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Old 09-15-2012, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1 posts, read 8,580 times
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Hello everyone! I could really use your help. I am an actress living in Los Angeles and my actor boyfriend and I are planning on moving to New Orleans within a couple of months. We have both been in a couple indie movies and I recently just booked a national commercial. We both have years of training and constantly work on projects (short films, web series, etc.). We just haven't had that "big" break yet. One of my friends is a locations scout for major motion pictures and he said the New Orleans film industry is booming and that I should really look into moving there. I've heard this from other people, as well. I constantly see open calls (for lines in movies) in New Orleans.

Does anyone know if the acting industry in New Orleans is booming too? Also, any advice on where we should move (the safer parts of Louisiana) would be great. Besides acting, Louisiana just seems like a great culture to be a part of. Los Angeles is so cut throat, fake, dirty (pollution), full of scams and overly expensive -- we feel like our souls are dying here. Anyways, sorry for rambling but any advice would be great. Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:07 PM
 
974 posts, read 1,911,456 times
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There seems to be more films made in South Louisiana (i.e. New Orleans area, etc.) than anywhere else in the state so you are on the right track about New Orleans being the place. In the NW part of the state there's Shreveport-Bossier where Millenium has built a studio and they're finishing up "Olympus Has Fallen" with Gerard Butler. But NOLA would be your better bet for more work unless you want to be an extra.

I have a few actor buds who are SAG/AFTRA but they are disappointed that there aren't any SAG/AFTRA franchised agents in La. because it's a "right-to-work" state. It seems that most of the acting parts that have lines (i.e. day player, featured player, etc.) get cast from out-of-state talent either from Houston or Dallas. Not saying this is always the case but the better parts will be from L.A.-based actors according to the word from my buds. Your mileage may very. Most local casting agencies are for extras & background only, with a few exceptions for the occasional day-player with a line or bit-part.

If you move here, you may want to do what one of my friends has done. He has learned how to do online-auditions and sends them via e-mail to the casting offices when he hears about a movie that's going to be made in the state. It's actually worked a couple times for him. Be careful about New Orleans, it's not the safest place in Louisiana. I know a lot depends on the neighborhood but still, you have to really be smart about a choice of neighborhoods in the city. Break-a-leg.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,418 posts, read 20,897,649 times
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Basically what the above poster said. There are many films shot here but much of the cast is flown in from LA or Atlanta.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:08 AM
 
19 posts, read 51,350 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savannahactress View Post
Hello everyone! I could really use your help. I am an actress living in Los Angeles and my actor boyfriend and I are planning on moving to New Orleans within a couple of months. We have both been in a couple indie movies and I recently just booked a national commercial. We both have years of training and constantly work on projects (short films, web series, etc.). We just haven't had that "big" break yet. One of my friends is a locations scout for major motion pictures and he said the New Orleans film industry is booming and that I should really look into moving there. I've heard this from other people, as well. I constantly see open calls (for lines in movies) in New Orleans.

Does anyone know if the acting industry in New Orleans is booming too? Also, any advice on where we should move (the safer parts of Louisiana) would be great. Besides acting, Louisiana just seems like a great culture to be a part of. Los Angeles is so cut throat, fake, dirty (pollution), full of scams and overly expensive -- we feel like our souls are dying here. Anyways, sorry for rambling but any advice would be great. Thanks everyone!
Well, I'm an actor who lives in Shreveport-Bossier which is in the north of the state. I plan on moving to New Orleans in January. I can tell you that this is a great place to start an acting career. I probably get around 1-2 auditions a month. I know in L.A you probably get more. But I've had friends who have booked speaking roles in films here in Louisiana. The big films only hire locals for bit parts because they get a tax break for it. Indie films are willing to hire locals as leads. Plus, we have another tv show, in addition to Common Law starting to film here. TV shows are willing to hire locals for bit parts as well. I know people who have had guest star spots. So it's possible. Will you become the next Angelina Jolie here? NO! But, if you want to book some gigs and get clips then I recommend it. This market is for building experience really. Is any of this making sense?

