Many of my peers have been telling me for ages that I need to get my booty over to the West Coast. First when I achieved minor success as an on-camera talent and now as my VO career begins to bloom.

I live just outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania and make many a trip up to NYC. I have mainly focused on narration and audiobooks, but my ultimate goal would be to move into gaming and animation character voices. The character work that I have done always felt wonderful and utterly fulfilling, much like [insert your own secret pleasure].

A series of recent events now has a move to the West Coast (or Arizona) more of a possibility.

So, Aside from the usual (and some UNusual) shrewd business and marketing strategies does it make sense for talent to move there to be closer to a major hub of that section of the industry? Or is it possible to stay in the East and work in NY and remotely? Thoughts?

Thanksabunches,

Sean Crisden

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I have always heard, one needs to be readily available to the studio(s) where he or she intends to do a gaming / character animation vo as you said you are interested in. Sometimes you can travel there, do the gig, and return home. Other gigs may necessitate you relocate, such as a long term cartoon show may require you be there continuously. Being close to a studio doesn't mean you will have a long term job however, but it might help simply because of being readily available! Unfortunately, many of the studios are out West, which I think is a shame as there are tons of talent on the East coast. Personally, Sean, I would follow the prescription of "testing the waters" with a long term travel plan. Research, contact, go and visit, etc... If there is a good opportunity/opportunities to allow a move, then I would pack my family and belongings and go. Of course, you have to adjust your strategy for YOU. I have a family to consider... perhaps you do not. So, be realistic in your decision and expectations. Much success! ~ James
Thanks for your thoughts, James. I think you're right on the money with some solid advice.

As an update to my original post from February, I have indeed moved west. Granted, its a bit shy of L.A. here in the metro Phoenix Arizona area. The wife found a great job (which prompted the move) and I'm doing my best tearing this city apart for a good foundation. So far so good, the cost of living is nice and the flights to California are a heck of a lot faster and cheaper than they were from Philadelphia, that's for sure!

Sean C.
One of the reasons I formed my own one-stop shop was because producers don't know how to coordinate talents from different areas, make them all sound like they're in the same studio, give them the same good direction etc. Thus, if you are in my talent pool, you don't necessarily have to more to be in games. Often cartoons, which is my goal too and I've been in a few, record in LA. There is some ADR or looping work in AZ for anime but most is done in LA.
Many people move to LA only to find out they can't compete, they can't land an agent, or the work doesn't support them, so they become bartenders, waiters or take other jobs to stay alive, while still trying to have time to go to auditions.
Let me know if you have more questions and best of luck to you!
Thanks for your feedback Lani! I'll be sure to pick your magnificent brain again when more questions arise.

Thanks!

Sean C.
www.seancrisden.com
One of the reasons I formed my own one-stop shop was because producers don't know how to coordinate talents from different areas, make them all sound like they're in the same studio, give them the same good direction etc. Thus, if you are in my talent pool, you don't necessarily have to more to be in games. Often cartoons, which is my goal too and I've been in a few, record in LA. There is some ADR or looping work in AZ for anime but most is done in LA.
Many people move to LA only to find out they can't compete, they can't land an agent, or the work doesn't support them, so they become bartenders, waiters or take other jobs to stay alive, while still trying to have time to go to auditions.
Let me know if you have more questions and best of luck to you!

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