Showfax and Actors Access have regular columns from casting directors in Los Angeles here, and they sometimes have excellent articles from guest casting directors. This one is from Lana Veekner, head of Portland, Oregon’s biggest casting company. I highly recommend reading her thoughts on the advantages of working in your hometown instead of moving to a bigger market like Los Angeles. You can read the whole article here.
Her main points are:
If you’re a strong actor, you can be a big fish in small pond.
In a small market (like Vancouver) really gifted actors stand out.
In a smaller market, it’s easier to meet the players.
After a year or two, especially if you’re good, most of the casting directors in town will know you on sight and know the kinds of roles they can bring you in for.
Quality of life: time to exercise, study, etc.
If you don’t have to spend all your time in a car commuting (Los Angeles), you can have a “life” in addition to having an acting career.
Join the unions.
Get your credits on local productions and join the union before you head south.
It’s easier to juggle theatre and film in a smaller city.
Connect with independent filmmakers, work on local films.
Do your own thing.
Take advantage of the smaller market to create your own films.
Save money for the move.
Waaaay less expensive to live in Vancouver than in LA, save your pennies here so you don’t have to work two jobs when you go down there to take your big shot.