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3 Tips to Surviving Your First-Year as an Artist in Hollywood

Updated: Oct 4, 2018

By Westley Steele:

Let’s face it; everyone comes to Los Angeles, CA, with a dream that will change their life. However, many of us are not prepared for the “Roller coaster ride” of a career in the L.A. Entertainment Industry. So, to celebrate my "1-year and change LA-Versary," I’d like to share 3 tips to successfully survive as a creative in Hollywood.

1. Creating a Foundation

A few years before I executed my plan of moving to Los Angeles, I dedicated my time in making small trips. During these “Mini-Vacays,” I began to network with friends who were already living here, as well as churches and companies that sponsored Entertainment Industry gatherings. It was at one of these meetings that I met the person who introduced me to the composer I landed my first assistant-ship with.

Being 31 years old at the time, I knew that I would need other sources of income while working in my dream career. So I decided to look for positions in the private music teacher sector and eventually found an opportunity that provided the green light I needed to relocate.

2. Saving for a Rainy Day

Relocating from Virginia to California comfortably takes some serious coin. In order to establish the correct amount of savings, you’ll need to decide what your lifestyle will be. In my case, I took the single route (no roommates). To be safe, I would personally recommend saving anywhere between $15–20K before making the journey out West. I know others who have saved far less, but remember the keyword here is 'comfort.'

3. Remember why you wanted L.A.

Being able to say that I’m an artist living in Los Angeles speaks volume to the evolution of my artistic growth and endeavor. In the words of the great British Activist Nicholas Winton, “Some people revel in taking risks, and some go through life taking no risks at all.”

Simply stated, L.A. will push you to be your very best at all times. Realize that people you meet and allow yourself to be surrounding by make your journey that much more fulfilling. Be proud of who you are while staying true to yourself. Because in L.A., anything is possible. You just have to survive.

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