Student Spotlight: Seong-Min Pak

Sophia Kim , Staff Writer

Binging on Korean dramas may be a hobby for many Diamond Bar High School students, but it usually isn’t a career option that many have thought about. Recent DBHS transfer student  senior Seong-Min Pak was a rising actor in Korea before moving to America last year.

Born in Korea, Pak watched Korean dramas all his life and realized he wanted to become an actor when he was in elementary school. His mother supported him in his dream, and soon enrolled him in an acting academy to help him start his career.

After years of training, Pak earned a spot on “Unkind Ladies,” taking the role of a cook’s disciple. The story focuses on three generations of women who establish a cooking school to escape financial problems. He appeared in a kitchen scene of the drama, cooking with the other disciples. Although he didn’t have a main role in the drama, he did have some lines, and his  character has reappeared throughout the show. The drama aired in May 2015 on the Korean national broadcast channel, KBS.

In addition, Pak landed a role as an extra in the movie “Veteran,” in which he was filmed riding in a car.

“One time, when I was on my way to my academy, a girl asked me for my autograph, which was cool,” he said.

On set, he met some famous actors and actresses, including  Park Bogum, Suh Kang Joon, and Chae Shi-Rah. Although seeing them on set was exciting, he always had to stay professional and never asked for their autograph.

During filming, the hardest part for Pak was being patient on set. Every scene had to be cut and redone several times if it wasn’t perfect, and while some were as short as five to ten minutes, others took about thirty minutes to film.

In Korea, Pak attended Sung-Ill High School, where he took acting as an elective there. Along with school, he was enrolled in an acting academy called ENT training center. He trained at the academy for four years before receiving casting calls for dramas. Although his mother supported him in his decision, Pak had to work part-time at Pizza Hut to pay for his expenses for the academy during high school.

“It was hard acting, working, and studying together,” he said.

Twice a week, Pak went to the academy center after school to practice his acting. Students there would receive scripts, and act out a character given to them. On his fifth year of training, he was finally able to compete for roles in different dramas and movies. With over 30  students competing for one role in the drama, it was tough to land even a small role. Despite the odds, Pak was able to stand out from the rest, and landed roles in “Unkind Ladies” and “Veteran.”

With his move from Korea to America for his father’s business, Pak had a lot to give up. He had to say goodbye to his friends, house, and most importantly, his acting career. Pak says he plans on attending college in America, but hopes to eventually move back to Korea to continue his acting career.

“If I continue to live in America, acting may be a bit hard to pursue,” he said.