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Where to Begin…

Reader Robert has a few questions–

I have no experience in the entertainment industry – do productions ever consider or hire candidates with absolutely no experience?

Having no experience is one of the key qualifications of being a PA.  If you had experience, you’d find a better job.

But the truth is, you do have some qualifications.  What you lack in experience, you more than make up for in enthusiasm and energy.  Seriously, put that in your cover letter.

And I’ll assume you’ve done your research, which gives you something to talk about when you meet with the coordinator or AD.  Half of being a PA is being able to follow directions, and half is just generally being a nice person to hang around with for fifteen hours a day.

Remember, you may have to put up with your boss’s annoying quirks, but this is an at-will job.  They can fire you at any time, or not hire you in the first place, if you’re incapable of carrying on an intelligent conversation.

I am looking to relocate to another city and have researched television productions in other areas – would they consider hiring someone who is currently not local but is willing to relocate to their area?

By “another city,” I assume you mean “not Los Angeles.”  I’m not sure how much help I can be here.   I’ve lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, and I haven’t had a job outside the industry since I quit working at the grocery store the summer after my senior year of high school.

(I was a stock boy on the night shift.  One of the guys I worked with kept insisting that I write a horror movie set in a grocery store called “Night Stalkers.”  He also videotaped himself having sex with women without their knowledge.  By which I mean, they didn’t know they were being taped; they were fully aware they were engaged in a sexual act.  I hope.  In any case, I disregarded his career advice.)

Anyway.

In Hollywood, jobs tend to get filled quickly.  This summer, I heard about a job at ten in the morning.  I sent in my resume.  I got a call at eleven, and was told to come in to interview at four.  At seven, the coordinator called to tell me I had the job, and I was to report to the office at 8:00AM.

You can see how being “willing to relocate” might not be helpful in this circumstance.

I have no idea if things work this fast when you’re applying for a job at the public access station in Des Moines, Iowa.  I imagine the pool of job applicants is a lot shallower, but that may be my parochial view of the entertainment industry.

Maybe one of my other readers can give you more accurate advice?

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2 Responses

  1. If I may chime in, “Willing to relocate” is just fine, especially if its to a city that doesn’t have much entertainment-labor demand. Also, if you’re leaving a prestigious city it helps, because it makes you look better. Seriously it’s all about how you appear.

    I’d disagree on the no-experience thing. The more advanced the project the more experienced even the base jobs need to be. On big films even the Interns have some experience, since productions only hire currently enrolled film majors. BUT don’t let that get you down if you’re a newbie, starting is hard no matter what, experience or none. If someone has no experience its because they met someone and won them over with their charm, which puts them on the same playing field as you.

  2. TAPA,

    If you haven’t read “Bloodsucking Fiends” and “You Suck” by Christopher Moore, you have to get them RIGHT NOW. There’s vampires. There’s working the night shift stocking the grocery store. There’s bowling in the aisles with frozen turkeys!

    What more could you want?

    Really, these are some damn funny books.

    Oh, and on the advice thing, there are companies producing commercials in most decent sized cities and all major cities. Those can be a decent place to get a resume started.

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