experience with the hosts and the artists.
We saw each of these artists perform atleast twice.. The Boyz, Kim Dong Han, A train to Autumn and Walwari.
Travel Tips – Seoul