by Michelle Danner

Hollywood, the Mecca of entertainment, has become an increasingly popular destination for relocating actors looking to showcase their work on the world stage. Actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Anniston, to name a few, have had wonderful success breaking into Hollywood from out-of-state.  However, many actors who are inspired to go for it are not informed when it comes to the reality of living, studying, and working in Los Angeles.  This article should serve as a resource for those people and answer some of the most common questions the relocating actor faces when making this life-changing decision:

1.      What should I do first?

Before taking the plunge and moving to L.A., the relocating actor wants to know what he or she has to do first before planning to move to this fast-paced and and exciting metropolis.  Here are some suggestions.  If you’re planning to study acting in L.A., you must find a school, such as Michelle Danner’s acting school.

Once you’ve found your school, you’re going to want to make your travel plans.  Here are some travel sites that will help you book flights, hotels, and car rentals:  Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Sidestep.com, Cheaptickets.com, Hotels.com.  Before you fly, know that you are only allowed to check one piece of luggage weighing no more than 50 lbs./20 kg.  If you want to check more than one piece of luggage or your bag is overweight, you will have to pay a fee. The fee depends on the airlines, so you’ll need to refer to the individual airline’s website to find out the amount.

 You can buy anything and everything you will ever need here. So, you don’t need to pack your life. There are a number of superstores, markets, grocery stores, shopping centers, boutiques, etc. that are available to supply your every need.  The shipping of personal items to the states can by costly, but here are a few sites to help you out: Fedex.com, UPS.com, DHL.com.

2.      Where do I live?

You are going to have to find a place to live, plain and simple.  If you don’t have a friend or family member with an extra bedroom or couch to crash on, you should look for an apartment to share or rent on your own.  Depending on your lifestyle there are many places to live in walking distance from Michelle Danner’s acting studio.  Studio apartments will cost between $850 and $1000 per month, one bedroom between $1100 and $1400 per month, and two bedrooms $1400 and up.  Keep in mind, there may be additional expenses for utilities (gas, electric, water) and WIFI.  This can add an additional $50 to $100 a month.  Another cost is cell phone usage, which you can do pay-as-you-go for $40 to $50 per month or contract for $45 to $100 per month.

The best areas to live close to school are: Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Culver City, Mar Vista, Palms, Westwood, and Venice.  Our community is known as a friendly, and safe rental area. While living expenses will vary depending on the student’s lifestyle, the student should be prepared to spend approximately $12,000 to $15,000 per year for rent, food and personal expenses. (Additional: spouse $4,000; child $3,000).

Here are some useful websites for finding an apartment to rent:  Zumasantamonica.com, Roommates.com, Craigslist.com, Rent.com, Westsiderentals.com, ForRent.com. Please note when using the internet there are many scams out there. Be careful sending money ahead of time. Beware if you are not able to physically see the place and if the person says they live too far to show it.

3.      Is it possible for me to do this?

The answer is yes.  Los Angeles has a lot to offer any student in terms of resources.  This is a very inviting and hospitable place to live, and the majority of relocating students love living here and are able to thrive as visiting students.  Of course, financial stability is a primary concern for anyone attempting to live abroad.  It is best to have money saved up in preparation for any challenges which aspiring actors face. 

This article has outlined some of the necessary steps to moving to Hollywood from out-of-state and making your start in the entertainment industry as an actor.  We at Edgemar Center for the Arts, home of renowned acting coach Michelle Danner, welcome all students with open arms and will do our best to make your stay in Los Angeles productive, educational, safe, and fun!  Follow the above suggested steps and you are on your way to becoming another success story on the world’s biggest stage for actors.

Learn more at: www.michelledanner.com