How To Find Your Successful Career in the Japanese Industry Part 2

「外国人モデルだけじゃない。日本の芸能界で成功するための基本ルール 〜フィジカル編〜」イメージ図 MODEL’S STEP

Model Bible by Mutsumi Takahashi provides you with helpful tips for international models to succeed in Japan.
Before kicking it off, the editorial team will provide you with tips for beginners

Following up on our last article where we talked about certain customs of the Japanese show-biz industry, today, we would like to talk about your physical sides.

Models, actors or dancers, as long as you put yourself in front of the eyes of the audience, you need to take care of your physical conditions.

You can’t get a haircut if you are a model?

Is it OK to have my nails done?

Why are you so strict about keeping my body shape?

Even you are at the very beginning of your career and have barely any idea about what it takes to be a model, everything will start to make more sense after finish reading this.

All the things we cover here are the fundamental skills you need. Let’s find out what they are!

1) Look After Yourself

「外国人モデルだけじゃない。日本の芸能界で成功するための基本ルール 〜フィジカル編〜」イメージ図

You need to look after yourself as a model. No, we are not talking about appearance here but about your health conditions.

Generally speaking, you need to win a role through an audition (or a series of auditions) no matter if you are a model or actor. However, there is so much going on behind the scene.

Let’s take a TVCM as an example.

First, the casting department goes around and sees if the candidates are available on the shoot day. Then, they will start narrowing down through photo selection before deciding who to call up for the audition.
After the audition, casting director, director, producer and the sponsor will get together and reach a final decision about who to get the role.

To summarize, there are tens if not hundreds of people involved in the process and it has taken up that much of their time and of course money.

So, you fall sick on the day and can’t make it to the shoot. This cannot happen. After they put this much time and effort, you are literally irreplaceable.

You need to make sure your body is at its best on the day. For that, you need to pay attention to your everyday habits.

2) Keep Your Body Shape


If your skin is in poor condition for whatever reasons whether it may be lack of sleep, hangover, eating too much or sunburn, the production won’t be happy about it.

Especially, it can ruin everything if the job is about a cosmetic product. If your skin is a mess, the product will look like a mess.

Also, it is also unacceptable that you gain so much weight that you cannot put on your costume.

When you or your agency first submit your profile, you will usually submit something called a composite card which lists your photos and measurements.

We will talk about it more in depth in the future but a composite card shows and must show who you are.

The costume department will prepare whatever clothes that you may put on based off of those measurements and if you show up with even a slightly different body shape, they might be very upset. They usually don’t have any other size especially if it is custom made.

Of course, you can’t get away with just pushing it in. Your job is to make it look good and it won’t look good if you do that.

To avoid situations like this, you need to pay attention to what you eat and make sure to do regular exercise to keep your shape.

This is something that is a given if you want to be a model. Beauty cannot be achieved in a day like Rome cannot be built in a day.
Behind the beauty you see, there is so much effort and struggle to achieve it.

Wanna change your hairstyle? Let them know


You need to let your agency know when you want to have a new hairstyle or shave your beard and make sure they are OK with it, even if it’s a tiny change.

You may think we are too obsessed. But obsession is what being professional is about.
Even a small change you make after the audition can make a significant difference in your impression through the lens and the sponsor is pouring sometimes millions of dollars for that particular impression they are trying to achieve.

We will give you an obvious example. Let’s suppose you have a role in a TVCM for shaving cream and you are meant to be shaving off your beard in it. If you lose your beard before the shoot, then you will end up jeopardizing the whole project.

Let’s talk about another example. There may be cases that you have been chosen for the role for your gray hair. Purely out of your good will, you may choose to dye your hair so that you will look nice on camera. But that’s a big no-no.

Well, these are some of the most frequent troubles. They are not easy to undo. On top of what we have covered already, gel manicure and tattoos can cause a big problem.

The bottom line is if you want to do something to your body, let your agent know and see if it’s OK.

Know What Looks Good on You


We understand it is very important that you wear whatever you feel most comfortable and confident.

However, as we talked over and over again, you are the product that you need to sell if you are a model. As a public figure, you need to pay attention not only to your outer physical conditions but fine-tuned towards how you display yourself as a product.

Imagine, how would you look if you show up to an audition with jeans and t-shirt and that in no way fits the role that you are going for. Meanwhile, someone with skills just as good as yours wore something that very much fits the role. Then who would you pick?
No product doesn’t look good on its own. You need to think about how you package it as well.

What you like and what you look good on can be two completely different things and that’s why it is very important that you listen to what others say. Your agent is surely going to be your best friend with this. Your goal is to show your strengths while covering up your weakness.

You never know when you stumble across an opportunity. You may find a wonderful opportunity when you are on a completely personal business. That is why it is very important that you never think anything is irrelevant to work.

Nothing Can Be Achieved Without Effort

Despite the common belief, people are hardly born with the beauty that you need to thrive in this industry. Well, it is true that very few people are born with that gift.

However, there are others that worked their ways to the top with their fierce effort. They make sure to work out to keep their bodies in shape. They pay extreme attention to what they put in their mouths. Of course, they are always eager to acquire and brush up their skills like posing, walking, dance, and even stunt action.

You can just depend on what you were born with but you need to build on top of it.

Please take a moment to think about what you can do to stay ahead of a crowd. Maybe you are already seeing the answer, right?