Hello Thespians; High school teens, college grads, or people working normal jobs who dream of moving to LA but in the mean time will do local Films and Theater to “build up your credit” for when you “move to LA”… Let me tell you something to your minds idea/fears/obstacles of why you’re not here already… If you REALLY want to be an ACTOR, there’s no other city outside of LA that you should be. None. Zip. Zero. Diddly-Squat. And here’s why.
1- “There’s Film Incentives here in my hometown” : There’s absolutely NO film incentive for you! None. There’s an incentive for your city’s bank account, but when it comes to your career, you’re looked at as a potential ‘extra’, not a potential ‘lead’… Films are cast out of LA. The writer who sells his script, who works SO hard to get the incentive, is not looking to do favors for locals with no resume. He’s going straight to the source; Hollywood. He’s contacting agents in Hollywood. Producers in Hollywood. Directors (if not himself) in Hollywood. Casting Directors in Hollywood. The casting director is casting from the data base they’ve already seen, contacting agents they have connections with, for THEIR actors. Whatever bit role is left over, could be cast from your home town… But why play small when you can play so much bigger? Why tell yourself being a big fish in a small pond is “good for you, right now”? Don’t you want to go straight to the source, and risk greater? The reward of moving back to your home town for a month to film a movie, is much sweeter than getting a “featured extra” role in a B movie that was shot in your town… When that film is over, LA is packing to go back home. Come on — live a little.
2- “I’m gonna move to Chicago, New York, Atlanta” : Or wherever you decide in your head is just as opportunistic as LA… It’s not. Chicago has improv and commercials, New York has Theater and Models, Atlanta has… Those film incentive things discussed in #1. No matter which way you slice it, the most opportunities will come straight from Los Angeles. That’s the way it’s been for many, many, many, many, many years, and it’s not changing any time soon… Don’t waste your time in a delusional fantasy that another city is “just as good”. If you want to be a film actor, you have to be in LA.
3- “I have to save up money first” : If money is the fear that’s stopping you, you should choose plan B. Not because it’s a dumb excuse, but because, it’s really not a truth… You can rent a room for less than $800. You can get a job so fast here. You can hustle your way, throughout the day — there’s soooooo many ways to make money in Hollywood, it’s bananas! The irony is, you’d probably make more money here than you would back home… Unless you live with your parents and they pay for everything — and in that case, stop being a little bitch.
4- “I’m gonna build my resume here first” : Nobody cares. When a casting director, agent, writer, director, or even another actor, in LA, looks at your resume with over 20 film and theatre credits, it’s impressive. When their eyes scroll to the right of the page and it says “Tennessee Theater Company In My Moms Backyard, Inc” nobody cares. No. Body. Cares… Seeing a ton of out of state credits kind of says one thing, “they’re not really serious about this.”
5- “I wanna be SAG-AFTRA before I move” : That’s idiotic. The chances of joining the union is higher in LA. There are films, tv shows, web series, and even student films who are looking for featured extras to give SAG vouchers to. Just pay your dues in being an extra on a few sets, and voila… Why take the long way into your dreams, when you can take the high road, aka, the road less travelled?
Moving to Los Angeles to pursue your dream in the arts is a big life decision… But not really. If you love your craft, and want to be successful at it/make a living at it, yes it’s near impossible, but if it’s that hard, WHY WOULD YOU MAKE IT EVEN HARDER ON YOURSELF BY NOT MOVING HERE? Furthermore, don’t you WANT to be in the mist of it all? Just sayin.