As the countdown to KCON 2017 NY continues to dwindle, the excitement around this Zombie’s house is increasing exponentially. With so much to look forward to this coming weekend, it’s really hard for me to keep all this excitement contained! (I have a feeling the random squeeing as I go about my daily life might be starting to annoy my kids…) To direct all this energy in a more positive direction I’m going to introduce another amazing KCON 2017 Special Guest to you. Because, you know, that’s way more productive than dancing around the house singing “Cherry Bomb” at the top of my lungs… (*sings* “I’m the biggest hit, I’m the biggest hit on the stage…”)
I first met Sara aka Young Ajummah, in LA, a couple of KCONs ago. We’ve been on several panels together over the years and each year we find ourselves up to all sorts of shenanigans. Outside of KCON, we’ve written for/worked with a lot of the same media outlets over the years and I’ve even been able to talk her into working with me here on ZM, on occasion. Sara is seriously one of the most fun people you’ll ever meet. I love working with her on a professional level and love hanging out with her as friends even more. Basically, I just love her to pieces! But enough of my rambling. How about we let Sara introduce herself and share a bit of the KCON wisdom she’s gleaned over the years…
Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself? Who you are, what work you do in the world of Hallyu, where can people find you on the inter-webs, etc.
Hello all! It’s your favorite ajummah, Young Ajummah. My real name is Sara L. but not much of my writings are under that name. You can find me EVERYWHERE on social media under Young Ajummah. I’ve written for Dramafever, Beyond Hallyu, kPOPfix, MACG Production. I also run a monthly podcast on Aewen Radio and have my own website, YoungAjummah.com.
How did you first get into Hallyu? What first drew you in? What solidified your passion or sealed the deal, so to speak?
Isn’t it always Boys Over Flowers? I was up late studying in college and Hulu had become my best friend. It kept suggesting I watch a strange show about men who were wearing too much makeup. After about 3 days of it suggesting I watch the show, I decided to give it a try. The rest, as they say, is history. After finishing that drama I went on to find other dramas the actors had been in. During that time I discovered that Kim Hyung Joon was in a boy band. Once I heard his music, I was hooked. The final nail in the coffin was when I watched IRIS and discovered TOP and BigBang.
What’s your favorite drama and/or K-Pop group? Who’s your favorite actor? Favorite group? Favorite idol?
My current kdrama favorite is Gong Yoo (bless you Goblin and Train to Busan). My favorite drama doesn’t exist but if I had to pick something I thoroughly enjoyed, it’s a drama called Bad Guys (OCN truly rocks when it comes to dark dramas). My ultimate idol group is, of course, BigBang and honestly now I just appreciate music. I am not “trash” for anyone. Okay, except maybe Zion.T, Daesung, K.Will… lol!
Since first jumping into this Hallyu Wave, do you have a favorite moment or memory? Is there one moment that sticks out as special? Something that makes you say, “Yes, this is why I love Hallyu!” Would you mind sharing?
I think a highlight was when I crossed from casual fan to freelance writer and was able to interview Dynamic Duo. I’ve interviewed people in the past but this was my first face to face. I was nervous, yet extremely excited since I really enjoyed their music. Another moment was from this year, when I was able to take my youngest son to his first k-pop concert. He is a BTS fanboy so being able to watch him watch his favs perform was priceless.
As one who’s going to be taking part in KCON 2017, what is it you’ll be doing? Where will people be able to find you? Will you be in NY or LA or both?
I will be attending both NY and LA and as of right now I’m a panelist at NY and will be discussing the next k-drama star and what type of K-pop fan I am. You can also find me wandering around the convention trying to figure out how they could triple the size.
Is there something you’re really looking forward to during this year’s convention?
I’m really looking forward to Zion.T (remember I said I was/wasn’t trash for him?) Also, I JUST started listening to NCT127. I love their music and am learning the members so it’s cool that I will get to see them live.
Do you have any advice for those who might be attending KCON for the first time? Any words of wisdom you’d like to share?
Bring plenty of water, comfortable shoes and cash. Also bring your camera because this is the time where you can meet people who love k-pop/k-drama and all things Hallyu just as much as you. Don’t be afraid to make new friends, and if you see me be sure to take a picture with me!
If you happen to see Sara roaming around KCON this coming weekend, be sure to stop, say hi and snap a pic. There’s a high chance the two of us will be roaming the convention together so if you see us, please, don’t be a stranger. There’s nothing more fun that having a chance to meet new people and make new friends! Of course you’ll want to make sure you catch both of her panels this weekend and if you have any questions you’d like to ask her, be sure to submit them via the KCON mobile app!