If I could go back 6 years and speak to my younger self, I would have too much to say. To be face-to-face with the inexperienced actor, just starting out, in the Korean film industry would be a feat. The untrained, unlearned thespian full of optimism, hope and even a little arrogance would be a sight to see. Here are three things I would say to that expat actor. Above all else, it would be these three.
First, get a life. One friend looked at me and said, "Kahlid, when I see your post on Facebook, I never see you living." Expat Actor please know that acting is just one part of who you are, don't make it the sum of all you are. Travel, read, scuba dive, ride a bike, and do the things that you love. We can't be great actors if we don't have great experiences. I still fail in this area and will be the first to admit I have room for improvement.
Second, stay humble. Yes, we are overseas and some of us will be big fish in our ponds, but don't think for a second it can't change at the drop of a hat. Be thankful for your agents, your fellow thespians, and for the foreign film industry you have decided to be a part of. Nothing is ever guaranteed. If there is any industry that can change, at the flip of a coin, it's film.
Third, enjoy the time off. The industry isn't going anywhere. It's here to stay. Do you need a break? Then. Take. The. Break. I technically haven't pursued acting since July 2016. I still get calls from my agents, I still work, I just don't spend a lot of time online looking for acting gigs. Why? Because I've been using that time to study Korean and The Day In The Life of An Expat Thespian has changed. I decided to concentrate on the area where I was found wanting. I did my C.A.S.T. Analysis and shifted gears.
You're not just an expat actor. There is so much more to you than that combination of terms. Make sure you fill yourself with the experiences the world has to offer. You---the expat actor, the fulfilled Expat Thespian.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you agree? Please reply in the comments below with your thoughts.
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Till next time thespians,