Japan TV is obsessed with TV reenactments. A lot of them are Japanese historical pieces but quite a few are foreign historical dramas. Since Japan is almost exclusively of Japanese stock there is always a demand for foreign extras and characters to play the these parts.
Now you’re probably thinking “I don’t know how to do a blue steel look!”. Well it doesn’t matter what you look like! The people that get the most work are over 50 because most people in the industry are 20 something and everyone over 50 in Japan is a banker or something. They want all sizes, it doesn’t matter what you look like.
It can be an interesting job but while gigs pay well, you’re not going to make lots of money off it. Two main obstacles block the money train:
A) Japanese talent agencies; Japanese agencies have a stranglehold on the entertainment industry and unlike the West where the agent works for the talent here in Japan the talent work for the agencies. They take anywhere from 50-90% of the money the studios pay, if they pay you at all. They even scam the audition process bringing as many people as possible as they are paid per person, money you will never receive.
B) Supply and demand; Economics would dictate that a lack of foreign faces would allow model/extra workers to demand a bigger share but to the Japanese all foreign faces look the same and there are always new people who are willing to work for very little just to be part of the process.
There are two type of jobs the bread and bacon extra work and the commercial headline jobs. The extra work is you just being a foreign face in the background and that pays around 15,000YEN a day (As of 2014 this has gone down to 10,000). Headline jobs are when you are the main face and they will pay around the 150,000YEN range depending on the length of the spot, face time, etc…
It is possible to make money doing talent work but there is the start up issue. Most agencies have at least a 2 month waiting period to get paid. Some don’t pay out for as long as six months. So for the first few months its necessary to have some saving or zero costs and someone supporting you. Then there will be times were you won’t get any work and then when you do you have to wait for a couple months to get paid. Vicious cycle.
While there isn’t much money its not like you’re expected to do any work. Most jobs just have you wait the whole day for a few minutes work. I just did a role where I was a Russian soldier during the 1900 Boxer Rebellion. They shipped me up to the country put me in a hotel and then the next day I spent 7:00AM to 4:00 PM waiting around in costume with about 20 other soldiers. My scene took about 5min to shoot and then we went home. It goes the other way too I’ve also been on other jobs where I get paid the same fee as everybody but I arrive at 9:00AM and then at 9:30AM I could go home. If you have a lot of free time there are a lot of travel jobs too. To get around expensive American labour laws, where they actually pay the actor a decent salary, Japanese studios ship out people to Hawaii or America to film a commercial or drama.
There are a number of agencies in Japan including:
While GroupEcho has some commercial work they mostly specialize in movie extra jobs. Think occupying American soldiers who brutalize a poor Japanese population.
Contact is Hikaru at:
22-15,3Chome Adachi,Adachi-ku,Tokyo,Japan 120-0015
Confusing as they agency sounds like Group Echo but they are two different companies.
Phone Number: 03 5457 3544
I’ve only come across this agency in 2014 but people say it’s reliable and trustworthy.
Roppongi Statin, Toei Ōedo Line (E-23)
7 minutes walk from “Exit 7” (Roppongi Midtown)
Roppongi Station, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (H-04)
10 minutes walk from “Exit 4a” (The “Roppongi” Intersection)
Akasaka Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-06)
7 minutes walk from “Exit 6”
Nogizaka Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (C-05)
7 minutes walk from “Exit 2”
425 Akasaka Residential
9-1-7 Akasaka Minato-ku, Tokyo
IMO is infamous in the extra community as they are a dirty, dirty agency who will not pay you unless you are on their case ALL the time. They are one of the oldest model agencies in Tokyo. They have a core group of talent that they treat well and send to all their other jobs but when they need more faces they send out a bunch of new people and then don’t pay them. These new people eventually get angry or give up which isn’t a problem because there is always a new sucker.
The thing is they have lots of work and as long as you keep meticulous records they will eventually pay you but you’ll have to fight for it. To show how shady they are they refuse to email or text you any information and do all their communication over the phone so that there is no record of anything they say.
