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It is surprisingly easy to get a job as an actor/model in Japan. Many Japanese TV stations, movies, dramas and commercials require foreign faces. And, since there are comparatively fewer foreigners in Japan, there is much less competition for these roles than in other countries.

In other countries the jobs of actor, model and commercial actor/model are distinct. However, for foreigners in Japan, you will likely get opportunities to audition for all three, as you are referred to as a foreign talent, or gaikokujin tarento (外国人タレント). Acting in movies, modeling for clothing brands, overacting for commercials, most people who work in Japan as a foreign talent have done it all.

Should you give it a shot? Absolutely! If nothing else, you’ll get a fun adventure out of it, a chance to be on TV, and a chance to make friends with the other foreigners at the shoot. I’ve met some of my best friends while modeling.

Should you consider being a foreign talent as a full-time job? As fun as it sounds, this kind of work is not for everyone, it really depends on individual ability and preferences. Unless you have a previously established modeling/acting career, it’s better to try it out slowly first. Perhaps get a few gigs on the weekends, or when you have the chance. Also, like all jobs, at the end of the day, it’s still hard work, with long hours (sometimes you film 48 hours in a row without sleep) and uncertain pay.

But you’d still like to try your hand at acting and modeling in Japan, here’s how to get jobs, in 3 easy steps.

Step 1. Have a Visa That Allows You to Work doing Acting and Modeling in Japan

Of course, to be permitted to work and live in Japan the first step is to get the …continue reading