Must you move to a big city to find the best acting jobs in the country? Even if Hollywood is in Los Angeles, California, there are places in the US where you can still pursue a career in the entertainment industry. You might not even have to pack your bags and relocate if you are already residing in these other areas.
So, for you to know the locations where you can stay and chase your dreams of becoming an actor, we have listed the top five among them below:
Top 5: Miami, Florida
Located in the Atlantic coast in the southeastern part of Florida, Miami is the home of a great number of entertainment venues, including theaters and performing arts centers. It is the home of the Florida Grand Opera and the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, which is the second-largest performing arts center after the Lincoln Center in New York City. Because of its collection of large-scale opera houses, concert and musical halls, and ballet centers, the city attracts a number of aspiring talents that are not limited only to actors, but also singers, dancers, and orchestral players.
As Miami is also one of the major fashion capitals in the country, you can find top modeling agencies here that have launched the careers of quite a handful of successful models in the country and even across the globe. The host of the annual Miami Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the city holds a number of fashion shows and events every year, making it a good place to find and start a career as a model.
And, because of the city’s perfect weather, Miami also has earned the favor of TV and film production companies when it comes to shooting locations. As a result, it has become one of the leading markets where casting directors and producers hold open casting calls and auditions, which in turn makes it a good spot for aspiring actors.
Plus, with its huge population of Hispanics, Spanish-language shows are filmed in full or in parts in the city.
At the beginning of the year 2000’s, the city became a popular location for reality TV shows. From then on, the 42nd most populated city in the US has been known for being the setting of a wide array of entertainment productions and projects including game shows, TV series, and other shows. About 3,000 film and entertainment companies in Miami alone can employ approximately 15,000 locals. This allows the city’s filming industry contribute to about $2 billion to the nation’s revenue.
Moreover, as Omni Community Redevelopment Agency gave its final approval in providing up to $11.5 million to construct a new movie and TV studio complex by August this year, you can just imagine the number of aspiring artists who will be benefited by this project.
Lastly, it was a month ago that the state introduced a bill in order to expand financing for both TV and Film tax incentives to as much as $200 million worth of tax credits each year. In fact, lawmakers made sure that the bill can bring $500 million to the state of Florida in a matter of year and create 50,000 new jobs.
Top 4: Atlanta, Georgia
Half of the Hollywood industry is here in Atlanta, Georgia. This simply means, there are auditions held all the time. Several large casting agencies in Los Angeles have even decided to relocate or build additional offices in the city and have offered countless of opportunities to aspiring actors or other people who desire to be in the entertainment industry. This was how the metropolis got “The New Hollywood” title.
Also dubbed “The Hollywood of the South”, Atlanta has attracted an increasing number of film production companies. With a combination of climate and savvy location, this most populous city in the state of Georgia is notable for being a favorable location for a motion picture or a TV production. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Walking Dead, and Zombieland are just a few of the projects done in the area. Because of the number of horror and zombie-related productions made in the metro, it was bestowed the title of “Zombie Capital of the World”.
Other than being named as the next home of the stars, the 9th largest metro in the United States also holds quite a number of film festivals. In fact, coming this end of the month, from March 20 to 29, the filmmakers are invited to come to the Atlanta Film Festival 2015. This is where film-lovers, movie-makers, and even industry professionals gather annually to discover and share their creations and opportunities.
Media has also greatly helped the city to boost their economy. Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network (CNN) and Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) decided to establish the headquarters within the area. Last year (2014), film and TV productions in Atlanta have enormously injected $ 5.1 billion to the state’s economy.
Aside from motion pictures and TV shows and productions done in this city, Atlanta is also a good place to discipline and polish your art in performing. In the Midtown Atlanta, you will see Broadway shows, concerts, exhibitions, and shows are being held often.
Being the home of theater groups, the world-renowned Center for Puppetry Arts brings out the beauty of the city. The Fox Theatre is also a significant location, being a historic landmark and the highest grossing theater of the city.
Walking around town will allow you, along with locals and tourists, the privilege to see and get acquainted with your favorite celebrities. If you’re lucky, you can spot a few of the Hollywood royalties including Kim Kardashian, Ne-Yo, and Ludacris strolling the streets or perhaps be given the opportunity to be one of them as you start your career here.
Top 3: Chicago, IIlinois
Not only this is the third populous city in the country, Chicago, Illinois is also the third largest media market in the United States next to New York and Los Angeles. Moreover, this city is the home of the four largest TV networks in the country, namely CBS, ANC, NBC, and Fox, where talk shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show are being broadcast.
Aside from all these, Chicago is also considered as one of the theatrical cities in the US with five of the country’s best theaters offering Broadway-style entertainment productions situated here. These theaters the Ford Center of the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre, Bank of America Theatre, Auditorium Building of Roosevelt University, Cadillac Palace Theatre, and Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place. Recognizing and acknowledging the excellent theaters in the area, the city hosts annual awards such as the Joseph Jefferson Awards.
