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Hobbes's avatar

Does this three-year life-plan sound somewhat sensible?

Asked by Hobbes (7309 points ) December 8th, 2013

Hey, fellow folks of Fluther! Could you give me some advice, please? Also, feel free to share your own plans for your nearish future.

The future (both personal and general) is so unpredictable and unstable right now that even this is probably a naively optimistic exercise, yet the mice and me keep laying plans.

I’m 23 right now, currently finishing up my first semester of an interdisciplinary liberal arts graduate program at San Diego State (yes, I know how impractical that sounds, and yes, I am using this question to procrastinate). I’m working as a T.A. in the English department, but over the Summer of next year, I’m planning to do an internship in LA which promises a way to get my foot in the door of the entertainment industry (I mostly want to get into the acting biz, but am also very interested in directing, writing, and editing). The credit I’d get from the internship should also allow me to graduate a semester early from SDSU, getting an M.A. by the end of next year.

Now, here’s my dilemma: part of me wants to move to LA immediately after I get my diploma, but I’ll still have my undergraduate student debt and basically no money. What I’m considering is taking six months to a year to teach English abroad, probably in South Korea, since from what I hear, they have the best benefits and pay. This would let me save up money to pay off my debt and get started in LA, plus maybe travel a little first.

Or, I could move back into my parents’ house and live there for a few months, save up some money (possibly also teaching and/or tutoring English), and move to LA directly. I realize this is a much riskier option. The previous one even has the added benefit of allowing me to teach or tutor people in LA who want to learn or improve their English, which could be a solid source of income while finding other opportunities. I hear Koreatown is a very vibrant neighborhood and I’m sure living in Korea for a year would come in handy if I wanted to live there. But I’m already itching to get to LA and start chasing dreams, and if I went in the summer of 2015 I might be able to repeat the internship, which could lead to a full-time job. I could try to do that in 2016 as well, of course, but I guess I’m worried that whatever contacts I have or might make through that internship could dry up if I don’t make it there until I’m twenty-six. That I’d miss my shot, so to speak.

Or maybe I’m just worried about being “over the hill”, more than halfway to 30.

Or maybe I’m just trying to plan too far ahead.

Anyway, enough about me.

Does anyone here have any idea where they’ll be in three years?

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14 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

If you want to go to LA then go there. It doesn’t sound to me like you are really excited about Korea.

If you do your internship in LA I think that will help a lot with your indecision. The internship might lead to opportunities, or you might find out you hate LA.

Hobbes's avatar

You’re definitely right that the internship will help me decide. As for Korea, I think it would be a good experience, and actually it would probably be really awesome, I just don’t have as clear an idea of what I’d do there, and it’s true that it isn’t what I’d want to spend my whole life doing, though I do like teaching. And there’s nowhere in the world I know of that I could get a sweeter teaching job. But I am also rather unnerved by all the political tension there.

The main thing though is that I miss acting. I haven’t really done any substantial acting since I got my undergrad degree last spring, and I really want to get back into it. But I keep hearing horror stories about LA. How expensive it is, how intensely competitive and just really ruthless the industry is, how you shouldn’t move there without savings and connections and a clear idea of exactly what you want. None of which I have right now.

jaytkay's avatar

I say go to Korea. Later you may be tied down by a job or family or mortgage or all of the abovve. Take that opportunity now.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree with @jaytkay. I think the life experience of living in Korea is the better value at this stage in your life.

You don’t have to be in LA to act, and, in fact, that might not be the best place to practice the craft simply because of the competitive ruthlessness.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hobbes During your internship you might meet people you can later roommate with maybe? It’s so hard to know what will happen during that time.

I personally would not want to go to a country I might feel unsafe in, do you believe Korea will be unsafe? However, I do think the adventure of spending time in a foreign country is awesome. Maybe you should consider other countries if you pursue that idea? I have no idea if Korea actually is unsafe, so I am not trying to discourage you from going there.

