You don’t HAVE to do anything. How successful do you want to be? If you wanted to be a ski instructor and you lived in Miami, Florida (snow ski, not water ski), how successful could you be? I don’t recall the last time there was snow in Miami. That said…
If you’re an actor, would you be satisfied doing community theater? If you’re a producer or director, would you be satisfied making movies with your own camera using local non-union crew & talent? If you’re a writer, would you be satisfied writing your heart out and not having access to the people who can buy your scripts?
Are you getting the picture? When you are breaking into an industry, you want to be in the heart of it. Now, there are other 2nd, 3rd, 4th, place markets where a union member can make a decent living. So, it’s up to you. How successful do you want to be? How committed are you to that success? What sacrifices are you willing to make? I grew up in NY, perceived as the #2 market. Two top agents told me to move to Los Angeles. I left everyone I knew and loved, and it’s paid off.
Another option is creating relationships from afar and then planning a trip to LA to meet everyone in person, so they get to know you and understand how seriously you take your career. Now, this might not work for an actor who needs to be local to audition (for the most part), but for a writer or other classifications this can certainly be a path.
The choice is yours for the making.
If you have a question, put it in the comment section.
To your success!