If you're an actor, would you be satisfied doing community theater? If you're a producer or director, would you be satisfied making movies with your own camera using local non-union crew & talent? If you're a writer, would you be satisfied writing your heart out and not having access to the people who can buy your scripts?
Are you getting the picture? When you are breaking into an industry, you want to be in the heart of it. Now, there are other 2nd, 3rd, 4th, place markets where a union member can make a decent living. So, it's up to you. How successful do you want to be? How committed are you to that success? What sacrifices are you willing to make? I grew up in NY, perceived as the #2 market. Two top agents told me to move to Los Angeles. I left everyone I knew and loved, and it's paid off.
The flip side is that the smaller the market the less the competition. Here's what to evaluate for where you live:
1. Is there a market for your skill/talent that has the level of jobs you want and the pay scale you desire?
2. What are the rules for you to work in your local market?
3. What is the level of talent and connection of your local competition?
Because of tax incentives, there are many places to work successfully in the US at this time. If you don't live in a production city and plan to make a move, there is a lot to consider.
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The choice is yours for the making.