Reader Dan writes:
I am 17, soon to be 18. When I am 18, or sort of maybe a few months after I’m 18, I wanted to be a PA for reality tlelevision. I’m worried I’m a bit too young to do this. I’ll be ready late this year or early 2010, depending on how much I can save for a chance to move to LA. Do PA jobs prefer or even require someone to be a certain age?
I have never heard of any age limit, other than being old enough to drive. I’ve worked with nineteen and twenty year olds in the past. PAing is the very definition of “no experience required,” and that includes life experience.
My main recommendation is that you should recognize you know nothing. You were, what, ten when Survivor came out? Whatever you think you know about the creation of a reality show, you’re wrong. And for every one thing you’re wrong about, there are a thousand things it didn’t even occur to you think about in the first place.
The main purpose of taking a PA gig is to learn. You work horrible hours for terrible pay and zero respect, but if you shut up and listen, you’ll advance quickly.
I, on the other hand, can’t keep my trap shut, and I’m still a PA several years out of film school. Learn from my mistakes, Dan.