The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Hey there!

I’ve seen a lot of people come to LA, where I live and work, or go to other production center markets, and thrive. And I’ve seen some people really struggle, and ultimately give up.

I have some advice for you on how to weather the storm and give yourself a better chance for success.

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Hope this REALLY helps!


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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and today I want to talk to you about
something that kind of ties in with
another video that I did on coffee dates
and how to have good ones and to be open
to ideas that you might not have thought
of before you might you might find
strange this idea is one that I was just
simply fortunate enough to take care of
without knowing that it was a good idea
to do it a lot of people get out of high
school college they decide they’re gonna
become an actor or a voice-over talent
and they head for them there hills they
head for New York or Los Angeles or
Atlanta or London or Sydney or wherever
you find the muse calling you and they
figure they’ll get it they’ll figure it
out when they get there that’s what
they’re they’re counting on is when they
get there the world is going to line up
for them show business is going to
reorganize itself for their success and
oftentimes people find a real struggle
in store for themselves
um and so my advice is we’d love to have
you make plans go for it but do this one
thing if you can build a war chest
before you come here you’re gonna need
to pay the rent you’re gonna need to buy
food you’re going to need to pay for
lessons and headshots and even if
they’re not printed a headshot you’re
still gonna have to have them taken
right by somebody who knows what they’re
ah there’s all kinds of things that
you’re gonna have to your car and you’re
you know what however you get around the
point is we tend to sometimes as artists
ask you the money you know they do we
don’t want to touch the filthy lucre
it’ll Sully us as an artist I’ve had
someone say that to me and you know in a
coffee date once and what I would
say is if you can build yourself a war
chest I don’t I can’t put a number on it
I had a war chest of I don’t know
probably thirty thousand dollars when I
moved here and I also did my radio show
for a while for about four or five years
into that so I had an ongoing stream of
income and it was a great sort of day
job but it was actually a night job to
have because my day was free to audition
and study and and and so on so do that
instead of coming here penniless or you
know with a few hundred dollars in your
pocket or even a few thousand dollars in
your pocket come here with some sort of
substance so that you don’t have to
struggle and you don’t fall into this
trap that I see people in our business
falling into all the time and that is
the nobility of struggling you know
there’s a something there’s something
noble about you know scraping by and
living in a little Garret that you know
the the closet of a friend are surfing
couches you know there’s a nobility to
that oh he’s a struggling artist she’s
she’s working on her craft you know she
doesn’t care about the money she just
wants to do great things you know I’m
telling you this is no bad you want to
where it isn’t and it ties into our
relationship with money because as you
grow in the business you’re going to be
presented with opportunities to make
more money to make less money to maybe
do a side hustle have a day job I’m
telling you adding the layer of worries
about where you’re going to pay for your
next meal or your rent or your car
payment on top of the idea of you know
just getting into the business and being
successful that’s not a layer you want
that’s not a badge that you want to wear
so my advice to you is not only to build
a war chest of money but also build a
war chest of best practices for your
mindset you know know that it’s going to
be challenge
there’s lots of people out here or
wherever you end up going that want to
do what we do so you have to know that
that competition is there and you can’t
let that constant rejection that
constant we went a different direction
that constant they went with somebody
who looks just like me why didn’t I get
it you know you can’t let that get you
down and the way to kind of push back on
that is to have a really solid base of
confidence and understanding that it’s
as we said the other day it’s one step
at a time and so if you can give
yourself a cushion maybe six months
worth of expenses pull out your
spreadsheet you know do a Google sheet
and figure it out and know that the
rents are probably twice as much as you
think they’re going to be from wherever
you’re coming from or three times as
much get yourself money together push
things back a little bit just to give
yourself that that safety blanket right
and don’t fall prey to this whole idea
of well you know if you’re faced with
struggle it’s gonna force you to be
successful because I’ve seen people
starve struggle move back home
go away go do something else because
they were challenged by the expense of
living while pursuing the performance
career that they want so think about
that and I’m happy to hear your thoughts
on this I’d love to know if when you
moved to a production Center and had to
really you know put your big-boy and
big-girl pants on and you had to pay
your rent and pay your car payment and
or pay for whatever you had to do in
that city food and whatnot how did you
do that how did you feel about that
pressure and what made it harder what
made it easier give me a comment below
let me know if this resonates with you
let me know if this is something that
you’ve worried about if you’ve not moved
to a big production center yet or you’re
worrying about now or you did and you
figured it out I’d love to get some
solutions as well if you’d like to
subscribe to this channel and
notified when I have new videos where we
talk about the business just go ahead
and click on my myface there I know
that’s my fits my channel go click on
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latest video well that’s right there you
can click on that and it’ll give you the
video that I’ve uploaded last I’m David
H Lawrence the 17th I so appreciate you
watching and I’ll see you tomorrow



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  1. Even though I live in Israel and have no intention of moving to any of these production centers I think this is such great advice for those who do.. I’m probably the only one with a voice-over practice (love that term David) with a studio in my apartment’s bomb shelter. Great for sound proofing awful for acoustics.. It took a lot of Auralex to tame it.

  2. This is really good advice, David! I’ve seen many talented actors leave the business because of financial struggles. They work so hard to survive that they have little time and energy to pursue their craft with any success. It’s good to have a plan and a little monetary cushion before entering any new career!

  3. Thanks, David. This is SOOO important. When you go to an audition it’s great to want the part, but if you’re in a situation where you NEED the part because you need the money, you WILL NOT GET IT. They can smell that desperation on you. When I wrote my “Act As If” column for, I talked about it in the installment entitled “Desperation Stinks.”

    It’s like being on a plane, when the flight attendant tells you to put your oxygen mask on before assisting others. Take care of yourself first—your finances, your personal needs, your psyche—then you can go out and be wonderful and people will want to work with you.

    I’m loving your video project. It’s affirming and educational and positive. Thank you.

  4. One amazing thing that makes my life as an artist easier is having a pretty bad ass, lucrative, and flexible survival job. I’m a lounge sever at the Ritz Carlton in DTLA and although I will quit this job in a hot minute when I am able to make the big bucks from vo and acting….I highly recommend working for 1. A corporate company (makes it easier to transfer and technically still have a job when you move to a different city) and 2. If you’re in the service industry, work for a hotel restaurant ! Not only do you get great travel benefits, but they generally close earlier so you are not up til all hours of the night and still have just enough time in your day to audition or film!

  5. Years ago (in the cassette age) I walked away and got a “real job” because I figured I would starve before my career took off. So now, in the mp3 age, I am back trying to get my bearings. Maybe I could have struggled and made it, or found some way to work it out, but I doubt it.
    This is good advice. You do have to eat even if you are an “artist”.