[Interview] Yoo Yeon Seok on His Musical Debut: It Feels Like Fate

Just a day after Yoo Yeon Seok officially debuted on the musical stage through “The Man Who Walks Through Walls”, playdb magazine released an interview with him as cover story. In the interview, Yoo Yeon Seok talks about all sort of things; from his professional musical debut and growth as an actor to the opening of LUA Lounge and his future plans. We summarized the interview and hopefully you will get the feeling of a little step closer to the actor we all admire.

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The interview is opened by little warning to all readers that the interview will be a lengthy one. But never mind that, because the man whom the magazine is interviewing is no less than a clever actor who knows what he is doing, what he wants to do and what goals he wants to achieve in the future. He is slowly building his popularity and reputation by playing numerous characters and is not afraid of new challenges. Now he’s up to a new challenge, becoming a musical actor.

As a new musical actor, Yoo Yeon Seok showcased singing ability for the first time during the showcase on 4 November 2015. He admitted that he was really nervous that day. It had been a while since the last time he felt that nervous in front of audience. Didn’t help much that his song was first in the order of performance. Usually, he acts in front of camera and he doesn’t have the need to face live audience. So when he finally up on the stage, he realized that training and live performance are completely two different things. He vowed from then on that he must prepare harder for the musical.

Yoo Yeon Seok continued on by telling his musical journey. He admitted that he always dreams of standing on the stage. There are a lot of things that you can only feel when you are on stage, he said. He did musical play once during college but he claimed it was not professionally staged. On the following years, he got too busy acting in front of the camera that the chances to do musical continued to be missed.

So when the offer to headline musical “The Man Who Walks Through Walls” came to him, it feels like fate. His agency, KingKong Entertainment, already told him that he could get some rest at the end of the year after completing packed schedules. But when he received the musical offer, he just could not let it pass by. So he decided to take it. It indeed feels like fate.

He describes the musical as a comic / fairy tale for adults. It is a story of love and love is continuously conveyed through songs. As the result, he felt that he will be challenged to convey emotions through metabolic rhythm and melody. He admitted that he doesn’t major in singing but he took up the musical challenge because he knows that emotions and love can be passed on through songs.

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On whether he and his character Dutilleul have something in common, he didn’t give a straightforward answer. He started off by giving a lengthy explanation about stages in life that people go through. People grows and changes. Like himself. He used to enjoy talking to people he barely knew and made new friendship. But as he continues his life by working as an actor / celebrity, walls are being built instead. He feels more comfortable in long-established friendship and doesn’t feel the urge to open up to new people. In that part, he feels that he resembles Dutilleul.

When he was asked of what to do if he’s able to walk through walls like Dutilleul, he said that he will use it on traveling. On one of his many travels, he queued for one hour only to enter a museum. So if he has Dutilleul’s ability, he will secretly walk through the walls of the museum to see just what he wants to see and doesn’t have to bother queuing. He totally fancies the idea of able to move around during traveling without tremendous constraints.

He then answered question about the most difficult part about practicing for musical. He pointed out that he has to sing 29 out of 41 songs performed in the musical. So imagine the amount of songs he has to perform during the weekend. There will be two shows in a day and each show will be staged for two hours. Let’s do some math. He need to sing a total of 58 songs in one day. HA. He jokingly compares himself to a pitcher who has to throw 100 – 150 pitches in one game. Two games during weekend meaning a pitcher will throw at approximately 300 pitches in one day.

As an actor who works in both movie and drama, he addresses question on the difference between working with cast mates on drama / movie set and musical. During the shooting of drama or movie, he said that cast mates often have different schedules. As the result, there is not much time to hang around with each other. The musical, on the contrary, requires all cast mates to stay at the same room and practice from morning until night together. The bonding is created due to intense practice. He used to have this kind of bonding during college so he admitted that he miss this kind of feeling. Cast mates in musical also exchange views on each other’s performance. It’s like having a live audience who give constant feedback for the better of the show. Everybody goes to the same direction. It’s different to drama or movie where feedback from other cast mates can be considered as an interruption. For Yoo Yeon Seok, this is a very welcomed change.When the musical finally starts, he believes that each performance will be reviewed during practice. On stage, it is the energy from the audience that keeps him going. As the result, he feels that musical allows him to develop and grow as an actor.

So much he cherishes his musical’s cast mates and crews, he presents them heartfelt gifts during pepero day. He presented pepero gift as well last year during movie shooting (red: The Mood That Day). But he wanted to give more this year. He initially planned to give pepero and an extra battery. Upon knowing that other cast mate picked battery as gift as well, he immediately switched gear. He choose tumbler with an engraved name.

Not long ago, Yoo Yeon Seok also invited all the cast and crew of his musical to his newly opened bar in Itaewon called LUA Lounge. He feels so happy to be able to have dinner together after practice.

The opening of LUA came as a surprise to many. Asked for how long he had LUA planned, Yoo Yeon Seok again took somehow a detour to answer it. He began by telling his early encounter with wine tasting and gifting. He was traveling in Portugal when he first tasted a very delicious wine. So delicious that he brought few bottles back to Korea. Since then, he has a habit of buying wine abroad and later gifts or shares it with his friends. The idea of LUA came as he wishes that more people are able to enjoy good food and taste good wine with friends in a place of great ambience. At the same time, he also wishes to have a corner where he can sit down to read / study scripts with good drinks as company. In addition, he wanted a place to meet his fans in more natural setting. So came LUA in Itaewon.

When Yoo Yeon Seok is asked about his other plan or dream, he expresses his wish to be able to do another musical in one or two years. If the musical is met with positive reviews, he would love to be on the stage again. As an actor, musical is now his training ground and he wishes to greet more audience in the future. For now, he settles with his hobby in design interior. In the future, he is thinking of surfing so he needs to learn how to surf again.

The interview ends with Yoo Yeon Seok conveying his feeling to audience who can’t hardly wait for his Duttileul. Given the short amount of preparation, he wishes that he can portray Duttileul convincingly in front of the audience. He gleefully asked the audience to come to the musical and check “how well Yoo Yeon Seok performs”. He also tries to convince the audience that the musical will be different from the previous season so he asks them to look forward to the musical with interest.

Brought to you by Yeoniverse ~ Yoo Yeon Seok IFC

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One thought on “[Interview] Yoo Yeon Seok on His Musical Debut: It Feels Like Fate”

  1. I love this interview! That part when he talked about the difference between working in drama / movies and musicals is interesting.

    And hah, having a hobby in interior designing now? Haha. And awwww imagining him surfing is just *_____* I hope he’ll get his well deserved holiday soon so he could enjoy doing such hobbies and have a good rest.

    Thank you for the summary of the interview ♡

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