Updated: An Exclusive Interview with Kim Soo-hyun: Secretly, Greatly (with Podcast)

photosessionI felt bad for the theatre staff. AMC Fashion Valley employees were not aware of the enormous popularity of Kim Soo-hyun.

<중앙일보 샌디에이고 특별기자 셰릴 달리의 김수현 인터뷰>

They had no idea that to Korean movie and drama buffs, having Kim Soo-hyun show up was like having Leonardo Dicaprio or Robert Pattinson walk into the theatre for an English speaker. Yes. He’s that popular.

Tickets to the two premier showings sold out fast, leaving many crying into their computers, wishing they’d known sooner. Many of those left out stood outside the doors hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite Hallyu star as he entered and exited the building. Fortunately, they were not disappointed.

With a poise and humility that belied his young 25 years, Kim Soo-hyun agreed to a brief interview during his fleeting trip through San Diego. Surrounded by a small, competent staff, we sat and spoke. Although he answered in Korean, he understood my English and often began his answers before the translator had to assist.

Cheryl Dawley: So San Diego is very excited to see you! My first question is, which do you like doing better, movies or dramas?

Kim Soo-hyun: I’m still learning about it. I’ve only done 2-3 dramas and 2-3 movies, so I can’t say right now, but I’m in the process of learning.

Cheryl Dawley: But you’re enjoying both?

Kim Soo-hyun: I like the development and the process with my colleagues. I am enjoying the people in this area.

Cheryl Dawley: And are you planning on doing more with your music career as well? I noticed you just released a song.

Kim Soo-hyun: I’m very interested in music, but my priority is acting.

Cheryl Dawley: I know when you worked on Dream High you spent a couple of month with JYP. How was that?

Kim Soo-hyun: During the shooting, I tried to learn dancing and music. At JYP, it was very hard training over there. It was very tough.

Cheryl Dawley: So what’s the hardest part of your job?

Kim Soo-hyun: Self development. It’s a process of growing up. Sometimes I get lonely and people can be very harsh to me.

Cheryl Dawley: What do you love best about being an actor?

Kim Soo-hyun: I respect Christoph Waltz. But I like acting. It’s like singing. It’s what I like best.

Cheryl Dawley: Can you say “Hello KKonnect” for the KKonnect fans?

Kim Soo-hyun: “Hello KKonnect!”

Time ran out and we had to wrap up.

But there were more to come waiting as he made his way into the theatre to greet his cheering fans. Although the meet-and-greet was conducted in Korean, even the English speaking fans were entranced.

crowd surgeThe bridesmaids outside were not disappointed either. They waited patiently for Kim Soo-hyun to emerge, and were greeted with his wide smile as he made his way through the crowd.

 

Note: Audio content coming soon! Check back!

Also check out the KKonnect Facebook page for more photos!

https://www.facebook.com/kkonnectmedia

Drums and Dragons and Sales – Oh My! Zion Market’s Grand Opening!

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Saturday, June 29, 2013 was officially declared Zion Market Day in the City of San Diego.

 

IMG_7433The party was on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard this morning as dignitaries gathered and shoppers crowded to witness the Grand Opening Celebration of Zion Market’s new location at 7655 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. The festive atmosphere was set in motion to the beat of drums by the San Diego Korean Pungmul School. Known throughout the Korean community (and beyond) for their beautiful, rhythmic, lively, traditional performance, the Korean Pungmul students kept the crowd entertained in the early morning heat.

IMG_7524The drums were followed by Three Treasures Cultural Arts Society Dragon Dancers in their colorful costumes. With the hope that the dragons would bring Zion Market good luck in their new location, they performed gymnastic feats and entertained the crowd with their large draconic maws. Feeding the dragon, by the way, will bring good luck to the bystanders as well! 😉

The ribbon cutting for the newly remodeled 94,500-square-foot building included local officials including three candidates running for City Council in District 6, City officials, officials from local Asian American associations, the Police Department, as well as the owner of Zion market.

IMG_7696The San Diego KPOP Flashmob brought Psy in for an appearance and danced to “Gentleman.”