Nishi Azabu 1-6-6
Take exit 2 from the Hibya Roppongi Station. Walk straight down the
street and past one light.
Eventually you will see a blue building called the A-Life building
turn right after the building.
Walk down the side street and on the right you will see a building
with a tree in front and huge
dog in the garage.
A lot of agency startups are actual IMO staff you have had enough of jerking around their models and set off on their own. Avocado is one of these companies whose owners used to work for IMO. There are now a highly respectable company doing it right. Another start-up from former IMO staff is ECHO. Not to be confused with Group Echo.
#401 6-33-7 JINGUMAE
3-40-3 JS bld. , Shibuya ku, Jingu mae, Tokyo Japan
Nearest station : Gaien mae sta. (Sub. Ginza Line) 5 min. walk
Registration is basically every Monday through Thursday /start
from12:45 or 16:00.
DXIM Miyazaki Bldg. #305
Miyazaki Bldg. #305
6-28-5 Jingu-mae Shibuya-ku,
Tokyo 150-0001 Japan.
3-40-2, jingumae.shibuya-ku Tokyo.
In November of 2011 Freewave was hit by a scandal when one of its talent was arrested falsifying their VISA. It was through no fault of their own but since then they are very strict about who they will put on their books only choosing those with impeccable VISA status.
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
NK Bldg 1F 3-19-10 Ikejiri Setagaya-ku Tokyo, 154-0001
Phone Number: 03-6453-2744
Fax Number: 03-6453-2743
Lazaris is a pretty cool place and Hiro, one of the gaijin herders, is a nice guy.
To get registered, please contact them at 03-5775-6125
They only take appointments by phone call on first come and first-served basis.
The registration hours are from 12:00 to 18:00, Monday through Friday.
R & A
Walking into the place is like walking into Sopranos. These guys may not look like agents but they can give you some good jobs.
Right Beside K&M agency
ISOP are notorious for being … well crazy. Ever since Steve left no one there seems to have a handle on just what is going on with their talent. Often they just send their whole talent pool to every job. So you take the time to go to their auditions but then find out as a white man that you were sent to an audition for Chinese speaking children. It has happened before. But they do get a lot of work and with a small staff ,while they are crazy, they give you individual attention. But most of their jobs are also sent out to other agencies. When I get a call from ISOP I just ignore it and wait for another agency to call me about the same job. If no one calls then I return the ISOP call.
Isop Company Ltd
Imperial, Room 317 Chiyoda Line All ages
Akasaka, Ichibankan Nogizaka Registration Fee: None
8-13-19 Akasaka (7 min. walk)
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107
email@example.com in harajuku
ZENITH INC. multi-management
TEL 03-5411-7747 FAX03-5411-2527
1-19-13-402 JINGUMAE SHIBUYA-KU
TOKYO JAPAN ZIP 150-0001
These guys are who handled the Softbank commercial
|UPDATE – November 2011 – Victoria is MIA and is probably defunct|
Victoria Star Promotion Co., Ltd.
Daiichi-SS Bldg. 10-C, 4-12-20
Softtown Negishi Nibankan 604, 18-32
Phone : 03-3784-9851
e-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Addess : 2-11-9-1F, Nishi-Nakanobu, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-0054
Phone : 03-5411-7767
e-Mail : email@example.com
Addess : 3-15-22-1F NISHIAZABU MINATOKU TOKYO 160-0031 JAPAN
What to bring to the agency
The agency will most likely ask for you to have your gaijin card so they can check your VISA status. You should also bring some good pictures of yourself. Pictures where you are the only person in the shot preferably with a white background. When you go to the agency they will take additional pictures so dress to impress and be early!
If you found some value here, please do us a BIG favor and Comment, like, subscribe or Share Gaijinass on Social media. The positive feedback lets us know we are doing something right. Domo!
For other “How to … in Japan” guides, try these:
|How to survive getting arrested in Japan||How to cycle in Japan||Getting the around the Japanese health care system||Making Friends in Japan||How not to be a hostess|
Too bad I don’t live in Japan… the sites Ive gone to that youve listed say that they would like you to stop by their office…
They need to see your VISA status, that’s why. Although some agencies like Zenith might sponsor you.
