Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesLos Angeles · 10 years ago

Actor living in London 18 and should i move to LA to make it?

18 years old moving to la to become a actor is it easier over there? i got no agent over here and no luck i been trying but nothing i need some help thanks

and how hard is it to make it in la

7 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's likely tougher over here, much more competition. To make money as an actor, not work unpaid or almost unpaid, you must belong to SAG, the union. It is really tough to join SAG for most actors, you have to work in a SAG production in a principal role, meaning you usually have to know someone that will put you in a SAG production even though you aren't SAG yet and probably don't have much experience, it's a huge favor. But if you don't have a good enough resume, even if you're SAG, you likely won't be hired for SAG productions until you get more experience, but now if you're SAG member, you can't do many of the non-union unpaid/almost unpaid work you did before, so you can't build your resume. Crazy, huh?

    It is just so competitive here, so many people want to be actors, including many local kids who have been in professional acting lessons and working since they were 7, so they have a real advantage. Even getting non-paid jobs, like student films, is very competitive, many very fine actors audition.

    Only 5 percent of SAG members make more than $75,000 a year from acting, middle class in LA is about $100,000 because it is so expensive (you'd have to make twice that to buy a modest home in a safe area). 2/3 of members make less than $1000 a year from acting. In other words, most actors don't make money from acting. They used to be able to make an ok living as waiters (tips), but not anymore, the restaurant business has suffered big time due to the economy. There just aren't that many jobs with flexible hours/night time that pay more than minimum wage, and literally, a minimum wage job barely covers rent!

    Anyway, you wouldn't be able to move here to work, there is no way you'd get a work visa. You'd have to be a very well known actor to get a working visa, and already hired. The only way you'd be able to work is in a cultural exchange program, but you'd have to be a university student and you wouldn't be able to work acting, it's usually work like camp counselor, hotel worker, etc. No production would hire you without a proper visa, we have a zillion+ actors, no need to hire someone who is a hassle. Even competitions (like So You Think You Can Dance) require foreign contestants to have work visas, and they won't arrange them, even for top contenders.

    Lots of British and Australian (and Canadian) actors work on US TV, and in movies, after successful careers in their own countries. But success seems to come in portraying Americans. So work on your career in England, and work on your American accent. Most of the foreign actors here are known in their countries. Supposedly in 2008, one-third of all piloted American TV series had British people in a starring or main supporting role. If you can't make it as an actor in England, your chances here are much less.

    Foreign actors playing American (big roles) on recent TV shows:

    Ed Westwick - Gossip Girl

    Gabrielle Anwar - Burn Notice

    Sonya Wagner - Flash Forward

    Joseph Fiennes - Flash Forward

    Hugh Laurie - House

    Matthew Rhys - Brothers & Sisters

    Anthony LaPaglia - Without a Trace

    Marianne Jean-Baptiste - Without a Trace

    Joely Richardson - Nip/Tuck

    Simon Baker - The Mentalist

    Owain Yeoman - The Mentalist

    Charlie Hunnam - Sons of Anarchy

    Anna Friel - Pushing Daisies

    Dominic West - The Wire

    Idris Elba - The Wire

    Natascha McElhone - Californication

    Ian McShane - Deadwood

    Eddie Izzard - The Riches

    Minnie Driver - The Riches

    Jason Clark - Chicago Code

    Jack Weber - Medium

    Yvonne Strahovski - Chuck

    Louise Lombard - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

    Damian Lewis - Life

    Jason O'Mara - Life on Mars

    Johnny Lee Miller - Eli Stone

    Alex O'Loughlin - Hawaii Five-O

    Rose Byrne - Damages

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    London is a great place to be already, and if you haven't had success there, what makes you think you can in LA, where there's thousands of aspiring, talented and extremely poor actors just like you? Getting a Visa is virtually impossible if you don't have family in america or a sought after profession (not amateur acting). Stay put! Seriously! LA is an extremely expensive place to live and if you don't have a steady income (which I'm assuming you wont, being an unprofessional actor) then you will be broke in weeks. I don't want to ruin your dreams but I'm just being realistic- there's an abundance of opportunities in London, sign up to talent search websites and do independent, low budget or student films to get some experience. Everyone starts small so maybe, a few years down the line you'll be ready to move- but it isn't something you can 'just do'. I hope I helped- without being too negative- I know how you feel but I think you're underestimating what's needed to make it. :)

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    hmm... it would be very very very hard. its very hard to make it here even when you live here nevermind acting. i have a friend who moved here from texas and tried to become an actress. she's very talented back home and very pretty. she moved back to texas after being here 6 months flat broke. she spent most of her time waiting tables. she auditioned for 100s of things and never got one call back. there were literally a thousand other hot young talented women at the auditions. good luck!

  • 10 years ago

    Moving to Los Angeles just means that you moved to Los Angeles. It's not going to increase your chances at all.

    Plus, you can't legally work here anyway. Try getting well known in London.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 10 years ago

    It's just as hard here, if not harder. And you'll need a visa, which is virtually impossible to get.

    Ever thought of a different line of work?

  • 10 years ago

    Yes you can move to "LA" and make a ton o' money. Lots of acting gigs for the taking. Pay no attention to anybody that says you can't

  • 10 years ago

    Sorry. but no.

    You can't work here without a work visa.

    As an unknown actor, it will be almost impossible to get one.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.