Making It

Charles Zembillas' Animation Academy teaches students about much of the business side of a career as an animation artist. (Lindsay Ivins)

Charles Zembillas’ Animation Academy trains students for a career as an animation artist. (Lindsay Ivins)

They might not be stars yet, but young entertainers do have an impact on the entertainment industry. Many businesses around Los Angeles are dedicated to training, coaching or promoting these future stars. And although it is a long and difficult process, some of these artists and performers will find success.

In this section, read about the big dreams, uncertain careers and tireless training of those making it it L.A.

Stunt performers compete with CGI for jobs

As technology changes the movie industry, stunt performers hope to remain relevant. Despite the prevalence of computer-generated images, humans may not be entirely replaced.

Financial exploitation of child stars still a problem

Laws have protected children from poor working conditions since the early 1900s, but many children in the entertainment industry may be exploited financially.

Marketing company helps new actors ‘get discovered’

A new industry has emerged around actors who are starting their careers and need someone to send head shots and resumes to potential agents, which can be a time-consuming process.

Animation Academy trains young artists starting careers

A school in Los Angeles teaches young animation artists about the business side of starting their careers, including how to take ownership of their animations.

For Phoenix resident, road to stardom a long commute

Not everyone who is trying to make it in L.A. actually lives there. Actress Victoria Paege is making the long commute as she pursues her career from Phoenix.

Finding income a challenge for L.A. dancers

Dancers and dance studios often need multiple streams of income. Many dancers need a backup job, and dance studios face the difficulties of running a small business.

American Film Institute trains L.A.’s future movie stars

The American Film Institute, which is ranked No. 1 on the Hollywood Reporters film school rankings, helps train “the next generation of storytellers” in Los Angeles.

Acting academy aims to create community among students

Lifebook is a network of actors, musicians, comics, writers, directors, producers and others working in the entertainment industry who often end up working together.

Los Angeles filled with challenges for aspiring writers

In a city full of storytellers, no two writers find success the same way. The high cost of living in Los Angeles, combined with the low pay of writing jobs, makes it difficult to make a living.

University of Rock aims to make music lessons cool

At Los Angeles-based University of Rock, founder Jon Kim and 22 teachers help students learn music theory based on popular songs that the students actually want to play.

Investment in ballet career a risky one

Many aspiring dancers put their education on hold and spend large amounts of money while starting their careers. Los Angeles Ballet trains young ballerinas with a rigorous program.

Sweet Lady Jane: Baking it in L.A.

Jane Lockhart has been making it — or rather baking it — in L.A. as her cakes have appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and on National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel website.