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Countdown Of Top Apps For The Expat Thespian

There’s an app for that. There’s an app for this. There’s an app for everything! Pardon the cliché but it’s the truth. Apps have become a vital part to our existence and knowing the “best” ones to use as an expat thespian is crucial.  It wasn’t a deep revelation but I realized that the apps on my smart tech item could be a little different than that of an actor living in their native country. Please note, that as most of these apps are universal, some are Korean specific which determines there ranking on this list.


10.  Momondo is my app of choice when seeking cheap flights.  I’ve found that this app can provide me with cheaper rates sometimes better than Google Flights.  This app is a testament to the adage that “what’s advertised is not always best.” The ability to book a flight at your fingertips is most convenient.  Always compare rates but having a trusted app that can give low fares is an expat thespian’s dream.

9. CNN & FOX win for the news. Why two? Glad you asked. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, especially living in South Korea, is that the media can “massage the truth.” Step back and see things from all perspectives. The film industry is directly connected to everything that happens in the world.  Keep informed of your current affairs because your next job could depend on it.   And since we’re on the subject of keeping informed a weather app is also most handy.   I use the weather widget that came on my smartphone. It updates in real time and provides me with an upcoming forecast for the week.

8.   The Hollywood Reporter for film news!  THR is a daily source for top stories, movies, television, and business.  Additionally, it has information about international news, film festivals and my favorite section, ASIA.   I would like to add an honorable mention here, IMDb.   Absolutely a great app and I use it multiple times per week but I find that it doesn’t provide enough international news for this expat thespian.  With that said it is a plethora of film news to enjoy.  Nonetheless, as an expat thespian, THR is my app.

7.   Voxer is the heavy hitter in the global calling, 2-way radio, & texting department.  Being able to leave a recorded message for a loved one, speak in walkie-talkie format or send pictures across the world is too cool.  Ok, so you really can’t make phone calls with Voxer but there’s another app on this list that rectifies this small inconvenience.  Some honorable mentions for this category include Kakao Talk, WhatsApp, Viber and Skype.

6.  ColorNote Notepad is my recommendation for those personal notes and ideas. You can type a note and even give instructions to the app on when to remind you. Other features include  “Send” which operates more like a “Share,” and an “Archive” option to store information.  You’re a beacon of creativity and those ideas come and go like the wind. Type them in as they come so you can research them later.

5.   Kakao Taxi is very popular in Seoul and its power in the palm of your hand. Being able to click a button and let cab drivers know your location, in real-time track where the driver is, and get an estimate on how long the ride will be are just a few benefits of this app.   Now the reason this one is not further up the list is because I’m no longer fond of cars. Read on and find out why.  In addition, this app is Korea specific but it’s good to know if your country has something that compares.

4.   Naver is Korea’s Hulk. (You see what I did there? Naver is green & Hulk is green. WOW, I should have been blogging years ago 😉  Your translator is key to your survival especially when responding to short text or emails from directors and casting agents.  An excellent digital assistant when you’re out and about or just an incredible source for when you’re studying your language.   Refer to my previous post on The Essential Utensils For An Expat Thespian for further information.

3.   Seoul Subway & Seoul Bus.  Public Transportation, YAY!  Seoul Subway and Seoul Bus provide time duration from one stop to the next, arrival times, and you can even search for specific stops.  I love public transportation. I grew up in North Carolina so if you didn’t have a car you were up poop’s creek without a paddle. Never a problem in Korea as the subway is ranked one of the top 3 in the world.  This is another that’s Korea specific so find the public transportation app in your country that makes life easier.

2. TextMeUp is amazing.  I now have a U.S. local phone number connected to my Korean cell phone that my family in America can call.  Not only is it free for me to call them, using this app, but the number works like a regular stateside number so that my family isn’t charged. They can call me up as if I’m sitting in N.C. drinking tea and eating grits.  This is also helpful for any casting agents that are stateside.  Having a local number to connect with me makes things easier for them.   The rules and restrictions in your country may be different so make sure you read the fine print in reference to unlimited calling and text.

NOTICE:  Added April 23, 2016 – There is fine print with this app.  First, calling and texting is free between TextMeUp users and anyone can call you for free with your TextMeUp number pending their cellular plan.  Second, calling landlines or cellphones without TextMeUp require credits. Third, there are very cheap one month, three month, and one year subscription plans. 

1.  Google App is just an absolute delight in the actors’ arsenal. The words “Ok Google” can lead me to any information I need while on the go.  I never have to concern myself with research, forecast, director/producer information, Korean co-productions, etc.  The Google App acts as my personal assistant while I do daily research for any knowledge that I need for my expatriate survival. Then why have other apps? Glad you asked. Because although it’s great it can’t do all.  Have a spare for everything; you never know what could happen.

Do you agree with my list?  I would enjoy hearing from you and what apps you think should have been on this list.

Please reply in the comments below with your thoughts. 

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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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