Goodbye LA?

The last few days have been, to say the least, terrible. My boyfriend left this morning, there’s no sunshine in LA today and worst of all: The O1 visa plan fell through.

So all those worries, all that work, all that hope, it was all for nothing.

When I got here I didn’t expect to find an agent, and even less to find a way to a work visa. A couple of months ago I was even making peace with having to return to the Netherlands again. I was preparing for it. But then, when I found a lawyer that was confident I could get an O1 visa, and an agent that was willing to sponsor me, I was in the clouds. I felt so close to starting my dream…

And now that’s all gone and I have suddenly only a month left in the City of Angels. Of course I’m going to try to find another agent that’s willing to sponsor me, I have everything in place after all, it’s the last thing I need. But a month is a not a realistic timeframe to find an agent. Especially an agent that’s willing to sponsor a foreign actress. So most likely, somewhere half February, I’ll return to the Netherlands.

I wish I could turn this into something positive, but right now I just can’t. I’ll be happy to see my family, friends, boyfriend and home country again but I’ve just gone from 100 to zero and it’s a big, big fall. And I don’t have anything in Netherlands anymore. No house, no job, no future plan.

But I won’t be turned bitter by this silly town. Just temporarily sad. Who knows, I might move to London and see what the acting industry is about there. Or maybe for once I’ll be a lucky bastard, and get enough high votes to win that role in the Dutch TV show.

If there’s one thing I learned it’s that I can’t make plans for the future. I spent many an hour stressing about leaving Holland behind for good and going here on a work visa. Or deciding if I should go back to Holland before returning with an O1 visa. And before that I spent hours making plans for going back to Holland. I’m just going to live by the day now. The acting business isn’t a business to make plans in. You just go with the flow, no matter the highs and lows.

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Filed under Los Angeles

24 responses to “Goodbye LA?

  1. Don’t give up your beautiful, every thing will happen in time.

  2. Trev

    “Within every adversity is the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.” – Napoleon Hill

    Hang in there! You’ve come such a long way. Admire your courage, honesty, and work ethic!

  3. Svenja

    Soooo sorry to hear that ,Love Ur Blog and keep following it. Just remember nothing is for nothing u have a Wohle Lot of Things you have learned for Ur live and should keep trying to make Ur Dream come true there might Be the Day u will Return for good,if its ment to Be. Cheer up Sunshine it’s a ruff world but u will find Ur Spot As Long u believe in you and that u are amazingHehe you DO have enough time for reading as long as u don’t have a crying baby or a person sitting behind u and throwing up 8hours straight. Things are good and stressful over here just the usual I guess 

  4. just don’t give up! just like tides, maybe a step back is for coming back harder

    good luck!

  5. *this: The acting business isn’t a business to make plans in. You just go with the flow, no matter the highs and lows. is maybe one of the best things to remember. it’s the same with me. i make plans that not always work, I have to change, to look for other options. this is the way it is. be strong, you will make it. btw, i voted for you today for the tv show!

    ps. it does not depends on the place, it just depends on your work. keep dreaming!

  6. Sasha

    Je mag gewoon niet opgeven! Tuurlijk is het leven daar hard maar dat is de hele business! Je hoort altijd dat er zo’n 10000 mensn actrice/acteur willen worden maar van die 10000 mensen valt de helft al af omdat ze het niet eens proberen. En dan heb je nog die 5000 mensen die het wel proberen ( daar zat jij dus tussen) ! Maar daar valt de helft ook weer af! Omdat ze het even moeilijk hebben omdat ze het even niet meer zien zitten. Maar daar wil jij toch niet tussen zitten!? Jij moet tussen de mensen zitten die nog steeds alles op alles zetten! Hoe hard het ook is! Hoeveel tijd het ook kost! Je bent al zo ver gekomen meid!
    Als ik jou was zou ik een half/heel jaartje in NL blijven ( dan kun je ook aan de greencard lottery meedoen) even geld sparen en dan weer terug naar LA of anders probeer je het een keer in NY.
    Just keep the faith!
    Ik geloof dat je het kunt ! En al die andere mensen die je blog volgen geloven ook in je ! Just remember that !

