"It’s a tough time for actors coming to L.A. to try and make a name for themselves in film and television. There’s just not a lot of work. 5% of actors in this town are making a really decent living. And maybe 10% or 20% are making some kind of living. And that’s it. And everybody else is not."
Here are some suggestion for new actors starting out:
- Start out getting experience in another city. LA is expensive and there won't be a support system.
"One of the reasons I think working in theater in a place like New York is so great is that people get to know you and you don’t really need an agent to audition for theater, to get seen. So maybe you do a play at a smaller theater and people see you. Eventually, an agency will agree to represent you and then that agency might have a partner agency in L.A. so you may even have representation when your get here. That was my path."
(Note from blog: New Mexico agents can be this way too... have a connection to an LA agency, so many agents around the country may have these kinds of connections).
Not having an agent shouldn't hold you back from getting started. It's up to you to make things happen.
"First of all, having an agent doesn’t always mean all that much... Your agent is not there to get you a job. They can make introductions, they can submit you, negotiate your deals, and they can tell you what’s happening out there. But you need to be creative, and proactive; you need to create your own work."
Plan on having a backup job. Temporary jobs are good, especially night jobs so you're free for auditions during the day.
Here are some possible night jobs that could work:
Work at night job at a hotel
Night shift at a store
Babysitting or nanny
Also temp jobs as well as substitute teaching can be good ones so you're not stuck with a regularly scheduled job.