By Hollywood Connect
No matter where you are from, Hollywood is a long way from home. You could actually be from Los Angeles, and it would still be true. It’s just a different type of environment. So whether you’re thinking about making a career change or a geographical move to Hollywood, make sure you are ready to make the big leap by checking out all of the tips below as you consider moving. Too many people arrive only to pack up and head back home months after they arrive here. Use wisdom and good judgment to make sure you are ready to really get settled before you make the move.
If you decide that it's time to move to Los Angeles, here are several things you will want to do first:
1. Think about why you want to head out to Hollywood. An honest consideration of your motives and resources will be tremendously helpful. Life out here is tough, so make sure you are coming to Hollywood for the right reason. Fame and fortune sounds nice, but the few people who achieve that go through years of work and typically aren’t focused only on fame and fortune. On the other hand, if you know you are supposed to be here, and you know that you’re being honest with yourself about why, it can all be worth it.
2. Spend some time getting wise counsel. Find one or two mature people who care about you and who you can trust to be bluntly honest about whether this is the right time for you to go to Hollywood. Be sure to listen to both the pros and the cons!
3. Line up housing. If you need to look for a while after you arrive, have a place set before you come where you can stay for anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to begin the process of finding a place to live. You can also visit our Resources section for more ways to look for housing.
4. Have enough money saved up. Life in Los Angeles is expensive! You will need at least $2,000.00 for car registration, insurance and apartment rental deposits. Figure out what your normal monthly expenses will be and plan on bringing enough money to last for at least three months. There is a lot of competition for relatively few industry jobs, and many people spend months trying to secure even entry-level employment.
If you end up living in one of the more desirable areas in the LA area you can expect to spend from $700 to $900 for a bachelor apartment and anywhere from $900 to $1,500 for a one bedroom -- sometimes even more. Water is usually included with an apartment, thus you will need to pay for electricity, gas, a phone, etc. yourself. On average you'll probably spend around $40/month for electricity (not including air conditioning), $15 a month for gas, $40 for a regular phone, and $20 to 45 a month for Internet (depending on connection speed).
Think twice about coming if you have a large amount of debt. If you do, we recommend waiting and paying off as much of your outstanding debt before moving to Los Angeles. Otherwise, because of the high cost of living and the unstable nature of freelance employment in the arts & entertainment industry, those with high debt spend the first few years of life in Los Angeles in “survival mode” with little or no time to pursue their dreams.
5. Take a Vision Trip. It’s a very good idea to come visit Los Angeles before you actually move. Make and meet contacts, visit places to live, check out entertainment organizations, get a geographical layout of the land, and most of all know what you are getting into!
6. Have a vehicle when you arrive. Los Angeles transit system is fair but is not exhaustive in its routes. For more on L.A.’s public transportation check out this ARTICLE.
7. Sign up for the next Hollywood Connect Navigation Session. You can sign up in the Events section of this website. You will get a ton of information that will be helpful for getting situated in Los Angeles.