Times Square. Photo Credit: Sara Margolis
The Big Apple. Home to Broadway Theater, Lady Liberty, halal trucks, inflated prices, and recently many young artists. But why have so many young actors and filmmakers opted to come to New York over Los Angeles, the supposedly already established film capital of the world? I’m glad you asked!
When people think New York, they are bound to think theatre. How could they not when the Theatre District is one of New York’s most popular tourist attractions? Don’t get me wrong, theatre is a huge part of the New York culture as there are 41 professional theaters on Broadway alone and hundreds more all over the city. But beyond the theatre scene, New York has an ever-growing TV market with more than 50 scripted shows such as Boardwalk Empire, Broad City, and Luke Cage being filmed there!
Outside of just the sheer amount of job opportunities, New York is walk-able. Many auditions, casting calls, and coffee shops are within blocks from one another. Accessibility is a must, especially if you are a young, broke, aspiring artist who needs to jump on any and every opportunity you can get. No need for a car means no need to pay for gas, which often has been the tipping point for those young artists who are teetering on the fence between moving to the Big Apple and moving to Hollywood.
"There are 41 professional theaters on Broadway alone and hundreds more all over the city."
New York also provides very enticing incentives to help its TV and film production businesses. The city provides free police assistance, discounts when using local vendors, and refundable credit on production costs. New York even provides free advertising in subways, taxis, and buses! New York’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio, is a big advocate of the film industry in New York and has even appeared in The Good Wife and Horace and Pete.
In my opinion, the most important asset that New York has is its education. The city is home to world renowned schools like Juilliard, NYU’s Tisch Program, and the Atlantic Acting School (I’m an Atlantic Alumnus). All of these schools are so close and so tight knit, especially the ones that work through NYU like Atlantic, Stella Adler, Stonestreet, and many others, that it makes it extremely easy to make connections with people in a variety of fields.
All of these schools provide training that takes you from a beginner to a confident, well versed, working professional. They also provide a wide array of opportunities for students to break into the industry.
For example, the Atlantic Acting School has a five semester Conservatory program that is designed to get you on your feet. In my time at the school, I worked on many different
techniques and movement practices such as Practical Aesthetics, Alexander Technique, Suzuki Movement Training,
Last Days Of Judas Iscariot. Adam Roebling (left) and Derrick Gallegos (right)
Photo Credit: Joanne Bouknight
Viewpoints, and acting for film. I was even given the opportunity to perform in a full length production of Last Days of Judas Iscariot on their Off-Broadway Stage. I've made lasting friendships with many actors and directors who work in New York and I still continue to work with them today!
New York is an extremely exciting place to start your career and it’s no wonder so many film makers, actors, and directors have opted to work here. The opportunities are endless, the community is welcoming, and the memories, priceless.