Acting in Jdramas..

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kLx
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Acting in Jdramas..

Post by kLx » Nov 14th, '05, 20:56

First off the name's EJ, how's everyone doing? Anyway I really like Jdramas and how well they are put together and I was thinking of trying my hand at maybe doing one someday. I know it'll be a hard market to get into since Im american especially an african american trying to get into something predominately Japanese. I learning the language right now and hopefully in the next few yrs make the move to Japan. I was just wondering what people's thoughts are on this or good opinionated ideas on the subject.

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Post by 8thSin » Nov 14th, '05, 23:25

Japanese people are usually not as racist against Americans, but I have personally never seen a non-Asian guy star in a Japanese dorama series It's unlikely that any plot for JDorama would require someone like you to play a main role. :roll You should'nt get your hopes up.

There's a lot of small parts that you can participate though... Always see gaijin discussing business with rich guy, or being a body guard etc

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Post by mizune » Nov 15th, '05, 04:14

It would probably be a bit of a stretch, but I wouldn't rule out the chance of a drama role completely... Although I never watched it, I believe there was a caucasian actor with a significant role in Hakiori Musume.

As for being African American (read: not caucasian) being an impediment...I dunno....There were bit scenes with an African man playing the brother-in-law to Yuusuke Santa Maria's character in...uh...Omai Kekkon, I think... Also, there is the Indian fellow that has a recurring role in the Trick series (and I've seen him other places too).

In any case, foreign talents are becoming increasingly common these days. So at the least, you may still have a shot at getting on the Japanese TV circuit. One of the most popular foreign talents is probably English teacher turned talent, Thane Camus, who I hear also runs a talent agency for foreigners in Japan. Another guy who has done pretty well for himself on the variety circuit is Patrick Harlan, who is actually part of a manzai group (Japanese comedy duo) Pakkun and Makkun. K1 fighter Bobby Ologun from Nigeria is making a good kill in the variety circuit as well (and I am pretty damn sure he isn't nearly as stupid as he puts himself out to be ^_^;;;; ) Overall though, I think you're going to need to know the language well....and have a good sense of humor... ^_^;;;;

Anyhow, I would be lying if I didn't say it is a bit of a stretch...but in a few years, who's to say what will happen, really?

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Post by yarichin » Nov 16th, '05, 00:51

It's pretty easy to get roles as an extra or model if you're the stereotypical foreigner. Otherwise don't think you're gonna be a star or anything. Only a few have made it big like Thane and Kent Derecott and Kent Gilbert and Bob Sapp. Some of them made it big.
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Post by t3n5h1_chu_k015h173 » Apr 16th, '06, 21:55

I just wondering how about asian people who can speak japanese and other few languages,can they act in any drama or movies?? :roll is there any talent agency that we can find about this? :whistling:

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Post by ilovedrama » Apr 18th, '06, 07:46

In some ways your goal is very admirable and best of luck in achieving them. In others I suppose if there are too many "foreigners" in J/K/C-Dramas then they loses those special flavor that got you attracted to it in the 1st place.

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Anyone want to act/sing/model in Japan? I know I want to.

Post by nyczfish » May 11th, '06, 01:56

I, eat, sleep and act, its my life. I really want to get in to acting in japan's doramas. I know its not easy but I got talent. I had leading roles in stage and short-movies. My resume is really bad, I got my GED and lefted high-school, went to community college, majored in theatre, and I went to act on stage. I also heard that Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world for years straight. Anyone else interested?

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Post by mizune » May 11th, '06, 02:22

you aren't alone... :)
kind of similar, so i merged the topics...

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Post by goygakgoy » May 11th, '06, 02:34

Hi, I just want to say that it's very admirable that you want to do this. I think u should give it a shot, but it's probably gonna be very hard. Personally for me, I lived in America all my life and one of the reasons why I watch it is to see new ppl, Japanese ppl. To see an AFrican American in a J drama is like seeing a white guy running a Chinese restarant...kinda odd...not use to it.

U should try and if u don't make it, I think u'll enjoy the ride? I would love to go to Japan someday...but I don't think I will, unless I know a j-girl.

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Post by nyczfish » May 13th, '06, 02:42

I seen African Americans that speak Japanese perfectly in television shows. Its like they would usually pick non-Asians to appear in television if they have it in the story line. For example, the head teacher's daughter was dating an African American when Teacher Onizuka met her in the mall, in the dorama show, "Great Onizuka Teacher". For example, Ueto Aya's commericals, "Oronamin C", there was one of the commericals that she was the president of a company giving the drink to an African American athlete the drink. Here is the link: .

EDIT: SPELL CHECK.

