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Making the Transition From Theatre to Film

K writes:

I am a theatrical PA and have been for the past several years and have a degree in stage management…but I’m looking to leave the theatrical world behind and move into the film world. I feel like I’m running into constant roadblocks due to my entire (ENTIRE) resume being theatre related and it seems like I’m getting shuffled to the bottom of the pile because of it.

Bad news, K. Those roadblocks aren’t gonna get any easier. Most people hiring PAs aren’t gonna be interested in the fact that you ASM’d Equus off-Broadway. Essentially, you’ve got to start at the bottom. That means working on no-budget and low-budget projects. You’ve got to make those contacts all the way at the bottom – the very bottom – in order to work your way back up.

It wasn’t a complete waste. I’m sure you gained important skills that will come in handy in movies and TV, but in all honesty, switching from theater to film is like switching from medical school to law school. Is it possible? Of course. Are there aspects of the former that will come in handy in the latter? Of course. Does one have anything to do with the other? Uhhh… no.

And now, some inspirational words from someone far more talented than I:

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3 Responses

  1. Sonieee, I wish I had a poster version of it, but I don’t. If you find one, let me know. I’d love to put a poster of it on my wall, too.

  2. I love that image. I need a posted-sized version of that image so I can put it on the wall of my study and look at it every time I feel like quitting. Does it come in poster size? And if so, where can I get it?
    (PS: I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it, excellent work!)

  3. Some advice to K: Everyone’s situations are a bit different. Make the best of what you have. The first time I was ever on set, an AD quickly gave me some advice right before I was going to ask the key about getting a job (with no prior experience!) and he said to lie and say I have a theater background. There’s a million and a half ways in…but mostly it’s being lucky at the right time. Keep pushing and keep talking to people.

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