Film Courage: Trae you said you’ve been here 15 years now from Chicago?
Trae Ireland: Yes.
Film Courage: If there had been a handbook that someone was going to deliver to you and say “This is for you” and you will learn all of this, but it’s going to take 15 years, what do you wish had been in this handbook?
Trae Ireland: Money. [Laughs]
Film Courage: Exactly. Okay.
Trae Ireland: No…because you have to survive. Los Angeles is so expensive. If you are a struggling actor or anybody who comes out here, the cost of living is so high you can’t…it’s hard for you to get a regular job because you have to pursue this. You have to do auditions and meetings and all this, so you’ll get fired or you’ll get laid off from your job. So you have to have money to be able to have that cushion to be able to pursue this…but ask the question again so I can give you another answer?
Film Courage: Sure. But that’s good. I like that book actually. I wish someone had handed me that. But what else in that book could tell you different things [such as] don’t waste your time with this, spend more time on that which you wish someone had given to you that you’ve learned now where. And in turn, you could then hand this same book to someone?
Trae Ireland: Here is the irony of that because you just never know. Because there is a lot of that when I first got here I would try a lot of these showcases or whatever, don’t go to those. They are a rip-off because a lot of these casting directors at these showcases they are trying to make their own money and pay their own bills. And they are not really invested to find somebody but if they do “Oh! I just found this guy.” So it’s so unorthodox. There is not a set blueprint so to have that book…it’s just experiences. It should be like a book of just experiences and you just learn. That’s why I watch all those backstories on everybody. The most important thing is just to commit to whatever it’s going to be that you are going to do. And that is to do your research to whatever the character’s going to be, whatever you choose. I don’t care if you want to work at The Home Depot. If you want to be the head cashier you have to commit to whatever it is. Put the hours in, the work. So that book is mainly just to stay focused on what you want to do and just enjoy the experience, even if the bad things that are going to happen to you shapes and molds you to who you are. Think about the things in life where you are like “I would never do that again.” But it still prepares you to be on the lookout for anything else or to do anything else.
Even if I was to write a book right now, I think it would be very informative but at the same time it’s everybody else’s journey. There is nothing in particular I can give from that except get as much knowledge as you can.
Question for the Viewers: What should an actor know before moving to Los Angeles?