    Lots of love xxx

  7. Mellisa

    Have you considered getting your masters in Acting? An MFA would open more doors.

  8. I haven’t tried them but if you visit they have relationships with both immigration lawyers and agents. It will cost a lot more money (for UK actors around £6000 which I’m trying to save) but could be something worth exploring.

  9. Geert Gielissen

    Ik vind dit ongelooflijk triest voor je Shanice. Tijdens de opnamen in Amsterdam, alweer een jaar geleden overigens, vertelde je me over je plannen en ik nam ze eerst niet zo serieus maar toen ik zag dat ‘t werkelijkheid werd kreeg ik alleen maar groot respect voor je. Nu lijkt het erop dat je gaat stranden in de haven. Dag mag natuurlijk niet gebeuren. Wellicht komt er iemand op je weg die je WEL kan helpen? Ik hoop het zo voor je. Sterkte en GOOD LUCK. JIj verdient het girl!!

  10. Probeer vol te houden en blijf geloven in jezelf!

  11. Ninon

    Keep your head up girl! xxx

  12. That’s really sad news.. but I don’t think you are going to give up now. You’ve already come so far.
    If LA doesn’t work out, I think going to London would also be an amazing oppertunity. Think about, you wouldn’t even need to get a studentvisum or a visum at all! So you can focus all your time and energy on acting. And god knows there are so many british actors that have also gotten their big break in the United States!

  13. Carlijn

    Wat jammer!
    Maar je moet zo denken: met genoeg talent (en een beetje geluk) komt er altijd iets moois uit, hier, in Engeland of in Amerika. Jij komt er wel! Je bent een echte doorzetter!

  14. Thanks everyone for the outpour of kindness! I can’t tell you how much it means. I won’t give up, that’s for sure 🙂

  15. M

    Hi Shanice!

    Ik kwam toevallig via youtube op je website terecht…..
    Echt heel erg leuk om te lezen over je avonturen in LA. Je volgt je droom en dat is wat telt.
    Een paar jaar geleden is mijn vriendin ook vertrokken naar California om het ook te maken in de acteerwereld en het is haar gelukt met heel veel moeite, ze had de moed al 10x opgegeven maar is toch gebleven. Ook zij had geen visum en ze heeft er zelf voor gekozen om te blijven (illegaal) uiteindelijk stond het bedrijf voor haar garant waar ze een contract had getekend en die hebben haar geholpen en met nog geen 5 maanden had z’n een visum. Ik praat nu wel over denk ik +/- 7 jaar geleden.

    Ik hoop echt voor je dat je iets kunt regelen…. Heb je al overwogen om een filmpje van jezelf op youtube te zetten met zoveel mogelijk “gekke” tags dat misschien iemand je filmpje ziet en denkt “he!”? Het is maar een idee..

    Heel veel succes en ben echt benieuwd naar je blog, ga je blog zeker in de gaten houden :-)!


  16. Anna

    It’s always darker before the dawn. A lot of famous actors had much greater falls in the beginning and it made them work harder rising their way right to the top.
    Just stay your ground, be focused, look for the ways to your Dream and believe!
    Being calm will make your thoughts positive. I’ve realized it after having gone through a lot of troubles and worrying almost to become crazy.
    You are young, beautiful, talanted and every good movie will be much better with you in it so just use every chance and stay positive! At least you have some time in LA to meet some people and to have some fun!

  17. Peter

    Hopefully something will come through. If it does not life will still continue and I am confident you will have success in the Netherlands.

  18. AussieActress

    I’m actually going to Hollywood for three months to see where the starry wind will blow me, Im from Australia. I have been to LA twice and know exactly how you feel, it’s frustrating and confusing but my situation included sleazy producers and broken promises, promises and promises. BUT i just keep thinking…something bigger and better is on the way and everytime something falls to the ground, it’s just a knew stone to pave your way…to an oscar 😉 I just love your blog.

