First off, I’d like to congratulate friend-of-the-blog Elana on her newborn. You can read all about the birth/near-death here. Also, if you haven’t read her posts “Life of a Pseudo-Writer” and “Life of a Pseudo-Writer II,” you should.
On to PA business. Tom writes:
I have made the switch from being a stagehand to being a Set PA for a sitcom out here in New York. Currently on our show the majority of the producers, coordinators, writers and our first AD are from LA, while the rest of the crew is from NY.
While we all get along fine, I find myself getting caught in the middle of having my first AD instruct me to do something that a PA normally handles in LA, but here in NY it is a union responsibility. For example, my other set PA is from LA and she tells me that in LA the set PA’s handle the directors chairs, but here in NY they are handled by the Prop department.
I am curious to know if you or any of your readers have heard similar stories about the difference between the P.A. experience in LA vs. NY.
First of all, it’s not “LA,” it’s Los Angeles. “LA” is a diminutive assigned to us by poncey east coasters who don’t believe Los Angeles is a real city. “Los Angeles” is already cut down from “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula.” We’ve got this shortening thing down, thanks.
(For more on my feelings about New York, go ahead and take a look at one of my earliest posts.)
Okay, so, about your question. Actually, directors’ chairs are technically handled by the props department in Los Angeles, too. I have no idea why. I can’t imagine a property manager complaining about a PA giving him a hand when the company is on the move, though. I guess that’s New Yorkers for you.
The biggest difference I’ve heard between New York and Los Angeles PAs is that New Yorkers don’t drive nearly so much. Perhaps my readers can expound on some other differences.