The Korean entertainment industry is not immune to the global economy downturn with entertainers using various methods to overcome this crisis.
1. Lowering paychecks
With investors far more unwilling to invest now, many actors/actresses have taken the drastic step of lowering their paychecks. Top stars like Choi Ji Woo, Song Seung Hun, Kim Rae Won, Kwon Sang Woo, etc are prime examples.
2. No more managers, cars (transport)
More and more entertainers choose to strike out on their own so that they need not share their earnings with their management agency. Some don’t even hire managers anymore to cut costs. Some management agencies have also taken the step to stop providing their entertainers with cars.
3. Earning from Overseas (currency)
With the Japanese yen holding strong against the Korean won, entertainers stand to profit more if they were paid in the earlier currency. For example, Shin Hye Sung went to Japan for his solo concert last month. His management pointed out, “Before he went to Japan, the ratio (currency rate) was 1:8. But the ratio now is 1:14, so the already profitable profits are now doubled.
4. Increasing workload
Being the main lead in a drama/movie isn’t the way out. Even if the paycheck is low, being part of a supporting cast in many dramas/movies will earn that person quite a substantial amount of money. The chance to appear in a long running daily drama (airs Monday – Friday) is highly profitable and attractive to many entertainers if they get the opportunity to appear in one.
5. Appearing in various events
There’s no differentiation between your “main job” (acting) or “secondary job” (others). Many entertainers who were reticent to filming dramas, appearing on variety have now turned their eyes to appearing on variety shows.
6. Staying United
Interpersonal relationships are of great importance when in times like this. In Family Outing, Lee Chun Hee was able to stay on the show as a permanent cast thanks to his strong teacher-student relationship with Kim Su Ro.
7. Baring It
The idea of attracting attention with provocative scenes has reared its head. Kim Min Sun had several provocative scenes in her movie Portrait of a Beauty including appearing nude and portrayals of homosexuality. It seem to have some effect at the box office, garnering 1 million views after just nine days. But her management refuted the saying, “This production of this movie started last year so we didn’t predict that the economy would be that bad now. But Kim Min Sun’s nudity did have some effect on the box office, that’s a fact.”