You still have to network and stuff here. The acting community here is more family like and not too cutthroat. Any more questions, I'll be happy to answer.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:27 AM
 
974 posts, read 1,911,456 times
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If your aim is to be a "working-actor" then 1 - 2 auditions a month isn't going to cut it. If I were considering a move to NOLA to further my "acting career" (emphasis on CAREER), you should check out local agents and see which ones are more reputable as far as "best practices" are concerned. There are some agents who are more about selling modeling portfolios / website headshots than they are about repping actors. And because they are not beholding to SAG/AFTRA guidelines, they can pretty much do whatever they want (i.e. like keeping 20% or more in commissionsinstead of the standard 10%).

You need to go on as many auditions as you can and 1-2 a month is very low IMHO as my friends in the biz tell me it's a numbers game so you need to go on calls. Keep in mind that most of the local casting is for background / extra and that means about $80 to $100 for 10 hrs daily. More if you get a bit-part as in featured player with lines, etc. You may get better chances with low-budget / indie stuff and that may help you get more face time on camera for a demo reel. My bud tells me that he gets calls from "local casting offices" telling him about "featured-extra" parts only to find out that it wasn't really more than an extra with $80 for 8hrs/plus OT. So he won't do extra work anymore as it's an easy habit that's hard to break once you get started. He wants to be an actor and that's where his focus is.

Bottomline is that you should consider getting solid agency representation and discuss your plans with them. If you have a SAG/AFTRA agent in L.A., tell them about your idea of living in NOLA and commuting between L.A. and LA. If you're serious about acting as a career you need to look at your shelf-life as far as how long you want to spend at your craft. You'll probably get more TV Commercial auditions in L.A. than in NOLA and my bud tells me that's what keeps him going 'cuz it pays waaay better than any bit part in a movie. He commutes and manages to work. Otherwise he'd probably have to work a flex-time sales job in NOLA to support his acting pursuits.

If I were you I'd split time between L.A. and LA. and consider things like Pilot Season, TV Commercial gigs, and better SAG/AFTRA representation. Louisiana is nice and all and yes folks here are friendly and maybe less-cutthroat. But if you want to act and go on a lot of auditions, you need to consider your craft and chosen profession and whether or not 1-2 auditions a month is going to do that for you. You probably get 5X that many auditions in L.A. and while the smog sucks, it's more chances at getting a gig than 1 or 2 auditions a month would, I'd think. It's called "Show-Business" for a reason and you have to ask yourself would you move to NOLA for the business or is there some other reason?

Break-a-Leg
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:36 PM
 
Location: In the city
1,581 posts, read 3,406,444 times
Reputation: 2358
I have no idea why people think this is a great city for actors. Yes, there are films here. yes, as many have said, crew and cast are already established and brought in from other places. Theatre is interesting but nowhere near the level you would need to get a jumpstart on a career. Do you want to be a street performer? No? Then go with LA or NYC. Seriously, if acting is a hobby, great. This place has lots to recommend it. If you want to make a real living out of it, try LA.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:36 AM
 
974 posts, read 1,911,456 times
Reputation: 781
I think Louisiana would be a good place for folks who want to "Work" in movie-making such as crew members, electricians, carpenters, set-builders, Special F/X types, grips, prodn asst's., location caterers, etc. The folks behind-the-scenes would fare better than someone hoping to make rent as a "working actor" because there hasn't been a lot of that specialized labor-force until recently.

One of the things I often hear from my acting buds who split time between Louisiana and L.A. is that all this local movie craze has spawned the "Hobbyist Actor-type". The kind of person who did a lot of local / community theater or had some fringe involvement with the industry doing local TV commercials or managed local children's theater, etc. And because they pursue acting as more of an avocation instead of a career, they will fit the "right-to-work" slot without worrying about SAG/AFTRA union dues & requirements. You'll see a lot of local actors who have "SAG Eligible" on their headshots/resumes which means they won't pay the union initiation fees or dues unless they get offered a better role that would require them to join the guild.

