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Question: I'm sure this is a common question, but I want to act in film or television -- I'm not interested in professional theater at all. After school (some training in theater of course as well as film), should I settle in New York or Los Angeles. I was wondering if Los Angeles was really that much more advantageous for film and TV than New York. --Alex

 

Answer:

Hi Alex,

Well, New York is definitely more theatre-centric than Los Angeles, but I haven't met a single actor in Los Angeles who *hasn't* done stage work. Nor have I met a single casting director who doesn't value theatre for the training, the discipline, and the acting chops it gives its participants.

So, I want to warn you, that if you think you can have a lasting film and/or television career without setting foot on a stage professionally, you may be in for a rude awakening. Good acting is most fully developed on a stage, and because most casting directors come from a theatre background themselves, they value that on a resum´┐Ż much more than a certain look or on-camera credit.

But, yes, while there is a growing film and television market in several locations, Los Angeles will always remain where the majority of films and television shows are produced. And while theatre actors are respected everywhere, you are far more likely to "get away" without strong theatre credits in Los Angeles--but not for very long.

-Bon.

Bonnie Gillespie is a Los Angeles casting columnist, the owner of Cricket Feet Management, and the author of Casting Qs: A Collection of Casting Director Interviews.