Freelancing in Tokyo: Support the Foreign Community

Posted by David Chester on 3 November 2011

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If you are a foreigner living and working in Tokyo (no matter whether you call yourself a gaijin, a gaikokujin, a foreigner, or a non-Japanese), you will most likely, at some point, feel a sense of isolation or loneliness or some great desire to connect with something comforting or familiar. The solution to this, in brief, is to connect to and support the foreign community.

There are any number of ways to do this, whether it be patronizing restaurants, enjoying performances, or participating in classes that are run by members of the foreign community. This is not to suggest that you therefore shut the door on your Japanese life. I encourage you to bring your Japanese spouses or friends with you to any of the aforementioned places. These are simple ways of expanding your network, making new friends, learning more about what's available to you in our incredible town and a way to stay connected, because, again, it's easy to become isolated here, and there's no good reason to allow that to happen. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Saying "Yes"!

Posted by David Chester on 20 October 2011

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Hen in Window
It's been a long time, I know. Where do we start?

Well, how about this: I've been busy doing everything I wrote about in my book. After a long dry spell, I have been rewarded (can't think of a better word) with almost too much work. But the way I've done that is to keep saying "yes."  

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Working it!

Posted by David Chester on 22 September 2011

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MobileIt's been a long time -- I know.  I would apologize, but as I was told by my writing coach: "Don't apologize, don't beg." That advice makes me rethink almost everything I do. So, no apologies, but explanations:

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Culture Clashes

Posted by David Chester on 30 August 2011

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Culture Clash
Culture clashes. You've heard of them; have you experienced them? In our situation, we specifically refer to the Western experience in Japan. The picture above is a great example. On the left we have McDonald's, which established itself in Japan over 30 years ago. On the right, we have tables of squid drying in the hot summer sun. They seem to be existing peacefully side-by-side. But are they?

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Harsh Realities

Posted by David Chester on 10 August 2011

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Summer Suica
Despite the picture of summer sweetness, there are certain harsh realities that any foreigner freelancing in Tokyo needs to be aware of.  Specifically: getting paid an appropriate amount and in a timely manner for certain entertainment-related jobs. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: You have negotiating power!

Posted by David Chester on 26 July 2011

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Rainbow morning
It is easy to forget that you, the hungry foreigner, looking for a great freelancing job, actually have negotiating power. You need a job, someone offers it, you take it, end of story. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Being Sick on a Sunday

Posted by David Chester on 21 June 2011

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Prism in the windowFor those in the foreign community in Tokyo who are not fluent in Japanese, it is important to remember that when it comes to health issues, we need to reach out and help each other.

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Freelancing in Tokyo: The Art of Self-Promotion

Posted by David Chester on 13 June 2011

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Stone Lantern-1Hello All,

I hope you are enjoying the rainy weather. I'm from California, so the rain is a treat for me. I also enjoy it because I know what's around the corner: hot, hotter and hottest. Get your cool-gel packs now!

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Getting Paid--Not!

Posted by David Chester on 8 June 2011

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Made in Dream

I have never done two blogs in one day, but I have to add to the one I posted earlier.

Hello, Japanese entertainment industry! You want to hire foreigners to appear in your commercials, your TV shows and your films (of course, only as extras or support people; never as stars). But for some reason, you (meaning agencies, agents, production companies, ad nauseam) do not feel any obligation to pay us within a realistic amount of time. Why is that? 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Pay up, People!

Posted by David Chester on 7 June 2011

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Japanese moneyTo those who follow this blog:

I have made every effort to focus on upbeat, positive experiences working in Tokyo as a freelancer. But sometimes I must point out certain harsh realities, specifically related to getting paid by agencies that handle film/TV/voice actors. Those harsh realities include: Not being told how much or when you will get paid for a certain job, and having to send multiple "friendly" reminders to the agent to get them to tell you what they should have told you from the first moment.

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