Pop star takes turn on a new stage

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Pop star takes turn on a new stage


Viki, a pop star-turned-weathercaster, says, “Rapping and voice training during my singing career helped me a lot for this job.” By Kang Jung-hyun

Nowadays, it is not an exaggeration to say pop stars - especially the members of popular girl and boy bands - almost dominate the entertainment industry. Many of them stretch their career ranges by starring in dramas, movies and musicals. But it is truly something new to see an idol (the term Koreans use for popular pop stars) turn into a weathercaster.

A talented girl who made such a big transition is Viki. She used to be a member of the girl group Dal Shabet, but dropped out of the group last May. Beginning April 8, Kang Eun-hye, which is her real name, has been delivering weather information during the 9 p.m. news program on JTBC.

The JoongAng Ilbo sat down with Kang earlier this month in JTBC’s studio in central Seoul to ask about her recent transformation.

Q. It’s unusual for a former idol to forecast the weather. How did you become a weathercaster?

A. I was offered an audition for the job from JTBC in mid-March. Since I always wanted to be a versatile entertainer, I didn’t hesitate and went for it. And I went through a reading test and an interview. As soon as I was picked for the role, I began training in late March.

How much did you practice?

I learned how to analyze forecast graphics, and wrote and read scripts for two hours a day. In addition, I did homework at home, memorizing technical terms and rewriting materials. But I need to work harder to take on the full responsibility of a professional weathercaster.

There must be challenges.

My parents are proud of me. Other girl groups like Rainbow and 9Muses also support me. But still I feel pressured as I think professional or would-be weather forecasters will dislike me because I wasn’t someone who long aspired for the job, but a member of an idol group. I’m thinking of a way to win them over. It can be challenging.

How do you plan to draw viewers’ attention?

Most importantly, I think delivering accurate information should come first. And then, I want to liven up the section with my character, which is something I need to think about more. But now I am considering highlighting my cute and vibrant personality rather than the calm or neat style that most of other forecasters conventionally display. If necessary, I’m willing to get soaked in rain or snow. Please look forward to my lively yet reliable weather broadcast.

Are you going to end your career as a singer?

No. I don’t want to give up on it. Actually, I’m scheduled to star in a music-themed drama. Indeed, I already miss performing on the stage. But I will give my full commitment to the weathercast for now.

By Han Young-ik [estyle@joongang.co.kr]
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