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IMG_7858Inside the market, shoppers were busy shopping and cashiers were hard at work, trying to keep up with the long lines of patrons waiting to ring up the special opening day bargains. I scored some really nice organic apples. The majority of the shops on the non-supermarket side were open for business as well, including the new Boba Tea shop, Paris Baguette, Optical, jewelry and travel stores, IMG_7851and Erom, where I tasted (and purchased) some wonderfully healthy raw food packs that are made into smoothies. Yep, the green stuff to the right was what I gratefully enjoyed for breakfast after the opening extravaganza outdoors.

My favorite cosmetic counter (and my favorite cosmetics consultant) were also on hand. A little later make-up artists from Los Angeles were available to make people beautiful.

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I’m not sure when those poor folks at Zion ever got breaks today, but after being entertained, energized, fortified and beautified, I personally made my way back to my air conditioned home.

Welcome to your new home, Zion Market! See you again very soon!

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East Meets West Coast at the Asian Cultural Festival in Point Loma

KKonnect-ers showed their spirit (and trendy style) sporting 멋진 사람 (Super Cool Person) t-shirts and boppin’ to the kpop beat in the Korea Daily/KKonnect booth at this years’ annual Asian Cultural Festival.

 

jini fatehMay 10, 2013 the place to be was Liberty Station in Point Loma. There was great food, great music, shopping, drums, dancing, dragons, brightly colored costumes, swords and fighting. And, of course, KKonnect was on hand to Konnect the crowd with All Things Korean.

booth funThe booth was crowded most of the day with fair-goers guessing Korean celebrity identities based on only their lips, discovering their personality traits as determined by blood-type, playing Yut-Nori, and the ever-popular “Name that K-Pop Song”. KKonnect staffers were on hand to meet and greet, hand out candy and prizes (there were a few who really knew their lips!) and enjoy the lovely sunny day.

krc3The venue itself, while a bit on the breezy side – it was in Point Loma, you know! –  was perfect for the wandering crowds. Cultural representatives from many Asian countries had colorful booths manned by warm, friendly folk eager to share their country’s attributes. Musicians, drum corps, the requisite (exquisite) dragon dance, martial arts demonstrations, and dance demonstrations (with audience participation) were all part of the day’s activities. Of course there were plenty of dining options: Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, and Korean wrapped in a delicious crepe! Ice cream and shaved ice was available as the day warmed and the obligatory Kettle Corn stand was on hand as well.

dragon drumMarket vendors sold fun Asian toys, trinkets, lovely jewelry, and clothing. Health care experts, media, marketing, and other business segments also came to share their expertise with community.

The KKonnect staff broke down their booth at 5:00pm, tired – a wee bit sunburned – but happy and satisfied with the lovely day spent with friends, old and new. Prizes gone, candy dish long-since empty. Cooler ice melted.

Hey new friends!

  • Don’t forget about Korean Language Meet-Up group Wednesday nights at “E and Drink” in 99 Ranch Market on Clairmont Mesa Blvd. 6:30-8:30pm. Be there. J
  • Pick up San Diego Magazine in front of your favorite Asian market or at the Korea Daily Building 7750 Dagget Street
  • More questions? Trying to figure out how to get involved? Want to Konnect with all things Korean? E-mail the Soju DramaQueen (me) at Cheryl@kkonnect.net

Yutnori sdq mike Jini Cheryl krc3 IMG_5382 krc1 dragon drum crepesdrummerJini Cheryl

Follow-up on the “Countdown to Lee Min Ho”: The L.A. Fan Meeting Review

Cheryl and Jini survive L.A., the media, and the fans of Lee Min Ho

Starbucks coffee cups in hand, Jini and Cheryl set off on the I-5 Sunday afternoon for the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles to meet Hallyu star Lee Min Ho. The event, sponsored by Toyota, was a 4-hour extravaganza that began with an hour-long wait outside the hotel with excited, yet polite fans waiting patiently for doors to open. Jini and I arrived shortly after 2:00 pm. The folks at the front of line? Some had been there since 9:00 am, some since 5:00 in the morning. The doors were set to open at 3. This was a by invitation only event, 250 lucky ticket winners, their guests, a few VIPs and, of course, plenty of media.20130310-153652.jpgCheryl and Jini survive L.A., the media, and the fans of Lee Min Ho.

