Reader Question: Moving to LA with Nothing

Right after I posted the last article about not having work for 4 weeks I got a gig. Holy shit did I get a gig. I ended up working 10am-6am straight. The lord answered my prayers for work… and then almost killed me. I’ll write more on that experience later. For now, I got a reader question.

Tiffany writes:

I am a PA in Detroit, who just happened to come across your blog. I’m very interested in your entries.. I see that you moved to LA, and said that you had the gas to get there, and your GPS. How’s it been going for you so far? Have you really had to sleep in your car? The past few months I’ve been trying to figure out a plan to get out of Michigan, and get to LA (I have a friend there that is taunting me to get there sooner, also). I am hoping my friend will be able set me up with a job when I get out there, but he’s not sure he will be able to.. Just wondering how realistic it is to head out there with practically nothing. Hope to hear back from you.

You’re right, I did basically come out here with nothing. Honestly I would not advise anyone to move to LA without a plan and some cash. I know that I came out here on a whim, and I’ve survived so far, but I knew that I had a couple couches to sleep on, and I had at least one person willing to set me up with some work. I came out here with about $1000. I spent roughly $300 on gas and a couple nights in a cheap hotel. The rest is already gone. Luckily I’ve gotten a few jobs since I arrived to help pay bills.

If you don’t have couches to sleep on, I would recommend saving up three months of living expenses minimum before you come out here. I’ve even heard of people not landing a paying gig for 6 months. It’s really hard getting work without knowing people.

How have I been surviving on such little work? I find places to sleep for free. I sleep on floors and couches. I eat PB&J and Ramen Noodles. I don’t drive unless I have to. I’ve been doing this for two months. Hopefully I will start getting enough work soon to be able to get a little more situated. Kiss your social life goodbye.

If you plan on coming out here without a lot of savings, be prepared to live like a bum. You have to be a little bit crazy to live this life. A ton of people come out here to do exactly what I am doing right now, most of them end up going back home.  As Josh Dobkin says,

It’s outlast and outshine out here.  If you really want it bad enough, put the time in and don’t cave under the harsh environment like everyone else, you’ll rise above the muck.

It can be done. People do it every year. Most of them end up going home. If you want it bad enough, you’ll survive.

4 thoughts on “Reader Question: Moving to LA with Nothing”

  1. am trying to go to l.a. , i have at least 10,000 is that enough start with? i hope so. how long before you found an job.

  2. 10,000 is definitely enough to movie out here with. Just spend your money wisely and save as much as possible. I had a non paid gig the first weekend I came out here. That lead to me getting 2 paid jobs the 2nd week I was out here. Making some work contacts out here before you movie will definitely be beneficial! I knew two people working out here when I moved and they both got me a few jobs. I met people on those jobs who got me other jobs. Just GET A JOB. Any job and meet people in the industry and let them know you want to work, and work hard.

    Good luck!

  3. Wow! Okay, I am swimming in muck and I’m relishing in it, a tad bit weird? Maybe. But, I truly treasure the invaluable tidbits of information and knowledge that I gain on and off set, that has truly made the big difference in how I continuously set out to pursue my dreams and goals in this crazy yet rewarding creative industry. All the best of luck and warm regards towards you!

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