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October 29, 2005

Rain(Jeong Jihun)’s Autobiography

Filed under: Uncategorized — enews @ 4:07 pm

[1] Childhood
I still can’t believe that I’m a singer. Sometimes when I find my CD among those I own while I arrange them, I feel my heart swelling. It is a true happiness to me that there will be people somewhere who will listen and follow after my dance just like I modeled myself after the dances and songs of Seotaeji and Boys and Deux when I dreamt of becoming a singer. I used to live near Hongik University when I was a child. My mother passed away two years ago, and I now I live with two others, my father and my sister. My sister who’s 3 years younger than me (I was born in 1982 and my real name is Jeong Jihun) is so blunt that we are not so close at that time. Both of us are taciturn and we hardly exchange more than two or three sentences all day. I am told that I used to like going out without telling anyone when I was young. There is one incident I remember faintly. It’s my leaving home when I was 4. My parents came home from work together but they couldn’t find me. So they called the police for adjunction of disappearance and looked for me here and there almost in insanity, but still couldn’t find me. A day went by and my parents got a phone call. They said they found me in Ganghwa-do. There was a bus terminal in front of our place, and I think I might have taken the bus from there. They saw the contact number on my wrist band in Ganghwa-do and called my family. Although I can’t remember clearly, I have a faint memory of a lady who helped me get on the bus.

[2] I’ve been an introvert from the begining
Even when I was young, I had been introversive and taciturn like now. It still takes me a long time to get close to people. But once I become close, I talk so much that I am surprised that I can speak so well. I didn’t have much talent in studying when I was in elementary school and let the day go by without saying a word. So it was natural that I didn’t have a girlfriend who liked me. I was an unnoticeable student in class. If there was anything that people would notice about me is that I was a bit tall. I was always the third or fourth tallest boy in the class. I would always sit there quietly, but one day I stirred it up. It was at the talent show competition among classes during the school trip when I was in the 6th grade. Our class’s turn was closing in and nobody volunteered. I kept on watching and felt impatient so told them that I will enter the competition to represent our class. But the response of the kids in our class was much less than flattering. I could hear them say slanders about me from here and there, saying ‘why is he representing us?’ I got proud and finally it was our class’s turn. I stood on the stage. The children concentrated on me and the music was on. I told myself to ‘show them something’ and danced the dances I saw on the TV and street without a second thought. There was a burst of clapping hands as my stage was over. I felt the fulfilling emotion for the first time, and a thought crossed my mind suddenly. It said, ‘Yes, it’s dance.’

[3] Depression and an urge to kill myself
I entered Sungmun Junior High as I awakened to dance. By looks, anyone could tell that I was a disorderly student by appearance. In order to learn how to dance, I hung out with older boys who were disorderly and neglected school works. Although they took my money and clothes, I followed them because of one reason that I have to learn how to dance. There was a time when we got caught by the police and taken to the police station while we were practicing at the park near Hongik University because we didn’t have anywhere to go and practice dancing and people around us pointed at us saying we are disorderly students. I lied to my father that I am going to the library to study, and there was nothing I could do but neglect my studies because I was busy dancing. As this went on, my grades got worse and worse. I sat for the fist exam of my junior high, and I got average score of 45. It was something I could get by guessing instead of going through the questions. But since I was so tired out dancing that I slept during the examination without solving the questions. Frankly, I was also shocked by the results. My father didn’t even treat me like his own son. He told me to leave home and didn’t even look at me. If my father had beaten me or gotten extreme with me, I could have become perversed, but I gave myself a lot of thoughts seeing my father like that. As I came to talk to nobody in the family, I fell into a depression and there were time when I even felt the urge to kill myself. So I worried myself sick over it and decided that I need to go better in studies than this, so I committed myself to reading and could recover my scores to a degree.

[4] I promised my dad that I will not do anything bad
Although I hung out with scarey boys to learn how to dance, I promised my father that I will never smoke and do bad things. I still keep my words about not smoking. Our dancing team practiced hard, and entered the national amateur dance competition held at Lotte World, Jamsil, Seoul to confirming our talent. Although I can’t remember what year exactly, Pyo Inbong, the comedian, was the MC of the competition. The name of our danding team was ‘Challenger.’ I entered the competition with four other guys, and I stood in the middle to dance as I was tall. We didn’t receive any award though. Later, I heard from Inbong after I became a singer that Gangta, the singer, had also entered the competition. I took interest in rugby when I was in the second grade of junior high. The boys in ruby club looked cool and I practiced amongst the rugby club members of the school nearby, but I felt like I couldn’t do both dance and sports well, so I chose dance. Then it came the last year of junior high and I started to worry about my future. My friend went to liberal arts high schools but I looked for one where I can dance and study at the same time. So, I came to the conclusion of high school for arts. I didn’t go to any acting school and I took notes of actors’ lines when I watched drama and practiced acting by memorizing them by myself.

