How to Become a Model/Actor in Thailand

A variety of profile photographs is essential

OK. So, you have just arrived in the Land of Noodle Soups & Nose jobs and you want to make it big as a famous actor, model, stuntman or even comedian. Actor (also means actress, so ladies do not be put off!) and ‘model’ can mean anyone acting etc…. either on the big screen or in print ads. Chances are however, you will have more chance of winning the Thai lottery than becoming a huge success!

Now, most folk who have never worked in the lucrative world of ‘modelling’, automatically flinch at the word ‘model’ and imagine one to either have a hunky six-pack, or , if you are a lady of course, looks to have any man watering at the mouth. In reality, a model may be nothing of the sort; he/she maybe 65 years of age and weigh-in at 250 pounds. It all depends, quite simply, on what the client needs.

with… two of Thailand’s most wanted models

Having worked on-and-off in the business for donkey’s years, I have constantly seen all the same mistakes made by wanna-be stars. Now, would you go to a job interview as a DJ wearing a black dinner jacket and top hat? Doubt it. Often, of course, there are no actual job interviews for actors/models; you are usually chosen as a possibility for a job by your profile and photographs; the latter of super-importance.

First & foremost, put together the best pics of you possible; a big variety of photographs; pics that will be relevant to clients’ need. Just a few weeks ago I was responsible for finding “25-30yr farang lady to act as businesswomen in Thai soap opera”. Sure enough, my email inbox in the morning had lady applicants sending me photos of them in bikini, sexy stockings and very visible cleavage. The lady who I did finally choose, sent me polite pics of her in skirt and neat blouse from her English language classes. Remember, if for instance, the ad reads “foreigner, ‘gay’ looking” and you want to apply, then send them pics of you posing gayish (as one of my profile pics here). This message is so simple to understand but 90% of applicants are ignorant of it; they are wasting their own and client/productions’ time.

Even my wife, on the right not left!, can getting a TV acting job if she knows how to apply!

There is an extreme amount of competition these days (compared to the days of yesteryear) and this is especially applicable for ‘good-looking foreign ladies’. The competition is now flooded with ‘beauties’ from the former Soviet Union; be warned. The competition is far less for ‘old’ foreigners, South Asians and, blacks especially. Many of the TV commercials made in Thailand are foreign productions; ie.. Indian, Japanese and even European etc….

If you prefer to sign-up personally with modeling agencies than scouting the Internet for freelance work, then select professional/worthy agencies that have been in the business for years. Again, there is no need to look like Matt Damon or Victoria Beckham; agencies need all types of age, height and size etc…. a respectable agency will take all the photos for you, however, they will be the owner of those pics and not you! Under no circumstances, pay an agent a fee! Any agency who asks you to pay any kind of money is a scam! A proper agency will take their approx. 30% commission if they find you a job.

Ok… stayed tuned for Part Two and direct modeling/acting contacts!

2 responses to “How to Become a Model/Actor in Thailand

  1. I agree with many of these points. My daughter is six years old and has been modeling and acting for awhile now. My wife took her to a casting call not long ago and I stopped in to visit. I was thinking wow, my kid is the best looking girl here! Later I found out it was because the casting agent was looking for a heavy set girl with dark skin. My daughter did not fit the part and had a slim chance at a different role. Its true that you don’t need to be beautiful to get the part, you just need to pay attention to the needs of the agent. While my daughter did not get the part on the Thai soap opera that day, I was offered an opportunity. Me? A middle age, slightly overweight farrang with a receeding hairline? Yes. It turns out the same casting agent needs regular looking westerners for a World War 2 show he is doing on another job. Modeling and Acting is not just for the beautiful, don’t sell yourself short!

  2. Robert Nicholson

    When you consider how many ugly people there are on Thai TV it’s not surprising that anybody can get a job if they have acting talent regardless of what they look like.