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Post by Crazy Penguin » May 13th, '06, 04:49

The thing I'd be interested in most would be: why would you want to act in a Jdrama? Because you think Jdramas are cool or because you like acting? Personally, I'd say the first reason would be rather lame.
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Post by goygakgoy » May 13th, '06, 05:07

Why is it lame? Isn't that the first reason why ppl act? In order to like acting....shouldn't u first be inspired by some show or somebody acting?

Seriously, your reply is lame....what other reasons are ppl supposed to have to want to act?
Crazy Penguin wrote:The thing I'd be interested in most would be: why would you want to act in a Jdrama? Because you think Jdramas are cool or because you like acting? Personally, I'd say the first reason would be rather lame.

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Post by nyczfish » May 13th, '06, 05:54

goygakgoy wrote:Why is it lame? Isn't that the first reason why ppl act? In order to like acting....shouldn't u first be inspired by some show or somebody acting?

Seriously, your reply is lame....what other reasons are ppl supposed to have to want to act?
Crazy Penguin wrote:The thing I'd be interested in most would be: why would you want to act in a Jdrama? Because you think Jdramas are cool or because you like acting? Personally, I'd say the first reason would be rather lame.
Honestly, I agree with goygakgoy, were inspired to act, and why do we want to act in Japan? Isn't it obivous that we like the actors/actress or the culture of Japan? If we loved Korea, then wouldn't we want to act in Korea? Well, my point is that we want to act in Japan, because we are inspired to act in japan. Its obivous why we started the topic.

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Post by Crazy Penguin » May 13th, '06, 06:28

There's a simple answer.

People who like to act in something just because they think it's cool, lack the necessary professionalism and dedication. Any decent actor would pretty much laugh his or her ass off at the argument that if you love Korea you'd want to act in Korea (that's a BS argument, if you ask me, it's just like saying "I want to act in Hollywood because *insert random movie here* was cool". Stupid and naive). A decent actor loves acting and wants to act because of that, no matter where that would lead him. There was a Norwegian playing the lead in the musical Mozart in Austria; and an American playing the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera when the musical was here, too. A Dutch played Elisabeth in the same musical. Friedrich von Thun has been in American movies (Schindler's List), French movies, while he's usually on German stages. Senta Berger, great old lady from way back, went to Hollywood, but when they typecasted her in stereotypical roles, she left Hollywood again and became one of the most successful actresses in the German speaking areas of Europe. That's what a real actor does. All those "I want to go to Hollywood" or whatever other location screamers will never be really good actors.

Then again... dedication is a rare virture among the younger generations these days.

Would be curious how old you people are. Under 25? Maybe even under 20? Judging from your naivety it'd fit.

If you really want to achieve that, you'll need to work hard. And I don't mean what you've seen so far as "hard work" (none of the western kids these days knows what hard work really is anyway).
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Post by nyczfish » May 14th, '06, 03:34

Im 22. As you said, that actors/actress's dreams want to go to whereever, or "hollywood". My dream to act is in japan. I don't get your point. If you think its naive and stupid then so be yourself.

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Post by Prince of Moles » May 14th, '06, 03:43

Hey if you can speak, listen, and read Japanese go for it! You're still young, I see no reason why you shouldn't give it a go if you're serious.

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Post by Scribe » May 14th, '06, 03:46

EDIT: Ack! The following isn't directed at PoM!

Well, I think that's a bit of a childish reply, and I'm 21. I agree that you shouldn't just want to be in a dorama because you want to get a chance to be near the idols. Of course we all have those dreams! The difference, however, is in whether or not we kid ourselves as to the likelihood of those dreams. However, I will say this much to those who are serious about acting in a J-dorama:

ACTING is the most important part. You must love to act. You must want to do it for a living. Loving Japan is secondary--it should simply be the setting for your desire, not the desire itself, nor the motivation for it.

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Post by nyczfish » May 19th, '06, 00:46

Yeah but acting in a place I admire, get paid for and working at a good environment. Who would have a great job like that?

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Post by goygakgoy » May 19th, '06, 00:59

Don't listen to Crazy Penguin. What you said are the same thing that many successful actors/actresses said.I don't deny that there would be hardships and you're more likely to fail due to race, but the idea alone is not lame. If everybody listened to Crazy Penguin, the world would be much different and probably worst. A world where ppl have no motivation and dreams.
nyczfish wrote:Im 22. As you said, that actors/actress's dreams want to go to whereever, or "hollywood". My dream to act is in japan. I don't get your point. If you think its naive and stupid then so be yourself.

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Post by Prince of Moles » May 19th, '06, 02:14

I don't think racisim will be the main issue (if you don't look Japanese, then that means there will be niche roles for you).

There will be 2 big obstacles though.
You will need patience. (Not many roles for explicitly non-Japanese actors in most Japanese shows. Also don't forget that it's not easy for a Japanese person to become an actor/actress either.)

