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Author Topic: moving to LA
star1120
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yep. you heard me. or..read... or...whatever.

i'm very passionate about acting. i've gone through so many ideas of what to do with my life. first it was to go to a state university about an hour away and major in theater. i visited and didn't like the school... then i got an offer to stay with some cousins in chicago, so i checked out columbia college there, they have a GREAT theater department. i was so close to going there, but the gen. ed. classes are just too much for me. those were the classes that in highschool i just hated and i just didn't do well it. i know myself well enough that i couldn't talk myself into the idea that i'd work really hard. because i know that i would for a while, then it'd just stop. so i changed my mind about that.

before i found acting, i loved hair. i wanted to be a cosmetologist. so, i decided that i still love doing that, so i'd go to school locally and get a hair cutting liscense then after i get that, move somewhere to persue acting and cut hair to make money at those cool trendy big city places.

well, i'm really impatient. one big thing is that i want to get out of small town ohio. i'm just... too bored here. i'm really ready to persue my acting and get out and see new things and just be in a totally different atmosphere. i graduated in june 2001 and i'm just ready to go!

so my friend and i decided that we'd try to move to LA. i've heard everything there is about the money, and getting a job, and how there are so many aspiring acters out there... and i know i'm just adding to the list, but i'm not going out there for just that.

i feel that i'm really preparing for this well. we've already got a potential roommate lined up, and i've got phone numbers for apartment places in and around LA.

i guess i just want to know what you all think... so... tell me!

*sam*

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" Life move pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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I wish I could give you the answers I think you want to hear, but unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to.

I've lived in LA for just about 20 years. I've seen great things, I've seen not-so-great things, and I watched the city burn itself down in riots on my 13th birthday. There are parts of LA I think are incredible, and there are parts I think should slide into the Pacific. There are days when I don't think I could ever live elsewhere, and there are days I wish I'd never been raised here.

If it sounds like a town full of contradictions, that's because it is. There's nothing quite so ironic as the sight of homeless folks pandhandling (before being moved on by police) in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel, and if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I probably wouldn't have believed it either.

The bottom line is that there is a vast disparity between how many people see Los Angeles, and how LA veterans know and understand it to be. You mentioned that you are bored where you are, in "small town ohio," and that you're desperate to get out. You went on to mention that you've recently graduated high school and wish to pursue acting. Unfortunately, you are one among hordes of people who have the same dream, share the same desperation, and harbor the same view of LA being a sort of paradise with endless opportunities.

And again, I hate to sound so curmudgenonly...but the fact of the matter is that I've seen this before. I've made friends with folks who came to LA from other areas, including one who was from "small town Ohio" herself. All of them wished to pursue acting. None of them lasted. One moved back home after four months because she "couldn't handle it." One lasted eight months before she decided that LA was "too cynical, too shallow" for her tastes. Another guy spent just over a year here searching for acting jobs, any acting jobs, and was so discouraged after failing to secure any that he went back to Texas and gave up acting altogether.

The sheer amount of people waiting to be "discovered" out here is appalling. With potential actors and actresses a dime a dozen, we have become a culture of "lookers." Everyone puts on their best face and nicest clothes because they are doing their best to put on a show for whatever famous director or producer may see them. In such a situation, it becomes easy for any untrained eye to call LA a "society of fakes."

And perhaps the untrained eyes are right. Perhaps LA really is a giant society of phonies. I know that this town is certainly unlike any other place I've ever been to, if for no other reason than the fact that I've felt more at ease away from here than I've felt while living here.

Now it is possible that because I have no interest in acting, I've become jaded to the ways of many of my peers. But I think it is far more likely that I've been able to function as more of an impartial observer of such behavior for that reason. And so I offer you this testimonial, and I provide you with my advice...which probably is not what you want to hear.

Go to the theatre school in Chicago. You will have a chance to hone your skills, to prepare for the rejection that is a sad part of the acting industry, and to decide whether it is really a career for you. Once you graduate from that school, if you still want to come to LA, go for it. You'll have thought about your decision for several years, and those years will provide you with a much more balanced idea of what you are really looking for. If you want to go someplace new and big and exciting, Chicago can do it, and without the expense and culture shock that LA will provide.