From what I gather from my buds, getting into the SAG/AFTRA union means you're serious about the career as it offers you a chance for better pay, benefits and on-location safety & protection and recourse should you experience inappropriate circumstances during your booking and after. Whereas the hobbyist actor merely is taking a stab at getting in front of a camera hoping they'll get "discovered" like in the movies.

I think it's great to use Louisiana as a spring-board if you're from here as that's what might get you started. But from what I've seen, acting as a serious career ain't for the feint of heart and especially not for those who think there's an advantage in just showing up to where the films are being made. Understanding the machinations of how "Show Business" works would be the first step. While more films are being made out of L.A. than ever before; the "business side" (producers, studios, casting agents, talent agents, etc.) are still mostly in L.A. and getting in front of those eyeballs is more important than anything to an actor who understands how the business really works. There are exceptions to the rule but if you read about actors who are bonefide working actors, most got started either in L.A. or New York 'cuz that's where the decision-makers dwell.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:39 PM
 
19 posts, read 51,350 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeenThereDunThat View Post
If your aim is to be a "working-actor" then 1 - 2 auditions a month isn't going to cut it. If I were considering a move to NOLA to further my "acting career" (emphasis on CAREER), you should check out local agents and see which ones are more reputable as far as "best practices" are concerned. There are some agents who are more about selling modeling portfolios / website headshots than they are about repping actors. And because they are not beholding to SAG/AFTRA guidelines, they can pretty much do whatever they want (i.e. like keeping 20% or more in commissionsinstead of the standard 10%).

You need to go on as many auditions as you can and 1-2 a month is very low IMHO as my friends in the biz tell me it's a numbers game so you need to go on calls. Keep in mind that most of the local casting is for background / extra and that means about $80 to $100 for 10 hrs daily. More if you get a bit-part as in featured player with lines, etc. You may get better chances with low-budget / indie stuff and that may help you get more face time on camera for a demo reel. My bud tells me that he gets calls from "local casting offices" telling him about "featured-extra" parts only to find out that it wasn't really more than an extra with $80 for 8hrs/plus OT. So he won't do extra work anymore as it's an easy habit that's hard to break once you get started. He wants to be an actor and that's where his focus is.

Bottomline is that you should consider getting solid agency representation and discuss your plans with them. If you have a SAG/AFTRA agent in L.A., tell them about your idea of living in NOLA and commuting between L.A. and LA. If you're serious about acting as a career you need to look at your shelf-life as far as how long you want to spend at your craft. You'll probably get more TV Commercial auditions in L.A. than in NOLA and my bud tells me that's what keeps him going 'cuz it pays waaay better than any bit part in a movie. He commutes and manages to work. Otherwise he'd probably have to work a flex-time sales job in NOLA to support his acting pursuits.

If I were you I'd split time between L.A. and LA. and consider things like Pilot Season, TV Commercial gigs, and better SAG/AFTRA representation. Louisiana is nice and all and yes folks here are friendly and maybe less-cutthroat. But if you want to act and go on a lot of auditions, you need to consider your craft and chosen profession and whether or not 1-2 auditions a month is going to do that for you. You probably get 5X that many auditions in L.A. and while the smog sucks, it's more chances at getting a gig than 1 or 2 auditions a month would, I'd think. It's called "Show-Business" for a reason and you have to ask yourself would you move to NOLA for the business or is there some other reason?

Break-a-Leg

Huh? I think you completely misread my post or you are really dramatic, one of the two. I never said New Orleans was a great place to become an in demand working actor. I said it's a great place to start a career. Many people come here from New York and L.A just to become SAG/AFTRA eligible. It's much easier here than in those places.