Imagine im a guy from a post soviet country with a a bit of modelling experience, portfolio, looks are not NEXT level but not worse than some of the faces seen on the sites you linked here. Is there anything you could point me to about how to actually go to japan and obtain the visa which is a requirement as far as i can see?
Thx in advance.
Some of these agencies aka Zenith will sponsor models to come to Japan but they usually only sponsor females. Your best is to get a student visa to study Japanese come to Japan and then contact every agency on this page. Believe me whenever I go to a job 80% of the people I work with are “from a post soviet country.” Once you sign with an agency they don’t check your VISA status again. I know people who make a living modelling but only have a tourist VISA after the initial student VISA.
Thank you so much for this blog post. It is really helpful! I plan to check these out. Thanks!
Hi! Your blog post is incredibly informative and helpful. I recently moved to Osaka, having spent 5 years in Shanghai where I acted in TVc’s for four years. I’m trying to contact agencies in Tokyo – so many many thanks.
you should always be careful with recruitment agencies because some of them are just scammers ‘..
Could you work for them with a tourist visa?
All the agencies I’ve used have asked for a valid work visa
Can you work with college student visa? as a part time job perhaps?
Yes a lot of extras are in Japan under Student Visas.
Great post, your well informed.
I wanted to mention about the certain “crazy” agency and would like to add that not only them but others (people) will only call you if they themselves like you personally. Regardless of whether your the right candidate for the job or not which as a staff of a said agency isn’t doing is looking out for their companies best interest, which of course is to make money.
As you mentioned they have it backwards here as in you work for them not they work for you which as anyone that knows will tell you that you shouldn’t need to pay a so called registration fee, as agents take a commission off you everytime you get a job if and when you do that is.
Most of these woman that work at certain places like to flaunt themselves at some of the male talent so if you don’t heed their advances then your phone probably wont be a ringing, not to mention a bit of slander thrown in at auditions should you be unfortunate enough to run into them.
I myself live by the “don’t screw the crew” adage so I am referring to people that have incurred the wrath of the pretentious wank that goes on inside some of these meat markets labeled under the guise of “Talent Agencies”.
Think about it, go to a agent and be dumb enough to pay your 1000yen (never call you but we`ll take your money anyway) “REGISTRATION FEE”.
Only to call them every other week to hear them say Mark who? (did we forget to mention we have about 100 Mark`s registered?), and we don’t have anything at the moment but yet I am getting offers from other agents, hmm, as most non contract talent here have the option of being able to “Register” with 1 if not all of the “Talent agencies” to justify entering into a contract with a phone company so that the damn thing might ring at some point!
Hi!! I’ve been doing modeling here in Tokyo under a student visa. But now I want to quit school and keep up with the modeling. How can I get an agency to give me a work visa?
I called Zenith but they said they do not give work visa to their models…
I have only one month left to get this visa! Please let me know what I should do.
The modelling companies already have your VISA information so it shouldn’t be a problem unless you sign up for new companies.
None of the agencies will give you a VISA for modelling so you’ll have to go to a tourist VISA and leave the country every three months, get a job at an ekaiwa to get your visa, or find someone to marry.
I am a permanent resident of Japan looking for my model wife to give me model children. Interested?
this was very helpful:) but may I ask is any of the models from these agencys popular? Cause I’ve looked at them and my mom ( who is full japanese) does not reconize them just asking. Also right now I am 15 but I would like to model in Japan however I live in Hawaii so what exactly would need to do in order to work in these agencies cause they speak of this “work visa” that I dont really know of. Please reply thank you!
They speak of a VISA not just work visa. A VISA can be student visa, work visa or in your case you can get Spouse or Child of a Japanese National visa. As long as your Mom can prove she was Japanese you can get a VISA to work in Japan at any of these agencies. Actually if your mom registered your birth in Japan you can get Japanese citizenship. Once you have the VISA all you have to do is sign up to the agencies and you might just get famous.
the people at Avocado are complete assholes. You write emails to them, no answer, and on the rare occasion when they do answer, there is a lot of attitude in their replies.