[5] I proudly passed the entry exam for Angyang High School of Arts
Since I didn’t know anything about acting, I went to the book store, bought all the acting related books and read them all before the entry examination of Angyang High School of Arts. I had to show other special ability, and I looked for something related to dance and decided to prepare mime. I was certain about expressing things with my body. The people who knew me disagreed with me, saying that ‘acting is not your thing,’ but I worked hard and passed the examination proudly. But now that acting has become a study for me, it didn’t look like fun anymore and didn’t suit me that well. So, during the freshman year, I passed acting and continued hanging out with the guys and dancing. As people came to know about my dancing, I came to enter various talent shows as the representing competitor and I grabbed the attention of girls as well. Every morning when I go to school and open the locker, there were presents from unknown people. The presents were mostly milk, cakes, flowers and letters. I regret that I didn’t try to find out who they were but I was too busy dancing that I didn’t have the time to think about girls. In my freshman year, I tried to adapt to acting to a degree, but during the early sophomore year, I came to hate acting classes so much so that I couldn’t bear taking it anymore. So I was late for school more than on time and kept my seat during the morning session only, and slipped out during acting training class. So, there I was, indulging myself into dance, and I got ‘stamped’ as a bad boy.

[6] I beat up my teacher with a stick
I’ll talk about my ‘teacher assault’ this time. When I went to Anyang High School or Arts, I beat the buttocks of my teacher because of dance. As I concentrated on dancing and skipped acting team sessions, the senior students started to hate me. They took me to the backyard of the school and beat me up and rebuked me that I shouldn’t break the team work. So I changed my mind and decided to ‘concentrate on acting than dancing.’ But suppressing my desire to dance didn’t go too far. One day, I couldn’t stand it anymore and ran out of the classroom. The next day, the teacher who was teaching the class came in with a stick. Then, he said, “Beat me with this stick. If you don’t, I’ll beat other students.” There were so many conflicts of thoughts in my head at that moment. Many girls were in the same class and there were only good kids in there. So I thought about what I’m going to do for a bit and beat the teacher’s buttocks with the stick. There was nothing I can do at that moment. It was only days before our graduation when the teacher told us about this incident frankly. He said that he never thought that I would really beat him. He used the same trick when he was teaching at another high school for arts, and when teachers play this trick, the student mostly say they are so sorry and cry but we were such a formidable foe.

[7]Fatal encounter with Park Jinyeong (JYP)
In 2000, the two biggest incidents of my life happened. I met (Park) Jin yeong, who lead me to be a singer, and my mother passed away. I will first talk about how I met Jinyeong. I joined an underground dance team in junior year of my high school. I lived with them, cooking and washing up the dishes, and also danced at the clubs in Itaeweon and Hongik University, which were the “in place” at that time. My family was going through hard times at that time. My father had been in the trade business but after repeated failures, he left us a letter saying that he will return when he’s settled and left for Brazil. So, my mother, who had been suffering from diabetes had to support the family. I couldn’t understand my mother who kept on working when she was so unwell. I feel that I had been foolish and inconsiderate at that time. I indulged in dance even more as I started to feel dissatisfaction about my parents. One day, I followed a friend who was working as a road manager to a shabby office. Then, oh my, Park Jinyeong walked into the office. That room was the office of Jinyeong’s JYP entertainment. Jinyeong saw me, and asked “Can I possibly ask what you do?” I answered, “I dance” and he asked me to send a video tape so he can audition me. ‘Wow, will Park Jinyeong, the producer who trained god and Park Jiyun train me to be a singer?’ I was so happy at the moment and I sent the tape for audition to him as soon as I came back.

[8] Park Jinyeong pays my mother’s hospital bills
(Park) Jinyeong called me after I had sent the audition tape. He said, ‘let’s release a record’ and accepted me as his trainee. I was truly happy, and I danced and practiced singing even harder. While I was absorbed in happiness and working to make my dream come true, my nother’s illness worsened severly. My father, who had left for Brazil just like that, came back to Korea after a few months without adapting to the local conditions. My mother played the role of the family’s head in place of my father and her illness worsened all of the sudden, but since my mother had been ill frequently from when I was young, I didn’t realize that the situation was that serious at that time. My father wandered from region to region even after he had come back, and there was no one to take care of my mother. I also didn’t look after my mother well, thinking ‘if I’m the only one who works hard for living, so be it.’ I told Jinyeong everything about my mother’s condition. Then, he said, “I will admit her into the hospital and pay for the bills so you needn’t worry,” and comforted me. I am truly grateful to him. My mother was hospitalized after that but it was too late by then. At the time my mother was hospitalized, she had severe inflammation already and her entire body had gathered. The people at the hospital also said that I’d better take her home. My mother came back home, and I really feel a lump in my heart when I recall those days. My mother’s condition kept on worsening and we took her back to the hospital. Jinyeong and his wife came to the hospital to stay with my mother.

