Thursday, March 31, 2011

Casting, Agent & Manager Info

Here is an awesome resource for any actor, called Actor Genie:

Created by a fellow Canadian, who just happens to be a big time casting director in L.A., Heidi Levitt (Natural Born Killers, JFK)

It's an iPhone app that lists all the movies and tv shows currently being cast in L.A. & New York.
It also lists contact info for every casting director, talent agent and manager in L.A. and New York!

You can download the full version for $9.99 or get the free version which only lists what is being cast, called: Actor Genie: Audition

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Voting Abroad

If you didn't know, there is a general election happening in Canada on May 2nd!

Even if you live abroad you can still qualify to vote.

Make your voice heard from where ever you live.

This link to elections Canada will help you determine if you qualify to vote, from where ever you are in the world:

Elections Canada site:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Canadians Abroad

A great way to stay connected with all things Canada in L.A. is Canadians Abroad.
Join their mailing list to get updates on events happening around Southern California.

From their website:
Dedicated to connecting Canadians and Americans in Southern California for social and professional networking, Canadians Abroad hosts a variety of events each year, including Canadian holiday celebrations, sport and cultural events, and academic speaker series.

Check them out:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Casting Director Workshops

A great way to meet casting directors in L.A. is through a number of casting director workshops offered throughout the city.

Toronto actor/improvisers Ayumi Iizuka and Doug Morency recently took over the popular SSLA Studio and are holding a great workshop this Wednesday March 30th with L.A. casting director Fern Champion.

Workshops run $42. If you mention this blog post, they will give you $10 off!

Check them out at:

If you have taken other great casting director workshops, let us know.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Choosing a Neighbourhood

Here is a great article from on choosing a neighbourhood (or neighborhood if you're American) in L.A.

It gives pros and cons for all the different areas to live in the city.

If you have any tips or advice about your area, let us know.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Building Credit

As a new alien resident of the US you will have to build your credit history from scratch.
This can only be done once you obtain your social security number. Make sure to give the bank that information right away, so you can start building credit history.

I mentioned a couple of ways to get a US dollar credit card using your Canadian credit history, but building a history with a US based bank is most important.  It is also a must if you ever want to take out a loan, lease a car and avoid putting down large deposits in order to obtain basic utilities such as phones, hydro, etc.
A great way is to apply for a Prepaid Credit Card. (It’s a regular credit card, but you have to put your own money on it, in order to use it.)
Once you open your bank account, you have to apply for the card and put down a few hundred dollars.
It seems backwards, but with the credit crunch in the US, it’s one of the only ways to build credit.
Use the card normally like a credit card and make sure you pay it back/top it up each month.
It’s like a trainer credit card, so the bank sees that you will pay your bill on time.
The bank manager said it would take about a year to actually qualify for a real credit card but after a few months I started receiving credit card applications from other banks.
One myth that I’ve heard is to try and apply for retail store credit cards to build your history. This actually has a negative effect on your credit score and does not help to build credit.

If anyone has tips on how to build US credit, please share.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Traffic in L.A. is crazy, but you can stay informed by checking out which shows traffic, drive times and traffic cameras.

(Thanks to David Ritchie for the tip)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Canadian Owned Businesses

If you're in L.A. and want to find a great place to watch the playoffs with other Canadians, check out the Redondo Beach CafĂ©.
It's a restaurant owned and operated by two brothers from Montreal.
ESPN article:
Official Website:

If anyone has other Canadian owned businesses in L.A. they'd like to share, let us know.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Improv Classes

Looking for great improv classes in L.A.?

Here are the four main theatres, all with their own training programs:

UCB – Upright Citizens Brigade

iO – Improv Olympic


Second City

Friday, March 18, 2011

Importing Goods and Cars

When moving to Los Angeles, there are a lot of things to consider.

Do you sell all your worldly possessions, have them shipped with a long distance moving company or rent a truck and drive everything yourself???

There are several long distance movers that specialize in cross-border shipments. A Google search will turn up quite a few, it’s best to call around and get some quotes. They will need to know some basic information in order to give you an accurate quote.

From where to where and the weight of all your items.

Here are a couple of major movers to get you started:

Here is a link to the US Customs and Border Protection website with more info on forms and duty requirements when crossing the border:

If you decide to import a car into the United States, there is even more paperwork that needs to be completed. Here are some handy websites with information on how to import your car to the US:

This website has information on requirements for importing into the state of California - everything from registering, the contact #'s you need, smog tests, insurance etc.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Believe it or not there are taxis in LA.

Just remember in most parts of LA you have to call to get a taxi. Only certain areas such as downtown and Hollywood had pilot projects where you could actually hail a cab legally.

Here is a link to phone numbers for all City of Los Angeles taxi companies and the areas they serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


It's tax time!

If you're looking for an accountant who specializes in individuals and companies working in the entertainment industry. Or one that can handle both US and Canadian income tax returns, check out Tambri Tax Services. 

If you have another accountant you'd like to recommend, let us know.

#moving to LA

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Lived in LA for months or even years and still haven't been to the beach?

Here is a link to the LA County Department of Beach and Harbors.

Monday, March 14, 2011


If you're planning on a long term stay in LA and your friend is sick of you staying on his or her is a list of furnished and unfurnished rental sites.


Park La Brea:


Redwood Urban:
West Side Rentals:
Pad Mapper

Bed & Breakfast:

Air BnB

Friday, March 11, 2011

Canadian Consulate in LA

A great way to keep connected with Canadian affairs in LA, and a way to get involved with community events is the Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles.

They have two websites, one is their general website and the other allows you to sign up for local news and events.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Credit Cards

In addition to applying for a RBC USA Visa card using your Canadian credit history, you can also do the same with American Express.

If you have a Canadian AMEX card, you can apply for a US AMEX based on your Canadian credit history.

One downside is, not all businesses accept American Express.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Exchanging Money

Exchanging large sums of money?

Here is a way to get a better rate than those offered by conventional banks or foreign exchange kiosks.

As a performer or self employed person with a business number (HST number), you may qualify for a corporate exchange account. 
Depending on the amount you're exchanging, you can typically get close to what the dollar is actually trading at, at that very moment.

There are other corporate exchange companies, so if anyone has one they'd like to recommend, please do.

Jeffrey Irvine, Foreign Exchange Trader
Phone: 888-724-7771
Fax: 613-726-6612

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Public Transpo

Did you know LA has a subway system!

LA is expanding its Metro system to help alleviate the traffic gridlock.

Check out the website to help plan your next trip:

Monday, March 7, 2011


Here is a great link to get the right information.
It is the main page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services


RBC caters to Canadians traveling to the US with RBC Bank USA. They have several banks along the east coast of the US. Although they have none in California, it's still a great way to open a US bank account, get a US mortgage or credit card by accessing your Canadian credit history.

Check them out at: