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Moving to LA with $3K and a Job; Can it work?


JayR

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The big sticking point in me moving to Los Angeles is how quickly can I find a good apartment that I can afford. I'm sure that if I could get one, I would BARELY afford it and thats just the first 3 months. The reason I say that is because I have a job (which is a plus) that doesn't pay much per hour AND the amount of hours are rather scant. I WILL NEED A SECOND JOB.

 

Finding a job is a job in itself, especially in a place I've never been to. I will also need a car according to a ton of people, the very people offering the jobs that interest me. In all fairness, it is a big, spread out city!

 

So given what I have - $3k, a job that pays $400/month in a good month and no transportation (not even a bike yet) - can I pull this off? Can I secure an apartment for enough time for me to get another, (and optimally) better, higher paying job that can confidently pay the average LA rent?

 

Thanks a ton.

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Everything is possible...but I would say LA...you're jumping the gun.

 

Without a car, I suppose public transport and uber. But I would kiss $2000 of that goodbye to first month's rent and deposit. $400/month will cover 50% of your rent, so unless you get a job quick you will be in debt quickly. Do you have any skills? What kind of job is it? If you had a car at least you could lyft/uber drive

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I want to work in entertainment. It doesn't have to be THE BIGTIME from day one. I'd be fine making indie films/webTV/podcasts/standup. Then I can climb my way into THE BIGTIME

I have a few scripts written and a pilot to pitch..

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I've lived in LA. Depends what area you need to be in. I lived in South LA when I was working there because I speak Spanish and wasn't really intimidated. You can get by plenty with $3,000 in that area. But if you're thinking somewhere like WeHo? I hope you've got a return ticket ready.

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400 bucks a month won't rent you a room in someone's house in the ghetto. You need a car. Everything here is spread out, and I do mean spread out. Most people commute well over a hundred miles a day for work. It just is. Rents on the Westside? 3k will rent you a studio for one month. I live in eastern LA county, just east of Pasadena, and $3000 is about what you will pay for 2 months for a 1 bedroom. Security deposits are about the same as your monthly rent, also. To move out here and survive until you find a good job, you should have about 10k in the bank. You can buy a pretty good used car for about 5k. Anything under that will be a lemon. Cars are necessary, but expensive here. Gas is close to $4 per gallon and insurance is sky high. Be prepared.

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I've lived in LA. Depends what area you need to be in. I lived in South LA when I was working there because I speak Spanish and wasn't really intimidated. You can get by plenty with $3,000 in that area. But if you're thinking somewhere like WeHo? I hope you've got a return ticket ready.

 

I was thinking West LA/Ladera Heights/Inglewood. Thought about the SF Valley and even Pasadena.

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Is there any reason you have to leave right now? Why not save up a bit more and possibly drive out there?

 

My family is toxic. Plus, I'm just losing money the longer I stay here in my current hometown. The jobs around here are low paying, hard to get to and I suck at them. I really just need a change - the bigger the change the better.

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I want to work in entertainment. It doesn't have to be THE BIGTIME from day one. I'd be fine making indie films/webTV/podcasts/standup. Then I can climb my way into THE BIGTIME

I have a few scripts written and a pilot to pitch..

 

Do you have any experience at all in doing these things? Did you do well in the theater in your home city? Did you have a modelling contract in your home market, or work with a talent agency? Have you had any of your scripts actually produced? Have you worked on film production sets as a camera operator, a film editor? Has anything you have made for the internet gone viral? Are you a big hit and keep getting asked back again and again to the "it" comedy club in your town? If the answer is no to all of these things, I would not move to LA. I would find opportunities in the city closest to you - get your feet wet and see how you are received. I have friends in the entertainment industry and my background is performing arts. No one has hit the big time - but many are steadily working, and employed full time or 3/4 of the time in their field. But many fell away.

 

Also, a landlord will not rent to you if you only have a $400 per month job lined up. No way.

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If you don't mind me asking, what's your race and do you speak Spanish?

 

West LA I'd probably nix altogether. Ladera Heights is tricky and probably not worth it if you're white. Not saying you'd get harmed in any way, but you most definitely will NOT fit in and be happy in the areas you could afford.

