We hear actors and models telling us about moving all the time. Most of them have their sights set on Los Angeles or New York. When I ask them why they are going, the most common answer I hear is “to be an actor” or “to model.” STOP! Before you pack your bags, let’s make an honest assessment of what market you need to plunge into before you become another talent taking orders at BurgerWorld.
Being a big fish in a small pond is often times not considered advantageous. The reality of the situation is that being the best is the fastest way to make money, create a name, get exposure, and have big markets salivating to get you there! Most agents agree that a talent should not relocate to the major market until they are being beckoned – in other words, until a director or agent is asking you to move.
That being said, will you fail if you move without being asked to do so? Not necessarily. Entertainment is all about networking and the luck of the draw. (Sure, talented people have better chances, but they aren’t guaranteed any more than the less talented individuals.) Should you choose to move, just know that your competition will have a ridiculous advantage in the casting room – their networks, resumes, and basic knowledge of their market are just going to be better. If you choose this option, I wish you the best of luck! But should you find yourself coming home with your tail between your legs, don’t give up on your dream after visiting the school of hard knocks – just follow the directions below and start back at square one.
Square One. You’re here - and now you know where that is physically and geographically, right? If there is ANY possible way to stay in the market you are already living in, I would encourage you to test it out before hitch-hiking across country. Get an agent. Get quality headshots. Build your resume by saying YES to everything (that isn’t going to physically, emotionally, or mentally scar you).
Embrace your market and glean the knowledge you will need to make this a full time career or profitable hobby! It’s best to make your mistakes where they won’t haunt you long term. Be a BIG fish in a small pond! Learn those lessons you can’t get in school in a safe environment to ensure a lasting career and your long-term success!