I get a lot of questions about how to break into the world of freelance. I'll tell you, but you have to understand a few things first. These are not to discourage you! If I had known... heck I would have done it anyways :)
1. You simply cannot do this full-time from a small town. You MUST live in a big city, like NYC, LA, or Miami, Chicago. I am extremely fortunate that at my "day job" I am able to take off at a moment's notice to go to a job on either coast. But that can only last so long, and is a very rare occurance.
2. You do not make any money starting out. In fact, you will spend a LOT of money getting started. Doing this and last year's taxes I felt sick, after adding it all up. I'm talking mid-4 figures a year here. Flying to LA, NY, accommodations, food, transportation, printing photos, buying a book (portfolio) and so on. If you think you're going to start out making a lot of money, you are sadly mistaken.
3. You need to pay your dues before getting the big jobs. I had the incredible opportunity in September and this past February to key (be the lead manicurist for) some shows at New York Fashion Week. This is only after I did a dozen or so small, local, un-glamourous fashion shows, events and photo shoots. And let me tell you, after one particular fashion show at a local college, I almost stopped doing them. But I didn't :)