Example: I asked if “my picture would be put up on thier web site,” they answered, I asked again, “If the picture isn’t on the web page then how are the clients going to know we exist” the lady then replied with “…” after her answer, connoting she has a nasty attitude towards people with perfectly PROFESSIONAL questions that anyone with common sense would ask.
Watch out for these people! My friend Josh has also had very negative experience with them as well.
And on a side note, the map they send you is inverted and flipped, making getting to their place VERY stressful!
Hi, are Japanese agencies looking for a specific look of a model such as pearly white skin, or blond hair etc. Do they also accept any kind of race? I’m southeast asian though.
@11. I’ve worked with Avacado a few times for my son and they have been very professional. Long days on set take their toll on kids but the Avacado staff was helpful and made it less stressfull for me and my son.
As for the picture on the web site… it did take them about 9 months to get it up but I didn’t hound them about it.
I didn’t “hound” anyone just in case you were implying that. I asked a girl through an email conversation, which took no more than 5 minutes (to answer each other through email).
Not sure who you got that day, but my friend and I have had a bad experience with them.
My daughter modeled for Echo and K & M while we were stationed in Japan. We had built her portfolio, however, during the move back to the states, it was lost. I never thought I would find information about the agencies. Is there a way to go about getting copies of the shoots that she did for them? This was back in 1991, so I’m not sure if too much time has passed for this request.
Twenty-years? Yeah too much time has past.
Thanks for the advice. Good Luck
what happens if you are in the military and you are based in japan. can you audition as an extra in a movie or audition for photoshoots?
I’ve met people on set who are spouses of military members. What’s your VISA status? Can you do work off base?
I’m a permanent resident of Japan from America in search of my model wife. I can sponsor a VISA if someone out there is interested in a divorced young man with a lot of kids. Of course I’m going to want more kids in the future.
omg are u really serious lol
How many agencies can I be signed up with? The current agent rarely sends me work, even though I speak a decent amount of Japanese.
I’m signed up with all of these agencies. On set I met a guy who does this full time that is signed up with over 30.
You’re great! I was looking axactly to all these informations!!!!!
Thank you very much!!!
i’d pay 600000 yen for a talent contract , and when there is audition going on we have to pay for 100000 yen ,what do you think about this taalent agency,is this a scam?pls. help me i don’t know what to do…….
Unless you’re signing a monthly contract … SCAM scam scam scam.
How do we find a Japanese female actor to come to America to be in a low budget film. Must be able to speak English (broken English ok) she must be athletic, will need to see photos and reels? Some experience is a plus.
Unless you’re paying for them to fly over it would be a lot easier to just talk to American agencies. There are Japanese living in the States!
Yes we will fly them to location in California.
I want the cultural aspect that goes along with living in Japan. Plus it will help with marketing, etc. Also, are there independent actresses or are they all with agencies?
thanks for providing information on this topic! Do you happen to know some more agencies based in Osaka/Kansai ?
Other than Group Echo, no.
Are there any good websites that will list acting/modeling jobs in Japan without having to go through a talent agent? Something like mandy.com or craiglist/kajiji in North America?
Not that I know of, the agencies have it sewn up pretty tight.
So, what kinds of jobs come with signing with these agencies? What I mean is, will I just be doing extra work or will I be auditioning for “English” speaking roles in a major film? Or is just commercial stuff? Also, do they recognize SAG here? I just want a realistic expectation before I jump into this stuff.
Well nothing here compares to the budget of a Hollywood film but yes you will be auditioning for “English” speaking roles in Japanese films. However, the commercials will probably pay more as more money goes into them than into Japan’s film industry.
There are no Japanese acting unions that I’ve run into, maybe if you are of pure race, so I don’t see how having SAG would help. For extra work, film roles, and commercials you don’t need to be part of any Union.
I have an 8years old daughter named YUINA,and she dream to be a model. She is a half Japanese-Philippine. Please inform me if your agency accept kids as a model.I want to ask help and support for my daughter’s dream of being model someday. Thank you.
