Being A Rule Breaker As An Expat Thespian


Being an expat actor can be can be a challenge. Sometimes culture or the status quo can feel stifling, as we are apprehensive to make certain decisions, to not offend anyone or ruin our careers. Nonetheless, I believe that there are certain rules we should break as expat actors to push ourselves forward. So today's post is 

Being A Rule Breaker As An Expat Thespian 

Breaking The Norm - Just because expat actors have come before you and done the journey a certain way doesn't mean that you have to do it just like them. Sometimes casting directors, producers, agents will look to you to utilize the same strategies of other expat actors. They tell you to that "this is the only way that has worked for years, don't reinvent the wheel." But I say, from experience, that the wheel can be a "circle of doom." Try something new, something risky, and change things up. 

Breaking The Cultural  - There are aspects of every culture that will be a challenge. For example, in Korea there are three different forms of speech. One of those forms are ONLY for people younger or of lower station.  This is called "Paun Mal." (Please forgive the English spelling). I don't like this form, because as an English teacher I'm constantly speaking with people that are younger me.  Then when I get on set to do some filming, I'm using "Paun Mal" with directors and producers that are older. Very disrespectful.  So, in short, I refuse to learn this version of the Korean language.  I break this rule so that I don't worry about disrespecting my elders. Easy Peasy! 

Find those rules that you can break that will make you stand out from the crowd.  Living overseas as an expat actor is tough but taking no calculated risk is an actor's death trap. The saying is, "Rules were meant to be broken" doesn't mean we have to offend anyone to get it done.  Be the rebel, Expat Thespian! 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you agree? Please reply in the comments below with your thoughts. 

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                                                          Kahlid Elijah Tapia


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Kahlid Elijah Tapia is an award winning actor who built his film career in Seoul, South Korea.   He began to flourish in 2010 gaining experience in film, television, and theater. He is known for Jojakdwen Doshi (2017), Haebangchon (2015) & Gamgi (2013).