[Editing] The off switch

Being in the limelight isn’t easy. Expat funnyman Sam Hammington reveals life behind the laughs

Expat superstars

Rising foreign performers reveal the world of Korea’s entertainment industry Published March 2014 in Groove Korea Story by Emilee Jennings and Elaine Ramirez Photos by Dylan Goldby Additional reporting by Sophie Boladeras Showbiz is one of the toughest jobs out there. The glamorous celebrity life, the thing the public sees, is the product of hundreds of hours of work. Practice, filming, schmoozing, cultivating a persona — the list goes on. And if it weren’t tough enough, factor in the challenges of finding a job in a foreign country and communicating in a language you’re unfamiliar with. If you can imagine…

Just growing up

Published March 2014 in Groove Korea   Jake Patchett has learned the hard way that he is not always right. The fast-talking Brit admits he gets into trouble for being mouthy and stubborn. But a few learning experiences have taught him that sometimes you should listen to the people who know better. He also likes to play with fire. One day, while planning a stunt involving a flaming skateboard, he showed off to his crewmates a trick he learned in his U.K. days: Put a bit of lighter fluid on your hand and it bursts into flames for a split…

[Editing] Korea’s black racism epidemic

OriginalFinal Beauty Epps, of undetermined age and from Chicago, tells this story of being a black woman on the subway in Seoul. “Someone came up to me and said, ‘Africa’,” Epps says.  “I said in Korean, ‘No, migukin.’  She said, ‘No, Africa.’”  Which wasn’t a big deal – Epps doesn’t mind necessarily being confused with an African, and it doesn’t happen very often.  But then the woman said, “‘We domesticated you.’”  Epps couldn’t believe it.  “My jaw just hit the ground.”  She walked away and went to the next subway car. Most foreigners would agree that, even if their experiences…

Is Korea’s EFL education failing?

Published March 2013 in Groove Korea   Kelly Choi is an 11-year-old entering fourth grade in Seoul’s Gangnam district. She spends some 10 hours studying in seven English classes every week — more than three-fourths the class time of all her other subjects combined, not counting homework. Statistically, Kelly (her English name) is behind her classmates. She began studying English in first grade, but half her Gangnam peers started before kindergarten. And when they get to middle and high school, they will spend more than 15,000 hours studying the language. “I want her to go to university in the U.S.,”…