Sarah Clark, CSA
You don’t have to make one big move.
Hear me out.
I know professors/parents/friends/acting teachers have said that you’ve got ONE SHOT and you better take it. You gotta move to L.A.! You gotta move to New York!
Well, hang on.
Maybe a huge move is right for you. Maybe jumping head first into a big city absolutely is the best thing. I come from a small market, so I know there’s a lot of pressure to get out and go somewhere bigger. I understand that pressure, but think about a few things before you make any hard decisions.
Are you ready?
Moving can be really exciting. Please just make sure you’re ready - for a lot of things - before you get carried away.
Finances - Can you support yourself for a few months (after moving costs and setting up your new home) to get the lay of the land. For actors, that means finding a job, finding classes, and setting up your life (gym, bills, finding humans to hang out with, etc.) without eating only ramen.
Résumé - Let’s face it, if you have nothing to show for, jumping into a bigger city may not be the best idea. Agents, managers, and casting directors find it hard to take risks on people who they don’t know and who have no data to give them. Getting some credits - even if you can’t land a SAG card - is necessary. Credits will make your life easier.
Can you do it?
I don’t mean, are you talented enough. I mean, can you handle living in a big city in a competitive market.
Can you live there? - If you can’t stand the city you’re planning on moving to then why go at all? See if you like the lifestyle, if you can handle commuting, and if you can do every day stuff like going to the grocery store. Do the normal boring stuff outside of work.
Can you compete? - Do you want to act, compete, take the classes that it takes to be successful? I know plenty of people who have degrees in acting and end up not wanting to act. If you’re not willing to treat acting like a full time job, eight hours a day, five days a week, it will be a lot more expensive in a big city to work through those questions.
Do you know what you’re walking in to? - Do your research! Which agencies, casting directors do you want to meet? What classes do you want to take? Who do you want to know? What are your goals? It’ll be a lot cheaper to find out when you’re living in a smaller market than trying to figure it all out once you’re there.
Good news: you're not a tree. You can always get up and move if you're not happy.