We don’t have an agency. This is a list of agencies but I would sign up for as many as you can on this list and good luck!
First of all, thanks a ton, really, for that article.
I have been a serious IT architect for years. Turned 30, got tired of my job, went back to school and got fit and healthy.
I was then looking for something new and found that page.
Even if shy I decided to give it a shot and it actually worked great!
Now in 4 of those agencies and I must tell I have calls from them quite often.
For that next step I might need your expertise, I don’t want to go back to my former job, this one is so much fun and a good occasion to get money for being in good shape.
-I get a bunch of propositions and my first reaction was to tell FIRST KEEP for the first job proposed on an empty day, but now I have the feeling with overlapping propositions that this is not a good strategy. Say monday I have a crappy ad for food proposed, I first keep then tuesday I have for the same day a very cool music PV with a famous idol I second keep sadly. What was your strategy? Second keep until you have something you really want to do and only first keep those risking to lose the other jobs?
-Some agencies are asking you to save them a very long range of time like 1 week, I think I can’t afford that, should I second keep them? I mean 7 days locked for 3h shooting and 80000yens that’s too much, 2-3 days should be a max for first keep no?
-I have a limited amount of time to prove myself and my wife I can live with that job. Do you think it would be wiser for me to get even more agencies?
I mean, I saw some very ugly guys telling me they were in like 30 agencies (and I can’t even believe they were allowed to register, trust me very freaky), is that a good strategy or you are basically shooting a bullet in your foot at mid term due to the amount of NG and second keeps you return.
-Would you recommend to play more with one or two agencies and use the others as complements or treat everyone the same?
I believe 2-3 of them would be a great basis but not enough to fill a month.
-Any recommendation to make a portfolio? I have none but I have more and more the feeling it would help getting the nicest jobs (I noticed the most active agencies for me are the ones which took the best pictures at registration day: suit, makeup…)
Thanks a lot and sorry for digging that old article
When you are on a job they say don’t take pictures but what they know won’t hurt them! Those pictures of you in crazy costume or dressed to the nines in some tuxedo are perfect for your portfolio.
I’d get as many agencies as you can. You’re busy right now but inevitably you will have a slow couple of weeks. It’s when the industry is down that it’s important to have as many agencies as you can. Just keep good records so that you won’t double book
Holding a day for a week is pretty standard in Japan. If you don’t want to nail yourself down just give them a second keep.
Ok I see that’s a cool advice, I was considering how rewarding it would be to stick to 2 or 3 agencies and keeping the first keeps for them vs shooting everywhere in the dark and take what falls on the floor (yeah metaphors are not my thing).
I will apply asap. I’m sure there is quite a bunch of money to do with them it’s just a problem of time management. Learnt after one week that smartphone agenda app with advanced coloring and stuff was the thing to have.
Piling mails and sorting them at night was scary “did I really say first for two on that day???”.
Also some agencies are running like crazy and the same guy could call you 3 times in a day proposing 3 jobs at the same date and expect a first keep for each, WTF?
Yeah a lot of the agencies are just gong shows, which is another reason to spread yourself out. Time management is the key to this business.
As for looks in Japan, generally speaking they don’t want beautiful model types. They want something strange, totally foreign. Countless auditions I’ve gone to only to see the ad/movie, and who won the role, on TV and just wonder, “what were they thinking?” Japan is funny looking people’s paradise. Steve Buscemi would kill here
Haha good point, I do myself look quite weird and take advantage of it here in Japan, I know I could not stand a chance in my country.
That’s the great thing in Japan and what pushes me to try new stuff.
Tokyo could eat you, chew you for years and you just feel tired and sad about this city. that boring career was leading nowhere but to the grave.
Or Tokyo could be the biggest playground in the world and I believe I just noticed it few months ago. Lot of money seems to be doable if you take advantage of your difference.
It takes quite a bit of money to support the overhead but once it’s rolling it must be such a cool daily life. Extending this lifestyle for 4-5 years would be an unbelievable experience, definitively trying.
Quite an extensive list!
