A former SHINee manager named Regi sat down with YouTube channel “CoLa: Coreanas Latinas” to open up about the behind-the-scenes world of managers and idols’ lives.
Read some of Regi’s answers to fans’ questions below:
Q: What is the daily schedule of a manager like?
A: “It depends on the artist’s popularity. How many or how little schedules you have. In SHINee, each member had some popularity, so 2/3 of the group members had to have managers at all times. Usually, unless it’s during comeback promotions, there aren’t too many early morning schedules. The broadcasting industry prefers late night filming… For my daily schedule, when it comes to managers, we don’t have too many chances to go to the company. Lowly managers like me mostly go to filming set schedules. We always receive daily schedule plans. It indicates which managers need to go to which schedules. For music show promotions, from Wednesday through Sunday, it does take place early in the morning, especially for pre-recorded performances. Then you leave for a little bit, then return 4-5 hours before the live broadcast. After the live broadcast is a fan meeting… When I was busiest, I would get around 3 hours of sleep.”
Q: What is the role of a manager?
A: “In the views of society, it seems like the manager is some sort of servant. But actually, on set, the manager is the one with the most priorities. We have to communicate between the company and the artists, to the staff of the filming set. We not only oversee the artists but what’s needed on set, food, hair, makeup, stylists, dancers – managers must manage all of the above… There’s not even one moment when you can put your phone down. Not only do you not have any time to meet up with your friends, you can’t even think about making plans with anyone. Because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Q: What was the most surprising thing about being a manager?
A: “I’ve never had fantasies about celebrities, but meeting SHINee for the first time, being a group with numerous hit songs, I was pretty nervous at first. But that went away quickly since it was work and business after all… I don’t know about other labels’ artists because I don’t know them, but when it comes to SM artists, their personalities and character are much nicer and kinder than normal people. That was what was most surprising to me. The SHINee hyungs are incredibly kind and I learned a lot from them.”
Q: What are the pros of being a manager?
A: “In the case of my company, I never spent my own money on anything except my cigarettes, because the company covered all of it.”
Q: Can foreigners become a manager?
A: “Yes, it’s possible. However, you have to be extremely good at Korean. I had one co-worker who was Chinese, but he was so good at Korean that I didn’t know he was Chinese at first. He still works as Super Junior’s manager.”
Q: The member who left the biggest impression?
A: “SHINee’s Key hyung, whom I’m still close with.”
Q: What do you think is the most difficult thing about being an idol?
A: “Of course there’s the physical difficulty due to busy schedules… When you’re a celebrity and you have a contract with a company, and this is for all celebrities and figures who work in entertainment, but even if an artist wants to do something, the company often prevents the idea from coming true. Disagreements with the company can lead to stress. And obviously, there are the malicious comments.”