Day 277. So You Want to Give it a Shot in Hollywood, Huh?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday was not too difficult actually, no pepper spray at all.

In July I wrote a post titled, 12 Things You Should Know When Moving to Hollywood.

Here is a follow up to that I’m calling, So You Want to Give it a Shot in Hollywood, Huh? I like to say the title in the voice of Jerry Seinfeld saying to George, “And you want to be my latex salesman.”

Of course, I have not made it to the big time, but I do know about giving it a shot.

1. Get a printer. Random, huh? No. You need to print out sides a lot to take with you to auditions. Not everyone has a printer these days, but you will need one.

2. Figure out what is motivating you. Fame? Okay, this is the place for that, too. There are a ton of postings for various reality shows that you can get on. If it is mostly fame then what you focus on in Hollywood looks different than if your motivation is your love for acting, or creativity, etc. If it’s more than fame, get involved in things that will make you better at it.

3. Have money. Everything is so much more expensive here than wherever you’re moving from, except probably New York or San Fransisco. I like just saying, “have money” as if it’s just something to check off of a list, but Hollywood will always be here, save up money before you come.

4. Have ideas for what you want to create. You can’t just audition for things and be at the mercy of casting directors. Maybe it’s a web series, or a talk show in your friend’s loft, who knows?

5. Film things before you get out here. Think about where you are now, you probably know people that can help you with filming something. When you come here, you will start out not knowing people. Doing it before you come will help you in two ways, you can gain confidence, and you can have video for your reel. A note on that, only do something that looks really good, AND sounds really good. It has to have both, or it’s not worth it here, make it shorter and better if you have to.

6. Pack cold weather clothes. Yes, it’s Southern California, cold is not cold, however, it does get chilly, especially at night. I’ve worn my wool “winter” coat a few times. Yes, I will hand in my Midwest credibility card by the end of the month.

7. Get in workshops. The big conundrum here is, “Yes, I have talent, now, how do I get seen by the right people?” This is one of the biggest frustrations. Casting directors, acting teachers, and various other professionals put on workshops. Your first response is, “Screw that, I’m not paying $250, for a stupid one night workshop.” Your second response should be, “Oh, this may be the best way to actually get in front of an actual difference maker? Okay.”

8. Actively pursue representation, while holding no expectations. This is something you just have to do if you’re serious about it, but that doesn’t mean that anything will come from it right away. Something might though, but probably not. However, something might, but realistically probably not, but it could happen…

9. Ask yourself this question, “Do I like the pursuit?” This one is key. You have to like pursuing things, this is mostly what you will be doing. If you’re having success, you’re only landing a few paid roles a year, the rest of the time, you’re pursuing. That’s if you’re having success. You have to like the pursuit for the sake of the pursuit, there has to be joy in that for you. Honestly, if not, you should consider if this is something that you really want to do.

10. Get married, establish a nice life, buy a house, then move out here, but don’t bring your wife, she needs to be your sugar mama.



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3 responses to “Day 277. So You Want to Give it a Shot in Hollywood, Huh?

  1. Leah

    Number ten is key. You have done great, Jeff. I want you to know that you are a difference maker in your own right. Maybe not in a Hollywood director way, but you are.

  2. Pilgrim

    11. Have access to a friend’s basement, so you can squat and eat ramen noodles for however many months it takes.

  3. Since I’m on a commenting roll – I just wanna say, You’re very smart. 🙂

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