Aspiring actors who want to build a career in theater will be able to find their way to success in this city. With the numerous opportunities, it wouldn’t be that difficult to audition for a role and get the job you wanted. If you have a talent or skill in singing, other than acting, operas can showcase your gift.
In addition, Chicago is also the home to a number of contemporary and jazz dance groups including the famous, Chicago Dance Crash and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. As you go around town, you will also find a great number of ballet performances being staged left and right.
And, one of the reasons hopeful talents move in to the city is the number of feature movies and TV shows that are shot in the area. In fact, according to the Chicago Film Office, more than 1,100 of them have been filmed and produced in the area since 1980. All of these projects helped generate $2 billion to the city’s annual income. Among the movies that used the metropolis as it location, include Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, and I, Robot.
If Chicago is a great filming location, then it follows that it has also become a favorite for television productions, including Chicago Hope, Prison Break, E.R, and CBS’s Mike and Molly and The Good Wife.
Because of the great number of films and TV shows and series filmed in Chicago, the city has been ranked as one of the most honored production centers in the US. You can just imagine the number of job opportunities here for you as well as for business owners as hundreds of local and international commercial and photo shoots are held here almost every day.
Producers enjoy creating their films in the metro as there is a 30% credit on all their qualified expenses, not to mention their post-production. It was on December 2008 when the Illinois General Assembly approved an act on Film Production Tax Credit, with its goal to attract more local vendors, union leaders and most of all, filmmakers.
Top 2: New York City, New York
The second major location where you can find acting jobs is New York City, the location for the highly popular TV series, Sex and the City and the timeless classic starring Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Although the population here may be as dense as that in Los Angeles, you can still pave the way towards your career path in this city. Since 2012, about 200 motion pictures are made in the area every year, making it the second largest center for both film and TV production in the United States. Along with this number of productions, 130,000 individuals were provided with job opportunities.
According to the Motion Picture Association of America, production incentive programs have helped generate 94,819 direct jobs and 52,062 related to television and movie production and distribution in New York, which have contributed $9.8 billion to the state’s economy.
Aside from all these impressive figures, did you also know that one-third of the independent films in the US are being produced in the Big Apple? This gave the city the title of being the world leader in independent films. In fact, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers is based here.
Additionally, New York is the center for advertising. You will recognize there is tons of media markets in the area, with Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group having set up their headquarters in the city.
The TV industry also plays a vital role in the city’s economy. Four major broadcast networks in America, namely ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox have their headquarters in the metropolis. It is also home to a pool of cable networks, including MTV, HBO, Fox News, Comedy Central, and Bravo. This means that your chances of getting jobs in the acting industry here are exponentially high.
Furthermore, New York is also the home to some of the world’s most prestigious art institutions including the New York City Opera, New York City Ballet, the Julliard School, and other influential institutes in the realm of theater. Before the city became one of the premiere locations for television and motion pictures, it was known for its Broadway shows and other theatrical productions, which started in the city way back in 1880. From then, New York began to feature several new stage acts and other performances, which later became the Broadway musical.
Both local and international tourists enjoy the Broadway Theater District of New York City. Each year, the Broadway earns billions and billions of dollars. According to The Broadway League, the city’s Broadway shows alone can sell about $1.27 billion worth of tickets and this was only during the 2013-2014 season. Until then, it has increased by 11.4% and has brought the sales to $1.39 billion for the following season.
Top 1: Los Angeles, California
You have to admit that if you live somewhere within Los Angeles, California, then you are already one step closer to your dreams. You already have the edge to get the job that could launch your career, as it is the city where the best talent agencies and large production companies, not to mention the top casting offices, are situated.
Home of Hollywood, Los Angeles is globally recognized as the center of film industry. Year after year, the city hosts entertainment events including the Academy Awards, which is one of the most anticipated award ceremonies across the globe.
There is a ripple effect in the city where the creation of films and TV programs and the generation of jobs are concerned. The entertainment industry is responsible for half a million jobs in the county, which brings more than $120 billion to its economy each year.
Performing arts is significant in the development of the cultural identity of the city. As the location of such acting schools as the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which is the oldest film school in the country, a lot of aspiring actors want to hone their talents in the city. Other than good institutions where you can improve your skills, it is also the place where you can apply what you have learned. With over 1,100 theatrical productions each year and 21 openings every week, getting a job in the metropolitan area could be easier.
Being the second largest city in the United States, Los Angeles is definitely the place where your talent can be cultivated and recognized.
Simply looking at the numbers contributed by these five different cities to the country’s economy will make you realize the number of opportunities available for aspiring actors like you. Data gathered in the year 2012 alone will tell you that the entertainment industry contributed $698 billion to the country’s economy, which is just equivalent to about 4.32 percent of all US goods and services.
Although a decline has been noted in 2013, with the industry having only contributed an estimated $504 billion to the economy, the fact still remains that the locations mentioned above are the premiere cities where you can establish an acting career. Combined with your desire, willingness, determination, passion, and hard work, all the of the chances provided by these cities may just be what you need to really break into the industry.Top 5 Locations to Find Acting Jobs in America by Holly Bissonnette