Acting : Pilot Season 2015 by Alex Walton

Alex Walton

Pilot Season 2015

Was just wondering, how much would people suggest an actor from England would need to have behind them to be able to come over to the US for pilot season? Also whats the best way to go about gaining funding or sponsorship? (is there even an official option from companies for this, or is everything self funded) And where is the best place to be located? Are casting locations generally focused in one area? Any advice would be really appreciated, thank you. Sorry to bombard with questions, just want to be as informed as possible, before making the move for a few months. Thanks again, Alex.

Dan LaRoy

The most important thing is to have money. Getting someone to sponsor you is near impossible unless you are really close with a rich person. As far as experience, everyone basically starts over when they get to LA. If it's not a professional credit it won't help you a whole lot but getting a demo reel made can help you and good training can also help. As far as the best area LA films the most but also has the most competition. New York also films a lot but there is a lot of competition there too. Atlanta and new Orleans seem to be on the rise but still not as much going on.

Amanda Toney

Hey Alex, we actually have a great webinar coming up in January all about how to get visas to work in the entertainment industry. I HIGHLY recommend you keep your eye on the education section and take that when it comes out.

Alex Walton

Thanks Dan. How much do you reckon would be enough to survive? Would New York be cheaper than LA? Shannon, I will definitely keep my eye out for it. Thank you.

Dave McCrea

I think maybe you should go to NYC first. New York is a much easier transition from London than L.A. as it's a very similar city. It's easier to find a day job in New York too as not all the best ones are already taken by screenwriters and actors already. NY TV production has exploded - 30 odd cable and network shows are shooting here like leftovers, the good wife, the blacklist, the following, boardwalk empire, blue bloods, orange is the new black, etc... Also many indie films with big-name actors are produced and cast and shot here. There is also self-taping for the L.A. shows as well. As far as how much you need, you can rent a room in a shared apartment for about $900, figure $20 a day for food, and a metro card is about $100. But if you don't have an agent you have no shot at getting any of these roles, so you need an artist visa at least, and an agent - but getting the visa might be harder than getting the agent.

Dan LaRoy

New York is the most expensive City in the country. It's not cheap and neither is LA but LA is cheaper. LA also films a lot more stuff because it's Hollywood and has better acting classes. If you want to do film I'd recommend LA if you want to do theatre than new York is where I'd go.

Dave McCrea

I've lived and worked as an actor in both --- New York is more expensive per sq. ft. to rent an apartment, yeah, but you also don't need a car, or car insurance or gas... you're not going to save money by choosing L.A. over New York - and survival jobs often pay less than NYC and are harder to come by. It's easier and much less hassle to have a decent standard of living while pursuing acting in New York in my experience.

John Ohkuma

Funding? Sponsorship? Get a Casting Networks account, register with Central Casting (it's free) and take it from there.

Royce Allen Dudley

Film and TV- has to be L.A. not NY. But Pilot Season per se isn't what it used to be.. things are happening all year. That said, the Oakwood Apartments behind Universal and Warner Brothers is a mini-city largely inhabited by short term-renting actors. You must have a car in Los Angeles although they tell me some people now Uber it- kind of unthinkable but maybe it works. Cabs here are a joke. It helps to be independently wealthy. Before any of that you'd want to figure out the whole work visa thing. Shame to get cast and not be able to work.

Gameela Wright

I'm afraid getting funding or sponsorship is difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. However, if a U.S. production wants you, they will help with the visa and other necessities for you to work/stay. Do you have UK representation? They may be able to get you submitted for U.S. projects. Do you have actor/director/producer/agent/manager contacts in the states that can recommend you? To be honest, the best time to prepare for pilot season is NOT DURING PILOT SEASON. The industry is inundated with projects and deadlines, with everyone trying to get their project made. All the actors who live here are vying for the roles. To break through the cacophony takes time. Remember that it is a risk to bring ANY actor in to audition or work on a project. So when they don't know you, AND you're from another country, it's an even bigger risk - unless they already know you and are vying for you (don't we all want that?!) Do as much as you can to build your UK career/resume as much as possible. And when the craziness is over in Mid-May, start to make U.S. connections so that NEXT pilot season, you stand a better chance.

Edith Woi

My friend is one of Hollywood's best acting coaches. Just happens he and his partner coming to London for a workshop in April. I can send you more info if you or anyone you know is interested. I think I could get you a discount as well. They are about results and are unlike any other coaches touring the UK. Let me know! ooh...if you have any questions, I could email him as well and get back to you.

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