Danny writes in:
I have been interning for a distribution company for the past 2 years. Now that I am graduating, I am stuck between making the moves to become full time where I am, or moving on.
My goal is to join the DGA ultimately, so I know that taking on as many PA jobs would be the correct path. However, with the status of the economy and student loans on my back, I don’t know if i should take the safe route or take a risk.
I most likely have a PA job on Columbia production in New York, but I am waiting for email/text with confirmation. Would quiting my job and making myself available to be a full time PA be a financially reasonable move to make?
First, I’d like to dispel a common misconception among those just starting out. Being in the DGA does not automatically make one a director. The directors’ guild also includes UPMs and ADs. And being an assistant director is not usually the path to being a director.
Okay, got that out of the way.
I usually recommend taking the riskier path, as it tends to lead to greater rewards, as well. Power of positive thinking and all that.
That being said, I certainly wouldn’t quit my full time job before I’ve been offered the PA position. If you haven’t heard back from the Columbia production, do not quit. No job is certain until you walk on the set, and even then, it can all go away in an instant.
So, yes, it’s a risk. But there’s also a risk that if you stay in your desk job now, you’ll be sucked into the whirling vortex known as a steady paycheck, and you’ll never get out.
I worked for a year as an agent’s assistant, and another year as a producer’s assistant. Those were two of the least well-spent years of my life.
I don’t wish the same for you.