Relocating and family expectations

  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1284

    Aug 30, 2013 12:31 AM GMT
    So I was seriously thinking about a move to L.A. next summer. Most of my family is already out there. When I went out last Christmas I mentioned to my brother and sister-in-law how I'd like to relocate, at least for 1 year, try the acting dream and if it wasn't working out I could always move back to Chicago. My sister-in-law said something like "don't you think it's a little late for that at your age" and my brother said something like "do you know how many people are already out here trying to do the same thing?".
    They have a condo with an extra room so I had been thinking about asking if I could crash there temporarily but now wouldn't even think about it. I feel very disappointed my family isn't more supportive. If you were in my situation what would you expect from your family? Encouragement or just a total shutdown of support. I'm surprised because we've always been pretty close.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Aug 30, 2013 12:36 AM GMT
    dude, they just dont want u coming out and being their problem to deal with. You're gonna "crash" at their place. . . icon_confused.gif
    no offense, but do u actually think your bro and his wife are wanting that? to have a house guest stay for free while u pursue an acting dream? Also, what about their life/privacy?

    if anything, u should do it by getting ur own place and have piece of mind knowing that in a life-threatening emergncy you have some fam around to help should u need it.

    anyway ur 46...perhaps having a mid-life crisis?

  • ChicagoSteve

    Posts: 1284

    Aug 30, 2013 12:43 AM GMT
    Thanks for the encouragement. Who says at 46 you just have to give up your dreams? I sure don't. I'm 46, not 86.
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    Aug 30, 2013 1:01 AM GMT
    You are never too late to try anything. Adriana Barraza, Wilford Brimley are examples of late boomers. That being said, I don't want to make it sound like it is a cake walk. I am all about giving your dreams a try but be aware of your own shortcomings and things that you have to put at risk to pursue your goals.

    I can understand how it may feel when your own family doesn't have any faith in you. My dream is to become a film director. I love films. I own a huge collection of films and it took me a degree in Business and working for some time in the corporate sector to realize what I really want out of my career. My parents have been extremely supportive of my career choice. I wanted to study films in America and chose USC( University of Southern California) and Columbia University for film but realizing the amount of money I would have to pay to undergo a master's degree in films in America threw my plans off the window. What broke my heart was that parents said that they would take loan and use their savings to pay for my degree. They were just happy that I know what I want in life. However, I have decided that I can't let my parents spend all their money on me. It wouldn't be fair. They still persisted but I have decided to settle in for my second pick which is teaching. I have been volunteering for sometime now to teach poor kids at a not-for-profit organization here and I love it but of course film making is my first choice and I think it would always remain.

    My advice would be if you can toughen it out for sometime both mentally and financially then make your move to L.A. Also, 1 year wouldn't be enough to get that break. How about actually looking for jobs in your field in L.A. and try for acting on the side?

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    Aug 30, 2013 1:07 AM GMT
    Based on what I see on today's TV shows, commercials, movies, etc.. There's a need for all types of people. Including older guys.

    Yeah, it's a bit more riskier to make this type of change later in life. But if you have the means to support yourself for a year, and you have the ability to go back home and recover in case things don't work out, I'd say do it. It's now or never.

    Just remember, you have to be really hungry and work at it. LA is full of aspiring actors, models, writers looking for their big break.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Aug 30, 2013 2:56 AM GMT
    The great comedic legend Carol Burnett had ZERO support from her parents, when she decided to go into show business, calling it her "pipe dream." But, of course, now, we all know her as a living legend.

    But, you have to want it badly enough that NOTHING anyone could say and NOTHING that could happen could stop you from pursuing your goal.
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    Aug 30, 2013 3:03 AM GMT
    If you want to do it then do it on your own financially, they don't want you bumming at their place.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Aug 30, 2013 3:37 AM GMT
    In your situation, I would be grateful for my siblings' candor and start pursuing acting right where I was in Chicago.

    I'd also start waiting tables so that when I had enough money saved up to move to LA, I'd be a skilled server just like all the other aspiring actors. I would not expect any support from my siblings other than 3 nights in the spare bedroom while I found my first temporary apartment.

    Does it show I grew up in LA? Aspiring actors in LA are a dime a dozen. Last figure I read was that the annual average salary for an actor is $9500. Take into account the ones who are making millions, and it means most are making nothing at all.

    So pursue your dreams, be realistic, and don't think that family members in LA are going to help you out much. It's your journey, not theirs.
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    Aug 30, 2013 3:45 AM GMT
    Dreams are never free. In my experience they are expensive for somebody. Just be careful and have a back up plan.
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    Aug 30, 2013 5:54 AM GMT
    Goodluck is all i can say really. U are in a tough situation. But jus sayin, dnt expect too, much too soon.
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    Aug 30, 2013 6:22 AM GMT
    why LA? Chicago has the first rate Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

    And do you have any acting experience/background at all?
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    Aug 30, 2013 7:32 AM GMT
    Well I am not going to say that you shouldn't chase your dream of becoming an Actor in Los Angeles. If that is what you truly want, go for it. You're 46, might as well give it your best shot. This could be your last chance. But yeah, be prepare to take rejections and have a thick skin.

