Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Question 57: I just moved to LA. How do I make enough money to stay here while I try to get industry work?
Well, you broke many of my rules regarding relocation (see question 31, April 3rd).
That said, congratulations and welcome to LA! This questions varies depending on classification. Actors, specifically, generally need their days free for auditioning. If you are not an actor who auditions regularly, follow the guidelines I'm about to share.
I'm going to answer this question with the assumption that you're not moving out here with a large number of contacts who can hire you, back your projects, or represent you because you're an "it-guy/gal." Therefore, I always suggest getting a job in the business.
I know, I know... you're thinking, "but that will take so much of my time and I want to devote all of my time to my career so it launches fast!"
INT. RENTED APARTMENT - FIVE YEARS LATER - DAY
YOU looking at your life realizing how quickly time has flown by and you are still living in a rented apartment, eating ramen noodles, and bar tending.
Could you be the exception to this scene? Possibly. But if you are one of the 98% who aren't the exception, it's going to be a long impoverished road, that can lead you into dark, desperate times.
Yes, you can wait tables, bar tend, work at Home Depot, but what if you didn't? What if you took a job working at a studio, production company, agency ,or PAd on sets? By doing this, you make "some money" (generally as much as a server in an average restaurant), the advantage though, are the connections and opportunities that you would never get in "side jobs."
If you use the tools that you learn from me during one year at an industry job, you can acquire:
1. Amazing mentors
2. Relationships with assistants; tomorrow's producers, agents, writers, directors, etc.
3. Skills that will give you an edge over future competition
4. An understanding of industry politics
5. Access to the "circles of influence"
While working at an industry job, you can continue whatever you came out here to do: write, go to acting class, build your directing reel, produce projects, edit, shoot, design...
AND should you get your break while at this industry job--you quit. There are hundreds of people in line to fill your seat at the desk. You're just going to have to trust me that a year is not a long time to devote to building your business.
For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit
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