Pilot Season in America

Victoria is an actress, freelance journalist and author
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Pilot Season - two words readily associated with actors and America.

Like many things in life, in order to really know what something means, sometimes you have to abandon the books and experience it.

I wanted to give readers an honest overview on the pros and cons of Pilot Season for a British actor.

If you are daring enough to take the chance, strap yourself firmly into your seat on the roller coster, because you are in for a white knuckle ride.

Leaving on a one-way flight with Air NewZealand I gaily stepped up to the check-in desk with my guitar (which I am still learning, so I didn’t have the option to busk if things got tough) a large suitcase (which was definitely overweight) my laptop (my international actors office) and one bag of hand luggage with my golden ticket - my passport and US visa.

I departed into the unknown on January 8, 2013 and I was nervous. I had sold my car. Changed up my savings and the items I had with me, formed a survival kit, until, I decided, that a production company would fly me home.

[pullquote]Pilot Season is not for the faint hearted[/pullquote]

One major thing I learned is that Pilot Season is not for the faint hearted. The first leap is the hardest and it will test your strength, challenge your talent and really question your faith.

Having spent four months across the pond I can reassure you that if you have a good agent and a great work ethic, including a positive and motivated mindset you can rest assure you will have little sleep, little food and little time to socialise.

If, like me, you know that there is nothing else you would rather be doing than acting then the deprivations of this are worth the effort. I would love to know if your experiences of Pilot Season have been similar?

Going in to meetings with the vice presidents of casting at major networks, stepping foot in the big studios and meeting producers in Hollywood, regularly auditioning and being in class doing what you love every day, makes every ounce of hard work worth it.

From my experience of treading the path I would offer this; If you are not quite ready. Be ready. Get in shape, Have your visa, be honest with yourself about whether your American accent is good enough to compete against those that having been speaking it for as long as you have been alive and then ... jump and don’t look back.