    I grew up in Orange County, lived in both San Fran and L.A. for a while, I also did the whole audition/movie thing in both cities for a couple years in my 20s. To be honest though, I don't think I'm that good of an actor and I don't have the leading man charisma appeal! Lol, so I ended up doing a lot of commercials, print and industrial jobs which were fine, I'm happy with it but I don't think I can compete for like a role in a Brad Pitt movie or something. I usually got cast in like sidekick, asian/chinese and cop roles! icon_lol.gif Which is funny because I do not look like a typical buff cop.

    But I found my true love in writing/screenwriting. I've been doing that! It's also very important to be independent and financially secured. I think your bro/sis do not want an *Actor who crash their couch with no money to support himself. You should save up money before moving out here, try living in the valley or something, it's cheaper there. And take any jobs to support yourself. At the end of the day, it's your dream/journey, go as far as you want and don't let anyone hold you back, not even your family.

    Good luck buddy! feel free to contact me if you move out here, I'm in the area.



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    Aug 30, 2013 2:35 PM GMT
    ChicagoSteve saidIf you were in my situation what would you expect from your family? Encouragement or just a total shutdown of support. I'm surprised because we've always been pretty close.

    I think you conveniently left out the third reason… HONESTY!

    I think you're family is saying, dude, you're 46, wtf? It's OK to pursue your desires at any age but to make a very serious life change to try and find something that 1) caters to a younger crowd, 2) is highly competitive 3) in one of the most expensive areas of the country to live 4) giving up whatever you're doing now (I"m assuming you're making a living in Chicago) is crazy.

    I'm with your family on this one. Once you get to LA then what? How long were you thinking you'd stay with them (before you realized you probably won't be invited)? Are you financially able to do this? How long do you wait to find work? Seems like a crazy idea to me too. Stay in Chicago, find an community theater or ballet and share your skills with the local folks while continuing your 9 to 5 job.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Aug 30, 2013 3:42 PM GMT
    I think they just see the reality of life for an aspiring actor in LA is tough. That's OK if you want it badly enough. But that means you take responsibility for your choices. Don't blame them for being blunt. And certainly don't blame them for your failure to create a career in acting. Ask if you can borrow their guest room for two weeks while you find a place of our own. And be out in two weeks. No excuses. Don't plan on leaning on them for food, housing, anything else, except maybe love. You make your own life.
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    Aug 30, 2013 4:08 PM GMT
    I know guys your age that get parts here and there , two have even put together one man shows, but they have been working at it for 30 years and have tons of theater / improv training. They don't support themselves by acting but they are enjoying their lives.
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    Aug 30, 2013 9:09 PM GMT
    noren saidwhy LA? Chicago has the first rate Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

    And do you have any acting experience/background at all?


    Because Los Angeles is the center for Film/TV acting. I'm not sure if OP wants to do theatre. I've done bit and parts of theatre in high school and college and found it nerve-wracking and scarier than say tv acting. But yeah, didn't Tina Fey and Amy Poehler started out in theatre, then to SNL and now in LA? !! Hm food for thought.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Aug 30, 2013 9:25 PM GMT
    It sucks when reality slaps you in the face.
    You are 46 ... how much of an acting background do you have? Have you made any commercials? Do you act in town plays?
    Even Betty White started at an early age. Have you been working at it all of your life? Pretty much no one is discovered at the dime store counter. Acting is a very serious business with very serious players.
    Sometimes the best thing family can do is be brutally honest with you. Friends and acquaintances and nobody-you-know-in-particular-on-RJ will humor you and tell you to go for it out of kindness, they won't (at least not always) be brutally honest with you like family might.
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    Aug 30, 2013 9:41 PM GMT
    If acting is what you really want - go for it. Sounds like you are already doing theater in Chicago. As for the in-laws - You might expect them to put you up for a week or two while you found your own place to live - no one should expect more of them. Be ready to move - have $$$ saved up, and plan on joining the army of waiter-actors in the meantime (or like ricky said, finding a day job in your field).

    And while you are at it, get yourself on film - either get someone to film your Chicago acting, or do internet movies, or bad low budget films for free. You can't make it in LA without an agent, and even an agent wants film of you.

    Beung 46 is a big disadvantage, but like someone said, there are parts for all ages in film/TV/commercials. I just saw Dustin Hoffman's film, Quartet, and except for the gardener, a spanish maid, and a young doctor, no other actor was younger than 70.
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    Aug 30, 2013 9:58 PM GMT
    ChicagoSteve saidThanks for the encouragement. Who says at 46 you just have to give up your dreams? I sure don't. I'm 46, not 86.


    There are 86-year old actors out there.