It me. Megan. A starving artist living in L.A.
Los Angeles is home to amazing weather, beautiful beaches and a plethora of creativity. Whether you’re a painter, musician, actor, writer or artist of any kind, you can be sure to find a community of like-minded individuals nearby. Creativity can be found everywhere you turn and that’s a big part of why I love L.A. so much. However, what I don’t love about L.A. is how expensive it is. And, unfortunately, the artist’s salary isn’t large enough to spend a ton in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Not to fret, though, because L.A. also happens to be a city filled with tons of free or close-to-free options for all those starving artists out there (or anyone else) who’s on a budget. These are just some of the places/things/events I’ve done myself and frequent often. Now, let’s get to it!
The L.A. Survival Guide for Starving Artists:
If you like museums, then you’re in luck, because L.A. happens to have tons of them and the majority of them are free, and they’re located all over the city.
Free All Year Round:
Free On Certain Days each Month:
Free music occurs not only throughout the summer, but also year-round!
- Monday Night Residencies at The Satellite
- Monday Night Residencies at The Echo
- Monday Night Residencies at The Bootleg
- KCRW Music Station sets up concerts all around town – check online!
- Santa Monica Pier has concerts during the week
- Listen to the LA Philharmonic rehearse in the morning from 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (and parking is free).
Free fitness options are pretty much limitless. L.A. has amazing hiking and you can pretty much find an area to hike to matter where in the city you go. There are also tons of “by donation” yoga classes, and community workout classes in the middle of the day that are usually only $5. Here are some of my favourite spots:
- Runyon Canyon
- Runyon Canyon Yoga
- Santa Monica Stairs
- Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
- Pan Pacific Park
- Santa Monica Beach
- Venice Beach/Muscle Beach
- Donation-based Yoga & Community Classes
Note: A lot of studios have classes that are only $5 during lunchtime (usually around noon – 1) so call some studios and ask! In my experience, most of them have a community option.)
Luckily for me (a comedian), comedy is plentiful throughout L.A. And there are also some really cheap and/or free options. UCB, IO West and Second City are some of the most popular improv schools in the city and a lot of them put on free shows. Below are some that I’ve been to:
- UCB is usually $5 but on Sunday’s ASSSSCAT show is free!
- The Grind at M.I.’s Westside Comedy Theater features free improv shows on Mondays at 8PM and 10PM and Thursdays at 10PM followed by an improv jam.
- The BrewHAHA: The Comedy Show Drinking Game happens once a month; doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 9pm. You can find it at 4221 Normal Ave, Los Angeles CA 90029
- Dockweiler State Beach: You can have a bonfire here. Grab some wood, some wine and friends and head up there! I love doing this on summer nights.
- Santa Monica Pier
- Venice Boardwalk
- Regency Valley 6 Plaza in North Hollywood: On Sunday and Tuesday, general admission is only $1.50. On other days, it’s still pretty affordable at $3.
FOOD & DRINKS
- Angel City Brewery: You can go on a brewery tour and get to taste some amazing beers for free!
- There are TONS of free food & drink events in L.A. during the summer! Check out Eventbrite HERE for specifics.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Megan Nager)