[9] How can someone like you dance?
Although so many people helped, my mother fell into a coma, and passed away just like that. My mother said her last words as she passed away. She told me to look after my sister well, and I promised her to do so. Also, in my heart, I told myself over and over to do my best and become the best. My heart still aches when I think of my mother. I could have shown her how well I am doing if only she could wait a little more… When my heart breaks I recall how I neglected my family while I could have been really good. I practiced even harder after my mother passed away. Jinyeong didn’t teach things one by one but he showed the way to do them. Our company made a video tape with 12 soul dance motions and 9 steps and I practiced until I got tired of it. When Jinyeong wasn’t busy, he’d visit the studio to see me dancing and teach me. But he never said a word of compliment to me. Nowadays he often says “great or good job” but in those days, he used to discourage me, saying “how can someone like you dance? It will never work.” That was his way of training. When Jinyeong couldn’t train me because of his music works in the US, I had to fight against loneliness. I stayed at the studio until late after everybody’s gone home to compose dances and practice and at times, I was really lonely and depressed. So, the method I came up with was to practice singing and dancing in the subway and buses.

[10] Fighting against loneliness

I got so tired practicing alone. So I practiced like a crazy on the way to the studio and back home. I sang to the music loudly, composed dances that will fit the song, and danced in the subway and buses openly. To others, I was an ‘insane’ guy. Although I felt uneasy that I might not become a singer after Jinyeong left for the US to become a producer, but I fought against loneliness and practiced hard alone. And Jinyeong came back from the US after completing his work as a producer. So, I thought I’d be working on my album right away, but Jinyeong said that his album is to be released first because he has a good song. So, my debut album was postponed to August. And I composed the dance for . Although not the entire dance for the song is done by me, there is a lot of my dance in . Also, I worked as Jinyeong’s dancer. Although it was a good chance to experience the stage, but going everywhere with Jinyeong everyday and practicing was very difficult. While Jinyeong talked to his wardrobes and road managers or resting, I was still practicing without a rest. I had to sing automatically whenever Jinyeong waves his hand, and I repeated singing the same song almost a hundred time a day. Each time, I got hit on the head because I “get the wrong notes again”. Getting hit in the head sounds like nothing but being hit on the same spot again hurts quite a bit.

[11] Working on my album has setbacks and delays

While I was back dancing for (Park) Jinyeong, I think I sang the song alone, a number that is in my album, almost a hundred times. In the van where others were sleeping and resting, I sang the song endlessly to the waving of Jinyeong’s hand. I kept on practicing like that and waited for August when my album would be released. Then, as August came, the situation changed again. It was time to release(Park) Jiyun’s album, who’s in the same management company. My album was postponed to November again. My anxiety grew in those series of events. After working on Jiyun’s album, Jinyeong left for the US again. I held onto practicing singing in uneasiness as I had nothing else to hang onto. I wondered if I’ll ever release my own album after all these hard working for 2 years and that I was growing old for a dance singer. Upon his return to Korea around February this year, Jinyeong said “let release your album this time for real” and recording was over in 1 month. The recording didn’t take long because all songs had been out already. At last, the debut stage of was on April 28. I wanted to show everything I had practiced so far – the song and the dance – but it didn’t go as well as I had thought. Although I didn’t make any particular mistake, I was tense and couldn’t move my body freely. But I told myself ‘it will be the end if I don’t do it right this time’ and faced my fans contiuously, and I gradually gained self-confidence.

[12 ending] I want to succeed as a fashion desinger as well
The comment that made me feel the worst since I started to perform as a singer was “why aren’t you singing live?” Since I practiced singing so hard, I was sure that I can sing live. But since I wasn’t experienced much and being a newbie, I had to lip-synch on stage more than not. I was left distressed until I sang live at of MBC TV in end of June. People complimented that “I thought you danced well, but you sing well too” and they were surprised on the other hand. Hearing compliments after singing live was the best memory I have until now. And my greatest wish is to become a singer who sings live well. It’s been only three months since my debut. I was known by the song and its succeeding song is getting even more popularity among fans. So, I will be working hard until the end of this year. Recently, I’ve challenged the new territory of acting. I will be playing the role of a ‘player’ in a sitcom and I find acting very interesting. I want to show my all-round talent that sings and acts well, and later, I want to succeed as a fashion designer. My biggest dream now it to stand tall as a successful singer in 10 years, and by then, I will start design studies. And in 20 years from now, I want to be acknowledged as a designer too.
I thank all the fans for reading the star story of a three month old newbie singer’s star story. (2002)

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