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Single Parents

Ki recently commented on an older post:

I know that PA have long work hours. Do you think that it a single parent could handle this job?

I’m not sure how to address this question with my usual sardonic wit. Being a single parent is difficult in ways I probably can’t imagine, and there’s nothing really funny about that situation.

Being a PA, and really, any other position in the business, is more than a full time job. 60 hours a week, at minimum; 70, 80 hour weeks are not unheard of. It’s hard to have a girlfriend with those hours, much less raise a child.

And the pay is… not good. The take-home is better than your average minimum wage, but mostly because of the long hours. Most PAs struggle to make ends meet living with roommates in Koreatown. Paying for yourself and a child on a PA’s salary would be a challenge, at best.

I’ve already written that it’s impossible to be a college student and a PA at the same time. Being a mother is much more difficult, and more important. I wouldn’t recommend you trying to be a production assistant, either.

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5 Responses

  1. As a parent, I have to say… absolutely not, it is 100% impossible to work as a PA as a single parent… on top of that, it is most likely impossible to have ANY JOB IN THE FILM INDUSTRY as a single parent.

    The only way to make that work would be to have friends or family that were willing to, more or less, adopt your child. You would see them on Sunday.

    I am just getting started as a PA, and this is a two-parent household. It is difficult even with that other person around, because it makes them feel like a single parent. It’s a big stress on everybody, emotionally. However, the pay-off eventually comes when you get to a point in your career that you can take jobs, pass on jobs, and decide to take a month or so off if you feel like it. That’s something that people in other careers frequently don’t get to do.

    If you’re a single parent, and this is what you want to do… you’ll need to have somebody very understanding in your life before you can do anything. Or wait until your child is older, and be willing to subject them to a Latchkey lifestyle.

  2. You mention that it’s hard to have a girlfriend while a PA because of the hours. Is it generally difficult to maintain relationships of any sort outside of work? I am interested in moving to Los Angeles to try to get my foot in the door, but I have another friend who is concerned that I won’t be able to find friends and will be utterly alone.

    Your thoughts?

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