The fact of the matter is that you've got lots of time on your hands. Going to school and spending a few years honing your craft can only help your cause. If you come to LA, you run the risk of being one of the vast amounts of folks who come with a dream and leave with a heartache. Going to school and securing some sort of post-high school education would be a great first step to get you on the right path for success--success which can be applied anywhere. Chicago, Los Angeles, Dayton...any of those places will have far more opportunity when you've got a college degree. (Although currently in LA we're in a rough spot employment-wise...I've got UCLA-graduate friends who can't find a job and can't afford 3 meals a day)

I'm sorry I can't be more supportive. I wish there were better things I could say about this choice...but I've seen things like this before, and they never seem to end up the way they were intended. I know you said you are impatient...but decisions like this are best made over the course of years and not days. Take your time and get yourself started out there, and see how you feel in a while. Best of luck!

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"Task Force 46, Light Force 34, Engine and Rescue 66, Battalion 3, Division 2; respond into the Greater Alarm Structure Fire at San Pedro and Jefferson. Reported to be a fire at the First Alert fire extinguisher factory..."

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star1120
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i really do know that i will be amongst 600 million other actors, and i can handle the rejection. hell, i think i need it in some cases.

and what city doesn't have it's bad side? my "small town ohio" even has it's bad side.

the thing with school, as i said in my initial post was that when it comes to regular school paper work, it takes sooo much for me to actually get it done because most of it is nothing that i enjoy. the school is not just an acting school, they have their liberal arts in there too. for intance you have to keep a C+ in your math courses to be able to stay in say Acting I. i could barely pull a D in high school math.

i'm running late for work. i will be back.


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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Out of curiosity I am forced to ask this question. If you think going to college is painful, how do you expect to survive out here?

And again, I don't mean to sound preachy, but I must say that it doesn't seem very much to me like you have a concrete plan. From your descriptions of how you jumped frome one love to another, it doesn't lend very much credence to the idea that this dream will have any more staying power than the last one.

Do you own a car? You will need one to live here, as there is no viable form of public transportation available. Are you independently wealthy? You will need to be if you plan on coming here with no college education to help you secure any sort of wage-earning job. Are you willing to spend $1000 per month to live in a place that is dozens of miles and hours of traffic away from where you will be going on auditions? You will need to be ready for that, because housing is at a premium when hordes of people try and fit themselves into one area.

Beyond those questions are the more germane ones. How will you support yourself? The town is full of tales of waitresses waiting to be discovered, and most of those jobs are taken. We are in a bit of an economic rut out here at the moment, and you know things are rough when Burger King is on a hiring freeze. College grads are unemployed and unable to find work, what makes you think that you will be any luckier? Coming from out of state already puts you at a great disdvantage, and in job conditions that are as tight as they are, it will be an uphill battle for you to be able to steady yourself out here.

What do your parents think of your idea? I realize that since you mentioned having graduated from high school, you are probably over 18 and do not legally need their consent...but a lot of the time parents do have a lot to offer. They can offer wisdom and advice and a perspective that is far beyond what you or I could provide. Talk to them about it, if you haven't already done so. A great location change like this (which I am also considering at the moment, and I am finding that there are tons of factors involved that I hadn't previously thought of) is not something to be taken lightly, and is not something that should be done to get out of "small town Ohio." There's a line in the movie "Swingers" where a character talks about how out-of-town folk get "eaten alive" by LA natives. It's overdramatic, sure, but there still lies a great deal of truth behind it.

I know it seems like I am badmouthing LA, but it isn't like that. I've been here for ages, I've had the earthquakes and brush fires and floods and riots, and for one reason or another I'm still here. But I wouldn't wish for anyone the hardships that my out-of-state friends went through when they came here to chase a dream. And I think I'd be remiss if I didn't provide you with all the dirty cautionary details so you can make a more educated decision.

