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Survival Of The Smartest: A Musician's Guide To Moving To LA

Your journey may not start or end in LA, but if you’re looking to make a name for yourself in the entertainment industry, odds are you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time in the City of Angels. And while sometimes it’s a good thing to be a big fish in a small pond, there is nothing like walking down Sunset strip and popping into The Roxy or The Viper Room a few nights of week to do some world-class networking. So when you get the band together or just get your butt and your guitar out on the highway and en route to Los Angeles, here’s your guide for surviving the city that can give you life or steal your soul.

Work Out the Details

If you haven’t landed a gig in LA yet, don’t land yourself behind the 8-ball the second you get into town. Get on the job boards ASAP. The sooner you can get a gig to cover the incredible cost of living, the better off you’ll be. Look for jobs with flexible hours so you can fit in auditions or other job interviews. Because having a job to pay the bills is important, but having even a grunt job in the industry you want to work in is paramount. Whether it’s a runner at a big recording studio or a janitor at a record company, figure out how to start from the bottom and pay your dues. Be nice to everyone and always offer to help out. Remember, hard work and humility never go unnoticed, and this industry isn’t about who you know, but what they know about you.

Living in LA

Getting a studio apartment may not be ideal for all rock-and-roll-minded LA transplants, but it is essential if the only time you have to work on your music is late at night. The worst way to alienate roommates is to keep them up playing the same few notes over and over while you work on your album. Soundproofing can help keep neighbors happy too, and it will also make your acoustics much better if you do any recording, although professionals recommend recording in a closet or sitting in the bathtub for the best at-home sessions.

Learn to Cook

Refusing to learn how to cook will kill your budget and your health! Stay strong, stay healthy and stay home for meals. If each meal only costs you $7 and you eat out one meal every day, that’s $49 per week and almost $200 every month! After 6 months you could buy quite a few hours in a professional recording studio or a new guitar!

Buying healthy food in bulk will help reduce food costs and look for friends to split produce with that will go bad before you can eat it all. Online free online cooking tutorials will have you impressing friends with culinary know-how in no time. Also, work on making social events less centered around food and especially the bars, one of the biggest money drains. A beach bonfire or house party is infinitely more satisfying and cost efficient. But if you must go to the bars, pre-game at home where the booze is cheap and look for friends to share the cost of the Lyft.


Survival Of The Smartest: A Musician's Guide To Moving To LA

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