Furthermore, I said I get 1-2 auditions a month. I didn't say that was the norm. It depends on your niche. If you're a goodlooking white guy, you'll probably get way more auditions than say an average looking Asian guy or whatever. It really depends on your niche.

I know people here who are making a living from the work they are getting. They may book three weeks in three different films a year. They aren't making six figures but enough to survive. Again, New Orleans is a good market to get experience and a SAG card. If you want to be a highly paid tv/movie star, then you definitely have to go L.A or New York. All in due time. I know that if I moved to L.A right now, I'd be destroyed. I have to build my resume first.

Last edited by jkik15; 10-17-2012 at 08:02 PM.. Reason: Didn't want come off as offensive.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:43 PM
 
19 posts, read 51,350 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeenThereDunThat View Post
I think Louisiana would be a good place for folks who want to "Work" in movie-making such as crew members, electricians, carpenters, set-builders, Special F/X types, grips, prodn asst's., location caterers, etc. The folks behind-the-scenes would fare better than someone hoping to make rent as a "working actor" because there hasn't been a lot of that specialized labor-force until recently.

One of the things I often hear from my acting buds who split time between Louisiana and L.A. is that all this local movie craze has spawned the "Hobbyist Actor-type". The kind of person who did a lot of local / community theater or had some fringe involvement with the industry doing local TV commercials or managed local children's theater, etc. And because they pursue acting as more of an avocation instead of a career, they will fit the "right-to-work" slot without worrying about SAG/AFTRA union dues & requirements. You'll see a lot of local actors who have "SAG Eligible" on their headshots/resumes which means they won't pay the union initiation fees or dues unless they get offered a better role that would require them to join the guild.

From what I gather from my buds, getting into the SAG/AFTRA union means you're serious about the career as it offers you a chance for better pay, benefits and on-location safety & protection and recourse should you experience inappropriate circumstances during your booking and after. Whereas the hobbyist actor merely is taking a stab at getting in front of a camera hoping they'll get "discovered" like in the movies.

I think it's great to use Louisiana as a spring-board if you're from here as that's what might get you started. But from what I've seen, acting as a serious career ain't for the feint of heart and especially not for those who think there's an advantage in just showing up to where the films are being made. Understanding the machinations of how "Show Business" works would be the first step. While more films are being made out of L.A. than ever before; the "business side" (producers, studios, casting agents, talent agents, etc.) are still mostly in L.A. and getting in front of those eyeballs is more important than anything to an actor who understands how the business really works. There are exceptions to the rule but if you read about actors who are bonefide working actors, most got started either in L.A. or New York 'cuz that's where the decision-makers dwell.

Well, many actors here stay Eligible because they usually lack credits and they fear that if they join SAG too early, they will not be able to compete with more experienced actors. In Louisiana, unfortunately, joining SAG too early may be more of a hindrance than anything.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:58 PM
 
974 posts, read 1,911,456 times
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Originally Posted by jkik15 View Post
Well, many actors here stay Eligible because they usually lack credits and they fear that if they join SAG too early, they will not be able to compete with more experienced actors. In Louisiana, unfortunately, joining SAG too early may be more of a hindrance than anything.
Not necessarily as SAG-FRANCHISED Agents usually only sign actors who have joined SAG/AFTRA. The franchised agents will submit their headshots for SAG/AFTRA signatory productions which means better pay, benefits, etc. and even actors with few credits can get day-player / featured player parts. These parts are bit-parts usually with 5 lines (of dialogue) and under. More than 5 lines, you get bumped up the ladder pay-wise. Keep in mind that while experience is important, most casting is based on a look or by type. This is how my buds got started. They got cast in a bit part, did the Taft-Hartley waiver which allowed them to work on a SAG film and eligible to join the union. After they joined, it opened up the doors for SAG/AFTRA agency representation and they've been working on SAG/AFTRA projects ever sense.

Experience is good and not knocking it, but we all know that unless you have the "look" that casting and directors are looking for, all the experience in the world won't help.
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