My First 5 Months Working in LA
Updated: Sep 12, 2019
It’s been 5 months since I moved to California to work in film and TV and it’s been a rollercoaster ride. Throughout the last 5 months, I’ve felt a lot of excitement, doubt, motivation, fear, empowerment, and defeat. In this blog post, I’m going to share some insight on my first 5 months in LA and what it’s REALLY been like.
Late February my boyfriend and I moved to Burbank, California. Before moving I had successfully locked down an interview as a PA with a production company that produced HGTV shows. I was also very lucky in reconnecting with Family Feud (who I worked with in AZ) and be brought on to work for them for the first 3 months of their new season.
I got super lucky in March due to those connections I was able to make in February. March was almost fully blocked with work 5 times a week with either Family Feud or with HGTV shows. I was also able to work the final casting of the new season of Hell’s Kitchen for 3 days.
Every week, I would look at my calendar and see what I was blocked out for and try to fill in the gaps to be constantly working. I had a sense of accomplishment and I felt like I was doing really well for myself at this point in my career.
It was also during March that I had 2 phone interviews for a casting assistant position with Universal Content Productions. It was for a full-time position at UCP and I felt so excited to have even gotten to the interview stage of such a highly-competitive job. This is the first of many interviews that have led to disappointment - I call it my “Interview Fiasco of 2019” - I’ll explain in a bit.
April rolled around and Family Feud shooting days started to get more and more consistent, which meant I had to turn down several HGTV shoots. It was also during this month that I was surprisingly offered a full-time office PA position with that company. I had prior commitments with Family Feud and I also had high hopes and being called for the UCP job, so I passed on the opportunity.
I continued to finish out the month at Family Feud, which would be my last month on the Feud set.
Mid-April I signed up for Central Casting to work on shows and movies as a background actor and hopefully make some extra cash while networking.
By the end of April, my job with Family Feud had come to an end, and I was looking for new opportunities to find a full-time or somewhat full-time job in the industry. I worked on my last auditions for Family Feud for 2 days in May, and that was the end of my Family Feud season. Funny enough, the last day I worked with them, was the night they won their first Daytime Emmy in over a decade.
I was applying to entertainment jobs almost daily, trying to find a new opportunity. While I wasn’t finding anything, I was able to work on a pilot as a background actor with Central Casting for two days.
I was able to attend show tapings of "The Real" and "The RuPaul Show." It was really random but I even played a game on "The Real" and won some money!
Anyway (lol), I also visited AZ for a weekend and put in a lot of work for my animation business, working on marketing content, outreach, etc.
Needless to say, May was not a busy month for me on set but it was definitely interesting.
June wasn’t very different and was one of the most emotionally difficult months for me since moving to California. I was able to work on 3 HGTV shows in June, and a friend of mine hired me for a day player position on a different reality TV show. I also worked as a background actor for a movie for Paramount for a day.
But what made June so complicated for me was that I had four different job interviews, all of which felt like a mess. I don’t know if Mercury was in retrograde but it sure felt like it.
Two of the job interviews were full-time positions, and the other two were about 9-week contract jobs all starting and overlapping near each other. I’ll spare you the details, but these interviews caused me a ton of stress because of potential scheduling conflicts. I was essentially counting my eggs before they hatched and ultimately the universe resolved my stress by not giving me any of the jobs.
At this point, I’m starting to struggle financially, and my confidence has been shot. Luckily, my boyfriend is working and does nothing but good for my confidence, so we are still afloat!
We start the next month out with a Family Feud wrap party right before the 4th of July! July seems more promising after being offered a travel opportunity with Family Feud in Portland to help with auditions for a weekend. This was contingent on my schedule depending on if I got a job that I interviewed for, and of course, I didn’t get it, so Portland here we go!
Mid- July, I interviewed with another production company for a new reality TV show and during the same 24 hours, I got word that I was still a potential candidate for a job that I applied for and interviewed for back in June. Both jobs start in August so we shall see if the Universe is kind to me this time.
We’re in the middle of July now and it seems to be half blocked off with HGTV shoots and Family Feud auditions with no leads for August.
If I were to give any advice on how to tackle moving to California based on my first 5 months here, it would be to come knowing that job security is not a thing in the entertainment business, that it takes a lot of diligence to land interviews and a lot of self-worth to not feel shitty after them.
You should come prepared with enough savings to hold you over for those months that aren’t financially stable.
Anxiety attacks are real and unfortunately common, but it’s nothing you can’t get over.
Thanks for following my journey in LA and I’ll be back with a more positive outlook next month!