Moving to Los Angeles

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    Jul 04, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
    I want to be a television writer, and the only city I can do that in is Los Angeles. I've been talking about it forever, but I'm finally going to do it.

    Anybody know where I should live in LA? I'm looking for a 3-bedroom apartment that I can share with a couple of friends, hopefully under $2,000. It doesn't have to be the best area, but it shouldn't be Stabville.
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    Jul 05, 2010 12:04 AM GMT
    I hope you got a job lined up already. Aspiring TV writers are a dime a dozen here.

    But seriously, if you wanna get into the entertainment business, I think you should move to Culver City or North Hollywood or Burbank. Sony Studios is in Culver City, along with a handful of independent studios and production companies. Culver City is kinda boring to me. But the location is good.. Santa Monica is to the west, downtown LA to the east, and the Valley to the north. About 30 minutes in each direction, depending on traffic.

    There are lots of cable and broadcast TV studios located in Burbank. Burbank is nice and clean, but kinda boring. Occasionally you'll spot celebrities or porn actors at the market. Other than that, it's a pretty sleepy city with affordable housing.

    North Hollywood is considered the arts district for whatever reason. Some parts are good, and some parts are bad. There's a Metro Rail station there, so you can hop on the train to Hollywood, downtown LA, Pasadena, Long Beach, and Compton. icon_lol.gif

    I hope you're bringing a car or planning on buying one when you get here. Our public transportation kinda sucks and everything is so spread out, you need need a car to get around. After paying rent, a chunk of your paycheck will go towards paying for gas from all the driving you'll be doing.

    Check Craigslist for apartment rentals. You should be able to find a 3-bdr apartment for $2000. Or maybe even a small house.
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    Jul 05, 2010 1:08 AM GMT
    If you've already got your friends lined up to be room mates then great but finding a place for $2,000 or less that's 3 bedrooms in a decent part of town.....not gonna be easy. If you do find something it's going to be an older building and VERY basic. Most likely no A/C, no dishwasher, no laundry and probably not enough parking for three cars if you all get your own. If you live in Burbank it gets HOT over there in the summer so you will need A/C so that will cost you. On the ocean side of "the hill" not so much and the closer to the beach you get even less. I'd say for a 3 bedroom your going to be closer to the $2,500 to $3,000 range. The building where I live in Koreatown has 3 bedroom penthouse apartments that you can probably get for $2,000 to $2,200. It's an old art deco building, no A/C, no dishwasher (haven't actually been in one of the penthouses but I'm assuming they are similar to the one bedrooms as far as amenities go). You don't really need AC here and especially on the 6th floor. I've been in my place for almost 5 years and have a portable unit that I've used maybe three times for a couple weeks at a time in that period. If you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me an email. www.westsiderentals.com is a good resource for a variety of type of buildings. Rent.com and Apartments4rent.com tend to focus on the larger and newer complexes which tend to be on the expensive side. It is a renters market here right now so there are deals to be had so don't be afraid to haggle especially if you can find out how long a unit has been vacant. If it's been empty a month or more with no solid prospects, the landlord will most likely come down to get somebody in there.
  • Hunter9

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    Jul 05, 2010 2:05 AM GMT
    unless you have a job lined up, i suggest moving only when you have a wad of money on you ($10k, maybe) because it may be awhile before the money starts flowing in, and this city isn't cheap (though not at bad as New York or Oslo or Tokyo and so forth)
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    Jul 05, 2010 2:17 AM GMT
    sexyactionnick saidI want to be a television writer, and the only city I can do that in is Los Angeles. I've been talking about it forever, but I'm finally going to do it.

    Anybody know where I should live in LA? I'm looking for a 3-bedroom apartment that I can share with a couple of friends, hopefully under $2,000. It doesn't have to be the best area, but it shouldn't be Stabville.



    I used to live in Los Angeles, and will occasionally head down there from my current location (San Francisco) for business. Regarding your situation, I STRONGLY suggest the Santa Monica, Westwood, or Marina del Rey area, out on the coastal side of town. Why? Because of it's laidback, shaded, and quaint neighborhoods. I always perceived these areas to be a nice small escape from the rest of L.A. while being in L.A.

    Should you consider this area, here is link to view rentals, aside from Craigslist:

    http://www.westsiderentals.com/

    However, I would also take XRichX's suggestion about Culver City, Burbank, or North Hollywood since those locales are closer to studios.