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"Task Force 46, Light Force 34, Engine and Rescue 66, Battalion 3, Division 2; respond into the Greater Alarm Structure Fire at San Pedro and Jefferson. Reported to be a fire at the First Alert fire extinguisher factory..."

BruinDan's Blog!
ICQ# 3953848


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star1120
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i'm not going JUST because i'm "chasing my dream". i understand fully that chances are, i won't be acting for the rest of my life.

as for going from one love to another... i'll explain this to you. the time before i found that i liked, and was good at acting, i liked hair. i didn't know about acting yet. when i was in my first show, i fell in love with it right away. understand?

i do own my own car.

i'm currently working 2 jobs to save up for this move.

as for the lack of employment opportunitites, it's the same here right now too.

as for your question about if i can't make it through school, how can i make it in the "real world"? i know my limits. i know what i can and cannot do. i know my strengths and weaknesses. sitting in a class is one of my weaknesses. not everyone is the same. not everyone can get a decent education no matter where they're schooling. it all depends on if your head will let you. i have a hard time concentrating on something i'm not interested in. and that is what a lot of classes would be. i'm not going to convince myself that i am a good student, go to school, and end up flunking out and wasting my time and money. my french teacher always said the worst person you could ever lie to is yourself, and by recognizing that i am not a good student, i'm being honest with myself.


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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I think it's certainly a good thing that you're aware of the daunting odds against you. Because in all likelihood, the chances of you becoming disillusioned are probably far greater than the chances of you finding the sort of success you are after.

But I am not here to rain on your parade. I can only offer my experience as someone who has lived here for ages. Since it sounds like you have pretty much already made up your mind, there isn't really much I or anyone else can say that will sway you. As long as you're aware of the odds, (which you tell me you are), and you're steeled for potential heartbreak, then it's your call to make and my job is done. Good luck!

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"Task Force 46, Light Force 34, Engine and Rescue 66, Battalion 3, Division 2; respond into the Greater Alarm Structure Fire at San Pedro and Jefferson. Reported to be a fire at the First Alert fire extinguisher factory..."

BruinDan's Blog!
ICQ# 3953848


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Beppie
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I just wanted to add that sometimes you have better chances of getting into a difficult profession by sneaking in through the back door, so to speak. It's often the case that English Majors will get a job that seems ideal for a Computing Science degree, and a Law or Business degree will get you into journalism where the traditional Communications degree won't.

By the same token, going the direct route to LA, where you'll be the same as thousands of others might not provide as much opportunity as getting experience somewhere else, and breaking into acting that way- that way you'd be more unique among the thousands of others. I'm not saying that this is a guarantee of getting in, and I will say that I'm certainly no expert on the acting/film industry- but that is a pattern I've seen in a lot of professions.

Even if you don't feel that the school in Chicago is right for you, you could look at other options. Really, I think that Danny has given you some very good, wise advice here. Remember also, that short of a major cataclysm, LA isn't going to go away over the next few years- and those are a few years you could use to get some experience in other places, perhaps get some educational qualifications in a school that suits your personal learning style, etc. And you could probably get quite a lot of acting experience outside of LA- and you never know what unexpected doors could open for you through that.


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Daydreamer24
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What is pandhandling? I suspect nothing to do with the panhandle in Texas

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Don't mess with Texas.

If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. -Matthew 6: 8-14 (blog)

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.


Posts: 1619 | From: TEXAS | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
star1120
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i forgot last time to say that yes, i have talked to my parents about it. they're not going to stop me. they support my decisions.

i totally understand your "back door" theory. that's somewhat why i wanted to go to school. and i would go to a school that just specialized in theater (i.e. american academy of dramatic arts *swoon* *drool*) but those are even more expensive than columbia college in chicago.

and you say that LA will still be there in a few years... so will chicago... and new york... and even "small town ohio" along with any school i want to go to.

i guess for one, i'm just curious to see if i can make it out there. not necessarily get famous or discovered or anything, but overall "make it".