  19. Michelle

    I know that you are struggling right now with facing the reality of having to go home and the possibility of whether or not you should continue to pursue acting in Los Angeles and getting back there eventually. I understand how hard it is and how crushing it seems right now, because the highs and low of this industry are so extreme it makes it so difficult to stay balanced and positive. I just wanted to say that I hope you stay hopeful, optimistic and positive about your future. Your blog has been so inspiring to me and has given me so much hope and motivation to pursue acting. I am from a small country town in NSW Australia, 6 hours from Sydney and therefore very far away from anything related to acting. I have travelled back and forth to Sydney for some courses over the past two years and have often found it difficult to remain driven and positive. In that way I really related to you, because when you were in the Netherlands you felt so far away from Los Angeles and yet still hopeful and optimistic that you would one day be there – and you are! And I know this obstacle you’re facing right now seems insurmountable, but I just wanted to message you and say that I hope you keep fighting for what you love, because like so many people tell us – this is one of the hardest industries to crack – so the obstacles are going to be bigger than most. But I think that if more people really fought for it, then they would get there. And I think you can! Keep trying for different visas or the Diversity Lottery or maybe even one day a Bachelor’s in Acting. Keep fighting for your dream because when you’re older you will either be there, working in the career you love and have a passion for, or you will be glad that you tried your very best. 
    Go to the Netherlands and save up again if that is the only option, but don’t lose the fire that drove you to Los Angeles in the first place! 
    You’ve inspired me so much, and I truly hope you stay positive and hopeful and I wish you all the best with your future 🙂
    And maybe if I get to Los Angeles one day we can grab a coffee and be thankful that we got there!
    Good luck with everything and thank you for inspiring me 🙂

  20. Barbs

    I have been reading your blog for a while and don’t get discouraged. It took my family years for us to get the green card. I just got to LA yesterday and I am already discouraged it’s such a big town and I feel so lost don’t leave now I need a friend in LA. I don’t know anyone in this town. I am here from miami for a few days to find a place to live. If you have time we should get together for coffee.

  21. Nicholas Alexander

    I have also frequently visited this blog,and I must say I am very impressed with your efforts so far! You’re a brave little lady 😉 I had plans of doing the exact same thing 4-5 years ago,but ended up working on my own projects at home in Norway. I have written script,done shorts,composed my own music and made actingshowreels,but the industry in Norway,as in Holland is incredibly small,so it has always been a sparetime thing.Acting in Norway will never be more than a part time job unless you’re a “big” star,here.

    I’m sure the visa bit is a tough nut to crack,and it was that bit that stopped me from going to the u.s.of.a in the first place. I’ll be 30 in May but this is still the only thing I want to do,and a plan B is to pursue acting in Vancouver/Canada. To my understanding it is easier to get a live and work permit there. The filmbusiness in Vancouver is huge,and most agents over there have connections to Hollywood. There are tons of info on this on online.You should check it out as it may be an alternative if you end up in the position of having to leave L.A. You’re only 23 so don’t give up! When one door closes another door opens;)

    Godspeed to you lady!

  22. Roychelle Keyes

    Gods be good, PLEASE do not leave! I swear to the almighty, I have faith in you. From first glance of your photos I thought you had “actress” written all over your face. I swear, you could be one of the greats. What is success without exertion and conviction? If the commitment is there then you are already winning! You’re a young, beautiful actress from Holland. Every actress needs something to be remembered by, and with your being from out of the country, you must have some advantage. You’ll be able to dangle your foreign qualities/experience over your agents head. Yes, it gets tough, but you must continue to trudge on! With a lot of the actresses in Hollywood, it took them a few years to even get their foot in the door. Utilize your time in L.A. since you’ve already made it that far(I don’t think you’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t make it that far)
    You’ve already killed some competition, what with getting that one agent. A person can only run so long on potential, and you have a lot of it. You aren’t finished yet!

    xoxoxoxo You have my blessings.

  23. …and so it seems you have won the role for the duch tv show. Maybe leaving LA to take part on this show will be far more significant for your further steps than staying in LA and searching for an agent. Never lose hope and remember that we might not know why certain things happen but in the end we’ll find out they have led to what we dreamed. A fellow aspiring actor. First drink in LA on me!

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