My resources for this post is borrowed from Thriving in Hollywood

It’s a two hour long video and these are guideposts of how to thrive in the LA market as an actor so I went through and pin- pointed which is most important.

1. Preparation

Take the ideology of Hollywoods biggest star “Abraham Lincoln.” He would say “if I had 6 hours to cut down a forest of trees. I would take 4 hours to sharpen the ax before cutting down any tree at all.”

Sharpen the ax for 4 hours and cut down trees for the other 2 hours.

The theme of thriving your career in LA is about preparing before you land here.

Be ready with a reel and Headshots before you get here.

Get yourself a SAG card before you land in LA.

2. Get Theatre credits.

They triumph anything else. Agents LOVE them.

You’ve got to pay to play.

Cannot stress this enough. Have a professional reel put together and sway away from doing that scene in your bedroom for your reel.

3. Do an awful lot of student films. 

“Awful” being the key word. Do as many as you possibly can.

Even if it is just a student film, commit yours yourself to every project you do. No matter what it is. Even if it is just a student film; commit yourself to it.

4. What to do when you arrive in LA?

Intern for an agency when.

What’s your survival job?
Find one but don’t forget that your survival job is just a survival job.

If you really really want to act and the choice comes down to you missing hours at your bartending job or taking an audition. Take the audition!

Coaching? Personal training? What do you love to do on the side and make that your survival job.

5. Take the class best for your career

Sometimes getting the right classes for your career is a better choice then the class that gives you the most knowledge.

What’s a “right” class

LA is a film capital but if you’ve only done theatre, take a film class. For example- the Film class that teaches you how to be still for the camera and know what light to place yourself is much more helpful for your career then the improv class that allows you to practice your “so called craft.”

6. Build relationships and don’t forget them

It’s cliche to say this. But this is a business about “contacts and relationships.”

Good relationships and connections is optimized when luck meets preparation and then they make babies!

Keep contracts on your contacts. Keep track of them.
Do the post cards and keep a log of all the people you’ve worked with. Note down what they were working on when you met them.

When sending out post cards

When sending out a post card. Make sure to mention something provocative such as: “Hey this is Logan Nelson and he is greedy and he wants to work with you. Check him out on his latest episode of Green gone bad and Maybe he can fulfill his greediness for more with you.”

Lastly: This is all advice from only certain casting directors, agents and actors. They all have different styles and opinions. But most of them agree on these values. This alone is helping your career. Little by little everyday is going to keep you calm collected and THRIVING your career in Los Angeles.


All of them agree that it’s about “Hard work”. Be ready to work when you arrive. It’s a hard business but you already know that. Be mindful of when you need to work hard and when you just need to be a person and take time for yourself. Nobody in the business like to work with A- holes. Plus they smell like, well, shit.