And you will need linguistic ability. (You will need more than just passing knowledge. I mean you will need to be able to read newspaper kanji so that you can read the scripts and figure out what the characters are doing, feeling, etc. You'll basically need 4th year Japanese at the college level, at minimum. You might have to pretend you don't know Japanese in the show, but that's called acting. Otherwise you'll also invite the possibility of being cheated by your manager...)

Anyway, I know that the hurdles are high. But if you are serious you should be able to overcome them. Hey look at Kaneshiro Takeshi, Yinglin, Yun Sona, Dave Spector, Lisa Stegmayer, etc...

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Post by senpuuken » May 19th, '06, 03:20

Of course everything is going to be foreign, but the experience and result are well worth it. I agree with others, acting must be a priority. Not just the oppurtunity to work a famous actor that may rub off film credit, you actually have a harder job out shinning the star of the show. This is very difficult, although for any "true" actors, it shouldnt prove to be as hefty of a feat to accomplish.

I myself, losing weight and clearing my complex, would enjoy using my prior ability involve even in a minor part of a production. It's all about the experience, that would be amazing. The first american Kamen Rider other than the US adaptation. Heh, im still thinking about kid shows.
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Post by nyczfish » May 19th, '06, 03:40

Lets say they accepted you as an actor in Japan. What about the social life? Some stores and especially bars won't let foreigners in. Japan is still a homogenus country. As seen in http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/fac ... os/ja.html they are an "advanced civilization". They have low crime rate, low AIDS rate, 99% japanese population and a mininum age of twenty to purchase cigarettes, alcohol, and to vote.

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Post by Scribe » May 19th, '06, 05:58

nyczfish-- I don't think the majority of japan is going to be that way. Yes, foreigners are rare, and there are some places that don't accept them, but it doesn't mean that a social life in japan wouldn't be possible. There may be a few restrictions, but worrying about things like that is silly when you have the positives to weigh against--just as there are people who won't want to know you because you're foreign, there are probably twice as many who *do* want to know you for that reason. There are also the people who are willing to accept you no matter where you're from.

It's true you'll stand out in Japan--if you're looking to be an actor or actress, that's a positive thing, though, isn't it?

As for me, my role is the devil's advocate. ><;;

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Post by auroragb » May 19th, '06, 14:36

nyczfish wrote:Im 22. As you said, that actors/actress's dreams want to go to whereever, or "hollywood". My dream to act is in japan. I don't get your point. If you think its naive and stupid then so be yourself.
EH! You're 22? :goggle: by the law of Final Fantasy, you're an old person now and never have a chance to achieve anything in life ;)

As for jdramas, I'd imagine that getting a bit role might be possible, but recurring foreign characters in jDramas are few and far in between. In another words, work, if you can get it, will be VERY few and VERY far in between, so don't quit your day job
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Post by Scribe » May 19th, '06, 21:02

That's exactly right. I can count on one hand the number of caucasian bit parts I've seen, and normally they're horrible at acting. They're just there to speak english.

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Post by Raura1020 » May 19th, '06, 23:00

I don't want to let you down, even other Asian people can't get into JDrama easily. I'm Taiwanese, if you watch some TWDrama, you'll know our skin color and Japanese's is the same. Yes, there's one Taiwanese actress, Vivian Hsu, succeeded starting her career in Japan, but what main role did she get? A naive Taiwanese girl married to Japanese boy and tried to make the boy's family like her (in the drama title "Honke no Yome"). Another example, Faye Wong, a very popular Hong Kong singer, but her first main role in JDrama "Uso Koi" is a weird Chinese girl speaking English.

Foreign characters in JDrama are always the horrible kind of stereotype! You'd doubt if the writers create such unhuman like characters simply because the actors are from another country....I think it's some kind of racism. No offence, if you are a foreigner, it's hard to get a normal role in JDarma; if you got darker skin, please give up, you'll only have the chance to variety shows.

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Post by auroragb » May 20th, '06, 18:03

Yah in Sentou no Musume. The Taiwanese girl actually a girl from Taiwan. She achieved fame from a movie she did as a child in the early 90s and tried to make a career in Japan, but she is a extremely minor talent
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Post by sadotsu » May 22nd, '06, 04:32

Crazy Penguin wrote:There's a simple answer.

People who like to act in something just because they think it's cool, lack the necessary professionalism and dedication. Any decent actor would pretty much laugh his or her ass off at the argument that if you love Korea you'd want to act in Korea (that's a BS argument, if you ask me, it's just like saying "I want to act in Hollywood because *insert random movie here* was cool". Stupid and naive). A decent actor loves acting and wants to act because of that, no matter where that would lead him. There was a Norwegian playing the lead in the musical Mozart in Austria; and an American playing the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera when the musical was here, too. A Dutch played Elisabeth in the same musical. Friedrich von Thun has been in American movies (Schindler's List), French movies, while he's usually on German stages. Senta Berger, great old lady from way back, went to Hollywood, but when they typecasted her in stereotypical roles, she left Hollywood again and became one of the most successful actresses in the German speaking areas of Europe. That's what a real actor does. All those "I want to go to Hollywood" or whatever other location screamers will never be really good actors.

