You’ve done your homework: You’ve worked hard and built up an acting resume; studied with the best teachers your area provides; taken as many acting seminars as you could find; read some books; etc. Whatever you could do where you’ve been residing, you’re pretty sure you’ve done it. Now what?
You have some decisions to make, obviously, and probably the most important and life-changing decision will be: Where should you go from here? Literally.
If you wish to “trip the light fantastic” and appear primarily on stage, you should probably think about moving to New York (which also has a small handful of TV shows, a couple of soap operas, and lots of commercials), Minneapolis, or Cleveland. If comedy is your main pursuit, be it sketch, improv or even standup, then Chicago would be a great town to start out in. Seattle also has a fairly decent combination of theater and industrial work, as well as commercials. Orlando, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, San Francisco and several other mid-size towns are developing film and television communities. The list goes on and on, but of course, the smaller the city, the less opportunities it will be able to offer an actor, especially if he or she wishes to actually make a living strictly in showbiz.
That brings us (and perhaps you!) to (drum roll, please)…HOLLYWOOD.
Let’s see if we can help make the transition to Lalaland a bit easier for you – or at least the decision to make that transition. Buckle your seatbelt and hold on tight. This may be the bumpiest ride you’ve ever had (but not if you take some of our advice).
PAVING THE WAY
The wise actor, young or old, will try to rein in his unbridled enthusiasm in favor of some common sense (which, these days, isn’t quite as “common” as it once was). Enthusiasm might decree that no matter what, you need to pick up and move to Hollywood RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, lock, stock and barrel. Common sense will override that “jump right in” mentality with a few rather easy-to-follow suggestions that might very well save you loads of time and money…before you ever leave home.
Ready? Then follow the yellow brick road…
THERE’S MORE TO ACTING THAN ACTING
Knowing how to act and knowing how the acting business works are two different things. We’ve heard time and again from extremely intelligent and well-trained actors, with bachelors or even masters degrees from the top universities in the country, that nobody ever bothered to teach them about the business aspects of showbiz. Once they land in Hollywood, they feel like lambs thrown to the lions and haven’t a clue how to really get started or what half of the terminology used in this town even means. They (and now you) could have done some “homework” quite easily to avoid some of the pitfalls lurking around every corner.
Here are some ways to get the ball rolling: