Q: Masters, I am having trouble settling into a job. Right now I live in LA and am doing some modeling and acting, which is my passion. In between jobs I support myself by catering, bar tending, and waiting tables. While visiting New York I found a steady stream of catering jobs and the money was very good. My question is: I talked to my Los Angeles agent and he says I haven’t gotten a lot of work lately because my book is disorganized and out of date. He can give me the needed contacts to start getting work, and even has some contacts in New York if I move there. What should I do?
A: First you have to be honest with yourself. You have all these dreams of being a top model and actor but you don’t believe that you are good enough. You have let your sample book die because you would have to see who you really are at this moment—a scared, uncertain little boy.
In the past it was more important for you to have fun. You drank to excess and bounced from party to party, believing that you were going to make contacts and not have to do any leg work yourself. Recently you stepped out of the party scene because it was getting you nowhere. Now you have to decide where you truly want to go.
If you move to New York you will have your financial needs met easily by all the catering work. You believe that you can get in your modeling interviews during the day, but you must remember that you will be starting from scratch. Once you get into the cycle of work/money with catering it will be very difficult for you to step out again. This is not right or wrong, but it will take you a lot longer to make the connections needed for an acting/modeling career. But it will provide a sense of financial security.
Staying in Los Angeles, where you have modeled and acted in commercials on a limited basis, gives you a door to the profession that is already open. Your first step is to establish a marketable view of yourself quickly through your book. Work with your agent, knowing that you are now ready to put the partying aside and will really be serious. You already have contacts to make money in restaurants and bars until you are discovered.
The most important issue is having faith in yourself and your ability to use your good looks to make a living in your chosen profession. The choice is yours, east or west, depending on how fast you want to grow based upon how much confidence you have in yourself and your abilities.