I did a drama shoot earlier today for SBS. As usual with these types of shoots I play the token foreigner. The various typecast roles often chosen to fill such a foreign face quota in Korean dramas these days include:
Journalist – Somebody who bothered to travel all the way to Korea to interview one of the main characters about something inane, for example, why they made a house out of cheese. (Actually it’s much worse than that, and I’m taking this opportunity to copyright the cheese-house idea now, before somebody decides to use it!).
American Soldier – Understandable in Korea, but usually the bad guys for some reason.
English teacher – Also rather understandable.
This time I was a BBC journalist asking ignorant questions about some Korean food/art. Now here is my issue with food art. It is a lot of effort for something that always comes out looking the same. I don’t quite appreciate the theatre of food at this point in my life. I find it hard to quite get past the ‘how much does it cost???’ phase. Especially when the thing on the plate in front of me resembles a lithograph of Shakespeare carved out of bone marrow, mint leaves and a stick of celery. Put that in front of a starving Ethiopian and I’m sure they would tell you to f*** off.
Still, the acting continues to throw up experiences I would never have otherwise gotten close to otherwise. I’m all for it. Even if it is a small pile of caviar covered in garlic, coloured flower petals and arranged to look like Chairman Mao.
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