Beauty inside

Meet Joyce Guerra: The Filipina You Always See in K-Drama

If you’re a K-Drama fan, chances are you’ve seen Noreen Joyce Guerra at some point. The Filipina expat has starred in 93 drama series, six films, 15 commercials and five television stints in South Korea.

Based in Korea for seven years, Joyce works full-time as a manager in a Korean financial institution. She majored in Marketing and received her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of the Philippines-Visayas and her MBA from Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea.

At 30, Joyce incorporates acting into her office life. Despite one project after another, she still considers acting a hobby. After all, it seems like luck led Joyce to her entry into K-drama.

Noreen Joyce Guerra, a Filipino expat who is starting to make a name for herself in South Korea as an actress and host

“I started working part-time for events as a translator, member of the production team and assistant director. From there, I met a lot of people in the industry who encouraged me to try to work gigs in front of the camera,” Joyce explained.

His first television appearance was in the 2018 K-Drama series The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, starring Seo In-guk. Joyce recalled how her master instructed her to come to the location at a specific time and bring appropriate clothing for a scene. “It started so fast, like I signed a contract today and was sent to shoot the next day!” she exclaimed.

Although she has no acting experience, Joyce’s fluency in Korean worked to her advantage. Describing her foreign language proficiency, she said, “I have a Korean proficiency certification and passed the native level or higher. I studied at the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines for 72 hours before leaving for Korea.

Besides speaking Korean, Joyce has something that makes her suitable for K-Drama. When asked to reveal what it was based on the comments, the actress replied somewhat hesitantly, “My looks? I can camouflage. Haha. I can blend in Korean, 99% from my roles in K-Drama, and making me look like a foreigner or a Southeast Asian character. In her previous interviews, Joyce mentioned that directors and producers often pointed out that she had a small face. , a well-known beauty standard in Korea.

“I never really thought I would do this kind of work knowing my very introverted personality,” Joyce said, revealing that becoming an actress hadn’t crossed her mind in the past. These days, the initially reluctant actress is constantly on the lookout for acting gigs. “I have an official agency, but I normally do my things independently. I find myself gigs, go to auditions myself and film myself. For auditions, I’m normally contacted by my social networks. there is a role that fits my profile,” she said.

With a long list of K-Drama appearances under her belt, Joyce struggled to single out one experience when asked about her most memorable stint. She replied, “Every drama I’ve been in has scored.” The best part of the job, she added with a laugh, is living different lives.

It is true that Joyce has taken on many roles since the beginning of her career. To name a few, she was a student in True Beauty, a restorer in Hospital Playlist 2, an orchestra staff member in Penthouse 3, a student in All of Us are Dead, a tribesman in Arthdal Chronicles, a reporter on Big Mouse, and a broadcast station employee on Our Beloved Summer.

For an avowed K-Drama fan, that’s huge. Joyce’s favorites are Dream High and Beauty Inside.

Photo courtesy of Joyce Guerra on Instagram | @joyce_in_korea

“Being starstruck is real every time I go on location,” Joyce aptly expounded on her overseas filming experience. “I still can’t believe I’m doing this and I can see them on and off camera. Sometimes I even joke with them! So far I’ve worked with all my favorite celebrities – Moon Ga Young, Seo Hyun Jin, Kim Seon Ho, Lee Jung Suk and many more. Ha ha.

When asked to name one celebrity she still hopes to work with, Joyce said, “I’ve worked with all of them so far. Haha. But I would like to be a part of director Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece one day, even if I wander around in the background!” Bong Joon-ho is a South Korean filmmaker who rose to international fame with Parasite , the first Asian winner of an Oscar for screenplay.

Joyce explained to us what happens behind the cameras during filming. She said: “Off camera, we [actors] often sleep, play games or watch videos on our phones. We basically have nothing to do. In terms of ties with Korean stars, it depends on the production environment or culture. In detail, Joyce shared that as co-casters, she and her castmates are not allowed to ask the main stars for photos and autographs or upload production-related photos and videos before the premiere. She added that they risk being fined if they break the rules.

Although she admitted that most of her acting stints were in minor roles, Joyce is still grateful for the appreciation she received from the public. Attention, however, first needed some getting used to. “It was strange at first because people were looking for more information about me, but I’m grateful, of course,” she opened. “A few people ask for photos in malls, airports or even on the street.”

The life that Joyce lives is one that I would love to try, even just for a day. However, I found out that it’s not as easy as it looks. “My friend would describe me as kayod-kalabaw (hard worker) because I don’t have a day off or a day off,” Joyce said. “Working at a full-time company and filming on the weekends wouldn’t give you a day off.” She has family and friends to draw strength from. “I’m grateful to everyone who made me feel that my efforts aren’t wasted, that all the hard work pays off. I’m grateful to my family, who support my craziness and let me do things for myself and not for others.

It’s no surprise that Joyce is maximizing the chances she has and having the best time of her life. She describes this phase with the popular term YOLO (You Only Live Once). She says, “[Life’s] Lots of ups and downs, but you’re only young once! So go, go, go! Ha ha.

Given her success overseas, is Joyce open to playing in the Philippines as well? She happily replied, “I would like to try if given a chance. Why not? At least if that happens I can talk about the Filipino lines. Home, it seems, is always where the *finger heart* is.

Aja, aja, Joyce! Struggle!

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