How K-Pop Agencies Cast Trainees On Instagram, Revealed By A Former Audition Manager

Social media casting has been on the rise in recent years.

Throughout the development of K-Pop, there have been many methods agencies or casting agents have used to recruit the most promising aspiring trainees. Two of the most popular categories have always been auditions or casting. While auditioning requires the aspirant to go and voluntarily apply for a spot in the agency, casting involves an agent finding potential prospects and inviting them to audition.

BTS’s Jungkook auditioned for “Superstar K3.” | Mnet

Due to the nature of casting, this method of recruiting always makes for some of the best audition stories, as multiple idols have revealed some bizarre places and ways they’ve been asked to join their companies. Depending on where it happens there are different types of casting as well — with the latest trend being “Instagram Casting.”

BTS’s Jin shared he was scouted by a casting director of BigHit Music while traveling on a bus. | BIGHIT MUSIC

Since this type of casting is fairly new and has mostly started as a practice in recent years, a former audition manager has taken to YouTube to reveal more about the process.

At one point there were a high number of employees that were casting through social media.

— Audition Manager

The manager made sure to explain that the rise of social media casting mostly increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all other types of casting becoming near impossible as lockdown ensued. He also shared that the most used platform to cast aspiring trainees is Instagram.

The social media platform where casting happens most actively is “Instagram.”

— Audition Manager

On the application, casting agents use hashtags to easily find students that are aspiring to become trainees in the future. Some of the most popular hashtags are basic ones like #aspiringidol, #aspiringsinger, and #aspirant. Sometimes, these hashtags will also be followed by the trainees’ birth year, so #03 or #04.

Former LOONA member Kim Lip revealed she was contacted by BlockBerryCreative on Instagram. | SBS

Once they find a potential aspirant, the manager added that casting agents will always try to deduce their unedited proportions and face visuals by comparing different posts on their accounts. For this reason, he recommends carefully picking the photos to upload as well as avoiding posting ones that are heavily edited.

aespa’s Karina pre-debut Instagram photo. | @__jiman2__/Instagram

Other than visuals, agents also find it important for the aspirant to show interest in signing or dancing by having covers uploaded on their page. This is crucial if the aspiring trainee is exceptionally talented at either of the skills, as it will immediately show their strongest point to the casting agent.

But how do the agents contact aspirants and invite them to audition? The audition manager explained that the agents have to make private accounts specifically for casting purposes, and privately message any aspirants they are interested in. Thus, he recommends having Instagram DMs open, if you’re interested in getting invited to an audition.

Instagram casting will continue to be on the rise as a popular method of recruiting aspiring trainees despite the fact that lockdown has ended. One reason is the fact that many students still opt to wear masks when attending popular casting places, such as schools and festivals. The method has proven successful too, with aespa‘s Karina being the most notable idol that was cast through her Instagram by SM Entertainment agents.

Source: The Audition Bible