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by BruinDan:
housing is at a premium when hordes of people try and fit themselves into one area.

I thought the thing about L.A. Dan, was that hordes of people don't try and cram themselves into one area - rather, they try and spread themselves out over a vast area, which results in the frequent traffic tie-ups, and relative dearth of public transportation that you spoke of? I'm not saying that it's not expensive, though. I'm sure you pay much, much more for accomodations than I do here in Montreal, where jobs aren't so plentiful, but cheap housing is.

And Daydreamer, as for panhandling, it's basically begging on the street for money.

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I want to break my legs just so I won't forget to be nice to you.
-Moneen


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Kite
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Have any of you seen the movie "Mulholland Drive" by David Lynch? BruinDan's first post reminded me of it a lot. I don't know if movies really educate, but for what it's worth, star1120, you might try watching it. It'll be out on video on April 9.
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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:
I thought the thing about L.A. Dan, was that hordes of people don't try and cram themselves into one area - rather, they try and spread themselves out over a vast area, which results in the frequent traffic tie-ups, and relative dearth of public transportation that you spoke of?

In terms of people-per-square-mile, we're nothing like New York City, if that is what you mean. But we've got mountains, water, and federally protected land that prohibits the building of homes. Additionally, most cities down here are not zoned for apartments, meaning that there is no low-cost housing available for those who need it.

Being a relatively "new" city, LA was founded in a manner that was completely unlike "old" American cities. Rather than being founded around a central downtown, LA just sort of spread out. Everywhere. So now LA County has 4,100 square miles of territory, and over 10 million people piled in there someplace. Which is why I live 22.2 miles from my job, and I've still got a 2-hour commute each way. Go figure.

------------------
"Task Force 46, Light Force 34, Engine and Rescue 66, Battalion 3, Division 2; respond into the Greater Alarm Structure Fire at San Pedro and Jefferson. Reported to be a fire at the First Alert fire extinguisher factory..."

BruinDan's Blog!
ICQ# 3953848


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star1120
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last night i was taking into harsh consideration everything that has ever been said to me. but what hit me the hardest was my best friend. she was at my house last night and i had said a few things about "when i go" and such... she said "you're really serious about this, aren't you?" i said "Yeah i am. i want to do this." she told me that she was just worried about us. she said that if we needed to come home and we couldn't, she'd drive out there with her van, pack us up and bring us home. and she was so serious. she just helped me reconsider.
i still wanted to go. i was still excited in part of my head, then just so reluctant in another part. i considered chicago. i wonderful city where i have family and feel really safe in.
but then... an hour or so after telling my friend (who's going with me) all these feelings... i got an email.
see, i felt a little uneasy with the idea that i might not get a place to stay set up before we leave. to help with that, i went to roommateaccess.com and put up a profile for my friend and i. first i was contacted by an 18 year old guy who was from maryland planning on moving out there in august. we've been talking to him.
but last night, the email i got was an offer for my friend and i. she has two rooms available for rent. that made my excitement level go back up close to normal.

i don't know why i'm telling you this. maybe i just want to keep you updated. i can not do that if you wish, but... if you don't mind, i'd like to.

*sam*


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
star1120
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Hey guys... remember me?? Dan??

Well, this is an update of sorts... I made it! I am here, living in a house with two other people in Norwalk, CA. I've been here for about 9 weeks now and I love it. My friend ended up not being able to move out here with me, so my mom made the drive with me, then caught a plane home.

Money matters are okay, tight enough to keep me on my toes, yet I've enough to not really have to struggle.

I miss my friends and family like crazy, but I don't regret the move one bit. I'm happy and I don't feel like my life is in so much of a rut.

That's about it, I just wanted to let you guys know! ... that is if you remember me... haha

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" Life move pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by star1120:
I made it! I am here, living in a house with two other people in Norwalk, CA...

Awwwyeeaahhh. Sometimes a change of locale can really make a big difference, can't it? Glad to hear you are alive and well. Get in contact with me sometime and we'll hit up the Artesia CoffeeDen.

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BruinDan, "Number Three"

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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