New York Vs. LA: Which city is better for a job in arts and entertainment?
When it comes to working in arts and entertainment, there’s no doubt that New York City and Los Angeles are the places to be. These two cities have a lot in common when it comes to the basics like cost of living and potential opportunities for creative types. But they’re also incredibly different and can either make or break your career, depending on your area of choice. Uprooting your life and moving to an expensive new city is a huge step, and there are several factors to consider when deciding whether you should choose New York or LA. Here’s a general overview of which city may be best for entertainment professionals.
Fortunately for actors, both New York and LA are great picks – although you need to be specific about your goals. Are you dreaming of being a film star or television actor? Clearly, then, Hollywood should be on your radar. Do you have a passion for musicals and live theatre? It doesn’t get any better than Broadway, Off-Broadway, and even Off Off-Broadway, a breeding ground for avant-garde theatre and up-and-coming talent.
Singers, Songwriters and Musicians
With the music industry essentially having no barriers to entry (which is both, a good and bad thing), artists no longer have to camp outside the doors of a record label to catch the attention of some high-powered exec. For the most part, songwriters and producers can set up an at-home studio and work from anywhere in the world. Live performers, however, need to put themselves in front of audiences who are most likely to vibe with their style. Think about your brand as a singer and/or musician, and choose your market based on where you fit as an individual. And no matter what area of the music industry you’re in or where you choose to live, always be ready to travel in case an impromptu project arises.
New York and LA both have legendary stand-up comedy scenes, with Chicago being an honorable mention for comedic improv. Historically, the stages of New York City have been launching pads for some of the world’s most iconic comedians like Richard Pryor, Jerry Seinfeld, and Joan Rivers, whereas LA is where comedians will move to once they land their own show. If you’re just starting out as a stand-up comedian, NYC just might be the perfect place to learn the ropes. Also, get to know the underground comedians in New York who have been working in the entertainment industry for decades. Their knowledge and advice are priceless.
For screenwriters, it’s a blatant fact that anyone who wants to write for TV or movies needs to be in Hollywood. The only exception is comedy writers, who could potentially fare well in NYC with gigs at Saturday Night Live or Comedy Central.
There’s a vast difference between the dance worlds of NYC and LA. Like acting, dancers who wish to land roles in music videos and television will probably be better off in the City of Angels. But serious ballet and modern dancers and those who want to study dance in-depth should absolutely move to New York City, as schools like Alvin Ailey, the School of American Ballet, and Julliard and NYU for degree programs simply can’t be beat. (Ballet is what originally brought Tracy to the Big Apple!)
Ballet dancer photo by lynnea on Pixabay.
Plus a theatre bucket list.