Knowing Your Type As An Expat Thespian


Understanding your type as expat thespians can be different for us than the traditional actor in America or England.  When we as expats walk into an audition room, especially in Asia, it can be a plethora of different races, sizes, and even genders auditioning for the same role. Nonetheless please don't let that sway you in 

Knowing Your Type As An Expat Thespian 

What is type? In my opinion, "type" is defined as the specific roles you are most likely to play usually because of your defining features. Those features could include anything from your height, weight, the way your eyes bulge, length of your nose, right down to your personality. All that you are, from head to toe, determines your type. With that said, there are things you can do to determine your type. 

Use your mirror. And I mean take a hard, long, unbiased look at yourself, your skin, your wrinkles, the residual marks from your zits as a teenager. Take a look at that part of your body that you are most ashamed of because, it will be that part of your body that will help you distinguish yourself from the crowd. In addition, know your age range, what you're physically capable of doing, the kind of voice that you have. The journey of an actor is a journey of knowing one's self. The more you KNOW you the easier determining your type will be. 

Look for your mimics. What I mean is find the actors that you resemble in body type and see what roles they have played. No, I don't mean you should act like them, but you should take a look at the roles in their career. Were they an FBI agent, a nerd, a superhero, a drug addict, etc? All of these people fall into different "types" or categories for the screen. Everything from, The Rule-Breaking-FBI-Agent to The Detailed-Perceptive- Doctor-Drug-Addict. (If you can guess those two characters you have an understanding of type) 

Ask others. This is the hardest one. From family and friends to other actors, you have someone in your life that'll give you a blunt critique. How people perceive you can determine your type. This is your career expat thespian so make sure it's someone that will tell you what you need to hear. Ask this person what energy you convey because that energy is what you convey in your roles. 

I'm a black actor in Seoul, Korea.  I'm heavy, with a thick frame, large nose and broad smile. I have a lazy left eye and wrinkle in my forehead from a constant furrowed brow. I've played everything from a Gun-Toting-Thug to an Undercover-CIA-Agent here Korea. Yet, I consider myself to be the Federal-Corporate Type. Being confident in that choice makes me better at being an 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 Take Point (2018), Jojakdwen Doshi (2017), Haebangchon (2015) & Gamgi (2013).