The media frenzy began with interviews of fans waiting in line (including those without tickets trolling for guests without friends!). Since gifts were allowed, they seemed particularly interested in what fans were gifting their beloved idol. Yours truly designed and hand knit a dashing alpaca scarf . We’ll just hope Min Ho actually sees it! Lol  Others were

Cheryl Jinibringing hats, college sweatshirts, etc.

Upon admittance to the event, we were handed given color-coded wristbands, our official NIF super secret agent badges and sent on three missions: Save Sohee (test drive a Camry – Jini drove), Find Solid Evidence

Nation Intelligence Force Agent - How official is this?
National Intelligence Force Agent – How official is this?

(Take a picture with Lee Min Ho in a photo booth) and a Code Hunt (scan a QR code to learn about Camry’s engine.) Completing the missions earned you stickers. The stickers gained you the raffle ticket needed for the prize drawings. Free sodas, juice and small pastries were served. Want to see Jini test-driving the Camry? (aka saving Sohee?) New camera – poor video, sorry! The Crystal mentioned below is also in the car with us!:

Next we were ushered to the upper level according to wristband color. Those at the front of the line had a different color from those at the back. I believe there were about 4 or 5 color sections plus a VIP section. Toyota welcomed us, presented a compilation of the “One and Only” series which was met with appropriate ooh’s, aah’s and out and out laughter.

20130310-181315.jpgTension built when Lee Min Ho was finally set to take the stage. Fans were somewhat taken by surprise when he entered from the back and walked through the crowd, affording many the opportunity to shake hands with the star as he made his somewhat arduous way to the stage.

Unfortunately, the sound quality in the room was abysmal. Even with the limited size of the venue and a polite, attentive audience, it was extremely difficult to understand the questions and answers by the MC, Lee Min Ho and the interpreter. Lee Min Ho was, however, charming, adorable and is, indeed, very good looking in person. He also looked extremely young!

Yes, his first word was “Hi” and the crowd went wild. The MC turned and said “Hi” in a similar fashion and feigned disappointment that his greeting wasn’t met with the same fervor.

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How to make you feel like a celeb

The raffle prizes? 2 robot toys featured in the “One and Only” commercials as well as a hug from Lee Min Ho and an opportunity to asked him a question, and 20 chances to go up on stage, get a hug from “Oppa” as well as a signed poster.

No, neither Jini nor I won any of the raffle prizes, but our new friend Crystal won a poster and a hug. (Yea! Crystal!) Still and all, it was indeed fun and exciting to be so close to an actor that I’ve admired for so long!

The event ended, somewhat abruptly, right after the signings at 6:45pm. Although fans were disappointed to see it end, I saw nothing but happy, smiling faces as we exited the venue and headed for the parking lot.

At this point, however, Jini and I were pretty darned hungry having eaten nothing but a tiny pastry all day… Stay tuned for a review of our “layover” in Irvine on the way home…

Follow-up on the “Countdown to Lee Min Ho”: The L.A. Fan Meeting Review

Cheryl JiniCheryl and Jini survive L.A., the media, and the fans of Lee Min Ho

Starbucks coffee cups in hand, Jini and Cheryl set off on the I-5 Sunday afternoon for the Park Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles to meet Hallyu star Lee Min Ho. The event, sponsored by Toyota, was a 4-hour extravaganza that began with an hour-long wait outside the hotel with excited, yet polite fans waiting patiently for doors to open. Jini and I arrived shortly after 2:00 pm. The folks at the front of line? Some had been there since 9:00 am, some since 5:00 in the morning. The doors were set to open at 3. This was a by invitation only event, 250 lucky ticket winners, their guests, a few VIPs and, of course, plenty of media.Cheryl and Jini survive L.A., the media, and the fans of Lee Min Ho.

The media frenzy began with interviews of fans waiting in line (including those without tickets trolling for guests without friends!). Since gifts were allowed, they seemed particularly interested in what fans were gifting their beloved idol. Yours truly designed and hand knit a dashing alpaca scarf . We’ll just hope Min Ho actually sees it! Lol  Others were

bringing hats, college sweatshirts, etc.

