Hollywood Connect FAQs
Our goal is to help those creative professionals grow emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, creatively, and professionally.
We especially love fan mail. And care packages with homemade cookies.
Arrive, Survive & Thrive
The moment you get your boots on the ground here in L.A., you’re going to encounter a lot of costs that you didn’t necessarily anticipate: a hefty deposit on an apartment, fees for registering your car, gas that is $1 more expensive than anywhere else in the country, new headshots, and all sorts of other necessities. There are ways you can keep your expenses down, but generally, the cost of living is much higher in L.A. than anywhere else. So take the time to save up some money before you get here.
There are a lot of opinions about how much you should have in the coffers, and it will have something to do with the standard of living you’re used to, but we recommend saving at least $5000 before you make the move. And a little more than that ain’t gonna hurt.
So what kind of job should you get? A lot of this depends on what your industry goals are. For actors who need a more flexible schedule to allow for unexpected auditions, a non-industry job that has that sort of flexibility will be important. However, for other types of creative professionals (such as producers and agents), it is better to get work in the industry itself to build up experience and relational networks in those areas of interest.
Some people worry that if they put a non-industry job on their resume they will be looked at funny when they finally land that incredible interview for the entertainment job. Typically, that’s not the case. Employers know that it takes time to find that right position, so they aren’t going to look down on you if you have a good non-industry job listed. Besides, it shows good work ethic, builds up professional references, and every once in a while, lets you buy those way-overpriced coffees you like so darn much.
But no matter what your discipline is, a good education is going to give you a strong foundation to build your career. The most important thing to know in terms of your education is that you must never stop learning, and you should encourage yourself to keep educating yourself with challenging new skills. Some of the most successful filmmakers still consider themselves “students of film” and even go back to college to get extra degrees.
So go get that college degree. Ninety-nine times out of 100, entertainment people are glad they did.
Los Angeles is one of those few places where apartments tend not to come with refrigerators, so you’re most likely going to need to go get one.
So where do you go to get a fridge and all the other stuff you need for your new living space? Of course, you can always buy new, but we recommend starting at thrift stores for some pretty good deals. Salvation Army stores often have 50% off days, typically on Fridays and Saturdays, and you can find a fridge in the $80-$100 range. Also check out Craigslist and other classified ad sites.
To those people, we reply, “Save yourself the heartache and find another career.” Developing an entertainment career takes a long time. This is a bit of a generalization, but we tell people that it will take at least 5 years to get an acting career off the ground. For writers, it’s even longer – as long as 10 years. So if you’re not willing to come for the long haul, it’s best that you choose a different path.
But keep in mind: you need to do what is best and healthiest for you, and that may be moving on. While we urge people to work hard in their careers, we also recognize the need to maintain a healthy life and healthy relationships. If leaving is something you’re considering, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help you work through the process of seeing whether you should stay or need to go back home or if there are other options available to you.
If it is time to move on to the next thing, do not think of that as failure! The greatest success you can have is to follow your true calling!
There are a number of ways for finding an agent, including the agency books that you can purchase at industry bookstores like Samuel French Bookstore. These books are updated monthly, which will give you all the info you need to target those agents who are looking specifically for your “type.” And you’ll find that having a referral from another trusted actor is going to help in getting an agent.
You do not necessarily need to have both, although many actors have both. There are differing opinions as to which one is more important, however. The more important thing is to find representation that is getting the job done for you. Do your homework on potential agents and managers – find ones who are ethical, connected, and willing to work with your specific goals. It is okay to say “no” to those reps who aren’t.
Now, you may end up feeling pressure to take that job – pressure from others and/or from yourself. You may have to part company with your agent or manager. You may even be told that outrageous lie, “You’ll never work in this town again.” Don’t believe it. If you’re talented, you will find another agent and/or manager, and you will have opportunities to work in Hollywood again. In fact, you might even have more opportunities because you said “no.” We know all sorts of stories of people who said “no” to projects for various reasons – even saying it to the biggest names in Hollywood – and those people went on to the highest levels of success, even becoming A-list talent.
The truth is that the most powerful word you can say is “no,” and if you say it for the right reasons, you’ll actually have more respect. Sure, you might have to burn a bridge or two in the process, but if you’re good, that won’t stop you.
So say “no” for the right reasons, sleep with a clear conscience at night, and know that your career is in safe hands – yours, not someone else who isn’t truly looking out for you and your true goals.
There are a number of ways for finding an agent, including the agency books that you can purchase at industry bookstores like Samuel French Bookstore. These books are updated monthly, which will give you all the info you need to target those agents who are looking specifically for your type of writing. And you’ll find that having a referral from another trusted writer is going to help in getting an agent.
You do not necessarily need to have both, although many writers have both. There are differing opinions as to which one is more important, however. The more important thing is to find representation that is getting the job done for you. Do your homework on potential agents and managers – find ones who are ethical, connected, and willing to work with your specific goals. It is okay to say “no” to those reps who aren’t.
But you can take steps to protect your script, treatment, or other materials. Check with the U.S. Copyright Office to get some info and an application (there is a small fee to file the application, but it’s worth it). Also consider filing your material with the Writers Guild of America, which provides additional protection and the ability to arbitrate any conflicts.
Consult a licensed entertainment attorney if you have concerns.