Meet Julien Marlon, a former Montrealer, who moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life long dream of becoming an actor. Has he made the right choice? Let's find out together what it's like to live in LA as a Montrealer.
Dear readers, please keep in mind that this piece is a personal story and not a suggestion to move away from our city.
How is life in LA different from life in Montreal? Has your life changed for the better ever since you moved?
First of all, you have the weather. It's sunny most of the year, it gets down to 8 degrees in winter, summers are super warm.
Then, the city itself is extremely spread out, there is no real Downtown like St. Catherine where you can do everything at once (seeing a movie, walking around, shop, eat). Also the public transport is the worst, metro is nearly non existant and there's a bus every hour, so you need a car. You spend a lot of time in the car due to traffic during any given time of the day.
Yes, I think my life is much better now that I moved here. Waking up with the sun most days of the year definitely has an impact on my mood and well being.
People in LA are super “organic food” based, they're conscious about eating well. I am much healthier since I moved here. There's also a ton of great restaurants. People are very active as well. From hikes, yoga, crossfit, gym, and other outdoor activities - I feel like it’s a little more complete than Montreal, where people mainly go to the gym (especially guys). Being able to go to the beach in 30min is also awesome and a great way to change your mindset during week ends.
Finally being in THE city for acting and modeling is great, because I wake up every morning knowing that I am at the right spot to do what I love which is very fulfilling.
What do you miss most about Montreal?
I’d say mostly my friends. I do miss being in a smaller city, where it's easy to meet up, walk around and not having to spend hours in traffic.
Do you miss Montreal winters?
Not at all. I've never liked the cold, I'm more of a summer/beach person. I don't miss all that slush and getting sick all the time. I also do not miss putting 5 layers of clothes on, taking the metro, start sweating and removing all your clothes, then putting them back on before going out.
What was your primary reason for moving to LA?
Once I graduated college, I wanted to focus on what I really loved: acting. So I moved to LA for that. I also model on the side for source of income.
What have you been up to in LA?
Mainly auditioning, booking a few gigs here and there, modeling, working out and I try to really enjoy where I am at in my life. We always get caught up thinking about the future and what we don’t have now... I'm trying to enjoy the process everyday.
What are some things you’re looking forward to doing next time you visit Montreal?
Going to all the spots I like and see all my good friends. Montreal always has some fun things going on during summer so I'd love to go back in summer.
What are the main advantages of living in LA?
For me, definitely the weather and being able to go to Malibu easily
How is LA mentality different from Montreal mentality? Are people nicer/more easy going there or in Montreal?
I think, generally speaking, LA people might be nicer than Montreal people at first, but not as real. In the Hollywood area, it becomes fake very easily, but if you go to Venice, people are super chill and not stressed about life at all.
Montreal people might be a tiny bit cold at first, but once you break the ice, they are genuinely nice to you without expecting anything back.
I'd also say that people in LA are more flaky than in Montreal. There's a bigger respect for friendship in Montreal, people are more reliable.
Is life in LA more expensive than life in Montreal?
Yes it is. Rent for a 1 bedroom in a good area starts at $1600-1700 if you get lucky. I know people that pay $2800 for a 1 bedroom. Also due to the fact that the public transportation sucks, you need a car, which is another monthly expense.
In terms of going out and dinners, it's pretty much the same. Drinks are more expensive in LA but they pour double the amount of booze.
What do LA people do in their spare time that’s not common in Montreal?
It's very common to go on hikes. Some people even go on hikes as a first or second date.
Getting a cold pressed juice is also something pretty common, which I've never done in Montreal. Other than that, it really depends on the person more than the city.