 

Inglewood is a mixed bag. The rule of thumb is to stay within the Latino areas, preferably near LAX.

 

If you can do the commute, then suburbs might be a more comfortable fit. Just remember that public trans in LA more or less blows.

 

With $3,000 and only $400 a month set up, finding a place that balances of poor, safe, and comfortable enough not to hate life is a challenge I wouldn't put on anyone. Definitely hustle your ass out there for that second job.

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My family is toxic. Plus, I'm just losing money the longer I stay here in my current hometown. The jobs around here are low paying, hard to get to and I suck at them. I really just need a change - the bigger the change the better.

 

Then you get training to get a higher paying job (put the $3k there), you move near the lower paying jobs, or you go to the nearest larger area that has more employment opportunities. Where if you decide its not for you, you can get in the car and go back to your hometown versus not being able to afford the trip back and being on the street. And if you suck at jobs, how are you going to make it in LA?

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Yeah. I lived in the valley a little over 10 years ago and the cheapest apartment I ever had was 2 bedroom I shared and I paid $650 a month. And that was just rent, so a job that pays only $400 a month just won't cut it. I'm sure the prices have gone up considerably since then, so yes you will need a second job. Also a car is a MUST. If you want to get into the entertainment industry you won't be able to do the kinds of projects you mentioned if you don't have a car.

 

Also while I was there I had 2-3 jobs at all times....that meant I had very little time for anything else. I wanted to get into tv and film and I never had a chance because I didn't have any free time. I was always working.

 

If you want to get into entertainment but also want a city you can get around in with out a car maybe NYC is a better fit. It's just as expensive but you don't HAVE to have a car. There's tons of tv and film work there too.

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I've worked on a film production set and had a viral video. I'm okay with not hitting THE BIGTIME in the foreseeable future. I just want to make content and comfortably pay the bills with that, for now.

I just know that I won't get the support needed to do that while living with my dad and near my sister. They want income (perhaps for them to skim off of) and they always find some way to pull me away from my dreams. It's understandable, but with the way they do it, it's intolerable.

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This guy gives great perspective. And, yep, things are more expensive now.

 

Now I live in NYC, which is a lot more friendly to the struggle. You're much more apt to find people wiling to share bedrooms for $300 - $400 and you don't need to worry about the car expenses you would in LA. The big thing is that people who come here to do film typically are pretty well-established already. The starving types are usually the non-production thespians.

 

I think LA will probably forever be the place for the starving artists to break into actual production work.

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My son is currently trying to get his own place in L.A.

 

Even in some "marginal" areas he can't find anything under $1500 per month. I looked recently because I thought I might want to move back home (L.A.) and I cannot find even a studio for under $1,000 per month. Also, security deposit is one month's rent, plus application fees are usually $40-$50.

 

Unless you want to live in Compton or South L.A. (bad idea), you still can't find anything under $800 per month. And if you DO choose to take a chance, there are no film studios or entertainment companies in those areas, so you will have to commute. There is public transportation, but you have to get to the stations to take the Metrolink and it will take you about 2 hours to get to work in L.A. proper or in Studio City, West L.A. or Hollywood.

 

I don't mean to be discouraging, but this is reality. $3000 and $400 month income will not get you anywhere in L.A.

 

Would you consider relocating to Vegas? Yes, yes, it's Sin City, but there are plenty of opportunities in entertainment type companies (I worked for two of them when I lived there) and the cost of living is SO much lower. As in, about 1/3 of what it would cost you in L.A. If you don't gamble (I don't) or hang out in clubs, it's easy to ignore those temptations. And if you can't find a job in the entertainment industry right away there's always shift work, which pays decent and can keep you going until you land your dream job.

 

Just something to consider.

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This guy gives great perspective. And, yep, things are more expensive now.

 

Now I live in NYC, which is a lot more friendly to the struggle. You're much more apt to find people wiling to share bedrooms for $300 - $400 and you don't need to worry about the car expenses you would in LA. The big thing is that people who come here to do film typically are pretty well-established already. The starving types are usually the non-production thespians.

 

I think LA will probably forever be the place for the starving artists to break into actual production work.

 

Hehe, or gal!

