Willing to Relocate

Tom writes in:

I’ve been looking to break into “the industry” after recently graduating and finishing two media internships. I’ve been networking and applying like crazy; I reached out to a few recruiters and HR people in LA and NYC on LinkedIn, and one (a recruiter from Warner Bros.) got back to me yesterday.

We had a typical conversation where I told her what I want to get into and she said she’d be happy to look over my resume and pass it along to any of her colleagues. Here’s the thing though, I live in Boston but am more than willing to relocate to LA. In the initial message I told her I was “interested in learning more about the tv/film market in LA.” How do I convey that I’m willing to relocate? Do I put a vague address on my resume or keep my actual one. I just don’t want to send it to her and have my location be a dealbreaker or cause any of her colleagues to immediately pass based on my residence.

Sorry, you have to be here (or New York, or wherever the job is). There are too many people ready to walk in the door tomorrow morning. Or hell, this afternoon.1

A studio will only relocate you if you offer an incredibly unique and valuable skill. I’m talking name actors and directors, high level executives. Assistants are important, but there are a lot of those in Los Angeles. You might be the best assistant in the world, but the difference between you and the best assistant in L.A. is negligible.

The exception to this is, of course, if you know a guy. If both went to Harvard and met at an alumni event, or you both grew up in the same small town and he dated your older sister,2 or you met on a plane flying to Disneyworld. Or, you know, you worked together when you were an intern.

This is why you take internships and work for free. Don’t talk to recruiters. Talk to your former employers. A personal connection can get you places.

Applying online will not, sadly.

And speaking of personal connections, anyone in Los Angeles should come to the TAPA mixer in two weeks. It’s gonna be fun, and it might actually help you get a job.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. This happened to me, once.
  2. This also happened to me.
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3 Responses

  1. So is there no way to start out without risking a lot? I live in Michigan now, and am starting out coming from a different field. If securing a job before relocating is next to impossible, and I doubt any jobs will hire me if my intent is to move and network for PA or assistant positions on set, is there no safe route? Or, since my goal is to eventually direct, is my best option to approach it the same way Robert Rodriguez did- by just making stuff and showing it to the right people? (I’d rather live in Portland anyway)

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