Q: When is the best time to move to Los Angeles? How can I “time” my move so I have the best shot at landing a job?
I see this question posted on different Hollywood and Moving to Los Angeles forums: people trying to understand how the Hollywood staffing season works. The logic appears sound: if I’m around when they’re hiring, I have a better chance at getting hired.
We all want that Hollywood story, the one where we’ve barely touched down before we’re recognized for our talents and whisked to stardom. Except for every time you hear one of these stories, there are a thousand people who never blow up, and another thousand who leave when they realize Hollywood isn’t for them.
The short answer? You can’t.
No one’s going to spot your talent the minute you step out of your beater car you drove here from the Akron, Ohio. They will rush up to you, asking, “Are you a writer/actor/grip/director? Thank goodness, because we’ve been looking for someone with talent…”
The long answer?
Don’t move to Los Angeles two weeks before Labor Day or the two weeks during and after Christmas, leading into New Year’s. Hollywood is close to completely shut down at this time, so it’ll just be difficult to find anyone doing any kind of work.
Other than that, it’s open season. If you’re new to the game with no contacts, the very best time to start was two years ago.
The second best time to start is right now.
This has all been said before of course…
But it doesn’t stop people from asking the same questions, hoping for a different answer. So what’s really going on here?
The best answer: I think when we’re faced with any major and possibly life-changing decision, despite how much we fantasize or invest into realizing it, when it’s time to pull the trigger, our first action is to look for our deniability. An excuse, or an out. And the be-all, catch-all out is: “I’m waiting for the right time.”
I’m waiting for the right time:
- To start a family.
- To go to the gym.
- To network.
- To have that difficult conversation.
- To quit.
- To start.
A distant cousin of “waiting for the right time” is “I’m waiting for the economy to improve. When the economy gets better, I’ll do it.”
Which puts the onus of action on an ambiguous, subjective external factor. So if you never get around to taking action, you can justify years from now: it’s not my fault, the economy was so bad.
After a great deal of gesticulation and writing on paper napkins only to realize the time isn’t right, or the economy sucks, people return to whatever provided that nice steady paycheck and lifestyle, armed with a loose promise to keep an eye on the horizon, waiting for divine providence to alert them the right time is now.
There are plenty of things to do before you move out to Los Angeles, and I’m definitely going to talk about those, but “waiting for the right time” isn’t one of them.”