Then again... dedication is a rare virture among the younger generations these days.

Would be curious how old you people are. Under 25? Maybe even under 20? Judging from your naivety it'd fit.

If you really want to achieve that, you'll need to work hard. And I don't mean what you've seen so far as "hard work" (none of the western kids these days knows what hard work really is anyway).
Read the post, please.
He wants to act in jdramas because of how they're made. He didn't say he wanted to act in Japan, he wants to act in jdramas. He likes the way jdramas are different from other dramas, which is why he wants to take part in them. It has nothing to do with "thinking it's cool". Maybe you're too old to understand that.
Oh, and I'm 14.
kLx, sorry if I misinterpreted your post.

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Post by kLx » May 23rd, '06, 00:29

Im surprised this topic is still around, sorry for not replying since last year things came up. Anyways sadotsu you pretty much summed up how I feel about the subject. People's opinons are welcomed, since that's why I asked for and that's okay. I already know how hard it'll be to do this in general and I gladly welcome the challenge. And you never know, it may happen or it may not, but I'll never know until I try.

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Post by meagermiser5 » May 23rd, '06, 01:20

I can believe that it would be really difficult for a foreign person to get into a jdrama, but I don't think it's impossible. However, from what I've seen, foreigners who appear in jdrama usually act horribly IMHO. They're probably told by the director to slow down their english (I don't see why they would want that seeing as how the dialogue for those parts are most likely subtitled in Japanese). Either that or the actor is not very good. I can't really think of any other reason why english speaking actors in jdrama are like that.

Just recently, I was watching some jdrama on television. I had no idea what it was called, but it was some doctor show, and the episode opened up with some kind of emergency. The female lead was working with some American doctors and whenever the American man spoke, he sounded awkward and unnatural because he didn't speak smoothly. Although I'm sure he would've, had he appeared in an American show.

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Post by groink » May 23rd, '06, 01:50

meagermiser5 wrote:I can believe that it would be really difficult for a foreign person to get into a jdrama, but I don't think it's impossible. However, from what I've seen, foreigners who appear in jdrama usually act horribly IMHO. They're probably told by the director to slow down their english (I don't see why they would want that seeing as how the dialogue for those parts are most likely subtitled in Japanese). Either that or the actor is not very good. I can't really think of any other reason why english speaking actors in jdrama are like that.
Unlike the US, actors in Japan do not have to be a member of a union. Even Tiger Woods had to join the Screen Actors Guild in order to appear in commercials for American Express. Michelle Wie, however, didn't have to join any organization when they shot that CM with Ueto Aya. So what the Japanese companies do is they hire employees of the American Embassy in Japan and other places where there are a lot of Americans. This may explain why their acting is so lousy - they are not actors.

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Post by BusonIssa » May 23rd, '06, 02:03

I don't think unions have anything to do with it, as it isn't as if SAG membership does anything at all to guarantee acting ability. The reason for the relatively poor acting of English speakers in Jdramas is simple enough: there just aren't that many anglophones in Japan to begin with, and most that live in the country are there to teach English, serving in the US armed forces, or doing some other thing completely unrelated to acting, and as such the talent pool just isn't very deep.

Looking at things from an English-only speaking actor's point of view, Japan is hardly where one would want to be to land the juicy roles, and the number of Americans, Britons, Australians, Canadians, etc. in the world who can both act well (as in, a lot better than Steven Seagal) and speak Japanese fluently enough to attempt careers in the country, is close to zero; besides, Hollywood pays so much better than anywhere else that Japan wouldn't be at the top of the list even for these rare individuals.

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Post by auroragb » May 23rd, '06, 13:53

BusonIssa wrote:I don't think unions have anything to do with it, as it isn't as if SAG membership does anything at all to guarantee acting ability.
True, but the SAG fees are not trivial and if one pays it, that person probably has a vested interest in making a career in acting; hence, a better chance of that person being a decent actor
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Post by Néa Vanille » Jun 7th, '06, 04:57

meagermiser5 wrote:
Just recently, I was watching some jdrama on television. I had no idea what it was called, but it was some doctor show, and the episode opened up with some kind of emergency. The female lead was working with some American doctors and whenever the American man spoke, he sounded awkward and unnatural because he didn't speak smoothly. Although I'm sure he would've, had he appeared in an American show.
Maybe the Japanese feel really smart when watching TV and actually understanding it when someone speaks English - not knowing it's really watered-down English. :mrgreen:

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