Here’s a partial, but vital, list of items that you absolutely must have once you’ve settled into your new Hollywood home (some, of course, you may already have):
1. Color headshots, from a PROFESSIONAL, L.A.-based photographer.
2. Properly (i.e., professionally) laid-out resumes
3. A list of good acting classes.
4. Reliable transportation (in L.A., that means your own car, folks!)
5. A cell phone with a local area code – at this writing, (818), (323), (310) or (213)
6. If you come from another country, you must have proper work permits.
7. A Thomas Guide (or its equivalent) map book in your car at all times.
8. A current passport.
If anyone tries to convince you that these things are not really important, rest assured that he’s a.) full of hot air, b.) trying to undermine your chances of success and/or c.) not from around these parts, ma’m. Either way, ignore that person’s “advice” – permanently.
GETTING AROUND LOS ANGELES
L.A. is a huge, sprawling county.It has a notoriously weak public transportation system.It is, therefore, imperative that you have a working car and the money in the bank to fix it, if heaven forbid, it conks out on you.
The best $45 per year you may spend should be on joining the Auto Club of Southern California. You will be SO happy you did…sooner or later.
Here are a few highly recommended (by other actors, who know how to save a dime!), honest, reliable, and reasonable auto mechanics:
O.E. (full mechanical services)
4702 Kling Street
Gary (818) 232-1522
G and B Auto Service (foreign and domestic cars)
7504 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles 90046
George (323) 874-1865
3627 Overland Ave. (between Venice & Palms Blvds)
W. Los Angeles 90034
John Piechowski (310) 202-7307
1338 Ivar Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Despite the popularity of MapQuest and other such map services, a Thomas Guide is something you really should “never leave home without”. Those online services are not 100% reliable – we’ve known more actors to be late for appointments thanks to a misdirection from an online map than we care to remember.
The cell phone is another “must have”. Many, many actors, in a smart effort to save money, only own a cell phone. It goes everywhere with them and is ALWAYS ON! By having a local area code, you are telling the world – especially the world of agents and casting directors! – that you do, indeed, live here.
While you’re making the plans for your big move to Hollywood, be sure to factor in all of the expenses associated with this list. You certainly don’t want to get here and find – surprise! surprise! – that you simply cannot afford one or the other of these basic goods. Without them, you’ll be up the proverbial creek without a paddle…and unless you’re a mallard duck, that’s not where you want to be!