I got this question recently:
“Do you see a lot of screenwriters with wife and kids moving to Los Angeles?”
When I first moved to LA I was single, no kids, just graduated from college, and only 23 years old. I thought I would be very typical of the sort of person who moves out to LA to pursue this crazy dream of becoming a screenwriter. And while there certainly was no shortage of recent college graduates flooding into LA that Fall, I was actually surprised how many older people I met. And I’m not just talking about writers but also producers, editors, actors, directors, make up artists, etc. There’s actually a ton of people who had a career for ten, twenty, or thirty years but always had this dream of making it in Hollywood… so those people are in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s. People of every age and position move to Hollywood. Some with families, some recently divorced, some retired with a nice nest egg, some eager to find a day job to support themselves. It’s really a big mixed bag.
One thing about LA, because it’s such a big city no matter what current career you have, it’s pretty likely that you could find a job in your field and make a comparable salary, if not better depending on where you’re coming from. I was emailing with a guy a little while ago who’s getting a degree in Kentucky in equestrian management and I mentioned to him that there was a lot of horses in and around LA, especially up in Ventura and sure enough he found a job lead pretty quickly. The point is it’s not nearly as hard to move to LA as you might think. I personally love living here and even if I wasn’t writing scripts I would still want to be in Los Angeles.
And as a side note, I get tons of email from people who live outside of the USA who really can’t easily move here so if you do live in the USA be appreciative because for many people it’s not easy and isn’t really an option.