“In the Next Day or Two…”

As my unemployment comes to a temporary respite, I was thinking about a phrase I’ve heard  a lot lately:

Expect a call in the next day or two.

Usually, it’s a friend of mine who calls to tell me about a job opening. He (or she) gives me the preliminary info and tells me that they’ve already passed along my resumé to their boss.”Expect a call in the next day or two,” he tells me.

A day passes.

Day One
I'm taking thirty-second showers out of the compulsive fear that they'll call while I'm indisposed and cross my name off their list.

Another day passes.

Day Two
I haven't shaved or peed or walked the dog. I reach for my phone at the slightest hint of a ring.

Another day passes.

Day Three
I assume that they're not going to call. I figure that I'll never work in Hollywood again. I think about changing my name. ("They must hate my name, and that's why they didn't call.")

Another day passes.

Day Four
I start considering that job application from Starbucks.

Another day passes. I think for a second about the production offices I’ve worked in. They’re busy. There’s shit to do. They’ll call when they’re ready to call.

…And then my phone rings.

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10 Responses

  1. I have a question for anyone who can help: I’m a recent grad & I’m quickly realizing my school taught everything I’d need to know for running the show, but skipped so much of the basic PA information I need to know now!

    I got a call from a Production Company for a gig I applied for a few weeks ago. The person who called told me she would put me on a hold for a 2-3 day shoot happening this week (like I said, this was about 2 weeks ago she called) & I haven’t heard anything since. Two questions: a. When they put you on a hold, what exactly does that mean? Am I just supposed to reserve those days for them with the hope they’ll call back? b. If they are going to call me back, how long before the shoot would I hear from them?

    This site is great! Thanks so much for all of the good reads. I’ve enjoyed it & look forward to continuing to check in!

  2. Sounds like my dating life. I’ll get a phone number and call her that day or the next but she won’t answer. Then she will text me back within a minute, waiting a day before replying to my reply.
    Usually I get a date. Sometimes I don’t and assume they are busy being a boss at a Reality TV show, hoping to be a boss at a Network show.

    It is ironic that we have all this technology to communicate but don’t seem to communicate any better than a stray dog sniffing a random dog butt.

  3. I had a prominent location manager email me for my resume-they needed someone quickly. I of course sent it that night. Did not hear back from him for at least 4 days. Then he calls to tell me he will review my resume and get back to me by the next day. Never heard from him again. What bugs me is that he said he wanted to talk to me, yet when he had me on the phone-crickets!

  4. @rl –

    You wear something that will keep your body comfortable for 12+ hours. Sorry to be vague, but it does depend where you are. Example, when I’m at set right now, I’m wearing t-shirt and shorts and good, good, comfy shoes. But it’s Vancouver, so I have pants, another shirt, a hoodie, and a raincoat on standby.
    Which leads me to my second piece of advice: keep an extra set of clothing in your vehicle in case the weather changes.
    Also, it depends what works for you, but most PAs I know bring backpacks that they stash in the locations stash and then keep a couple items on them when they’re running around on set.
    Personally, I wear pants or a hoodie with good deep pockets, so I can keep my radio, my phone, my water bottle, my callsheet, and extra crafty snacks on me at all times. Cargo pants are a good idea.
    But if you ARE running around a lot, or have extra responsibility, like radios, then a work belt or a fanny pack is a good idea. Those also take the weight of the radio off your pants making them more likely to stay up.
    And sorry this is so long, but one last thing: as a woman, I would recommend wearing shirts that don’t show cleavage. