Friday, October 19, 2012
Where to Live in Los Angeles as an Actor Moving to LA
Many friends moving to LA have asked for some advice on where to look for a place, where to live in LA as an actor. Specific ideas on places to live when you are planning to move to Los Angeles will vary based on your situation. I wrote my first draft of this for a friend moving to LA and it may be useful for other people making the move to "Hollywood" or anyone already in LA who has friends or family preparing to make the move. For this post I'll use "LA" and "Los Angeles" to refer to both LA City and LA County (the county contains the City of LA as well as many other cities and municipalities too). Here is my very general overview of where an actor can live in LA:
Depends a lot on personal preference. Unlike many other American cities, Los Angeles doesn't have one focal point for business and population. There is a downtown, but people can live their whole lives here and never go downtown.
Auditions can happen all over. In Hollywood, the Westside, the Valley, on any of the studio lots and various offices throughout many different parts of the city, county and neighboring counties. Most are likely near (in no particular order) Santa Monica, Studio City, Hollywood, Burbank, West Hollywood, Universal City, Beverly Hills, North Hollywood and others.
Unlike Chicago, with the bulk of theaters in either 60657 or on Randolph, and the bulk of auditions in the Near West (like at O'Connor Casting) or Near North (like at Paskal Rudnicke Casting and Simon Casting) and also unlike New York, with the bulk of theatres in Midtown/Theatre District, and castings mainly in that middle of Manhattan, LA has no one single "center" that will be where an actor goes to a lot.
Beverly Hills is nice but pricey, as is much of the west side. The westside of LA has a more prestigious reputation than other parts of LA and tends to be more status conscious. Some people believe living in the San Fernando valley is living in a low status way. Hollywood has a fancy name but you may pay a small premium for a place that has, and needs, bars on the windows and razor wire on the top of its fences. Though there are some great places in Hollywood too. North Hollywood may cost less than Sherman Oaks, Studio City or Burbank, but is also less secure.
How comfortable you are driving a lot, and being near castings or near a studio lot may appeal to you and has to be factored in. You can always ask the closest police station how safe one area is compared to another, and I've found they know down to the block. Do not call 911 for this, stop by in person and ask the desk sergeant or other officer/s on duty. The feel and vibe you seek may be something you'll have to visit to know if you'll like it. Best option is to visit, drive a round and get a feel for each area. Happy house/apartment hunting.
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