If you read my original post, you know that I have already made the move to Los Angeles for acting, and decided to settle here for good. Before I did that, I talked to many actors, directors and other showbiz folks about how to prepare to move to LA. I was lucky enough to receive a bunch of great advice and I’ll share some of that with you.
A quick intro.
Los Angeles gave birth to the entertainment industry quite a long time ago, and it continues to grow exponentially. More people are coming here with their hopes and dreams of success. Dowell Myers, PhD, says:
“Young people have kept graduating from school and moving into large cities, like Los Angeles and New York.”
According to this study, most of these people are the young adults with ambitions and goals. I believe it’s safe to conclude that at least part of them are aspiring actors, moving to Los Angeles to launch their careers in show business.
What’s it to you? This means that if you’re also planning to move here, you’re going to face tough competition and you’ll see higher prices on everything due to a huge population number. This is why you need to know how to prepare to move to LA and actually get ready.
Once you move here, your life will change. For all you know, it may even be turned upside down and the city will mold you into a different person. So let’s walk through this and see what are the most important things to think about before making the big move.
How to Prepare to Move to LA for Acting
I’ll start with the most practical and important advice. You need to have money before moving to Los Angeles. Preferably a lot of it.
I will get into the details of how much everything costs in Los Angeles in a future article, but for now, let me just warn you: everything is pricey. Especially rent in LA. If you’re thinking rationally and are not chasing those made up [for publicity] stories and dreams of other successful actors, you’re going to need to have more than $300 in your pocket when you move to Los Angeles.
Let me throw a number at you: $10,000
Too much? You may still do well with $5,000 when you come here, but no less than that. And even then, you’re going to hustle and bustle to survive on that wad of cash that will not last you long in this expensive town. Five thousand dollars is the amount that I moved here with, and the well is drying up quickly. So take it from me: the more you bring, the better off you will be.
Bottom Line: Save plenty of money and do the math before moving to Los Angeles.
2. Cultural shock
Los Angeles is unlike any other city on the planet.
I have traveled quite a bit in my time and have been to many different countries. The City of Angels is like a whole other world. It’s full, yet it’s empty. Everybody here is on their way to success, and you will be too. In the meantime, you will definitely feel lonely.
Prepare yourself emotionally. Leaving family and friends behind can be tough, and finding new ones here in Los Angeles will become a challenge. But you have to work at it, because you do need friends, especially when pursuing acting. This will be your support team who will continuously push you forward.
Bottom Line: Prepare yourself for an emotional impact and stay strong.
3. Get ready to hustle right away
This city is always on the move, and you should be too.
It won’t be long after your move to Los Angeles that you will notice how focused people can be here. Sure, there are places like Santa Monica where you’ll spot locals driving bicycles by the beach and eating corn dogs for what it seems all day long. But that is not the reality of Los Angeles.
In the La La Land, you always have a target. Every single day is another opportunity to push your acting career forward. The weather here is great, opportunities for entertainment are abundant and the food is amazing, but you need to keep reminding yourself of the reasons you’ve moved here. It’s not the corn dogs.
Bottom Line: Keep your goals in check and start moving forward as soon as you can.
4. Visualize your move here
Going through all the steps in your head will help you find flaws in your plan.
This is what I did, and it’s what I’m not seeing many other aspiring actors do. You need to visualize your journey here: your preparation, the actual move, the first few days, weeks and even months. If you want, put it all on a piece of paper. Better yet, write it all down as a moving plan of sorts.
There’s no denying that visualizing your goals is extremely important to your success. Moving to Los Angeles is part of that success plan, so why would you not spend a good amount of time preparing yourself in your mind if you know this can increase your chance of success? Doing this has helped me immensely by preparing me for things that I probably wouldn’t have expected to happen if I were to simply make the move without thinking twice about it.
Bottom Line: Don’t just plan your move to LA, but actually visualize yourself coming here.
There’s a lot more that I’d like to share with you about preparing for the big move, but these four things are the most vital in my opinion.
Some other people can offer you advice that I don’t think is necessary in the beginning stages. That advice usually involves you putting together a resume, getting headshots, a demo reel, locating internships, finding a job, contacting casting directors, making a list of talent agencies, reaching out to producers and directors, and other similar nonsense.
Here’s what I think. None of these are urgent tasks, and you can do all of these things after you’ve made your move to Tinseltown. Not only that, but you’ll do all of this much better because you’ll understand exactly what, how and why you’re doing this.
I strongly believe that you don’t need to stretch yourself so far that you eventually burn out. Focus on the most important things, and start moving along as soon as you can. Actually DOING something is the hardest and most important task, so put all of your attention on that.
Good financial situation should be your first priority if you wish to move to Hollywood. Once you have enough money in your pocket, you can take the leap. The rest can be dealt with as you go along this journey as long as you promise yourself not to become content.
“[Steve] Martin was right when he said that if you don’t align your entire life with one, singular quest for greatness, you’ll dilute your focus and drive to a point where becoming extraordinary is not possible.” – MuscleForLife
It’s all about creating small goals and accomplishing them one at a time. Don’t make a list with a bunch of things you want to do before moving to LA and then never attending to them simply because your list is too huge. The shorter your list, the higher your chance of finishing it.
Keep it simple and TAKE ACTION!
Are you out there? Was this helpful?
I’ve put in a lot of time and thought into this article on how to prepare and move to Los Angeles. I hope it shows, because I really want these advice pieces to be helpful to you. However, if this article wasn’t useful, let me know why in the comments below and I’ll try my best to improve it.
Of course, in case this was helpful, please do let me know as well, and don’t forget to share it with someone who can use this material, too. Plus, you’ll send me over the moon.
I truly appreciate your feedback! Your comments help me improve this blog, and I hope we can build a supportive community here to help us all on this journey.