Where To Move For Acting

You no longer have to live in LA or New York to get your acting career moving. You don’t have to be a small fish in a big pond.

Times are changing and TV and Film are now happening in many different places. In fact, smaller cities are great places to start getting credits under your belt before moving to bigger hubs where there is more competition. Choosing the right place can depend both on what type of work you want to do and how big or small you want to start out.

Film and TV Cities

Atlanta
New Orleans
Seattle
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Chicago
Pittsburgh
Albuquerque
Austin
Cincinnati
Boston
Denver
Miami

Theater Cities
New York
Los Angeles/Orange County
Atlanta
Boston
Chicago
Dallas/Ft. Worth
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Philadelphia
San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley
Seattle
Washington, D.C.
Austin
Cleveland
Hartford
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
Phoenix
Portland, Oregon
San Diego 

Thinking About Moving To One Of The Main Hubs? There are pros and cons to each.

New York City
NYC is an expensive place to live and affordable apartments are hard to come by. The city is very condensed with a lot of high-rise buildings, and it is also fast paced. It is an amazing city for theater, both on- and off-Broadway. NYC also has TV, film, and commercials being shot. Over the last couple of years many TV dramas have begun shooting in the Big Apple (though not as many as in LA). NYC has strong training for stage and film. There is great transportation and you do not need a car – subways, buses, cabs, and zip cars are at your fingertips – but keep in mind that you will be carrying your belongings from audition to audition. There are fewer auditions than in LA, but also fewer actors competing for them. NYC has fewer acting agencies then LA.

Los Angeles
LA is very spread out and rents are as high as NYC. You also must have a car, as public transportation is there but not as accessible or reliable. Auditions are happening all time all over the city, but there are more actors living there and, thus, more competition. TV, film, and commercial are the main heartbeat of LA. Theater exists in LA, but is not as strong there as in NYC. Built more like a sprawling suburb, LA lacks the “neighborhood feel” that is prevalent in NYC. You can set up an office in your car for things you will need often like head shots, resumes and other supplies. West Coast is filled with agents and managers and there is strong training for TV and Film to be found.

Have A Savings For Any Place You Move!
Regardless of where you move you need to have a savings so you will be able to focus on your acting once you're there.

Keeping these things in mind will help you choose which city works best for you and give you a leg up on your competition.
 

 

 

 

 

 

What Does It Mean When You Have A Call Back?

What does it mean when a casting director calls you back? It means you "showed up" for the audition and gave the audience a taste of what you can do, and how you would act in that character's shoes.

How do casting directors decide who to pick? You can try forever to figure this out, but here's my summary of the factors that count.

What's Your Flavor?
Understand that directors bring back the actors who know themselves, and who feel confident with how they interpret the material within themselves.

Everyone actor invited to a call back is a strong candidate, and each actor brings his/her own characteristics to the read. Go ahead and be different. Think of yourself as a ice cream flavor. Your flavor is like know one else's. Understanding what flavor you are is the key to success. While the call back is in session, the producers, director, and casting people are watching good actors express their uniqueness and your job is to show them that your flavor best represents the character.

Who gets chosen for the part may be out of your control, but you can control what you present. Even though your flavor might not be picked this time for this piece, coming prepared may mean that they keep you in mind for next time.

What is your unique flavor? Bring to the table it could very well get you booked.

 

 

 

Get A Life

Want to be a happy actor? All work and no play makes an actor a very dull and unhappy person, which is not good for business. Understanding and achieving balance between work and your own life is vital part of your career.

The Old Studio System
The industry puts a lot on an actors' shoulders. In the old "studio" system, movie companies would sign an actor to a contract and groom them for work. The actor would take acting classes during the week, and be marketed and branded by the studio and given work. This system meant a lot less "business work" for actors to deal with, which enabled them to focus on the work of acting.

Today's System
These days actors need to be their own studios, and figuring out how to be your own CEO can be confusing. It takes a lot of energy to think only of three things: yourself, getting your work seen, and how you can book a job. This thinking encourages you to spend a lot of time focussing on yourself, and less on the world around you.

Clue Time!
If someone asked you, “how you are doing?” and you gave them the credits on your resume instead of saying "I am fine, bad, great [or something in the realm of what your life state is]," then this is a clue that you have become too self-absorbed. If you only think about yourself and what work you have booked, what do you have to draw on emotionally for your work? Your life must be broader than your work.

Have An Adventure
Go out into the world and try things you've always wanted to do. Go out and play and do the things you love. Your work will be better for it. You will have more things to talk about. You will have an easier time in an interview. You won't become overly invested in each and every audition because you have a life. Each job booked should be icing on the cake of a more full life. If you don't get a part, you may even be able to feel that it's their loss to not have you and all your wonderful life experience in the character and on set. The more you have to draw from within yourself, the better job will do with your work and the fuller you will be as a person.

Goal Setting

Focus on how you feel during this goal-setting exercise, and get specific.

1. How will you feel when you achieve a goal? Think of this as if you are working from the now. Make it exciting for yourself.

2. Write your feelings down in great detail. Keep this project visible so you can see it every day. It will keep you on track. What are your:

  • 5 year Goals
  • 1 Year Goals
  • 6 Month Goals
  • 30 Day Goals
  • 7 Day Goals
  • Today's Goals

3. Begin with three goals per day to start your energy moving. Within that, start with three to five action steps every day. What you don’t get done that day moves to the next day. Make sure you can get all the steps done within that week. Try this for the next 30 days.

If you are the person who has a hard time seeing the whole picture, then set one goal per week. When you keep achieving your weekly goals your path will become clear and obtainable. It might even have you be able to see the big picture up to five years out.