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On Set Etiquette As An Overseas Thespian

I’ve heard and seen some of the most unprofessional behavior while on set.  In truth, even I have made a mistake or three that I regret. But I hope to help rectifiy that. Today’s post?

On Set Etiquette As An Overseas Thespian

Don’t Sandblast – Never, ever speak badly about your fellow expat actor especially in front of the director or client.  You may think that you’re making yourself look good but in the end you are only proving to the professionals that you need to put others down to bring yourself up. When you see someone behaving in a way that you don’t agree with, take them to the side and address the issue or, if you can, bite the bullet and keep your thoughts to yourself.

Don’t Translate Everything – Ok, you’re great at your host language.  I commend you.  But nothing says show off more than when a person takes it upon themselves to be the  “on set translator” for the expat actors. Everytime a word is spoken Taylor-Translate jumps in to show his/her language ability. Understand the difference, if you speak the host language and you’re using it in conversation with a person, that’s fine. But if you’re waiting on every breath, interrupting at any opportunity just to show your ability, that can be frustrating.

Don’t Compare & Complain – There’s not always a union overseas that fights for the overseas thespian.  So when you get to the set and it’s freezing cold, burning hot, terrrible food or even sub par conditions don’t be that actor that says, “Well in my home country it’s done this way.” You’re not in your home country, so check yourself, walk up to your agent or the assistant director and make a subtle request.  There’s nothing wrong with a subtle request.  You’re entitled…as a human. Just don’t be that overtly, obnoxious actor that’s making a scene.

I’ve made two of these mistakes, yet all three are hot buttons for any set. But we grow and learn together so remember your etiquette…Overseas Thespian!

I hope you enjoyed these tactics for overseas thespians working abroad. Please reply in the comments below with your thoughts or list of mistakes you’ve made. 

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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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