While thinking back on this scene, Duan Yi En was however, really calm. “Back then I was really young, I didn’t have a concrete plan for the future, and definitely the thought of being an artist has never crossed my mind. In addition, in the US there wasn’t really a lot of casting like this except for movie casting, of course.” That year, Duan Yi En’s parents who had a certain level of understanding of Korean artists told him that JYP Entertainment is one of the top three entertainment companies in Korea and if Duan Yi En is willing (to try out), they will be supportive of him. Even so, Duan Yi En still didn’t think much into this. It was only until his friends knew about the casting and thus convinced him that it was a rare opportunity and that he could give it a try. Only after that, Duan Yi En gave it a serious thought.
The young man who was once lost, because of an occurrence, started figuring out his future.
Life is full of uncountable and interconnected choices to be made, and the final decision would lead us to walking a different path of life. Between schooling and performing, Duan Yi En who had zero music foundation had a hard time deciding what he wants. But he knows deep down his heart, one can afford to take risks when one is young, even if he fails there’s no regrets. After all, there’s always opportunities to pursue his studies but the door to performing on a stage might not always be open for him. Thus, in 2010, Duan Yi En picked up his luggage filled with dreams and aspirations, and started his journey to achieving his dreams in Korea.
A special occurrence with his dream
“There are certain things that have to be done at different phases of life. The only thing we need to do is to do well in what we have to do in this phase of life, and to live in the moment. Which was why the way I lived my life before (becoming an artist) was just like the others. Everyday it was just going to school, returning home from school, play, living a simple yet happy life. If nothing goes wrong, I would walk on a path with me entering a university, finding a job, living a very structured life.” Duan Yi En is not someone who’s good at structuring a dream, but he understands the simplest truth of life – to live in the moment.
The occurrence with JYPE’s casting team broke the silence Duan Yi En originally had in his simple life and changed how he originally walked on a stable path but opened up a window that leads him to an unpredictable future with lots of opportunities. Actually, even after Duan Yi En passed the audition and became a trainee in JYPE, he still wasn’t sure if what was ahead of him was going to be applause and flowers or a tough journey filled with uncertainty. As the trainee days began, there was no returning to his once simple and comfortable life. It was then replaced with the stressful life of being a trainee, the tough process of learning and training, and the loneliness of being in a foreign country. When all these came crashing on Duan Yi En, he was, however, unexpectedly determined. He spoke to his mother on the phone saying: “Given the current situation, if studies and training go on at the same time, I might not be able to do well in both of them. Since I’ve made my way to Korea, let’s put the company’s training as top priority.” Duan Yi En’s passion for the stage is the reason for such strong determination. Just like how there are monthly, mid terms and year end exams, the trainees also have fixed evaluations to go through. Duan Yi En shared the first time being on stage was also the first time he tasted the sweetness behind all the sweat and tears, the first time he got to experience the magical feeling of being on stage. Thereafter, he fell in love with the stage, and was even more determined that he had to debut in Korea.
Duan Yi En’s dream isn’t one that’s considered as ambitious, but it is always able to reach a unique tomorrow that belongs only to him given the environment that he’s currently in. When being asked whether there’s anything that interests Duan Yi En recently, he said that he’s relatively more interested in fashion nowadays. Who knows, perhaps in the next ten or twenty years, there might be a designer with the name of Duan Yi En in the fashion industry?