Searching Seoul Update

Set your tivo, folks. Searching Seoul is set to air on June
17th at 10:30 p.m. If you are from MN or WI and you happen to catch it,
I’d be interested in your thoughts.

We caused a little bit of a ruckus last Wednesday, after all our
neighbors saw the KSTP-Channel 5 van parked outside our house. Mike and
Phil (from the news station) filmed us doing such natural things such
as: walking the dog, sitting on the stoop, playing with water balloons
and looking at photos.

It’s hilarious to think that so much staging is involved in order to show us as being "natural" on t.v.

I asked whether this would be available to be purchased through the
station, but they said no. However, I will get a DVD copy and am free
to make copies and "give away" as many as I want. So I will check out
the costs of copying and shipping – check back on that one.

I am extrememly nervous about seeing my face on tv again. First,
because it was a time in my life when I was just one big bundle of raw
emotions. And at a time in my life when I wanted to present myself as
so put-together, the whole world (it seemed) saw me as this sad, sap of
an adoptee. And a clue for those who have never dealt with the media –
it’s so hard to control them. You can say all the things you want and
one thing that’s iffy and sure as hell that one thing will be what’s
aired. And just like the Korean television producers, I’m sure it’s no
accident that I’m crying in a majority of my airtime.

It’s such exposure! The other thing that makes me cringe thinking
about this, is that I was so new and naive about so many things – I’d
never been to Korea before, so in a way I was kind of robbed of that
first experience. Having a camera in my face isn’t exactly a stellar
way to see your birth country for the first time. I didn’t want to have
all my emotions on camera! So, although I feel I’m portrayed as
emotional in this documentary, I also feel that I held back a lot, and
in a way that’s bad. I needed to be able to process and feel my way
through this experience.

In the end, I guess I feel it was still worth it. As an outside
viewer, I’d really have appreciated seeing it, especially if I was a
newbie to the adoption identity process. I guess it’s just hard to have
your life in a fishbowl and open to such scrutiny.

I just hope that this is the end of my 15 minutes. I think I’ve had enough of "reality tv."

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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