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Location! Location! Location!

by Alaina Alexander

After college graduation one of two things happen:

1) We move into our parents basement and begin our illustrious career as a java slinger

2) We pack up our stuff and head to the big city

Now we all have heard stories about the small town Iowa girl who hit it big on Broadway or landed a huge art opening after being in New York City for a week. However, the more likely scenario is the Iowa farm girl running out of money and schlepping trays 70 hours a week to make rent. Meanwhile, she's getting more frustrated the prospect of never working her field. Six months later she's residing in her parents basement with her ego barely intact.

A medium market sized market such as: Minneapolis, Seattle or Austin would offered the Iowa girl a viable option of  getting started in the creative industry. Sure, moving to a medium market may not seem  to be as glamorous as moving to New York or Los Angeles. However, a medium sized market may give our heroine from Iowa more of an opportunity to pursue a career in performance sans the astronomical rents and full time tray schlepper.

The Three Commandments of Moving:

1. Visit the city before you move!

Make sure that your dream city is compatible with your personality and career aspirations. Reading brochures and talking with friends who live there is helpful, but it is still best to visit your dream city. Find out about public transportation and crime statistics. The Internet can be useful investigation tool, but nothing beats visiting your prospective city.

2. Save enough money!

Save at least $3,000 before you move to a mid-size market and $6,000 if you move to a larger market like New York or LA. This will allow you a little more leeway in a apartment hunting.

3. Line up work!

Register with a few temp agencies and get a part time job ASAP. Especially, if you move to New York and Los Angeles, this will prevent you from getting zapped by hidden costs. It will also give you the opportunity to investigate the creative arts scene without the financial pressure of having to take the first gig that comes along.

Moving: A Horror Story

I moved to Minneapolis with big fat nothing for money. I had barely enough to cover the first month's rent and I even had to borrow $40 to cover first month's rent. It was depressing as hell to go out with people and barely scrape up enough change to get a soda and a plate of fries. I had to leave 90 minutes before every job interview, because I could barely read any of the expensive maps that I had bought for myself. To top it all off I ended up living in a boardinghouse with three weird suitemates, with whom I had never met before. I swear it was the longest year of my life!