I graduated college with a degree in pretend and a minor in making up stories and moved to LA where I basically didn’t know anyone. I found my roommate on a website and figured that it would take me at least two years just to get situated and figure everything out.
Learn from my mistakes.
1) I Wish I Had Saved More Money
I came with about $5,000 in savings and a paid off car. Looking back, man, do I wish I had doubled that. After my deposit and first and last month’s rent, my savings was pretty much gone. $10,000 would have been a nice way to have a bit of a buffer while I searched for a job that would work with my desired schedule, and given me a little bit more money to have to go out with. I was the new girl to a big city and needed to find friends. That’s hard when you’re broke.
2) I Wish I Had Immediately Gone to Acting Classes
I had just finished four straight years of acting classes. I wanted a break, and that was the absolute dumbest thing I did. I took off two years figuring I don’t need them, I’m good as I am! However, creatives will get rusty if they’re not practicing every day, and I missed a huge friend and networking opportunity! I was so stupid. Get into a class right away! Now! Go!
3) I Wish I Had Interned for an Agent and a Casting Director
I would have understood the process so much better. I would have seen what makes a headshot a good headshot, what makes an Actor undesirable before they even step into the casting room, and what makes a Casting Director choose Actor A over Actor B. I would have gleaned so much in a short amount of time.
4) I Wish I Had Looked for Actor Blogs
What a great and supportive team bloggers are! They’ll offer information, tips, and sage advice, cutting down months of mindless wandering of trying to figure out how to do the “right” thing. Actors want to help other Actors. Follow a blogger and you’ll be following an online mentor.
5) I Wish I Had Learned a Creative Way to Supplement My Income
I knew a few people who had graduated college and immediately enrolled in massage school so they could have their own business. Or they became a Personal Trainer. Me? I wish I would have learned graphic design a lot earlier than I did. Or, heck, photography! I could have learned how to take Actor headshots and had a whole market of poor Actors come to me for my cheap rates. I wish I could have taken the hobbies I like and figured out how to make money at it a lot sooner.
Those are the top five. Not too shabby, right? And thanks to social networking, Twitter, and an affordable GPS, the list is nice and short.
Use the internet to research as much as you can. All your answers can be found there. If, for some reason, you have a question Google can’t answer, find a friendly Struggling Actress on a blog and see what she has to say.
But before I go, I would like to say, just because you want to be an Actor, that does NOT mean you have to move to Los Angeles. If you can’t imagine spending 10 years of scrimping every last penny, of worrying you can’t afford rent, of putting down permanent roots and never becoming A-List, you shouldn’t move here. Be a big fish in a little pond for as long as you can.
But if no one can convince you otherwise, if you don’t care how famous you will or won’t be, if you absolutely need to be out here and nothing will stop you, then by golly, welcome!
And can you believe how great the Winters are!?