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iHQ / Actor’s manager / Yeonwoo Lee


iHQ / Actor’s manager / Yeonwoo Lee

Job Manager

Today’s guest is Lee Yeon-woo, an actor’s manager at iHQ.
I think it can be of great help to those who are interested in the entertainment industry.

Lee Yeon-woo as worked as an actor’s manager at iHQ for 7 years. She has been interested in the entertainment industry since she was young. While majoring in law, she studied the protection of the rights of performers and naturally chose the role of a manager as she was looking for a job that does that.

As the global popularity of K-pop grows with artists such as BTS and Super Junior, as well as Korea's representative actors such as Jang Hyuk, Kim Ha-neul, and Kim You-jung, foreigners' interest in the Korean entertainment industry and related jobs is also increasing. I hope this interview with manager Lee Yeon-woo, will be a great help to foreigners who have dreams in related jobs.

Question 1
What are the pros and cons of this job? Also, what was the most rewarding thing in performing your work?

A manager is a job that always moves according to the artist's schedule. So the disadvantage is giving up part of your personal life because of flexible working hours. But it is fun to stay ahead of everyone else and experience a wider variety of things than the average office worker.
I think the charm of this job is when an unknown artist eventually becomes an artist that everyone knows. When you work long nights and the public appreciates the results, it is very rewarding.

Question 2
What do you want to say to job seekers who want to choose this line of work?

Interest in the entertainment industry and understanding people are paramount in this job. Instead of general curiosity or living out a celebrity fantasy, I'd like you to apply for this position because it champions Korean pop culture.

Question 3
How much do you earn?

Salaries vary from company to company, but the starting salary for new managers is generally set at a level similar to the minimum wage for the year.

Question 4
I know that a manager's job is different in Korea versus the United States. What do you think is the biggest difference? Also, what should be the most important thing to be aware of when working as a manager in Korea? How would one prepare for this? 

In the United States, a manager and an agency are subdivided into an expert who manages an actor's schedule and an expert who selects and signs contracts for work such as TV series and movies. On the other hand, in Korea, all these tasks are carried out by the management team. Therefore, I think that in order to work as a manager in Korea, it is crucial to have an eye that can navigate the whole industry and the ability to be a multi-tasker.

Question 5
What do you think of the prospects for this job in the future?

I think this job will be more subdivided and specialized, similar to the U.S. system. Therefore, I think this job that requires one to exceed the role of a general manager and be an expert who leads the entertainment industry, will become more popular.

Question 6
Can you give realistic advice to those who want to work in an entertainment company? (For example, how to write a resume, etc.)

Working in the entertainment industry requires a passion for popular culture. With such a mindset, it is most important to have various experiences on a daily basis.
As a manager, of course, being good at driving and knowing the Seoul area will be of the greatest help in carrying out the job. In addition, your own experience, foreign language, and special skills will help you communicate with artists in the future. This will make you stand out from other managers.

Question 7
As K-pop and K-Drama become more and more popular, many foreign fans want to work in Korea's entertainment industry. I wonder if there are many foreigners working for entertainment companies around here. 

There are currently foreign colleagues working in various departments. Foreign colleagues usually communicate with overseas fans, plan overseas fan meetings, and produce content.

Question 8
What is the most important thing foreigners need to know when working for a Korean entertainment company? (For example, culture or language, etc.)

First, language is the most important thing. Second is an understanding of Korean culture in order to absorb the K-Entertainment style.

Question 9
How many foreigners are hired in various jobs such as a stylist and back-up dancer in a Korean entertainment company?

I have never seen foreigners working as celebrity stylists. However, there are a few people working as back-dancers.

Question 10
How is the work atmosphere like in an entertainment company? Casual or conservative?

This varies from company to company, but overall, the atmosphere and dress code is relaxed. However, general business elements such as the use of titles and positions can be considered similar to general companies.

Question 11
Many people expect to see a lot of celebrities when they work for an entertainment company. Is this true? Do you actually meet a lot of stars while working?

It's different for each department. If you work in a department such as management or public relations, you have to work closely with artists, so you meet them often, but other departments don't meet the artists often. In particular, with record companies, artists often visit the company for schedules that involve recording and practice. In the case of actors, it is difficult to encounter them since they rarely visit the office.

Question 12
I heard that the drama “Backstreet Rookie” starring Kim You-jung and Ji Chang-wook was simultaneously aired overseas. Along with the popularity of K-Drama overseas, various works are in progress and it seems that foreigners who fluently speak Korean have a great advantage in performing their duties for the foreign market. What are the needs in hiring foreign employees at a Korean entertainment company?

In addition to management work, the artist PR and marketing department has a high demand for foreigners who speak Korean well. I think that the role of foreign colleagues is at the forefront of interacting more closely with overseas fans.




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