Ever heard of any places in Fukuoka..? I’ve been considering my options these days… ^^
I’ve heard of people from Tokyo going to Fukuoka to work on location but that’s only once and a while.
A friend of mine said she recently sent some of her photos to a modeling agency in tokyo after which the agency called her up, spoke with her and they liked her. The agency has now extended an invitation to her to attend modeling classes there for a few months and food, accommodation etc will be provided, some allowance will also be given. Is this something a modeling agency typically provide?
I would like to have your opinion, does it sound like the agency is a genuine one? I don’t want my friend to be a victim of a scam. She said the agency is Xim or something like that.
Almost all the girls that come to the shoots, gigs I get are young girls from the former Soviet Union. They get paid very little money and work various jobs on the side for extra cash. There is a famous documentary doing the rounds now, Girl Model:
The thing is this side of the industry is totally separate from the experience western people have. The Russian model import business have their own agencies, rules and restrictions. I’ve heard through the grape vine that there are real dangers of getting sucked up into darker aspects of Japanese culture just read about one of our contrubitors’, Le Tigre, experience as a Hostess. READ:She Works Hard for the Money
But D’Xim is a real agency and fairly reputable. If your friend wants to experience Japan and maybe get their foot in the door then go for it but if she wants to make money, then any job where you only get a small allowance and your boss controls your VISA is kind of sketchy.
Hi, I am a model/actress about to go to japan for 2 months, do you think there is a chance of me finding any work if i email any of the agents mentioned above?
Hi Anna, are you actually holding a visa allowing you to work in this industry? If your visa is not a tourism one it’s ok.
Next I have to tell you that all agencies I registered in asked for a minimum presence of 3 months. Still I think you can at least try.
For newcomers it oftenly takes 1 month to warm up having you in head when proposing people. If you are already actress and if you really stand out I believe this overhead wouldn’t be and they could still make you work.
To me, a bit too short but why not trying?
Generally I don’t need a visa unless I stay for longer than 3 months, so no I am not permitted to work there, but I figured it could be something that an employer could sort out? As I’ve never worked there before I don’t really know, I have family in Japan and that is my reason for the visit. I think I would stand out, its what I do best. What agencies do you think would be best to approach? Thank you for the fast reply.
Well I won’t try to convince you or burst your bubble, just try if you want.
All of them here are good (but IMO!) I’m in every of them and work quite a lot.
-What stands out in western country is very different from what stands out in Japan (the uglier the better sometimes).
-If you don’t have a very solid career behind you nobody will sponsor you (even if it was the case paperwork is not what they fancy), there is a gazillion of models there especially russian and french and among them I only know one guy, only one who is sponsored because he had a serious career in UK and lives in Japan since long time.
-2months is basically the dead zone where you get job for dull brands once in a while.
Just facts here no pessimism, I work in that field and I can tell we are thousands at auditions but sometimes magic happens. So, please try.
Yeah none of these companies will sponsor your VISA. I’ve heard of D’Xim and Zenith doing some sponsoring but they always recruit from abroad.
What family do you have here though? If you have a close Japanese relative you can get VISA if you can prove your Japanese ancestry.
I kind of happened upon your blog. I’ve never seriously considered acting/modeling here, but am looking for work next year and this idea intrigues me. As a permanent resident living in Hamamatsu, I was curious how transportation and such works. I’m assuming that people who are auditioning are responsible for their own transportation to Tokyo. Is that correct? I’m also assuming most folks have more stable jobs. How do you juggle this? If I work 9-5 M-F, would it be impossible to even get into the industry?
You would have to pay for your own transportation in Tokyo but a lot of the lower paying jobs are just photo audition. Many jobs are on the weekend or national holidays so it would be difficult but if you want a part-time job it’s doable.
I myself have 2 online shops as a real job so it gives me flexibility. Most of us are teachers or translators, well anything with flexible schedule.
You have to come by yourself at audition.
Some big companies on important contracts could bring up to 50 people at an audition so it could not be profitable to payback I believe.
