Planning on Moving to LA? – 10 DO Items for your first year

Part 2 of 2 of our First year in LA series

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Most of the information provided on this site is personal insight from being an Actor (22 years), Writer (13 years), Stand-Up Comedian (13 years) and Producer (7 years) that moved to Los Angeles in March of 2012.  What I said about all of the things that you did previous to moving to a major market city applied to me as well.  I did a SAG Ultra Low Budget (ULB) film and I thought to myself “wow I became SAG all the way out here in Tucson, Arizona”, it is important for you to understand how SAG, now SAG-AFTRA when they merged in April of 2012, really works and that will be discussed in another post.

Most actors that move to Los Angeles, myself included, believe that they will move to Los Angeles and hit the ground running; as a fellow artist please understand that it didn’t happen for me, my friends, my friends of friends, other actors that I met in acting classes and workshops that I attended and it more than likely (never say never) will happen for you.

10 Dos

  1. Please DO move here with enough money to last you until you can find a job. A job meaning a flexible job that will help offset the savings that you brought with you to Los Angeles, which will more likely than not be as an actor.
  2. Please DO research online to find recommended photographers that will give you the type of headshots that you need to help you book work. Photographers out here understand what the industry standard is and have taken actors headshots and have learned to assist in getting you looks that are necessary to get auditions.
  3. Please DO come out here with affordable, reliable transportation. You don’t want your car breaking down or repossessed.
  4. Please DO visit Los Angeles (before you move if possible) to learn the city to make an informed decision on where you want to live. Personally I have had better experiences in the San Fernando Valley area (ex. Burbank, North Hollywood, Studio City, Van Nuys)
  5. Please DO find an acting class by AUDITING. A lot of acting studios offer free auditing for actors to see what is being taught. Remember nobody can get you a job.  The old saying goes that you are who you surround yourself with.  If you surround yourself with actors you will slowly start becoming an actor.  There are quality acting classes for $150-$250 a month, so take that extra money that you aren’t spending on acting classes and invest in quality headshots.
  6. Please DO keep your expenses low. If you find someone you enjoy hanging out with from your acting class, become roommates, but the first few years of your career are going to be a grind so why pay $1000-$1500 for an apartment (before utilities!) to only be home maybe 10 hours.
  7. Please DO always believe in yourself. It’s going to be hard, if it wasn’t EVERYBODY would do it. Most people make it out here due to pure persistence.
  8. Please DO always take everything someone tells you in Los Angeles with a grain of salt. There are different levels to EVERYBODY. Look at a person’s body of work and make informed decisions.
  9. Please DO come out here healthy. As stated before you are your business (heart, body and soul).  Invest in a gym membership and adopt good eating habits, they will both keep your immune system up and you will look and feel better about yourself.
  10. Please DO have a life! Acting is important, it is a passion, but it is not the end all be all. You have people that care about you and support you.  You will meet people that think like you and have the same passions you have.  Enjoy your journey!

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