Actors will be aware of the top three places to live if they want to make it big. These places are:
- Los Angeles: Film and TV
- New York City: Broadway plays
- London: West End plays, film and TV
LA, New York, and London are filled with like-minded competition and are incredibly expensive places to live.
Truth is, you don’t necessarily have to move to these cities if you’re an actor, because each circumstance is different.
There are so many cities in the world where an actor can live.
It mostly depends on the type of acting you do, because some actors may benefit from living in a different city depending on if they are a theatre actor or a film actor.
Theatrical actors and performers are more likely to benefit from living in New York City or London than LA, for example, because the theatre scene is much larger there.
As LA is the global hotspot for the entertainment industry, it’s possibly the most popular place for actors to live.
There are a bunch of neighborhoods with their own communities and cultures, some of which are inhabited by other actors who may be good to network with.
These include Central and Eastside neighborhoods like Hollywood, Westside neighborhoods like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, and San Fernando Valley neighborhoods like Panorama City and Studio City.
Theatrical performers who want to grace the West End or Broadway would benefit most from London or NYC.
Whilst both cities are incredibly expensive to live in (especially with the inconsistent income from acting), actors can be savvy by living with housemates or by living in the outskirts.
The real bubble of acting in London is the West End in the center of the city (around Soho, Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road, Piccadilly, and more), but most actors tend to commute to central London to save money on rent.
Living in NYC is similar to living in London for theatrical performers. Actors are more likely to benefit from living in the outskirts with housemates than from living directly in the center.
However, the key is to establish a survival job wherever you live.
Acting is an inconsistent job that isn’t a reliable source of income, so you should base wherever you live on a job before anything else.
Also, you don’t have to live in a huge city or move countries to be a successful actor!
The US is a hotspot for theatre and emerging talents in a range of states, so you don’t necessarily have to move from home if you’re not prepared to.
Atlanta, for example, is a popular location for film and television due to the beautiful scenery - plus it’s much cheaper to live than NYC or LA.
Where should I move to become an actor?
Whilst LA, NYC, and London are the top cities for acting in the world, you don’t necessarily have to move to these cities to become an actor.
Becoming an actor is all about starting small and working your way up. Your priorities should be to gain experience, experiment with agents, take every opportunity, and save money.
Of course, if you intend to go to drama school, you should consider moving to or near the city of your choice.
For those who have completed drama school or those who want to skip that step, you can still gain experience from your home state.
Aspiring actors need to get used to the idea of moving a lot in the future.
Whilst it’s a fun idea to settle down, you need to be ready to take any acting opportunity - even if it means moving to a different state.
Wherever you choose to live, you must establish a security job.
Acting is a precarious job that doesn’t provide a reliable source of income all of the time, so you need a constant backup in the meantime.
This means you can continue working at a bar in Ohio whilst taking weekend trips to New York for auditions.
You should also have a nice amount of savings, especially if you want to move to LA, London, or NYC.
Moving to these cities as an aspiring actor is a huge financial risk that might not be worth it, so unless you’re ready to take that risk and potentially lose more than you gain, you have to start small.
Some cheap states that are great bubbles for acting include South Florida, Seattle, San Francisco, and Atlanta.
Even if you plan on staying at home for a while to save, keep an eye out for local filming opportunities.
America is a beautiful landscape for a variety of films and television shows, so you might be in the right place at the right time!
In short, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars moving to a big city or new country to become an actor.
You have to start small and move at your own pace to benefit your talents and financial stability.