Be where you are.
By now we all know that I relocated to Atlanta from Los Angeles. Recently I encountered an actress (one I have grown to truly respect), who heavily encouraged actors in Atlanta to project their energies towards bigger markets, such as New York and Los Angeles.
Because I’m from the streets and I know what it looks like, I can completely understand why she wants to prepare her students for the “real world.” However, I think it’s valuable to also find the significance where you are present. I won’t ever claim that Atlanta will be equivalent to LA or NY, but this city/region definitely has opportunities for performers. We do have to work harder at finding these fabulous opportunities, but that can be true for any city.
Actors in Atlanta aren’t competing with big name stars. New Orleans actors aren’t up against A-listers. Productions will always need actors for smaller roles. When you live in a smaller city, you get a better chance at booking these jobs. They aren’t going to fly in a SAG actor for an under-5. They will cast someone locally. Also, when you’re in NY or LA, you have be SAG to book these roles. Georgia is a work for hire state. I’m not suggesting you don’t pay your SAG dues, but if you can’t pay them, you still get to work SAG scale and get paid like a SAG actor. THIS IS A BENEFIT LA ACTORS DO NOT GET!!!!
The bottom line is this: Location will never be enough to make it in this industry. And fortunately, your hustle is a transferrable skill. Don’t wait to exert yourself in a new city. Be present where you are and make the most of what God has already blessed you with. Get involved in local theatre. Do some independent projects. When you make it to the big apple or the city of angels, you’ll be ready.
Lastly, I promise you, the big cities aren’t going anywhere.
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