Have you ever thought of what it would be like to go to Hollywood and build your acting career? In this series we will follow the journey of Jessica; an actress who is making the move to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. In Part 1 Jessica answered a few questions regarding the ups and downs she faced while preparing to relocate. She leaves us with some great tips.
Me: What made you take the plunge and move to Los Angeles?
Jessica: Well, I’m single, I have no children, and I’m not “tied down” or particularly attached to anything at all at this point in my life. And it’s obviously great place learn and grow as an actor, if anything else, and of course, network….so, why not now? I overcame a lot of fear and insecurity. I put it out there, and things started falling into place and working out. I saved a few dollar bills, and now I’m off to join the circus!
What steps are you taking to try to make your transition to your new city go as smooth as possible ?
Networking, networking, networking. Los Angeles is all about networking. To find a job, to find a place to live, to find an acting coach, to find auditions….so I would say that is more important than any of the little details. Ask; people want to help. I have been doing this the last few months, and I have many gracious people in my life who have put me in touch with their friends in L.A., who are kind enough to help me transition as smoothly as possible.
I am going to pursue acting, so I have a few recommendations for workshops, classes and coaches. As far as details, the internet makes it pretty easy to make smooth transitions these days. You can do everything online, and research anything. I decided it wouldn’t be worth it to ship my furniture, etc, so I am just packing what I can in my car. I looked into shipping and U-hauls, etc, and with the cost of that, I could actually just buy things when I get there and not have to deal with the hassle of shipping and lugging a U-Haul. I looked into shipping my car, but with shipping and buying a plane ticket, it didn’t seem very cost-effective for me.
I will have to open a new bank account when I get there, as my bank only goes as far as Texas; I’ve done some research on which ones are the most prevalent in the area and which are the most convenient and cost-effective. I saved as much as I could in the given time that I had- of course it always seems as if you should have saved more, but, it’s enough to get me there and get started until I start working.
I was going to stay with a friend until I found a place of my own (I would highly recommend that to anyone if they can do it), but something worked out and I am renting a room in a house on Venice Beach, and moving in on August 1st (this was due to networking) If you’re making a big move to a big city like L.A., tell as many people as you can. You never know who may be able to guide you in the right direction!
What is the most difficult thing you have faced so far with the move?
Other people. Ha! Let me explain….so I did JUST say, talk to as many people as you can, and get as much information as you can, right? In the same breath, I say, take everything you hear with a grain of salt. Some will be cynical and jaded.
Everyone will question your motives and give their 2 cents. Most will think you’re crazy if you’re moving somewhere like Los Angeles. Some will be supportive, some maybe some very close to you and will be not be so supportive. Personally, and honestly, the most difficult things I’ve had to face are intangible things….when you make the decision to move to a place like L.A., be ready for the onslaught of reasons everyone will have for you not to go. And trust me, everyone will give you their opinion. Ha!
I’ve heard it all. These are some that I’ve personally come across…. “California’s broke. You’re going to sell your soul to be in Hollywood! You’re going to turn into some liberal activist. It’s dangerous. Hollywood is the devil’s playground. It’s going to suck you in. You’re going to be a sellout”, etc etc…
From people who are involved in the industry here in Louisiana (which I fully support and hope that it continues to grow in leaps and bounds!), I’ve gotten a lot of “Why don’t you just move to New Orleans? There’s so much going on here, why move to L.A.? You’re just going to be a number there. There’s so much competition. You’ll have a much better chance breaking into the business here. It’s so expensive to live there! There’s more work here than in Hollywood. There’s nothing going on over there right now.” Etc etc etc….My thoughts on that? People are afraid of what they don’t understand.
Seriously, the way some people talk about it, I picture this desolate, “Matrix” style dreary land called California, haha! It’s still Los Angeles. And it’s still Hollywood. And it will still be amazing and fun and ridiculous.
I don’t have an agent. Yes, I know it won’t be easy to get one but I also know who I am and what I’m capable of. I am very confident in that and what I’m going to do there. Which is the same thing I am doing here (Baton Rouge, LA)- be myself, and work as hard as I can, and hope for something amazing to happen…and no matter what, it WILL be amazing!
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