    But keep in mind: Traffic in L.A. is a mega-bitch! When I lived there, you got around in 20 minutes by car. Now it's 30 minutes!! Paying for parking virtually EVERYWHERE is to be expected, too, so remember to have LOTS of change in your car, and pay attention to posted parking signs! And you won't get anywhere if you rely on that city's public transportation, either.

    Remember to stay focused on why you're living in L.A.!! Don't allow the male distraction to get to you until you're firmly settled and working well.
  • metta

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    Jul 05, 2010 6:01 PM GMT
    The best place to start is by knowing where you and your roommates will be working. Then try and find a nice place that close to that. There are nice cities inland as well: Pasadena, Sierra Madre, etc. icon_smile.gif

    If you find that the areas people are recommending are too expensive, move inland and the prices keep dropping, depending how far inland you go.

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    Jul 05, 2010 6:06 PM GMT
    In addition to Silver Lake there is West Hollywood, probably the largest gay community in the area. Much of the work is sporadic, and many aspiring actors, writers, etc. have other jobs like waiting tables or bartending.

    Southbeach and others gave you good advice. As far as delaying or moving right away, there's something to be said for cutting the strings of your current town and immersing yourself here in the area provided you have some savings and can get a day job.

    Good luck.
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    Jul 05, 2010 6:23 PM GMT
    Yes, I already have a job lined up. I just went to televisionwriterjobs.com and got staffed on a primetime show pretty quickly.

    Thanks for all the advice, guys. I've been browsing Craigslist and apartment rental sites, checking for vacancies and setting up appointments for mid-August when I plan on going. (I'm going to stay with my cousin while I'm looking.)

    Shortnsexystud, I think I know the building you're talking about. My brother-in-law's sister used to live there.
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    Jul 05, 2010 6:39 PM GMT
    Well Welcome to LA!
    Break a leg! icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 05, 2010 6:40 PM GMT
    sexyactionnick saidYes, I already have a job lined up. I just went to televisionwriterjobs.com and got staffed on a primetime show pretty quickly.

    Thanks for all the advice, guys. I've been browsing Craigslist and apartment rental sites, checking for vacancies and setting up appointments for mid-August when I plan on going. (I'm going to stay with my cousin while I'm looking.)

    Shortnsexystud, I think I know the building you're talking about. My brother-in-law's sister used to live there.

    Sounds like you're doing everything right. Couple of suggestions - get detailed street maps. You really need to see the detail. There are two AAA maps: City Series Los Angeles: 1) Central & Western Area and 2) San Fernando Valley. I'm almost positive a AAA office in ABQ won't stock these, but they could probably order them for you if you or someone you know is a member.

    Assume you're bringing a car. As someone suggested, best to live not far from work. Also check public transportation maps:

    http://www.metro.net/around/maps/
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    Jul 05, 2010 8:32 PM GMT
    sxydrkhair saidStay out of LA... Somewhere far far away from LA area. I have some relatives in thousand oaks way better than LA


    Geez icon_rolleyes.gif Don't listen to him. LA is what you make it and if you're gonna be in the biz, TO's is WAAAAAAAY too far out (unless you're straight and married with a family). You'll spend a fortune in gas and sitting in traffic getting to and from work.
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    Jul 05, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    Ok, since the OP already has a job lined up, it kinda makes it easier. Look at a map of where your office is. Then start looking for places within a 25 mile radius. In LA, 25 miles is about 45 - 60 minutes of commuting during rush hour traffic, depending on which freeways you take. If your office is near a Metro Rail station, then you can add a few miles to the apartment location.
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    Jul 05, 2010 9:29 PM GMT
    I'd try to be much closer than 25 miles.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

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    Jul 05, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    hey come visit me then icon_biggrin.gif
  • metta

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    Jul 05, 2010 9:56 PM GMT
    sxydrkhair saidStay out of LA... Somewhere far far away from LA area. I have some relatives in thousand oaks way better than LA


    Actually, the downtown has some nice brand new lofts that have been built. It is a great place to invest for people looking to invest in real estate. Some places that people would not ever go to have been fixed up into luxury lofts, fine restaurants, art galleries, grocery stores, etc. I heard that you can get a loft that is over 2,000 square feet for $600k right now.

    If I did not love nature so much and living close to it, I would consider living there.
  • metta

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    Jul 05, 2010 10:00 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidI'd try to be much closer than 25 miles.


    yep....at the max....try 5 to 10 minutes away is even better.

