12 Years Later: What Really Happens to All the Aspiring Actors in LA

I was 18 when I first set foot in Los Angeles. I was on a road trip with my family and I didn’t see much but the horrible tourist sites, yet I knew I’d be back one day, to pursue my dreams of being a Hollywood actress. And I did go back. At 19 I took off on my own to spend a summer in LA doing acting classes. I had the time of my life and returned at 20 to do the same thing. At 22 – after attaining my BSc and working full-time for a year – I returned again, this time for eight months in pursuit of an agent and O1-B visa. It didn’t work. At 23 – after one final three month trip and nine months of waiting – I finally moved to the promised land.

Last August 17 I turned 31. That means I now have known many aspiring actors in Los Angeles for over 13 years. This realization more or less coincided with the news of one of them booking a series regular role in a sitcom. Of just one of them having that elusive proverbial breakthrough. I started thinking: what has happened to all the other aspiring actor friends I’ve met over the years? What do the lives of these dedicated dreamers look like after 10+ years in LA? Wouldn’t that be interesting to share? We read the succes stories of actors who made it plenty. But that’s not a very representative sample. What happens to the the ones not in the news? To the other people that packed up their lives into their car and drove from Ohio to LA? The other people who went through the im-migraine-tion process to get the O1-B visa? The other people who left everything they knew behind for a chance to be a working actor?

Of course, I can’t claim to bring a completely representative sample either, as I’m sure I myself have been a biased selection tool while navigating LA. A Dutch girl on a pink motorcycle with ladybug helmet isn’t for everyone, after all. On top of that I switched from acting to writing pretty quickly after moving to LA.

But I can give you a more complete picture than what the stories of successful actors in the news paint. I can tell you what happened to the people I met in all those acting, improv and audition classes. The people I bunked with in dorm rooms of dingy guest houses. The people I met at casting director workshops, networking events, or through Facebook groups. Even on OkCupid dates.

I can tell you what happened to my friends.

So, here it goes…

August 19th, 2019|Categories: Amsterdam, Los Angeles|Tags: , , |12 Comments

Los Angeles: Expectations Versus Reality

The end of 2014 marked 1,5 years in Los Angeles for me, or halfway through the stay my O1-B visa allows. People often ask me if LaLaLand is what I thought it would be. After going through all that trouble to get here, does it live up to expectations? Well, I’m still not married to a 90 year old producer/sugar daddy, so I guess it’s been a major letdown…I kid!

No, in al honesty, it’s a bit of a difficult question, since I kind of gradually eased into LA. I visited Los Angeles as an 18 year old tourist with my family in tow, as a 19 and 20 year old University of Amsterdam student escaping the summers to take acting classes, as a 22 year old to chase a visa for eight months long, and as a 23 year old to try one final time. So I guess the proper way to phrase the question is: How did the final move to LA and hustle to become a working actress compare to the one that had been playing in my imagination all those years? Well, tell you I shall…

February 23rd, 2015|Categories: Los Angeles|Tags: , , |20 Comments

I Went To My First Hollywood Premiere And This Is What it Was Like

As an actress, there are certain moments you dream and wonder about. What would it be like to work with Annette Bening? What would it be like film on location somewhere interesting? What would it be like to attend a Hollywood premiere? Or the Oscars? Last week, I got the answer to one of those questions: I went to my first red carpet Hollywood premiere. Movie: Interstellar. And to demystify premieres, I thought I’d share my experience with you. Plus, how fun would it be to look back and compare once I am an actual part of the premiered movie?

November 2nd, 2014|Categories: Los Angeles|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Here’s Some Honesty About An Actress’ Life in LA: Eating Disorders, Depression & Living The Dream

“If you pull the string too tight, it will snap. If you leave it too slack, it will not play.” So said Buddha. At least according to the movie Little Buddha which I watched for no other reason than my gigantic teenage crush on Keanu Reeves. The message stuck though: moderation is important. And something I’m very shitty at.

I never just like a TV show; I love and obsess over it until it consumes my every waking thought and I start writing fanfic. I don’t just start ballet classes; I practice until I literally can’t sleep for days because my legs hurt so much. I don’t just want to become an actor; I uproot my entire life and spend three years and all my money to try it in Hollywood.

I either overcommit or behave like a spoiled child that’s forced to do something it doesn’t want to. For me, it’s usually all or nothing. And that, while at times incredibly awesome and productive, can also be quite problematic.

I’ve hesitated a long time to write this post. I put tremendous value on honesty – probably to a fault. Yet I couldn’t see the point of writing something sad or negative. Because even on my darkest days, I always know the sun is waiting to come out from behind them clouds, a lesson is waiting to be learned. And those are the things I find worth sharing. I wanted to wait until I had some sort of clarity, found some deeper purpose for putting my heart out there in the open. But I think I found it, so here it is: some raw honesty about my life as an actress in LA – for your education, or perhaps entertainment.

March 18th, 2016|Categories: Los Angeles|Tags: |17 Comments

The Oscars, The Movies & Me

Last Sunday it was Oscar slash Academy Awards time again, or as Billy Crystal said it: millionaires handing each other golden statues in a time of recession. I personally think the Oscars have been very boring the last few years. Safe jokes, presenters who aren’t comedians…And to make it worse: this year didn’t even have stunning dresses or fresh new faces!

Not that it matters. It still is and always will be the ultimate dream for any actor, including myself, to win one of those shiny naked men. See the proof in the picture above, where I hold my very first Oscar at age 11.  This particular one was made by my mother and uncle for the Dutch holiday Sinterklaas. I received my last Oscar only a month ago, the Oscar for Best Girlfriend, left by my boyfriend after he departed LA. Because despite the decent dullness, there’s always one thing the Academy Awards Show succeeds in…

February 29th, 2012|Categories: Other Actors|Tags: , , |5 Comments