Upon admittance to the event, we were handed given color-coded wristbands, our official NIF super secret agent badges and sent on three missions: Save Sohee (test drive a Camry – Jini drove), Find Solid Evidence

(Take a picture with Lee Min Ho in a photo booth) and a Code Hunt (scan a QR code to learn about Camry’s engine.) Completing the missions earned you stickers. The stickers gained you the raffle ticket needed for the prize drawings. Free sodas, juice and small pastries were served. Want to see Jini test-driving the Camry? (aka saving Sohee?) New camera – poor video, sorry! The Crystal mentioned below is also in the car with us!:

Next we were ushered to the upper level according to wristband color. Those at the front of the line had a different color from those at the back. I believe there were about 4 or 5 color sections plus a VIP section. Toyota welcomed us, presented a compilation of the “One and Only” series which was met with appropriate ooh’s, aah’s and out and out laughter.

Tension built when Lee Min Ho was finally set to take the stage. Fans were somewhat taken by surprise when he entered from the back and walked through the crowd, affording many the opportunity to shake hands with the star as he made his somewhat arduous way to the stage.

Unfortunately, the sound quality in the room was abysmal. Even with the limited size of the venue and a polite, attentive audience, it was extremely difficult to understand the questions and answers by the MC, Lee Min Ho and the interpreter. Lee Min Ho was, however, charming, adorable and is, indeed, very good looking in person. He also looked extremely young!

Yes, his first word was “Hi” and the crowd went wild. The MC turned and said “Hi” in a similar fashion and feigned disappointment that his greeting wasn’t met with the same fervor.

The raffle prizes? 2 robot toys featured in the “One and Only” commercials as well as a hug from Lee Min Ho and an opportunity to asked him a question, and 20 chances to go up on stage, get a hug from “Oppa” as well as a signed poster.

No, neither Jini nor I won any of the raffle prizes, but our new friend Crystal won a poster and a hug. (Yea! Crystal!) Still and all, it was indeed fun and exciting to be so close to an actor that I’ve admired for so long!

The event ended, somewhat abruptly, right after the signings at 6:45pm. Although fans were disappointed to see it end, I saw nothing but happy, smiling faces as we exited the venue and headed for the parking lot.

At this point, however, Jini and I were pretty darned hungry having eaten nothing but a tiny pastry all day… Stay tuned for a review of our “layover” in Irvine on the way home…

Catching the Hallyu Wave in Pacific Beach

Catching the Hallyu Wave in Pacific Beach:

KSCPP at the Pacific Beach Library

March 9th at Pacific Beach, the weather was calm, the sun’s rays were bright, the wind was soft, and the waves reflected an almost limestone emerald glow. And yet, instead of lines of people forming at the entrance to the beach, there was a line of people waiting indoors at the library.

The Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion Project (KSCPP) held an informational session on Korean culture at the Pacific Beach Library. A capacity crowd was present, patiently waiting at the front desk, anticipating the start of the event to satisfy their curiosity of Korea and Korean Culture. The event being so popular, some were required to be put on waitlists before entering. Members of KKonnect were given special access to experience a truly unique event.

The event showcased documentaries on the many wonders and achievements in of Korea’s past from ancient, pre-modern times to the modern world. These included videos of the precision metallurgy required to create the Golden Earrings of Silla, the artisan craft used in the production of the Tripitaka Koreana, the creation of the Hangul script, and ending with a presentation of the scientific, technological, and engineering advances which acted as a catalyst to the meteoric economic rise of modern day Korea.

Audience members were also treated to witness a traditional Korean wedding ceremony featuring elegant dresses, presentations on wedding etiquette, and a blushing bride.

The event ended with a lecture on the health benefits of Korean Cuisine and food preparation, aptly followed by a wonderful lunch spread of Bibimbap, Seafood P’achon, Japchae, Kimchi, Bulgogi, dessert Dduk, and refreshing Sikhye.

Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project is a non-for-profit organization that was formed in September, 2005 to promote Korean history and culture to the wider world. The headquarter is in Seoul, Korea and branches are in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Los Angeles in the Unites States as well as in Germany and United Kingdom.

http://kscpp.net/