    I like my commute....down the stairs.....and to my home office. icon_smile.gif

    The metro is a good idea. If there is a station near his work, it may be the best option. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 05, 2010 10:10 PM GMT
    I disagree with so much of what I am reading here. First of all, LA is not a hard place to make home - it's a social city filled with people who all at one point needed a helping hand in getting started, there is a lot of opportunity and a lot of people willing to provide opportunity, it's based so much on social networking - so going out and meeting people can get you really, really far. I came here with $5,000 in the bank and no job (and virtually no friends), and I was fine. My business is centered on working with writers and I am telling people all the time that if they are serious about writing in film/TV, they have to come out here, so you're on the right track. This idea that you have to somehow have a job lined up prior to coming out here is not a hard-and-fast rule at all. Granted you might have to start with work that isn't exactly your wildest dreams (I started out waiting tables and personal assisting, friends of mine who are now really successful TV show runners were temp-ing when they first came out here - one TV writer I know was literally handing out towels at a day spa when she first got here) - but I say it's much better to just get out here and get started. I think you should pick a neighborhood based on your needs. If you're an outdoorsy guy who loves the beach, biking, surfing, then you need to be in a beach community or somewhere close like Culver City/Mar Vista. If you're into boys' town, you need to be in West Hollywood. If you're bohemian hipster, then it's Silverlake. And, yes, if your chief concern is saving $$, then it's up in the Valley for you: Studio City, Burbank, Sherman Oaks - the further north you go, the more bang for your buck. But choose your location based on what will make you happiest as an individual. Your residence will not determine what job you get. In other words, do some research. Ideally, you could be out here and drive around the different neighborhoods - but, in lieu of that, go online and see what feels right.

    There are a lot of ways to work yourself up the ranks - I've watched people go from assistant day jobs to TV producers - but yea, you just gotta get out here and be willing to take whatever work is necessary to pay your bills, start meeting people, start writing. It is usually a slow, steady climb but it can pay off if you're reasonably smart about it. Good luck!
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    Jul 06, 2010 3:07 AM GMT
    innerathlete saidGranted you might have to start with work that isn't exactly your wildest dreams

    Thank you for getting that I was being sarcastic about getting staffed as a writer through the internet.
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Jul 06, 2010 3:13 AM GMT
    sxydrkhair said
    Shortnsexystud said
    sxydrkhair saidStay out of LA... Somewhere far far away from LA area. I have some relatives in thousand oaks way better than LA


    Geez icon_rolleyes.gif Don't listen to him. LA is what you make it and if you're gonna be in the biz, TO's is WAAAAAAAY too far out (unless you're straight and married with a family). You'll spend a fortune in gas and sitting in traffic getting to and from work.


    Still you'll have traffic if you live in LA too. It is better to live somewhere far away from crowded area and specially LA downtown traffic. I am sure there are plenty of television writer jobs outside of LA area. Nothing wrong living somewhere north of greater LA area like Panorama city, Sun Valley, Burbank, Glendale, Simi Valley etc...


    this must be a joke. burbank and glendale, maybe... simi valley and panorama city?? you have lost all credibility.

    and yes, TO is great, for its access to camarillo
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    Jul 06, 2010 3:25 AM GMT
    Just make sure you have a job set up or some form of stable income when you are here. There is a lot of talent and people trying to break into entertainment here and like many have said, the success rate is low and LA is a tough city.

    I moved to LA and had 40,000 dollars saved up before I moved here along with a car and many things and within a year it was all spent. Mind you, I did not spend any of my money on leisure or alcohol and unproductive activies. I do admit I was not proactive enough at getting a job so I highly implore that you find steady income. If you have family that are supportive you are ahead of the game.

    For many artists and creative talent whether writers, actors, musicians or producer and directors, many are out here with no support system and end up struggling in this city for a long time. Although you might not want to work as a waiter or some crummy job, if you have income you will be better off than many of the artists. ("Real jobs" also prevent artists from getting steady work as jobs are needed for financial reasons, note that we are in a slow economy. Jobs are very scarce and out here everything is nearly in your network. I got a lot of freelance work from meeting people, not from applying at jobs).

    I have found Studio City and Sherman Oaks to be good places central to where and what I need to do. Its easy to get over the Valley side to LA side where Hollywood and LA side of the city and Burbank and North Hollywood are immediately North. LA is a very spread out city so move where you believe you will get most work.

    I work behind the scenes as so, if a shoot is in the LA side, I can drive there or if its in the Valley side, I am already there in Sherman Oaks and Studio City.

