If living in L.A. can offer something then it would have to be its vast music scene. This is both a blessing and a curse of course, like most things in life. But for now our only concerns are how it affects the unemployed. Though again even looking at it in those terms it is somewhat of a double-edged sword.
The first question that needs to be asked in reference to the music industry if trying to get a job is what aspect is most appealing. There are two sides to the music industry: the productions side and the creative side. Let it be known that the production side is not anti-creative, it is still a very creative field, they just aren’t the ones writing the music.
In the cases of production there are a few notable points that should be understood. Generally speaking, the only way to get into music production is to intern at a studio until they hire you as part of the team. This process is completely studio dependent. There are stories of interns making such a splash for one reason or another that the manager hires them within a week. On the other hand there are also stories of interns hanging around for a year or more and never getting hired. So it is important to choose the right studio for you.
Now the other side of music, the artistry. For anybody that already plays an instrument this can be a great way to earn some extra cash in tough times. The first step is an honest assessment of skill level. No money can be made unless the instrumental skills are available to be used. In cases that they are not, practice is suggested until a level of competence is reached at which money could be made. Once said level is reached there is but one more component, exposure. You need to get out and let people hear you play. There are two major ways to do this. The first is booking gigs in bars and clubs, but many times such shows don’t pay or if they do it is very little. Bars in Venice are some of the best places to start a music career.
The second choice for exposure is the street. You’ve all seen the street performers hanging around the boardwalk and the strip. Personal conversations with many such performers has showed me that large amounts of money can be made this way. A skilled performer that can play his crowd can earn up to $1,000 in a day. Not regularly certainly, but it is a possibility. The key is to understand your target audience. If you want that kind of money you need to play in front of the tourists, and you need to interact to great lengths with your audience. Creativity is needed to keep them entertained enough that they will give money. Otherwise you can play on any corner in the city and earn enough to eat three times a day, but this won”t do much in the way of paying rent.