Meet Belinda Gosbee from Sydney, Australia who moved to LA 6 years ago to pursue acting.
Photo credit: Sascha Knopf
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
I always wanted to work in the American film industry. They were the films I was obsessed with growing up. As I got older, working professionally in Sydney, LA became about creating greater opportunities to actually follow my dreams to the hilt. Australia produces some phenomenal work but there’s just not enough to go around.
What do you miss most from home?
My family; friends; the beaches; the light (Australia has this crisp bright light that’s like nowhere else); free healthcare; amazing coffee; being understood lol (That’s why I love my Brits in LA. You guys understand my idioms!); jars of Vegemite that don’t cost $7! Sydney will always be the love of my life – I miss her small town homely vibe and stunning natural beauty.
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? If so, why?
Those first impressions are really important to me still. I rely on them when I need a wee boost. I really loved LA from the beginning. It was so exciting to be completely immersed in the ‘Mecca’ of my industry. I loved the history, the palm trees, the iconic street signs, the mind blowing sunsets, the coyotes that would meander down my street at dusk, the year-round summer vibe, and that magical ‘je ne sais quoi’ in the air that almost whispers “anything’s possible!”. My impressions haven’t changed, but anywhere you live long enough gets buried under ‘life’. So if I have an off day I try to remember those first days, and feel that magic again.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Sydney?
To be honest I’ve never felt so broke! The ridiculously low wages here can make it a real struggle to get ahead. That said, the respect given to my career choice is second to none. LA still fills me with pure excitement over what is possible. There is such a wave of potential over everything and on the whole, people carry so much positive, creative energy. Being a dreamer is expected. In Sydney you’re not considered an actor unless you’re a star. Here, even the stars treat you like a fellow actor. I also love the variety of amazing vegetarian food. LA has everything I could possibly dream up in regards to that!
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
Griffith Park is my gem. It’s in my local ‘hood, it has spectacular hikes and the Observatory is magnificent. Aside from hiking, my two favourite things to do here are Trails Cafe (an outdoor cafe in the woods that even has wifi) and sitting downstairs in the planetarium at the Observatory.
Trails Café, Griffith Park. Photo Credit: Belinda Gosbee
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?
Do a heap of research and talk to people already here as there are many tid-bits you can glean. I came on a ‘reconnaissance mission’ three years before to see if I liked it, and that was immensely worth it. You’ll need to save a solid amount of money to get settled. You need a car, period. Jobs are not always easy to find straight off the bat – it truly is a ‘who-you-know’ kind of city. There are phenomenal opportunities here but just like anywhere you need to work hard and not expect to ‘make it’ overnight. You have to see it as a long-term move or you’ll burn out pretty quick. Most importantly, if you really want to come here, ignore everyone’s sage advice and just bloody DO IT!!!
Lastly , how can we find out more about you ?
WEBSITE : www.belindagosbee.com
Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?
This one is kinda boring but I wish I’d gotten it earlier! Get a credit card immediately! Even if you pay one tiny charge a month on it, you need to build credit ASAP. It’s the most backwards and dangerous concept to me, to force people to buy on credit. But credit affects everything from renting an apartment to buying a car and you need to start early as credit history (length of time with credit) makes up a huge component of your credit score. There are credit cards out there to help foreigners get started. Oh, and in the city of LA you can legally park in a yellow zone after 7pm! People have been here 20yrs and don’t know that!
Belinda also hosts Brits in LA Pub Quiz at the Pikey once a month - if you want to come along click here for details.