BWW Blog: Mining a City
Life after graduation can be daunting! You may be wondering where the best place is for you to locate yourself as an actor. You might be interested in pursuing something specific (Ex: Shakespeare companies or Improv) or you might be looking to go straight for a busy city like Los Angeles or New York. But sometimes your work may take you to a location that may not be super theatre oriented. Here are some tips for making the most out of any city/state you're in!
These are some questions for you to consider that my professor gave to our class!
-Do I need a car? If so, you'll have to factor not only the cost of the car but insurance and gas as well. On the flip side, if there is public transportation, are there any discounts you can obtain?
- What are the housing costs? If you're in a specific state for a contract, will they be housing you or will you have to find your own place near the theatre?
-What theatres are located there and what do their seasons look like? Can you see yourself being easily cast? Consider the number of reliable shows, regional theatres, musicals vs plays, Equity vs non Equity, and directors. Ask around! The more information you know, the easier it will be to weigh the pros and cons of living in certain areas.
There are definitely specific cities that have more access to certain things: Improv (Los Angeles and Austin) and Shakespeare (Chicago and Utah). Make sure you're doing in depth research! Moving to a new city, especially one where you don't know many people that can help you get adjusted can be hard. So you want to be prepared as possible ahead of time if you choose to move somewhere new. Choosing between New York and Los Angeles, (two large, well known cities for pursuing the arts) is fairly easy. But finding an in-between state can be harder to navigate.
One of the most important things to consider is this: What is the quality of life you need in order to be happy? Do you thrive most in a bustling city where you're surrounded by people? Or do you prefer a quiet, small town? Wherever you go, you want to make sure it is somewhere you can see yourself for the next few years, a place where your career can not only thrive but where you can also grow as an individual. In a way, it's the same type of research as when you're applying to colleges. You look up what the college town is like, the best restaurants, cost of off campus housing, etc. Take it one step at a time and you'll be fine. Moving to a new state to pursue your passion is a brave step to take but it is truly one of the best adventures you can have!