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Top 3 Reasons You're Not Thinking Big As An Expat Thespian

The saying is “dress for the job you want.”  This adage holds true for expat actors because we have to be professional before we can be treated as professionals.  So how do we think big, as overseas actors can be apprehensive about their level of professionalism? How do we justify being recognized when overseas?  Today’s post?

Top 3 Reasons You’re Not Thinking Big As An Expat Thespian

Overseas Is Different –  Not true, well, not exactly.  Aspects of being an expat actor are very similar to our counterparts over the pond. For example, promoting ourselves online by using databases like enCast, IMDb & Spotlight are crucial for recognition. Networking via email, comp cards, film festivals, and charitable events, to directors & casting agents, are necessary skills for success. Subscribing to free online acting tips can provide you with vital knowledge on navigating the industry. As expat actors our duties are the same so don’t view overseas as “the outside looking in.”  The internet has made acting global and global means all inclusive.  

Short Term Stay – Some expat actors feel that because they’re in a foreign country for a limited time, their acting work is irrelevant. This is not true. It doesn’t matter your length of stay in your host country, if you’re an actor and you receive an opportunity to act in a production, then treat that opportunity as a professional would. Express your excitement on social media, prepare intensely for the role, invite casting directors to your performance, and record your scene for your portfolio. Your length of stay shouldn’t be a reflection for the vision of your career.

Credit Misconception – Just because your work or credits are overseas doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable.  Most of your overseas work will be considered “Non-Union.” But all actors use non-union work to build their experience. Non-union, by definition, is any production that doesn’t meet union rules. (Click here for film union rules to get an idea) Treat your credits as any professional actor would by using them in your demo reel, as acting clips, on your resume, and your online database. Your overseas experience is evidence of your dedication, don’t underestimate its value by not recognizing its importance. 

Expat actors should be optimizing the opportunities that their host country provides. This means acting in a manner that furthers your career… Expat Thespian! 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Do you agree? 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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