Tuesday, May 23, 2006

BYJ- spreading his wings

As Joon’s Family celebrates its 3rd anniversary at the end of this month, I realized I’ve been a fan of BYJ for 4 years.

Like most BYJ fans, it was a first for me in many ways. Till today, I still don’t know how it all got started. ^^

Over the years, this feeling has changed subtly, especially over the last year or so. At first, I couldn’t quite figure out what it was that has changed.

Until I saw the photos of BYJ attending the SSH’s manager’s wedding.

Ahhh….. this young man is now all grown up….

During the last 4 years, as he went through the many big changes in his career…. He is no longer the shy young man that captured my heart in WLS and then proceed to almost take over all my free time as my fascination with him grew.

Where once I felt the need to protect this young man as I would like an older sister. Now, looking at him, striding confidently forward, taking on the world, it seems he no longer needs this protection but instead he is ready to protect the others.

And I guess in a way he is, as one of the boss and probably older than all the other employees in BOF, he is looking after the interests of the other fine artistes and staff there.

Do I miss the old BYJ?

I guess so… not that his character has changed. No, not that.

How do I describe it? More like someone dear in the family who is now flying, his wings fully fledged…. Making his own mark in his own way. He is the same and yet he is not.

He can’t hold autograph sessions like before.

His agency can’t disclose his schedule like before.

He doesn’t really have time to go online and leave messages like before.

He can’t really go anywhere he wants like before (does he still have time to play video games with his friends?)

His every move is scrutinized and analysed.

I remember having this conversation with bb once in 2004 after the phenomenal attention he received in Japan and all the Asian countries. Should we be happy for him as he gets more popular or worried? If he gets more popular, it would mean he will get further and further away from the fans. But as his fans, his family, we are at the same time very proud and happy that his popularity extends beyond Korea and Asia.

Ahh… the contradictory feelings of a fan. : )

Want to know more contradictary feelings?

I complain that there is no news and he is so slow to start his project. And yet, upon scrutiny, many of the artistes I know have ‘no news’ often for long periods too and many also do only one movie per year. So really, BYJ is pretty ‘normal’.... to a certain extent.

But how is it that I often feel that he is slow?

Maybe because I am consciously looking out for news about him whereas I don’t do so for the other stars. So time seems to pass slowly and I often wish he would hurry up with his projects. I can’t wait for him to start on a new work, so that I can ‘see’ him. Yet, in the same breath, I want him to rest so that he wouldn’t tire himself.

Told you there’s no pleasing fans like me. : )

So after such a long time, what is it about that still draws him to me? Making me spend time, effort and money in my support of him?

Not just the looks, that’s for sure.

He is good looking but he is not the only good looking artiste around. And at the risk of incurring the wrath of many fans out there… he is not the best looking either.

But then, my husband isn’t the best looking man in the world however I love him dearly.

What am I saying? It has to take more than looks for a fairly sensible, working professional to be his fan for 4 years. No, looks alone won't do.

It's more than just looks. It's his character, his beliefs, the way he conducts himself.

I’m not asking for perfection and I don't wish him to be. No one is and nobody can be. If he is, then he’ll be god. He won't be the Bae Yong Joon that we know and love so much.

But the process of trying and aiming for perfection…of doing one's best....of being earnest in everything he does…. These are what earn my loyalty and support. (Sometimes though, I wish he could be a little less serious and loosen up a bit.)

During the 4 years of being his fan, I’ve seen fans come and go. Even fans that were once very passionate. Some of his remaining fans lament about it.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything to be sad.

These fans who have ‘left’ will still watch his new movie/ drama as long as it’s good. Isn’t that what he wants? To be judged as an actor?

And if these fans ‘left’ to discover and support other Korean artistes? Isn’t that what he wants as well? For the Korean entertainment scene to become stronger?

Personally for me, because of him, I’ve discovered and enjoyed many other Korean movies and dramas. This has extended to music, language and food.

If anything, BYJ should be proud of the fact he has helped to fuel this interest, not just for me, but I believe for many of the non-Korean fans out there.

All this by just being himself.

I think he's done pretty well and should give himself a pat on the back. ^^

Great King Four Gods should be going into full swing at the end of this month. I can’t wait for this to start. I’m dying to see BYJ on a galloping horse and fighting like a great king.

This would be a sight to behold. Don't you agree?

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