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Does Hollywood hate New Actors?

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

I was 18 years old when I moved to Los Angeles to begin my film and television career. Two things became apparent to me almost right away. If you had the right look and or knew the right people. You would always be invited into the room. Myself, I had neither. I was not a size 2, and I had no professional experience or training. Which translated into NO connections.

To network, you need to be around people in the industry!

The idea of working as an extra became so appealing to me as a new actor. No professional actor will admit to starting as an extra it is viewed with such disdain and not something a serious actor would ever do. After about my third film and second TV movie working as an extra, I began to see why. The actors who had made a life out of working as an extra, how can I say this in the nicest, most non-judgmental way possible? They had lowered expectations. Not only were they content playing the background, they saw being an extra as a badge of honor. Yikes! That was not nice, but hey, it was the truth. As the saying goes, you are only as successful as the five closest people to you. When fate finally crossed my path with working actresses in Hollywood, it was not all like you see in the movies, where the seasoned actress sees the potential in the actress who is new in town and instead of being threatened by it introduces the new actress to all the right people and the rest is history. The working actresses I knew viewed me as a prime candidate to join their entourage.

After three years, I left Hollywood with three fundamental life lessons that I still implement today. 1. The art of wearing a thong, 2. Be nice to everyone you meet at first because that dressed down guy or girl could be the son of a very famous actor/producer/director and lastly 3. Taco Bell is not real Mexican food.

I did not start to build my resume until I moved to NYC to study acting. I learned more in New York than I did in my three years living in Hollywood. Let me share with you why I believe New York City is better for a beginning actor.

If you are a beginner, NYC is a great place to start your career because, despite New York city's prickly reputation, the artists who reside here are not afraid to help each other. A sense of community here is rare, and only a few other cities can compare. In addition to that, a new artist with no resume, tons of passion can still find opportunities for jobs. The various options for schools is also another reason I believe NYC is an excellent start for a new actor. No matter your budget, you can find reputable classes that have taught actors whose names you will recognize.

Because of the amount of opportunity available to new actors here, the vibe is less cutthroat. Once you have been in classes for a while and you and your teacher have decided that you want to start submitting yourself for castings, the theater is an excellent place for an actor to develop their chops and build up their resumes.

Hollywood is for the intermediate to an advanced actor.

Let me explain why. Hollywood is home to the major five studios, Time Warner, Universal, Walt Disney, Columbia, and last but not least, Paramount. These studios produce pretty much everything you have ever seen, from Film, Television to animation. We're talking multi-million dollar projects time is money, which means they won't invest the time, aka the capital, into a new actor's learning curve. The very last thing you need to make a film is the actor.

To be able to compete with the actors who have already been working in Hollywood, you

would you need to know what your character type is? And who are the actors getting your roles? It would help if you had an agent or a manager, and most importantly, your aesthetic needs to be on point. It would help if you had an audition wardrobe. All things that take time to develop. An actor or any artist, for that matter, deserves the time to develop their craft. Being in LA made me realize how behind the curve I was, and no one was going to stop and wait for me to catch up.

What if you feel like you are not ready for either coast?

Maybe because you still need to get the money together?

Whatever the reason, you can still make moves like you are in a big city. How? By "acting" as if you are already there.

Ultimately the decision is up to you on which coast you decide to begin your career. If you started in LA and were successful, please share with us how you did it!

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