Post # 1
So my man and I are looking to move to a new city after the wedding. I’m an actor/director and I’d love to live somewhere that there is a lot of opportunity for actors, particularly those without union status yet.
We are living in Pittsburgh right now and I honestly love a lot about this city. Its incredibly affordable and there is a fair amount of performing arts, but it is a very difficult scene to break into if you want to do more than community theater. I don’t expect to make my living acting, but would love to be able to do it pretty much constantly in quality productions (film or theater) while actually being paid for my work. 🙂
I’ve lived in Boston and Ithaca and liked both of those places very much, but we are tired of cold weather–which isn’t too terrible in Pittsburgh, comparatively. So no Minneapolis, Chicago, NYC, etc.
So our ideal place would be somewhere warm, affordable, and with a very large arts scene. Politically liberal helps, too. (Though it doesnt have to be like Ithaca liberal–thats hard to replicate!!) Pittsburgh’s cost of living has us spoiled, but we can swing more than what we’re spending here. San Fran would be my ideal place to live if we had the funds or their theater scene was big enough to justify the cost.
We’re looking all over the US. Right now Austin and Portland are at the top of our lists. Is there anywhere else we should look into further? Someone suggested a few coastal cities (Charlotte, Durham etc) but I’m not sure how much of a performing arts scene they have.
Any other suggestions or comments on the ones we’re thinking about already? Thanks!!
Post # 3
What about Colorado City? That is a huge artsy area and quite liberal, alot of CA residents have moved there and they brought a good chunk of the film industry with them.
Post # 4
Try that quiz and see if anything else pops.
I’ve heard awesome things about Austin but have never visited.
Darling Husband and I went to Portland a couple years ago and we FELL IN LOVE. I talked to a lot of people there who are transplants that say the dreary weather is the hardest thing to get used to. Other than that, the people are SOOOOO nice and the city infrastructure seems so well planned. We both talk about moving there one day.
Post # 5
@Roe: Wilmington, NC. It’s a coastal, affordable town with a big arts scene. It’s actually nicknamed “Hollywood East” because a lot of shows/movies are filmed there (Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill).
Post # 6
@oracle: Heh. I can’t count how many times I’ve taken that quiz! Its given me great ideas, but hearing from real people helps a lot more.
I’m not sure if this is correct, but I heard somewhere that the cloud cover in Pgh (though not the rain) is worse than Portland and only second to Seattle. So the weather wouldn’t take too much getting used to–at least their winters aren’t as bad.
Post # 7
Yes to Portland and Wilmington.
Charlotte does not have much acting at all– it’s all business and then a tiny couple blocks of an arts district. In my 2 years here, I think I’ve seen one thing being filmed, and it didn’t look super professional.
Post # 8
I had someone suggest New Orleans to me today. Any NOLA bees know what the arts scene is like?
Post # 9
I’ve lived in Charlotte and Austin. Austin is the live music capital. I’ve honestly never heard of a performing arts scene (live theater) although I’m sure they have to have one and they do have SXSW (which you should definitely go to whether you move there or not) so they have a filmmaker network. You’ll get politically liberal, warm (hot actually), good housing costs, and a lot of friends to the arts. Charlotte has a few small theaters, but the main one is for traveling shows from Broadway. Charlotte you’ll also get warm (and not deathly hot in the summers like Austin), good housing costs, and politically moderate. I don’t really see politics come up here like I did in Austin. Probably because this is a banking town and Austin is a college town.
In regards to film, Hunger Games was filmed around the Charlotte area, but a lot of celebs have their homes in Austin and my friend was a recurring extra when Friday Night Lights was filmed there. Durham: Barf. Honestly, Austin is a dream town. They have everything I could ever ask for. Good cost of living, awesome community feeling, so many diverse things to do, great job growth, an awesome college, and it’s clean and pretty. I’d move back in a second. Everyone that’s ever been there says that.
Wilmington isn’t bad either. It’s a college town so you’ll get that type of vibe, but I think most of the jobs are for extras. Although I have met John Travolta and his wife, Martin Lawrence, and the cast of Dawson’s and One Tree Hill just wandering around, they’re only there to film. Kim Basinger and Al Gore own homes there, but the amount of movies coming out of Wilmington seems to be decreasing.
I did find this though. Austin is on it. Albuquerque and Shreveport seem to fit your criteria
This City is Cinematic: Ten Cities for Independent Filmmaking
Alb. came up again on this list and it’s an international listing. May be worth looking at.
10 Best Cities for Aspiring Filmmakers
Post # 10
Have you considered San Francisco? Portland, Seattle, and Austin seem like good choices.
Post # 11
I’ve lived in Charlotte and Austin. While I liked living in Charlotte more because it was more my vibe and I had better friends there, Austin is like a mecca for the arts. I would recommend it for sure, given your line of work.
Post # 13
@reginaphalange: San Fran would be my ideal, I’ve been there and loved it and have family there. *sigh* no way we can afford it.
Post # 14
@Roe: Oh whoops, I didn’t notice you snuck that sentence in your original post.
Sounds like Austin would be a good fit. I don’t know anything about Santa Fe’s acting scene, but maybe you could look into that too?
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
If you like Austin and Portland, you’d love Charlottesville. I don’t know if you could make a living as an actor here, but we have plenty of theater companies and an opera company.
We have the headquarters of Red Light Management, the company that manages some of the top names in music. The DMB manager started that and MusicToday here years ago and both are powerhouses in the industry. They have satellite (HA!) offices in NYC, LA, Nashville, and Denver.
The city is liberal (full of academics, artists, musicians), but the surrounding county is [generally] conservative. I think we have constant political entertainment as a result. We’ve been debating a road for over 20 years. 🙂
Post # 16
@ananeele: Everyone I’ve ever talked to that has lived in Austin loves it. And I’ve been thinking about it for a while…I guess my main concerns are the intense summer heat/humidity…Pgh is humid, but we may have gotten a day every other year thats over 100 and I don’t know how I would deal with that.
Also, public transport seems lacking–is that true or did I make that up? And one very small, very vain concern of mine that I’m sure I would get over: all. ranch. houses.
haha! I’m in real estate as well and really just don’t fancy that style 😉
Random question you may not know: Any laws governing ownership of pit bull breeds? General attitude towards the dogs?
I’ve crossed Denver off my list in the past due to thier pit bull ordinances…I wouldn’t be able to take my baby there 🙁
Why did you move away?