Just so you know, you don’t have to move to Los Angeles or New York City to act! There are plenty of secondary acting markets in the United States where you can be a big fish in a little pond instead of a little fish in a BIG pond! Los Angeles is a very BIG POND!
However, if you insist on moving to the West, keep the following in mind when PREPARING to move. You noticed the word PREPARING? That’s right, PREPARATION is critical to how your experience will turn out. Here we go:
- Don’t even think about moving to LA with less than $15,000 minimum and a car; preferably a car that is paid for! You will have to find a place to live so you’ll have a deposit and first and last month’s rent to fork out as soon as you arrive. And by the way, living in LA isn’t cheap. If you have a friend or distant cousin living in LA, do everything possible to rent a room in their home until you get on your feet.
- You will be leaving family and friends so that means your support group will be far away. The best way to meet like-minded friends is to join an acting class. It’s called learning and networking. Please don’t think that you are all that great an actor and don’t need classes! All actors continually study to perfect their craft as much as possible.
- You’ll need new headshots because your home town photos won’t cut it. Another expense to consider.
- If you aren’t independently wealthy, most likely you’ll need to find a job. A job that will allow a lot of schedule flexibility because you will need to go to auditions, classes, etc. A 9-to-5 job won’t give you that flexibility which is one of the reasons you need to have a large enough nest egg in order to pursue your dream of acting in LA while most likely working part-time!
- About your car – you’ll be driving everywhere and stuck in traffic most of the time! Hopefully you won’t be sleeping in your car but keep in mind there is mass transit in Los Angeles.
- You will want to eat, have some kind of social life and you’ll need health insurance. If you are still on your parents health insurance policy that is one less expense you’ll need to cover.
It isn’t true that EVERYONE who lives in Los Angeles wants to act but it is true that a majority of LA residents are connected to the entertainment industry in some way. Now, if you think you will simply die if you can’t live and act in Los Angeles, then by all means go for it! You will have to believe in yourself first no matter how many obstacles or disappointments you are challenged with.
Remember Sylvester Stallone’s story: He had only $106 dollars in the bank, no car, was homeless and sold his dog because he couldn’t afford to feed it. He wrote the ROCKY script in 3 ½ days and was actually at an acting audition when he mentioned that he had written a script. The producers asked to see the script. After the producers became interested in the script, they offered Stallone an unprecedented $350,000 for the rights, but he refused to sell unless they agreed to allow him to star in the film. They agreed, but only on the condition that Stallone continue to work as a writer without a fee and that he work as an actor for scale to cast him. The rest is history! He was beyond passionate about his script and believed in himself 100% to be the movie’s lead actor. And by the way, Stallone bought his dog back from the man he sold it to!