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Advantages With Your Host Language For The Expat Thespian

As an expat thespian you’re living abroad and learning your host language hopefully on a daily basis. However, you can be stereotyped as the “token foreigner” and only given roles speaking your native tongue.  Being the token foreigner is great if your wanting to gain experience but to be a successful expat thespian you should be acting in a foreign language.  Today we’ll learn why to push for the opportunity to act in your host language.

Advantages With Your Host Language For The Expat Thespian

Advantage In Constructed Languages – Dothraki in Game of Thrones, Vulcan & Klingon in Star Trek, and Elfin from The Lord of the Rings.   Some of the constructed languages we hear on tv are based on actual foreign tongues while others were created from the ground up.  Either way, whatever foreign language you’re learning, when you know how to convey emotion within it, this gives you an advantage in the audition room and on set when dealing with constructed languages.

Advantage In Shakespeare –  Yes, Old English is a foreign language.  The language of Shakespeare is strange because the syntax is different, the inflection is different, and the rhythm is different.  If you’re studying a foreign language these challenges should sound familiar.  Some of the same tactics I use for learning Korean transfer so well for learning Shakespeare and vice versa.  Acting in your host language can bring you a sense of confidence and know-how when tackling the “cometh” and “goeth” of the Old English speech.

Advantage In Discipline – Nothing and I mean nothing says your a disciplined professional more than studying a foreign language.  The hours that are needed to memorize words, sentences, and idioms are hours that teach you as an artist what’s needed to succeed in this business.  When you dedicate daily time to your host language it makes you eager to dedicate to your art. In truth, being great at one makes you better at the other.

Learning a foreign language is a great opportunity for today’s up and coming artist. Yes, there are days it will drive you mad but nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.  So take the time as a young or experienced artist to learn that host language and grow as an Expat Thespian.

Did you enjoy this post?  Please leave a comment below.  I would love to hear from you on advantages you think I’ve missed. 

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Till next time thespians, 


Kahlid Tapia

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).

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