You will have all heard it before and some of you may have even asked it yourselves:
“The grass isn’t just greener in L.A, there’s so much more of it!
Wouldn’t it just be better to try my luck there?”
Constant rejection, creative burnout and audition famines can make the famed City of Angels look like a very viable prospect indeed. The stories of ‘crazy busy pilot seasons’ and Australian actors being buried in piles of scripts sounds like a real oasis to someone scraping out a creative existence in the Australian industry. Here in this section, we won’t dwell on whether or not a move to LA is the ‘right thing’ to do. That is a professional career decision that you have to work out for yourself based on a variety of different factors.
What we will say is this…
Don’t fall into the category of ‘the grass is greener’ actor and make a move purely because you want ‘more work’. Yes, there is more work to be found in LA relative to Australia… but there are more actors to give it to! Local SAG-AFTRA card-carrying actors as well, we might add. All that changes is the size of the ‘work: actor’ ratio, not the actual ratio itself. As US-based actor Laura Cayouette warns:
LA is a very seductive town. It runs on the fuel of dreams, but in much the same get-rich-quick way that Las Vegas does.Laura Cayouette
Couple that with a lack of support systems (friends, family and actor mates) and all the complexities of a new county (visas, isolation, employment limitations, increased cost of living), you’d want to be very sure that it’s the right thing for you to do. As with all major life decisions, don’t make them in a time of emotional turmoil. Give it 3-4 weeks, then re-visit them to see if you’ve changed your mind. If not, start investigating if a change of scenery is the next logical step in your career. A portfolio of recognised, high-profile work never goes astray either. If the move is inevitable, try to time it with the release of some high-profile work and use the publicity as a springboard. Mentors, agents and publicists are the kind of people that you should include in your war cabinet when preparing such a plan.