1...you are on your own. you are in charge of your own schedule and your own transportation. so go places by yourself. learn the roads and the backroads.
2...la is not a single city. it’s lots of different neighborhoods. downtown is just a different section just as is culver city, silver lake and venice.
3...explore la. each neighborhood has its own culture and gems. go east of the 405. go west of lincoln. go south of lax. go north of hollywood. look up directions and then put them away. get lost and explore. the valley is not as far as you think. find where you fit in.
4...learn to love driving. not sitting in traffic, but driving. have your radio station, your podcast, your go-to phone calls.
5...self promotion is survival. everyone talks about work. you come to la to do what you love and so talking about work is talking about an extension of yourself. it’s both a means of getting to know someone and a means of survival. get used to it and if you don’t like it, you better have something interesting to talk about.
6...learn your drink and your limit. aka don’t drink and drive. there are occasions to get very drunk, and those are occasions to cab or to find a dd. most nights, you will be in at least one bar, maybe more, and you should learn your drink so that you can enjoy it, nurse it, sober up and still drive yourself home safely.
7...every day is a nice day. people don’t usually talk about it. instead, they take advantage of it. there’s the beach, but there’s plenty of other outdoorsy things too. hikes, parks, biking trails, boating, canoeing, skiing, surfing. be outside.
8...get out of town. la is close to so many getaways you can leave for the day, the weekend or for a while. santa barbara, san diego, vegas, palm springs, mexico, mammoth, big bear, ojai… part of being in la is getting out of la and balancing your life.
9...friends are family. most people are not from la. most people come here from somewhere else, so everyone gets homesick and misses their family. so your friends become family on holidays, birthdays, good times and hard times. find good people, probably not from bars to be your family. take classes, go to meetups, meet your neighbors, perform, network. find good people. find their good people and make a new family. sidenote: this fact also makes thanksgiving and christmas very quiet in la. it can be lonely, or it can be the most relaxing time to be here.
10...no one dresses up. but dress well. you can get away with jeans and a tshirt every day. almost anywhere. but don’t be lazy. get well-fitting clothes. get some in-between shoes and a blazer. la is casual, but you’re still a self-respecting adult.