I admit I had very unrealistic ideas about L.A. Not this trip, but eventually, I planned on coming here, auditioning for an amazing part in a TV show or movie and blowing them away, so much so that they would get me an O-1 Visa and I would become a working actress in Hollywood. Of course, I knew it was a dream, and have since become more realistic. My new plan consists of going home to Montreal, taking classes, auditioning, then doing the same in Toronto. The idea is that my Hollywood grade training will give me the edge I need to pave my way in Canada, so that I can transition to the States not as a nobody, but with an admirable body of work. Still a dream, but more realistic 🙂
The sheer number of other actresses in LA who can actually work legally is part of what made me see reason, not to mention that a lot of these women have been at it a lot longer than I have. Before I came to Los Angeles, I kept thinking that it would be so much easier if I were American. I could move here permanently, become the stereotype by getting a job as a waitress, work as an extra while taking classes and auditioning until finally getting the opportunity to show what I can do. That’s why I was so shocked, and found it ridiculous when multiple people here told me Canadians have the Golden Ticket. I thought they were crazy, because I can’t work here, so I have to make enough money back home to support myself here and try to convince someone to go through the trouble of sponsoring me and waiting forever for it to go through…I didn’t see what was so great about being Canadian as far as the acting game is concerned.
It turns out they got this idea from the fact that a lot of American productions are filmed in Canada (like most of the WB shows, and according to my new friend from Improv class, Lifetime movies). I’m no expert, but I am told that for these shows, if the top tier is made up of Americans, the next tier has to be entirely made up of Canadians (local hires), if they are to film in Canada. So, while they admit it is hard to get work in LA, we have the advantage in Canada, where Supernatural, Nikita, Arrow and so on are filmed.
I still know it will take a whole lot of hard work, but I am now a lot more optimistic about building my career in Canada, which doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but it is home, and a lot closer to the people I can’t live without.
I still have 3 weeks before I go home though, and this past one had me making more friends while watching the brilliant performances at Anthony Meindl, tackling comedy with Zak (I’m actually not that horrible at it) and getting a guidebook on improv from The Groundlings, while also making new friends! I think the first month of 2013 was very productive and enlightening for me, and I am looking forward to 11 more filled with classes and auditions and doing what I love (hopefully closer to the people that I love as well! 😉 )