04 Aug My Los Angeles Anniversary
My one-year anniversary since I made the leap and moved to Los Angeles is coming up. When I think about my time here, one year seems too short and too long at the same time. There is still so much more to learn, and there are times when I still feel “new” to LA, but I’ve experienced a lot, and it is nice to reflect on what I’ve done this last year.
The first few months, I took weekly classes with my acting coach, did some extras work on some big projects to get my feet wet and get a sense of how things operated on set, took my first LA casting director workshops, and began to do my first mailings. I did a couple months of research, watching shows, learning names of casting directors, attending free seminars, and getting a feel for what life was like here.
In the second quarter, I started getting restless with how long things were taking. Even though everyone told me that it would take YEARS to really get a career going in LA, my head was beginning to wrap around the way the industry functioned down here, and I was ready to work. So I started working- not waiting for others to cast me, but I started working on my own stuff. I did weekly 99 second videos on my YouTube channel, booked a couple of grad student films, and started to get to know local filmmakers. I held a networking event at my place where industry folks I knew (and several I didn’t!) gathered to share ideas and resources. I took a great “getting your own press” class and began generating buzz for my career. I spent time researching my ideal agent. I joined a group of folks who were producing a short film every month. I attended readings of screenplays-in-progress and read for them. And I began the process of auditioning for The Reel Deal.
In the third quarter, my efforts began to pay off. I continued with the auditions for The Reel Deal, including 6 callback monologues that were chosen, memorized, performed, edited, and posted on YouTube in less than an hour each- I was well prepared for this opportunity from the work I had done creating my 99s videos. Some of my newly-aquired PR-generating skills paid off when I was interviewed by my hometown paper in an article about being published in Self Management for Actors and moving to LA. Those articles were followed up by several more that detailed my progress in The Reel Deal audition process. After several mailings, I signed with an agency I am completely jazzed about, which was a HUGE win. I took a month long advanced on-camera intensive from a great coach. I booked The Reel Deal 😀
So now as my first year winds down, looking back at everything I’ve accomplished makes me excited to keep moving forward. I am doing a 100 day challenge inspired by this article by Bonnie Gillespie. My 100-day challenge focuses on good eating and workout regimens, taking steps to get me in a good place to book some TV this episodic season, and refocusing on where I want to go next. It has also included diving back into casting director workshops, spending time with my family, a gig choreographing a short film, and it will soon include shooting The Reel Deal!
Things I’m taking away from this year:
- I have a knack for the business side of show-biz-. I have had several friends ask to do paid consultations with me (more on that later).
- I need to trust the work I’m putting in. Looking back on what I have accomplished in this near-year long adventure is very encouraging. I never could have imagined the working actors I would meet, that I would spend time on the set of Mad Men, meet Clint Eastwood on Jersey Boys, have newspaper articles written about me, land my target agent, or get to a point where I was helping others figure out what to do next.
- Finding my community is so important. The most common thing I hear when I meet someone for coffee is “I’ve had such a hard time finding people I connect with. People I meet only talk to me if they think I can do something for their career.” I feel so fortunate that I have not experienced this. With Bonnie’s SMFA group, the classes I’ve taken, the people I’ve met through The Reel Deal experience, and the group of Seattleites who have made their way down here, I feel very grounded and blessed to have the people in my life that I do. And I’m meeting more wonderful, supportive industry folks all the time!
I cannot imagine what the next year will hold, but I am ready to run at it head-on with purpose and enthusiasm! Thank you for sharing this year with me.