It is of the utmost importance to make your greeting as loud and attention-getting as humanly possible. The first impression has more to do with how you greet someone then to whom you greet. If they are a good friend, you may forgo the formal greeting and you may commence with slang terminology. Note: Learning slang may or may not be helpful when dealing with Hollywood talent agents. Learn at your own discretion. See Slang, below.
What You Need To Begin:
What follows is a list of recommended staples one would need prior to moving to LA.
1. A cell phone (two if you plan on using one as a "business line.")
2. Some kind of addiction. Cigarettes are preferable mainly because everyone smokes; if you opt for a drug of some kind, crack cocaine is the only way to go.
3. Some kind of complex, but "little man" syndrome is not recommended. Tom Cruise called that one in the '80's and you want some kind of originality.
4. The presumption that you are prettier /better / more talented than the current Hollywood elite.
5. Some type of network where mindless bodies are readily available for miscellaneous reasons (see The Friendship.)
Throughout the duration of a friendship, formed purely for selfish reasons, call only when you need an entourage to make an entrance. Drunken groupies make you look like a stud. Form networks of other Struggling Actor/Model/Singers so you can rely on each other in times of desperation. The friendship should only be continued in the light of dismal failure (wherein you both bemoan the life that is a Struggling Actor/Model/Singer). The friendship should be discontinued only after prominent success or if the said friend attempts to kill your career. Attempts at killing you will only give you an edge over the others, and thus should be overlooked as a favor done for you.
Never be seen using the Metro. If you need transport, use the Metro or Orange Line only in the cover of darkness and even then, Bono-type sunglasses and a do-rag are recommended. If you can, mooch off of someone else in your network who owns/steals cars. (Reality Note: Grand theft auto does exist in the real world-- it is not just a video game. If you're riding in a stolen car, be wary of speeding and loud gangster rap. Cops run plates. Minimize attention to self by listening to smooth jazz.) But failing all these and you are reduced to walk everywhere, walk in style. Ladies, do not remove your stilettos. You look cooler when you arrive in heels. Cool is fun.
Don't eat. When you eat, it implies you're human and weight gain/aging. That isn't cool-- skinny is. Besides, with the diet regime of coffee and cigarettes, who needs food? But if you must eat, vegan is the stylish way to go (think Pam Anderson. She's cool.)
Women, the less the better, unless you're a recent transplant and have yet to get on the Cigarette and Coffee diet plan (See Food, above.) Men, as long as you're tan and buff, pretty much anything goes. Except mesh. And flannel. Designer clothing is a must. Save up all your money to buy Chanel or Prada or Gucci, and then to look cool, wear all three designers at the same time. You'll bring to mind Paris Hilton. And that's cool. Don't worry about rent (see The Friendship) because with network friends, you can mooch a couch or and air mattress for a few months. Keep in mind: couch hopping is acceptable only in the Valley. But no one wants to let a network friend borrow their favorite pair of Jimmy Choo's. Don't even ask.
A word for newcomers to the Los Angeles region: you will find a Starbucks within a half-mile radius of your domicile. Find the location nearest you. Go everyday (Tip: along with spending money for designer clothes and your cell phone bill, section off a chunk of your money solely for coffee.) Go twice a day. The sooner you've got the day and night shift of the Starbucks calling you by your name/drink, the sooner you can bring a date or your entourage. Having others know you by a first name basis builds up your reputation. Plus, it makes you look cool when you play it nonchalantly in front of prospective one-nighters. A one-nighter is someone you plan on sleeping with only once in a drunken flurry. Men should do this frequently. Ladies, if you must do this, be discreet unless you idolize Tila Tequila.
In this town of informality dressed up in Italian silk suits, you need to know both ways of speaking. Taking speech classes will help you rid yourself of any annoying regional dialect you may have from the continental states or an accent if you are from anywhere else besides Canada. However, Australian and English accents are acceptable, but only if you're able to do a decent American accent on command. But in order to communicate effectively with today's youth, find a few useful slang words and pepper your lexicon with them. A few good ones to try out to your dog or plant:
1. "Holla" (basic definition: What's up, attractive fe/male? I want to talk to you but the only coherent thing I could think of was "holla". Please think that I am cool.) "Holla" is to be said outside of context only if something really cool happens and cool seems so ubiquitously said.
2. "Bone out". To "bone out" means to get your ass in gear and scram, which should be used while in a car and you need to leave quickly.
3. "Home-girl/home-boy". Referring to someone you consider being so close to you, they could live at home with you and you wouldn't mind all too much. The exact translation was lost years ago.
4. "Ill / Sick / Tight." Before the 2000's, each of those words had their own respective definition. Now, they've all been reduced to a singular meaning: "Cool."
Of Religion and Politics:
If you are a conservative, you have two options. 1) Do not let anyone know. Conservatives can survive in LA if no one knows you're one. 2) Switch sides. Liberals have more fun anyway. And fun is cool. A few things you can say in public to gain favor: "Bush sucked." "This country's going to hell." "Big oil sucks." Repeat as needed. And if you belong to any of the Western religions, find an Eastern one that seems similar to yours. Then switch. Western religions are so last century.
Every Struggling Actor/Model/Singer needs one. If you don't have the money to afford one right from the get go, forego the Starbucks and save your money to get one. In the meantime, a temporary solution is to have someone back home like a sibling labeled "Agent" in your contact list on your cell phone. Then when they call and "Agent" pops up on Call-ID have them pose as your agent. No one with you will know the difference. And then when you've saved up the money to get a real agent, casually let it drop that you've switched agents because the last one didn't do anything for you except call you. You'll seem cool.
Get one. In LA, there are lots of local clubs and bars to frequent, especially on the Westside. Learn all of the restaurants and little cafes open after midnight. The more obscure the place, the cooler you'll seem to fellow entourage members. Here is a recommended sequence of events, which should transpire almost every night: After that quad-shot of espresso (see Starbucks, above), shower and dress with extreme care (when complimented, off-handedly mention that you just threw something on. You'll seem cool because of your natural flair for chic.) After you're ready, call your network friends, and find a place to get shit faced. Stay out until Last Call or security has to forcibly remove you. Either way works for going out with panache.
Failing All of the Above:
If it happens that you do not achieve your goals, you have one choice. Go home. You stay at the risk of being sucked into the world of Adult Entertainment or being a waiter for the rest of your days. Good luck!