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22 year old son wants to move to LA with no job - some questions

22 year old son wants to move to LA with no job - some questions

Old Apr 8th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Findng a room to rent shouldn't be a big problem.

Irvine isn't anywhere near the animation production companies where he wants to work. Those are mostly in and around Burbank, with a few on the westside.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 10:14 AM
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Irvine is where all the software companies are
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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Irvine is a great place, but doesn't sound like it would have the excitment and vibe that a young person would want when moving to LA for the first time.
I think house sitting is a great idea. Why does it have to be in Malibu? There are gazillions of other options. He may want to take out a bond for his protection in case something unforseen happened. They usually aren't very expensive - you could even help him with that.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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nanabee, actually, shouldn't be in Malibu. It's actually boring and costly for a kid. I was just saying...
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Not that I know anything about LA, but to answer the question about renting without a job, I think that the parents can usually co-sign as guarantors. This seems to be common here in NYC, and it works when people without much financial security buy apartments.

And I don't think that craigslist is about illegal sublets, but there are a lot of postings on craigslist that I think are not genuine or are bait-and-switch. But I don't know any of this from personal experience, just from what I've read or gathered in the past.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Iregeo -
I know they should save the nice places in Malibu for people like us!!
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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FrankS, good point. My mind hopped immediately to movie animation, but you're right, software is another big area of possibility.

I hope he'll have a reliable car!
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Thank you for the thoughtful replies. He and we are aware that without a job, Mommy and Daddy will co-sign lease. We have had to do that while he is in college and would continue to be willing to do so for a period of time (as yet to be determined). It is also impossible to guess where he will be working. His degree is in animation and while the biggest employer, Disney Pixar, is in a known location, many animators end up working part-time or per project work while making ends meet by working an unrelated and semi-menial job (not unlike future actor hopefuls working as waiters in the good old days). I realize the economy is tough, even for these type jobs.

A share situation would work - he has lived with all sorts of characters in art school and is not picky or difficult to live with. I will advise him to check out Craigslist for that sort of thing. We are willing to partially subsidize his dream for a period of time, but not forever. Certainly first/last/security, car insurance - that sort of thing. And yes, he has a reliable car (2004 Toyota Camry).

Thanks again - we are trying to walk the line between supporting his dreams emotionally, providing partial financing for a short period of time while not enabling laziness.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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gail, I have a nephew with some sort of graphic design/animation degree, who was unable to find a good work in his field. He is now working for Kinko's doing some sort of graphic design, though not precisely what he'd like. Just a stepping stone idea for your son, as there are so many Kinko's out here.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Isn't Pixar in Emeryville (across the Bay for SF) not LA. BTW if he's not going to be fully employed, he could try for a Pixar summer internship--the son of a family friend did this last summer; it got his foot in the door.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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Yes, for Pixar he could live in Oakland.

But for L.A. why not live in the Melrose ave area? I think it's a great idea to go and just find out. He should be able to find a share or duplex along there for not too much $$.

In other areas there is a lot of commuting involved, incl Santa Monica and Malibu - lovely though they are.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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gail, this reminds me of an article in a tiny local paper about a local's grandson who won an Oscar "for visual effects and makeup for the film 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' at the 2009 Academy Awards." He moved to CA with some friends and found the job ... on Craigs list!
He complains about his 45 commute from the San Fernando Valley into Burbank.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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I highly recommend subscribing to www.westsiderentals.com. Despite its name, it has listings from all over the LA area. It also has a roommate finding module. It would be great if he could find a roommate, as it would be less costly and might provide him with a little bit of instant social life.

I moved to the L.A. area when I was a little older than him, though I already had a job lined up. (I used similar roommate-finding services) It can be scary and lonely, but also very exciting. I have never regretted it for a minute.

The major video game developers/publishers are scattered around the Westside. EA is in Playa Vista, Activision is in Santa Monica, THQ in Agoura Hills.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 03:34 PM
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Oops, pressed submit to soon. I mentioned the video game publishers because I think they are still hiring in this recession.

I think a place in the southwestern part of the Valley might work for him-- finance and job-location wise. He might want to rent at a furnished short-term housing place like Oakwood Apartments for a couple of months while he is interviewing. Once he has a job, he can do the roommate search and find a place to settle. A miserable commute can kill one's California dream very quickly.

Good luck. I'm sure he'll be fine. The L.A.-based Fodorites are just a click away.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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Well, I can't tell you where he should rent, but the good news is that there are vacancies everywhere!

