In 2014 Kim Bohman made a radical change in his life.
“I want to move to Thailand and make a career as an actor and a model”, the 27-year old Thai-Swedish had decided.
Kim was serious about this; he did not see a future living in Sweden, sold his apartment in Gothenburg, left family and friends and signed up for a Thai language class in Bangkok. Only carrying a suitcase of 23 kilo-grams and a heart full of dreams he arrived in Bangkok on 3 November 2014.
“It has always been a dream to actually live and work in Thailand,” he tells ScandAsia.
He is born and raised in Gothenburg in Sweden and is the son of a Thai-Chinese mother and a Swedish father. Every year the family traveled to Thailand to visit family and friends. His Swedish-Thai look was always complimented when he visited the Land of smiles.
“My little sister and I were always told we looked beautiful because of our ”half/half” look. Thai people said ”you can be a superstar in Thailand!”
Since he was 20 years old he wanted to actually be a superstar in the East.
“Acting fascinated me. I have always loved being spontaneous and challenging myself. But I was not strong enough to leave the country at the age of 20 I was too young,” he recalls.
Combining career and love
It took five years, many serious considerations and one certain girl before Kim pulled himself together and start chasing his dream. He had continued to visit Thailand every year, and in the beginning of 2014 he fell in love with a Russian girl on a holiday in Phuket. But it was more than a holiday fling, and after two months away from each other they tried to figure out how they could live together. If Kim wanted to stay in Russia he had to marry her and vice verca. Kim still wanted to pursue an acting and model career, and suddenly a solution came to his mind.
“I had the perfect idea! We could move to Thailand and live in Bangkok together.”
They were both more than ready to let go of their comfortable yet trivial lives in their respective countries.
“At that time I had everything you want for a happy life in Sweden. I had an amazing apartment in Gothenburg, a lot of friends near me and a good job as an IT technician. But I was bored. I was ready to go. My best friend encouraged me to follow my heart, and at that time I felt ready for a new adventure and a whole new chapter in my life,” says.
For a whole year he prepared his moving out of his home country. He knew a career in a foreign country had it’s requirements. He felt it was very important to learn to speak the language.
“It’s really embarrassing to admit that after so many holidays in Thailand and being raised by a Thai mother the only thing I could say in Thai was ‘sawasdee krap’. I signed up for a Thai language school that offered flex classes, which means I schedule my classes myself by booking them online. I needed flexible study hours so I could go to last-minute castings”.
Kim keeping his words
In November 2015 it has been 12 months since Kim left Sweden. Back then he promised to focus 100% on an acting and a modeling career.
“Before I left my home in Sweden I told myself: ‘Kim, you will go all in.’ I was ready to work my butt off by staying in shape, eating healthy, drop alcohol, go to as many castings as possible, build up a network and just absorb all impressions and new knowledge. I wanted every day to be busy,” Kim tells.
He was determined. His mind was strong, even though he had little experience. He remember his very first audition.
“I was so nervous. I was literary shaking in front of the camera, my body was not in control. I had no idea how to present myself neither what I had to do for a casting,” Kim smiles.
Luckily, his girlfriend is a make up artist and already had a wide network in the model- and acting industry. She knew many talented photographers, and they met with Kim and helped him build up his portfolio. He might be attractive and suits perfectly into the criteria of beauty in Asia, but he knew that a physical appearance is not everything. After a lot of photo shoots he eventually began to feel comfortable and relaxed in front of a camera lens, and his self confidence grew. So did his career.
“My first TV commercial was for Dairy Queen in January 2015.”
Today, one year later, he has been attending more than 300 castings. His model CV consists of jobs for huge fashion brands like Emporio & Armani, Jimmy Choo and Emden Bag, and he has been starring in TV Commercials for international names like MG Car and Kapal Api Coffee. His first big and best-paid job so far was a TV Commercial for Emina Cosmetic on 28 August 2015.
“It was absolutely an amazing experience! The Emina Cosmetic-job consisted of a 4 days photoshoot in the capital Jakarta in Indonesia. The budget was 200,000 Bath.”
His acting skills are improving, his Thai is getting better and his name is becoming well-known in the industry. He kept his promise to himself to become an actor and model in Thailand. In addition, he manages to combine love and career, where he and his girlfriend works together as a team and keep themselves busy everyday.
However, he is still eager to continue the game. He still thinks he has much to learn.
“To be an actor and a model is an ever developing study. My journey has just begun, and I want to keep fighting.”