Meet a Member: John Campbell-Mac

Meet John Campbell-Mac from London who moved to LA 3 years ago to forward his career in acting and production.

John-Campbell-MacWas there a particular reason you chose LA ?

It’s the movie capital of the world. If you’re an actor or a producer why would you want to live anywhere else? Believe it or not I actually came here reluctantly initially. I had visited a couple of times and done one film here, had fun but met quite a few flaky people along the way. I thought wow! If I lived in LA I think I would end up killing people. But I think there comes a point in your career when you have to come here if you’re serious about taking it as far as you can. I’m happy to say I have made some great friends like family here and have had a blast from the minute I stepped off the plane.

What one thing do you miss from home?

I’m proud to be British and have a British perspective on life here in LA. But to be honest there’s not really too much from England I miss. The food? Not really and you can find most English food items here. The weather? Yeah it’s horrible living in Southern California and having to put up with the perfect climate at least 300 days of the year. That one thing would be loved ones, friends and family, and mostly my brother Chico. We lived and worked together for 18 years straight prior to my coming to America so to quote his song ‘You can get delirious if you take life too serious”…

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus the UK?

It’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges they are both so very different with some good things to be said for both. The biggest difference if I were to use one word would be opportunity. There’s a lot more opportunity here than in the UK. I love the British film industry but unfortunately it’s badly financed and there are now very few films being made in the UK with decent budgets. I think it’s a great shame and a loss to world cinema as a whole.

Hollywood is a tough nut to crack and I think it’s naive to come here and think you are going to make it overnight. There are a lot more jobs here and the rates are higher but there are also a hell of a lot of actors here from all over the world all looking to make it big so competition is fierce. But that said there are opportunities every day that could come along that could change your life…

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?

Quite a few that I would like to keep hidden…In all seriousness the first step is to join Brits in LA. Its’s a great resource for everything you could want to know from visa advice to where to buy your groceries and everything else in between you wouldn’t even consider before leaving the UK. Actual best hidden gem? Become a Key member, I can’t recommend it enough. Aside from discounts on stuff all over town it gives you access to some of the coolest social events in Hollywood. Example: I have two friends in from London visiting right now, on their third night here I took them to the BA/Variety 10 Brits To Watch party. Open bar, live entertainment, all in a $28 million dollar home in Bel Air. All thanks to being a key membe. They loved it and you couldn’t make it up.

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?

Bring three P’s, patience, perseverance and plenty of money. It can be a tough grind; before I left the UK I did a Special Forces film 31 North 62 East with Craig Fairbrass. Chances are you remember Craig as Dan in Eastenders but he did some great projects over here including Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone. He gave me some good advice so let me quote him, he said: ‘Mate it’s hard over there, there’s a lot of good actors who go there and never book a job or even secure an agent, it takes a lot of balls to up sticks and go and give it a try. So good luck to you, don’t take it personally if you don’t book a job and make sure you take time out to enjoy yourself.’ Great advice, there is no shortage of talent here and there can be slim pickings so 100% come with as much money behind you as you can while you’re waiting for your big break…

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