What about a local theatre in a smaller city. In Memphis when I lived there the local theatre was excellent. I was completely surprised. The people involved with the theatre, Playhouse on the Square, were wonderful. I am not recommending Memphis per se, but there must be many places like that around the country. I don’t know how that works, because I know so little about theatre. I guess you can try out for the local productions? Not that I think you should give up any dreams of working in LA. I’m just throwing out ideas. I am not sure if you love LA, or just love acting and the opportunities in LA for acting.

Hobbes's avatar

@jatykay

Thanks, I’ve thought similarly. Missing opportunities is basically what I’m worried about.

@ibsturo

Fair enough, and very true. In any case, I should keep practicing acting in the present.

@JLesie

True… so much is still unknown and unknowable.

Korean politics is one of those unknowns. North Korea is very scary but I don’t know how volatile the situation really is. South Korea is attractive mainly because it offers great deals to teachers of English, paying for accommodation and air fare, but I’m sure I could find similar packages in other countries.

I definitely ought to get involved in local theater, or start making/acting in short films. I know a couple of people in LA who might be willing to make a short film over the Summer, so there’s that. San Diego does have theater, there’s an improv group I’ve been meaning to join, and I’m sure there are plenty of low-budget film-makers who would be happy to have free or cheap help. It’s just awfully hard to balance with school, and I live in this huge city without a car, which makes it doubly hard.

I realize these are just excuses, but still.

I’ve actually never been to LA, and as a matter of fact, I’d never been to California until a few months ago when I moved here, but LA just a jump away from San Deigo. But of course there’s a certain glamour associated with it, and the opportunities are of course tremendous, despite the fierce competition.

Hobbes's avatar

I’ve also just had an idea: I could make a movie about my time in Korea, then bring that to LA.

Hobbes's avatar

Also, I think a large part of what attracts me to Korea is that it’s a mystery. I know almost nothing about Korean culture, and though I know that we essentially created the current situation through the Korean War, I know almost nothing about that war. It was never really taught in school, only mentioned. I feel like it’s rarely mentioned in conversation, like it’s a blank space in American History. I think I want to explore it for that reason, despite the potential risks. Of course, I should probably do some actual research first…

Hobbes's avatar

So, here’s a condensed version of my current plan, submitted for your approval:

Spring 2014: Second semester at SDSU.
Summer 2014: LA Internship, make a short film, go to ComicCon and Burning Man.
Fall 2014: Third semester at SDSU, early graduation.
Spring 2015: Live in parents’ home through February, then go to Korea to teach English, make a movie, and perhaps write a script for something else as well.
Spring/Summer 2016: Travel (WWOOF to cover living expenses).
Summer 2016: Move to LA, possibly repeat the internship.

How does that sound?

Full disclosure: I’m basically attempting to use you guys as a sounding board, so I can estimate how all this might fly with my friends and family.

Hobbes's avatar

And maybe I could put on a play with the people in the school?

longgone's avatar

I think you should go to Korea. I’ve lived there for a while, and, while North Korea is scary, the South Koreans love Americans. You are American, right? If there was any danger, I think you’d be hustled out of the country in a heartbeat.

Edit: There is an awesome American on youtube. He teaches English in Korea, you might want to talk to him. Search for Jason R. Levine.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’d go to Korea. The experience will change your life – for the better. You will meet people you would never have access to and that will set you apart.
I like the idea of making a movie about the trip. It can end up being a piece of your resume.
Korea is safe – unless the head nutjob to the north eat some bad kimchi. Don’t let that stop you. Nutjobs are everywhere – even in the US.
(I preferred Japan over Korea. To each his own.)

Cupcake's avatar

I have two friends who teach English in S. Korea. Both are very happy and settled there for the long-term.

I think your plan sounds good… but follow your friends advice and have a clear plan of what you want out of LA, make connections and have savings beforehand. Continue to build up your portfolio of work.

ibstubro's avatar

I think the plan sounds practical and doable.

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