 

True in NYC you can find buildings where they are like dorms where you have your own room but share a kitchen and bathrooms those are pretty cheap I had a friend who did that for a while there.

 

I always thought there was enough tv/film in NYC if you tried hard enough. I have a friend who lives there now who acts in indie/student films every now and then. Not as much as in LA but I think that's because she doesn't audition much in NYC because she has other interests now. She also worked fora media company there who did b roll footage, commercials and webcasts....so I know there's work out there. Maybe not as much as LA but you're right its "friendlier to the struggle".

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According to the rule of thirds, you need to pull in three times what your rent or mortgage will be. So if your total income is $400 per month, your budget for an apartment would be $133.33 a month.

 

Unless you took a time machine back to 1930, you might be able to do it. Otherwise, "DENIED!!" as in the words of Suze Orman.

 

Do you have experience with kids? Have you thought about au pair or nannying? Usually affluent parents will give you a rent-free room in exchange for watching their brats.

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According to the rule of thirds, you need to pull in three times what your rent or mortgage will be. So if your total income is $400 per month, your budget for an apartment would be $133.33 a month.

 

Unless you took a time machine back to 1930, you might be able to do it. Otherwise, "DENIED!!" as in the words of Suze Orman.

 

Do you have experience with kids? Have you thought about au pair or nannying? Usually affluent parents will give you a rent-free room in exchange for watching their brats.

 

I know people who have live in help, and the disadvantage is no regular hours and you sometimes have to be available all hours of the day and night. Plus what about walking around money?

 

OP, it still may be worth looking into if you have solid references from a family whose children you cared for.

 

Side note: I'm guessing Naomi will not be signing up for Lamaze classes any time soon. Or looking at nursery decor.

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I've worked on a film production set and had a viral video. I'm okay with not hitting THE BIGTIME in the foreseeable future. I just want to make content and comfortably pay the bills with that, for now.

I just know that I won't get the support needed to do that while living with my dad and near my sister. They want income (perhaps for them to skim off of) and they always find some way to pull me away from my dreams. It's understandable, but with the way they do it, it's intolerable.

 

 

 

Well. If you live with dad - you SHOULD be contributing if you are an adult who has graduated high school and is not a full time college student and its during the semester and not break (and then, you should have a part time job to at least cover your entertainment, cell phone, gas, etc.). He is not trying to "skim" if he expects you to help subsidize the internet bill, the groceries, etc.

 

I used to think people were pulling me away from my dreams. The sharpest reality check I got was "I want to be a comic book writer." (not the dream, but if I said what it was it is very specific and identifying. And I was asked: "Okay, do you keep a notebook of ideas? Do you draw every day? Are you taking drawing classes to improve your skills? Are you reading up on what formats the publishers like?" The answer was no to all that stuff. "so then you are not going to make it big as a comic book writer." But they were RIGHT. I was considered to do another career as a "fallback" to make money until I got my big break, get trained in something else related to it that was a surer career, etc. or if I was going to go for it, I had to be SERIOUS and do all of the above things. Its not a matter of moving somewhere different and bingo - you are big. I know you have a need to feel special and wanted - but if you do move to LA prepare for the harsh reality of rejection that you are not the world's most precious snowflake - it will just be that you ran away from your problems and that is all unless you rack up some marketable skills.

 

If you worked on ONE movie set - that's not enough. You need to keep working on them - or tv. No one gets a job because they were on one set once unless you know people. You need to go to open mic nights if you think you want to be a comedian. etc, too.

 

As far as the viral video - is it something I definitely know about because everyone has seen it? If you are "that guy in that video" that got 5 million views, you have to capitalize on it somehow into something marketable for you.

 

What if being rejected a few times, and what if the jobs you find in LA are "too hard" or you are "not good at" like the jobs back home?

 

There are also other cities like Las Vegas, Chicago (particularly for theater), Atlanta (film and TV), Orlando (There are productions there and a few hours from Miami for other stuff, just for a start on cities. ANy larger city like Philly, etc, will have opportunities for doing local stuff, etc.

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Any larger city like Philly, etc, will have opportunities for doing local stuff, etc.

Don't send him to Philly!! That place sucks. The people there are horrible. Lots of crime. Worst city I've ever visited.

 

And link removed A hell no.

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