74 Tips Learned While Chasing My Dream in Los Angeles

  1. Buy a car (or don’t rely on public transportation).
  2. If two guys dressed in lots of red ask you to go with them around the corner right quick, don’t go.
  3. Eat at Bossa Nova on Sunset Blvd.
  4. Don’t go to the Roscoes in Pasadena (the one on Gower is the best).
  5. Everything you hear about the LAPD isn’t true…just most of it.
  6. Hollywood is grimey as hell.
  7. Make sure your car has A/C.
  8. Everyone claims to be working with Dr. Dre.
  9. Learn to cut your own hair ($25-$30 for a cut…maybe more now).
  10. Live in the valley (it’s hot af there in the summer but you get more space for your money).
  11. Don’t sign contracts without a lawyer.
  12. Make sure you have your OWN lawyer.
  13. Buy your own equipment.
  14. Don’t pay for studio time.
  15. Don’t get on the 405 or 101 between these hours: 8am-2pm & 4pm-8pm.
  16. Dress professionally for meetings (unless you’ve “made it” already).
  17. Don’t fake it until you make it.
  18. Catch a show at Little Temple.
  19. Rent a bike on Venice beach and ride down the boardwalk.
  20. The loudest guy in the room is not the guy to do business with.
  21. Ask for proof (politely).
  22. Order the wings at the House of Blues.
  23. Buy equipment off of Craigslist.
  24. Collaborate as much as possible.
  25. Collaborate only with those that care as much as you.
  26. Don’t go to event “mixers”.
  27. Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself.
  28. Check references after you’ve asked for proof.
  29. Don’t rent an apartment without A/C.
  30. If something isn’t working, cut ties but don’t burn bridges.
  31. Earthquake proof your shelves and cabinets.
  32. Drive to Vegas on the weekend.
  33. Take a set amount of cash with you to Vegas. When that runs out, leave.
  34. Sit in on studio sessions whenever possible.
  35. Get a day job. You’re more likely to stay true to your art form if your livelihood doesn’t depend on selling your art.
  36. Don’t rent a room from your manager.
  37. Go to a BBQ backyard party.
  38. Learn Spanish curse words.
  39. If you’re an artist or musician, don’t buy a TV.
  40. Be brutally honest.
  41. If you’ve never smoked Kush before, don’t roll a whole blunt.
  42. Don’t run red lights.
  43. Go to parties at the Standard.
  44. Make sure your material sounds professional before playing it for someone that may be able to help you. Don’t take that meeting prematurely.
  45. Go to Johnny’s Pastrami.
  46. Go to Malibu but find one of the smaller beaches you have to hike to get to.
  47. Some people may get amnesia if you helped them before they “blew up”. Don’t take it personal.
  48. Sign up with ASCAP or BMI.
  49. You don’t need a manager. Not right away at least.
  50. Don’t chase placements.
  51. Have a solid career plan that doesn’t involve luck and/or unicorns.
  52. Have an “incredible hulk” (do people still drink that?).
  53. Keep two backups of all of your material.
  54. Approach people that may be able to help you…without looking thirsty.
  55. When you see a famous person, don’t ask them if they’re that famous person.
  56. Get a hot dog from Pinks.
  57. Follow up in 1-2 weeks.
  58. Don’t “pay to play.”
  59. Pay parking tickets on time.
  60. Pay speeding tickets on time.
  61. Catch a comedy show when you’re stressed out.
  62. Work with people through referrals of those you trust.
  63. Go to Mexico on the weekend.
  64. If you make beats, go digging for samples at the library. Trust me.
  65. Show up on time (10 mins before you’re supposed to meet).
  66. Practice your craft daily (literally).
  67. Learn an instrument (lessons are cheap).
  68. Learn how to live on less.
  69. Master the equipment you have instead of buying more.
  70. Talk to strangers in bars, you never know who you’re sitting next to.
  71. Don’t trust people that use their stage name as their real name (unless they’re one in the same).
  72. If the deal isn’t fair, walk away. Don’t do it for “exposure”.
  73. Meet people outside of your circle.
  74. Study/learn body language.

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