    As an industry guy who works in entertainment, I hope my advice has helped. Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

    Best.
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    Jul 06, 2010 3:37 AM GMT
    Sherman Oaks and Studio City. I've lived all over LA since I moved out here. And for everything that I've done, those have been the best places for me. I've lived in Downtown, Fairfax, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, Granada Hills, Canoga Park, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, and I can say from all the places I've lived in for the last year and a half, Studio City and Sherman Oaks have done me well. If you are moving with friends, go where they are. Your strength is in your network. I moved out here not knowing anyone, so your needs and conviences maybe different than mine. But, its nearly all the same in entertainment. Think of it as 40,000 actors move here a day, 40,000 leave the next day. Even for the toughest cookies, this place is still tough.This town is tough for creative people, even though its probably the best place to began an entertainment career. You will face heavy traffic all the time in rush hour, or rather rush day cause public transportation in LA is a ridiculous.



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    Jul 06, 2010 3:40 AM GMT
    I used to live in Alhambra, which is south of Pasadena and East of down town. It's not too far from the city and depending on whether or not you live closer to the north, the valley isn't too bad a drive. It's relatively cheap and pretty safe. It is, however, a bitch to get to the west side in a pinch.

    A fraternity brother of mine is looking to get into the business as an actor (though gets regular work on the production side, which may be something to look into...). He lives in Sherman Oaks, in the San Fernando Valley, and he says that has been pretty good to him.

    Good luck!
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    Jul 06, 2010 4:05 AM GMT
    sexyactionnick saidI want to be a television writer, and the only city I can do that in is Los Angeles. I've been talking about it forever, but I'm finally going to do it.

    Anybody know where I should live in LA? I'm looking for a 3-bedroom apartment that I can share with a couple of friends, hopefully under $2,000. It doesn't have to be the best area, but it shouldn't be Stabville.


    I moved out there last year and lived in North Hollywood on Fair Avenue. It was pretty hood but it was safe and near EVERYTHING. Sign up with Central Casting (http://www.centralcasting.org/) and start doing extra work to earn money right away. You will also be right on sets of major movies and TV shows within days, it's a great tutorial to see if you really want to be in the business. Best of luck to you dude, have a blast and follow your intuition. I'll be back out there in 2011
  • Hunter9

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    Jul 06, 2010 4:18 AM GMT
    FWD5 said
    sexyactionnick saidI want to be a television writer, and the only city I can do that in is Los Angeles. I've been talking about it forever, but I'm finally going to do it.

    Anybody know where I should live in LA? I'm looking for a 3-bedroom apartment that I can share with a couple of friends, hopefully under $2,000. It doesn't have to be the best area, but it shouldn't be Stabville.


    I moved out there last year and lived in North Hollywood on Fair Avenue. It was pretty hood but it was safe and near EVERYTHING. Sign up with Central Casting (http://www.centralcasting.org/) and start doing extra work to earn money right away. You will also be right on sets of major movies and TV shows within days, it's a great tutorial to see if you really want to be in the business. Best of luck to you dude, have a blast and follow your intuition. I'll be back out there in 2011


    maybe somebody with more knowledge of the industry can jump in here, but from what ive heard, it is NEVER a good idea to be an extra. they get paid next to nothing, get zero respect and have almost no opportunity to advance beyond more extra gigs.

    again, this is just what ive heard
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    Jul 06, 2010 6:51 PM GMT
    Hunter9 saidmaybe somebody with more knowledge of the industry can jump in here, but from what ive heard, it is NEVER a good idea to be an extra. they get paid next to nothing, get zero respect and have almost no opportunity to advance beyond more extra gigs.

    again, this is just what ive heard

    I've been an extra and can mostly confirm that. Everyone treats you like shit and you get paid about $100 a day to stand around and get barked at. But, if you're flat broke, standing around for $100 beats sitting on your ass at home for $0.

    You have to talk to the crew to find out about possible job opportunities and network hard to get anywhere, harder than if you were a PA, because for some reason everyone despises extras. That, I can't figure out. On a show earlier this year, the Key PA shooed all the extras away from the crafty table and started cursing at them. I stood up for them and said "Dude, they're working here too. They're entitled to a few damn fruit snacks." He just grumbled and walked away.

    It's difficult to talk to the crew, because you're not really allowed to wander the set and the crew is never where you are. But, it's not impossible. Plus you can counter "Extras Hatred" with "New in Town." Play up the "I'm just a kid trying to break in" and talk up your resume (if you have one, which I do).