To start your career as an actor, auditions are the key. But to get quality auditions, you have to be in the right city. Here we have compiled some of the best cities for acting auditions in the USA.
For each city, we will compare the types of auditions you can expect, living expenses, and how the city can benefit you as an actor.
The best cities for acting auditions include Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami, Austin, New Orleans, etc.
So Let’s see each one by one.
1. Los Angeles
- Average Rent: $1700-$2300 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $3500-$4000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: Tv shows, movies, web series, and theater.
It is a no-brainer that LA is the best city for actors. The majority of the Hollywood auditions occur in LA. Thousands of auditions occur every day, and hundreds of new projects begin every day.
So it would be wise to move to LA for acting auditions.
However, LA is a huge city, and not all areas are suitable for actors. You want to choose the right area. The area should be close to audition hubs of the city.
I suggest choosing areas like Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Burbank, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Glendale, Or North Hollywood. These are the best places for actors to live in Los Angeles.
I have to say LA is the best place to audition for a movie compared to other cities on this list.
As far as living in Los Angeles is concerned, you can expect the cost of living a little higher compared to the other cities in the US or Canada.
You can expect an average rent of $1700-$2300 for a one-bedroom or a studio apartment. In addition to rent, you can expect the cost of utility, groceries, and other expenses of around $1200.
You can reduce the cost if you choose areas away from the downtown and also you are willing to commute in public transport for auditions.
2. New York
- Average Rent: $2200-$3600 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $5000-$6000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: Tv shows, movies, web series, theatre, and Broadway.
Beyond LA, New York is another place where you can find acting auditions. Hundreds of projects are made every year in New York. Not as high as LA, but still an excellent place to find acting audition opportunities.
Especially if you want to gain some theater experience, I think there is no better place on earth than New York.
Many of the popular theater productions have homes in New York.
If you want to make it into Broadway, New York houses the iconic Broadway theater Lincoln Center. And there are more than 40 professional theater productions.
Though there are plenty of opportunities, New York could be one of the toughest cities to love in. The cost of living in New York is among the highest globally.
So you will need a lot of savings and a good paying part-time job to survive in the city. In new New York you will have to pay rent of $2200 if you choose to live outside the city. But in city, it might cost you around $3600. With the cost of utility and food, you might need $5000-$6000 to survive in the city.
Check out the cost of living in New York.
- Average Rent: $1300-$1800 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $3000-$4000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: films, tv shows, and web series.
If LA And New York are expensive for you, I suggest moving to Atlanta would be a voice choice.
Atlanta is not only a booming metropolis, but it is seeing some growth in opportunities for budding actors and filmmakers.
The reason for this is a tax incentive program that was introduced in 2008. Due to this, many major production houses have moved to Atlanta.
The biggest movie franchise Marvel has its production in Atlanta, which is a huge boost for the entertainment industry in Atlanta.
In recent years, many other productions like Disney have moved to Atlanta.
So I think it won’t be a bad idea to move to Atlanta for acting auditions.
the best places for actors to live in Atlanta are Buckhead, and west midtown.
The cost of living compared to LA and New York is low. Depending on the area, you will have to pay rent of around $1300-$1800 for one bedroom in Atlanta.
In addition to rent, you can expect other expenses of $1000 per month. You can easily survive on $3000-$4000 per month.
So think about Atlanta if your budget is low.
Check out the cost of living in Atlanta.
4. San Francisco
- Average Rent: $2500-$3000 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $4000-$5000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: Tv shows, films, theatre, and Broadway.
San Francisco has been part of movies in many ways. Not just that many productions have an office here. Many popular films are shot in San Francisco.
So I think it won’t disappoint you if you want to move here for auditions.
However, I suggest you move to San Francisco if you are in the learning phase.
There are some best acting coaches in San Francisco, and also theater scene is very much alive.
This makes it a great place for acting students.
The cost of living here is going to be high. It is one of the biggest cities in the United States and it is a hub for many industries.
So it is going to be an expensive city to live in.
It is going to cost you between $2500-$3000 to rent a studio apartment or one-bedroom apartment.
In addition to that, you will have to factor in an extra $1500 for utilities, groceries, and other amenities.
If you can manage that as a student, the city is worth the investment.
Check out the cost of living in San Francisco.
- Average Rent: $1300-$1800 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $4500-$5000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: Tv shows, films, clubs, acting schools.
If you are strong in theatre and broadway scene, Chicago could be a great place to live in.
Out of all the comedy scene is much stronger in Chicago. So if you are interested in learning comedy, there is no better place than Chicago.
But where to live in Chicago?
Most of the actors suggest finding a place in the North of Chicago. This is where you will find most of the acting auditions, talent management agencies, clubs, etc.