I took these photos at the end of February within 2 blocks of my apartment in Koreatown, and all those signs are still there (plus some new ones).

http://rkkwan.zenfolio.com/forrent

I work at UCLA, and it seems like every building in Westwood has "for rent" signs up now.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 04:22 PM
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Venice
Santa Monica
Mar Vista
Culver City
Fairfax
Melrose
Silverlake
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 04:27 PM
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I would try to not sign a long-term lease until he finds work, rather look for temporary or shared housing on a month-to-month basis. LA is a *HUGE* geographic area and he wouldn't want to get himself stuck with a horrible commute because his employment is nowhere near the apartment he committed to.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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agree with suze 1000%. LA traffic sucks!
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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Gail: If he has interest in working in image oriented industry than he should be around Burbank and Culver City. As a creative person, he can also live in Venice or Santa Monica and take commute by city bus.

Burbank and Culver City are also very expensive to live in. He could live in nice section of San Fernando Valley and commute every day.

You are not getting valid advice from those who are trying to send him to Tustin. It is one of the most expensive places in So.California to live, located between noisy freeways and with completely different industry. Don't look for creative people in Tustin.
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Old Apr 8th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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I third that opinion actually (about the lease signing) if you have the choice. Traffic in LA does make some travel prohibitive, though as long as he'll have a car, he can do it. I moved to Los Angeles area 6 years ago as my boyfriend at the time lived here already. I spent a lot of time scouring safe neighborhoods, etc..(i had young teenagers then) and my boyfriend and many of my friends now are art school graduates who are now cameramen (ACs), directors of photography (DPs), actors, etc. so i feel fairly well versed in how they all got started, the struggle for work (they are all independant), the distance thing, etc.

I think your son will be fine here - yes there are horrid areas, but there are lots of safe areas as well. Irvine is technology central - lots of money there and plenty for his age group, but i agree that it is not at all focused in his industry and much of his success will truly be networking and being around and available. Oftentimes those breaking into work, need to be available at the drop of a hat, work for little money, sometimes free on short films, etc..just to gain experience, so being in the area where many people are sharing his passion is pretty key. They do a lot of networking!

I think he could enjoy the silverlake/los feliz areas as they are eclectic with some nightlife, some cheap restaurants, etc. Burbank, Glendale, North Hollywood, and Pasadena definately would all be good, primarily safe, a good amount of young people and people in the entertainment industry and not too inconveniently located. I live in South Pasadena which is uber safe (but also uber spendy) and we do have a good number of studio apts for rent here - i would say a safe estimate would be anywhere between $900 and $1200 for a pretty good studio/one bedroom by himself and he would probably find it a tad lower in the other areas mentioned in my post (and of course you can get as high or low as you want but staying fairly close to those markers would probably indicate it's in a good area, decent place etc). There are plenty of rooms for rent in nice big safe homes and plenty of people in his same situation with whom he could share a place or rent a bedroom. Pasadena is a GREAT place and location (15 min from downtown/chinatown LA) however, the 24 or so miles to the west side can easily be 1 1/2 hrs each way for most of the day. He's young, he may not mind it, but it could be a stinker (though most of my industry friends do indeed live out this way in pasadena, eagle rock, etc).

Posters are correct in that the vast majority of his work would probably happen on the west side (santa monica, culver city, etc.) where the studios are since animation isn't on location (I think, i'm not in this business myself and don't know many animation people) so in that respect he might really be better off in north hollywood (though that is the shadiest location crimewise of the bunch i'd say) locationwise. Fairfax would be fairly lovely on the right street - but you truly are in the thick of a big city so there could be more risk safety wise.

Anyway, sorry for the ridiculously long post! I'm happy to answer any questions you have if you want to post them or email. I'd also be happy to help out in any way or meet up with your son (mine is 18) and lend my support if needed or invite him to a bbq with some people in this business type of thing. I very much feel for you since mine are so close to out of the nest!

Last thing - as far as getting work - it is slow in that business right now for sure. But the thing about that business, love it or hate it, is that if someone really has talent and can network, they can go from "zero to hero" very quickly and be self sufficient. Mind you, there's huge competition. LA truly has a large percentage of people who came here to get rich or famous in a minute. Many of them stayed on and even as older people are hoping for that break. It can be a pretty sad thing to see.

Good luck!
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