I quite disagree on “many jobs are on WE or holidays”, this might be true for events like Docomo does but not for magazines, drama and CM. Shooting staff mostly work during business days. I think I only had a low budget work on Week End until now which was a super cheap drama they needed to fix quickly due to missing actors. Otherwise “big jobs” (over 50000 yens) were always in the middle of the week for me.
But that’s just my exeperience, you might match another stereotype and hit companies which could afford working on WE for better model selection, so just try 😉
aloha i lived in tokyo for a year and became friends withe some really help full
and kind people i shall never forget them , mr. and mrs. tony and micki susuki,
aya yamamoto, yoiechi takahashi a graduate of berkeley school of
music the americans called him chris,he told me., and junko a singer, and the owner of kana uni restraunt in akasaka and the english school directors in
rrapongi. i am so in awe of your knowledge and tremendous wiork and kind help to so many people..i read the entire site and was back in tokyo. thank you,, you are an angel.
i am ajazz singer and i sang iin tokyo as well. i lived in europe now for many
years now, when fukushima happened while in london itried the embassy to
see if i could contact tony and micky, because they had express a desire to live in switzerland. itried every thing i could imagine and got nowhere.
the japan times recepitionist in zurich was totally uninterested and hung up.
may because my switzuduch is not good.
Is it possible for me toengage you to aid me in putting an ad in the japan
times in tokyo and if this is possible to remunerate you as you wish and also if you wish any thing in switzerland? when i was very young i heatd a story
about the orient to never forget to repay a kind favor. I stick to this so many
years later and to this day
thank you monday
many blessings i wish to come to you
my friends in tokyo call me barra
march 4 2013
I’m 12 and I want to model in japan I went to avocado and I’m on there site and I went to zenith recently and I’m still not on there web site is there any site you’ll recommend that’s free
If you are really 12yo then Remix and Junes are the best for kids
How about learning how to read properly first? What’s the rush? Enjoy being young. You are going to pose, act fake and do things you secretly loath for the rest of your life. Spend some more free time in school.
Reblogged this on emily maloney.
hey man! these are really great info thankx a lot.i have a question do you know any agency which cast model for tokyo fashion week and other runway 🙂
Zenith does stuff like that but most big model type shows use Japanese or foreign agencies that don’t mess around with unsigned models hanging out in Japan.
None of the above, I work with them on a daily basis (even Zenith which I love and recommend) and they will never propose such jobs. Or maybe for a crappy show in Chiba. You mistook “tarento” and “contractor”. For the second type you have to sign at Elite, WorldTop, Hype or any other high class agency which are almost never accepting people asking for, they scout and they scout abroad.
Really interesting info. I read there are lots of work for people from post-Sovietic countries and Americans too, but what about hispanic? I’m from Argentina, I don’t look like a latino since my grandparents were mostly from Europe. Also, speaking Japanese is mandatory, right? Thank you for answering!
No Japanese needed, but it doesn’t hurt to have Japanese to build a relationship with the film/TV staff. Even Japanese extra’s are needed but if you look “foreign” aka not-Japanese you can get parts.
wow my Daughter lived in Tokyo for 7 years from 0 – 7 and did well with ISOP.They were great and always tried to get her more money.
Do NOT work for R&A Productions; I worked a gig for them, and never got paid. After talking to various other talents, they also expressed the same problem, so I know it’s not an isolated incident.
I’ve never been paid on purpose by any agency. They all “forget” to pay hoping that people will forget about the jobs they’re owed money for. Once I remind them that I did so and so job they usually pay up otherwise they just play stupid and hope you forget. Always keep records and get in contact when the money doesn’t show up.
Hi there, I kinda look for a job as a fashion designer in Tokyo, but coz I don’t have any experince in the field( I just graduated last year ), I would like to work as volunteer. Can anyone give some ideas about it?
Well first you have to get a VISA. Do you speak Japanese?
I’m a union actor in New York City relocating back to Tokyo.
Thank you for the comprehensive listing–exactly what I was looking for. But you paint a rather grim picture of what is typical work for an actor in film & television.
It’s not at all unusual to be sitting around for hours waiting to do your bit. It’s not like you’re going to squeeze in another gig that day, so always bring something to do.