Chicago also has schools dedicated to teaching the art of comedy. One of the popular schools is the Second City Comedy School. You can join such schools.
The cost of living in Chicago is not so high as in New York or Los Angeles but it is right there in the middle. You will have to pay between $1300-$1800 to rent a studio or 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago.
With other expenses, you can expect the monthly cost of living in Chicago to be around $4500.
Check out the detailed cost of living in Chicago.
- Average Rent: $1400-$2400 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $3500 per month
- Audition Opportunities: independent projects, animation, video games, and voice-over.
Many believe it is the Hollywood of the independent filmmakers. You are going to find one of the biggest communities of independent filmmakers in Austin.
This gives you a great opportunity to network and be part of some really interesting projects.
If you are a new actor who is looking to build a portfolio, I think independent projects are great for you.
Though there won’t be a big budget at least you will have credit to show on your acting resume.
Also, there is the University of Texas which is popular for its filmmaking and acting programs. If you want to learn you can apply for it.
Not just that Austin is a big playground for Animation, video games, etc. So as an actor you can try different fields like motion capture acting or voice-over etc.
As far as the cost of living in Austin is concerned it cost you between $1400-$2400 for a one-bedroom apartment.
The overall expense of living in Austin could go around $3500 which is quite affordable compared to other cities for actors.
Check out the detailed cost of living in Austin.
7. New Orlean
- Average Rent: $900-$1400 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $2000-$2300 per month
- Audition Opportunities: films and tv shows.
Not many actors know New Orlean could be a great city to live in as an actor. Since 2017, the city has seen considerable growth in the number of movie and tv projects hitting the floor. The biggest reason being the city provides tax benefits to the filmmakers which is why many productions are moving there.
This is why I think New Orlean could be a great choice for new actors to start their hunt for quality auditions.
Even the independent filmmaker is going to New Orleans in pursuit to shoot their projects in a budget-friendly market.
For rending a one-bedroom in New Orlean, it might cost between $900-$1400. The price range is very low compared to other cities that we have listed in this list.
If you are tight on budget, why not start with New Orleans.
- Average Rent: $1300-$1700 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $$3000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: Tv shows, films, and theater.
Nothing beats theater experience when it comes to acting. And Portland has a strong theater scene. So if you are looking to gain some theater experience, the city is a great choice for you.
There are plenty of theater groups that you can join in portland. They may not be as popular as you get in New York but it could be a great experience for an acting student.
Also, it is not just the theater hub, it is slowly a growing hub for film or tv production.
Not just the city of Portland, the entire state of Oregon is a major attraction for the major production.
Grimm, Metal Lords, etc are some of the popular projects that you might have heard of. These were shot in the city of portland.
As for as expenses go, you will have to pay the rent of around $1300-$1700 for 1 bedroom apartment in the city. With other expenses included, you will need around $3000 to survive in the city.
Check out the cost of living in portland.
- Average Rent: $1800-$2500 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $4000-$4500 per month
- Acting Opportunities: theater, and acting schools.
If you are looking for auditions as well as acting schools, I suggest checking out Boston as well.
Boston has some of the best acting schools. Here is the list:
- American Repertory Theatre at Harvard
- Boston University
- Emerson College
- Boston Conservatory at Berklee
These schools great alumni network that can help you with landing some great audition opportunities.
However, I suggest not to move to Boston if you are solely looking for audition opportunities. Especially, if you are looking for film or tv auditions, you should avoid Boston. But it does have strong theater scenes, so you will have plenty of auditions for plays or repertory.
And if you plan to move to Boston you will have to pay the rent of something between $1800-$2500. Overall, the cost of living could be around $4000-$4500.
Check out the cost of living in Boston.
10. Las Vegas
- Average Rent: $1100-$1400 (studio/1 bedroom)
- Cost Of Living: $$2500-$3000 per month
- Audition Opportunities: comedy club, live shows, movies, etc.
The city of Las Vegas might offer small opportunities for actors but it could be fun to live in the city as an actor. It provides interesting jobs like live shows, comedy shows, etc.
Beyond that city is always a part of some or other Hollywood movies, so you will be exposed to plenty of ongoing projects in Vegas.
You can expect some local acting auditions for such projects.
Also, Las Vegas is not far from Los Angeles, so it won’t be a bad idea to move to Las Vegas.
Compared to Los Angeles is a lot cheaper to live. You can easily rent a 1 bedroom apartment at $1100-$1400. With other added expenses, you can easily survive with $2500 in your hand.
Also, the city has plenty of part-time opportunities, that will help you survive in your struggle as an actor.
Check out the cost of living in Las Vegas.
Beyond Los Angeles and New York, there are plenty of options. If you are looking to gain experience, you can go to other cities because the competition is less compared to LA or NY. However, if you have good experience and have confidence in your acting skills, you must target LA or New York.