I agree 100%. Although I'm 10 years older now, so perhaps my coping skills are just a lot better. lol.
I had $120 saved when I first moved out to LA. It must have worked out because I'm still here!
$6,000 and it lasted me 3 months. It took me 3 months of actively looking to get a decent restaurant job even with a great resume..
I had about four thousand dollars, and I still have it. I know that making money by acting is a hard thing, so I secured a job the week I arrived in Los Angeles to pay the bills, and pay for some acting classing and what not (not as many as I would like).
It would be nice to have had some money before I came here, but my other option was to hold off moving while I saved, and that just wasn't something I wanted to do.
Nice. I came out here in Oct. With only $700 and I'm still here. Kudos to us! =)
I guess this doesn't apply to most people on this group, but getting settled in New York is a lot easier than LA for people coming from the name East Coast and Midwestern college acting programs. That is partially because the alumni networks are bigger and have deeper roots.
Most of the people from my class went there. Some of them just sold their cars for startup money and nobody has had a problem finding a survival job or a place to stay. Like one whose show closed a couple of weeks ago put it out there on the Facebook alumni group that she was looking for a job and had three offers and a bunch of other leads within hours. Finding a place to stay is a snap because there are always people offering sublets. I could make a call and have an affordable place in Williamsburg or Washington Heights right now. And I could just couch surf until something attractive came open if nothing else. I don't know if it works like that out here for graduates of the West Coast schools or not, but it doesn't seem like it from the ones I have talked to. Actually, one of my friends from high school that went to CalArts moved to New York after graduation! haha
Only four out of my class came to LA and I'm the only one that has had an easy(ish) ride getting settled in and gaining traction so far. That is mainly because I had always targeted LA and had been laying my groundwork for years beforehand. Even the one that is from here still stays with his parents. That is about the usual number and from keeping track of those in the three classes before mine, at least one of us will leave within a year. The funny thing is that they usually just head to New York and settle right in. I would have gone there if I didn't have such a big preference and just followed the path of least resistance. Really, most of our successful alumni that are in LA started their careers in New York and moved west after they got established.
This was your first problem, living beyond your means. What exactly would the problem be with living in a borough and commuting via the Subway (or bus) like virtually everyone else?
Anyway, we're talking so much about LA and New York, try living in London, I paid nearly double what I paid here thanks to shitty exchange rates, and in most cases even after the exchange the city is more expensive than New York.
I saw a stand-up once tell a joke about how much money you need to move to NYC.
"My friend back home asked me the other day how much money I thought he needed before moving here. I said well that's a big question, you've gotta look at where you might be living, what sort of job you can land, how much you plan on going out. But I guess I'd say you need all of it? All of the money?"
I wish I could properly attribute that but I can't remember the guy's name.
Wow, thanks for all the responses! It's interesting to see how much it varies per person. Of course I would love 20-30k but there is no way that would ever happen. I have put off moving for a while trying to save more but it's difficult, and it seems like I could wait forever to have the "perfect" amount. I have around $7000 right now, wish it was $10k. Trying to take the leap anyway, or it might not happen!
My situation is bit different....
I just turned 18 and I dont live in the city...I actually drive a bit (or get driven) to get to my auditions.
It is EXTREMELY hard to find a job that fits what I am trying to do not living close to the auditions so I am a wedding singer and run Chareoki (which is not steady and does not pay a lot) but leaves my days open to be able to auditon and not work.
How am I able to do this? The angel in my corner is my dad. You see my parents are in bankruptsy (the 5 year thing) and when I turned 18 my mom tried to make me quit acting and refused to fund me but my dad wouldnt have any of it.
I actually was going to take a break but my dad said no your not and he went out and got a second job delivering pizzas and uses that to keep me going (gas money, classes, headshots, etc, etc)
I absolutely DRAW the line when it comes to casting director workshops though.....he tries to convince me to take them and I dont let him spend money on that.
I only hope that some day I can pay him back for what he is doing for me now.
"Its the struggle that makes it great"
Syphus you know absolutely nothing about my financial situation back then so please save the scolding. We were fine living where we lived. I didn't say we ended up on the street. I said we went out with a bunch saved up and it got spent relatively quickly compared to what would have happened in our home town. My ex-husband worked a great and extremely grueling job. It was worth it to live in manhattan.
It sounds like an admirable thing by your dad, but I gotta ask, do u feel any guilt about ur dad having to deliver pizzas to fund YOUR acting dream? Especially if you are legally an adult now?
To the OP, if u got 7 grand thats plenty. Most folks who werent married to a stable working spouse or had any trust fund help come out here with a lot less than that. WHen it comes to renting, LA bldg managers arent as strict as say NYC . In NYC u often need at times to provide proof of income or even show ur taxes for the last few years. Unless ur going into a luxury bldg, thats not often the case here.
Bring a credit card too if u can. U may not want to use it but it can be helpful. DOnt be afraid to go into debt. Ur essentially going into business for urself and most that do that usually go into some kind of debt.
Did you really just say don't be afraid to go into debt? Um, hello... we're in America... no one wants to go into debt. Almost everyone who went to college finished or not, is in debt. No one wants to burry themselves in a deeper whole. Most people are afraid of being in debt. What world do you live in? That's like telling someone- "Hey don't be afraid to buy something that you can't afford" Poor advice Mr. Jack Tavern.
If you feel that you have enough to satisfy your needs, then there you have enough saved. Everyone is different, and everyone comes out to LA with a different sum of cash.
When you come out here be ready for the ride of your life. New actors who don't already have much in the way of credits need the very best acting classes and they need to learn the basics of the business. And what they need more than anything else in the world is a burning passion, a desire so great no amount of setbacks or rejection can dissuade them from their goal of becoming a successful working actor in film and television. If your ambition is anything less than that, then find a profession that is safer and more secure.
Coming out here without the right understanding of oneself and the nature of this industry is going to result in failure. And even with the right motivation and understanding of how amazingly competitive and difficult becoming a working actor is, going for that great goal is the biggest risk one is ever likely to take.
If you are sure it is the right path and profession for you then go for it without hesitation or fear. Do what it takes.
But if you are going to fear anything, it should be financial debt. Debt is a ball and chain around your neck. The more debt you have the heavier that iron ball will be. The very last thing you should ever do is to go into debt. It can ruin you and make an already very hard struggle to become a successful actor impossible.
This from a guy who wont even invest in a car in a place where having a car is paramount. Hmmmm..... Of course noone WANTS to go into debt CHarlie Brown, but sometimes to do the extraordinary, u go beyond the norm, and a loan, or credit card can help u get to a new place and bail u out if u need something. I joined the Union on a credit card and made that back long ago
Many lawyers leave law school owing an average of 250k, doctors even more, so why shouldnt actors borrow to furthur they're career. I didnt tell the OP to go that much in the hole or to borrow money to go on a spending spree in Vegas did I?
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