They do of course have to check your work eligibility. That’s nothing to complain about. In most acting gigs–in the United States–they check that once per season, for each production you work on, even if they know they’ve worked with you before. It’s the law.
Headshots are your bread and butter. It seems actors in Tokyo think it’s something akin to a passport photo, but trust me a good photo can make your career and a bad photo can break it. Pay a pro, or study up really hard about what qualifies as a headshot and learn to take it yourself–but the pro is rather essential. I’m a photographer as well, and I do headshots–not the one on my profile photo there though, that’s just a selfie. I often do other people’s headshots just for something to do while I’m waiting around for my scene, and quite a lot of actors have told me that those shots got them significantly more work–so it’s not a theory, it’s a fact.
You didn’t mention meals. Do they not feed you? I suppose since you didn’t complain about it then they must be feeding you alright. Meals on acting gigs, most of the time, are very, very good. But that’s the difference with there being a union, because they have to feed the union folks a hot, buffet meal, and so they feed the same to the crew and the non-union actors. SAG-AFTRA actors must be fed every 6 hours or there are penaltie$.
There are no unions … well there are unions but they don’t have any power and ignored by the studios. Sometimes you get food usually not. All “rules” are basically ignored. I see a lot of kid extras who work over 12hrs and past the cut off time for underaged actors.
Did anyone work for Frame-in ?
Is that normal that they pay 3months after a job ?
I tried to look online about this agency but nothing at all. No experience shared.
I am supposed to work for them. They called me for 4different jobs but really worried I won’t get anything.
I’ve talked to people who have been paid. They sound legit.
How does one get a sponsor from Zenith?
Black female living in America >\\<)
Email and ask.
First of all, a great article even though it is a few years old. I plan to make the jump to Japan either late next year or very early 2017, and I should be there on a humanities visa (yeah, yeah, teach some English) until I learn the language enough and then switch over to a skilled labor visa. The question that I have is will I be able to work an entertainment gig on a humanities or skilled visa, and if I can how would I be able to do that?
Although this is Yosomono’s thing I can say that I have been turned down gigs in security while I was on a humanities visa. It is quite specific however things really depend on the employer.
For the general extra work, or commercials you won’t have any trouble with the humanities or visa. If you start doing high fashion modeling you might run into problems.
Hi, Thanks for the article. In high school I studied drama as well as film/ television, whilst also briefly attending a drama school. That was five years ago and now after graduating from uni (in science) I am looking to visit Tokyo on a working holiday visa. I am a male in my very early twenties who is slightly taller than Australian average with extremely white skin (my nickname is Casper) and grey eyes. I am also quite fit (but skinny). Due to my skin I often get odd glances in Australia, so I’m sure I would stand out in Japan. Are these traits likely to help me land me advertisement jobs (or anything else for that matter? I would be willing to take it as far as I could, If it just supplemented my holiday that would be okay, but I would also be happy to make a job of it for a year or two if that is possible.
Go for it! You won’t know till you try. Start joining agencies!
Can an average guy make enough money in this line of work to support himself? After recently moving to Tokyo I have decided that I would be satisfied if I could make 5000 yen per day. Can I realistically hope to get enough jobs to make this amount of money? If the jobs pay 10,000 to 15,000 yen Then I would need a job every 2-3 days.
If you were totally free you could pick up a few CM jobs that pay 100,000-200,000 a shoot. There will be some dry times and then you will be busy everyday, over a year you could easily make 5000. The only problem is these companies pay 6months after the shoot some from the time you start till payday you need a chunk of change to live off.
Thanks for the info, what are cm jobs? Commercial jobs?
Over the last week and a half I’ve registered with the majority of the agencies listed on this page, so far nothing has come up, apart from an audition which got cancelled. I’m hoping I will start getting some jobs soon.
Yes commercial jobs. Good Luck!
I just wanted to thank you for this guide, it’s been very useful. I’m making about 70% of what I need to survive off acting alone.
I just have to hope I start getting more jobs soon or I will have to start teaching English part time.
Either way, this post has been extremely helpful.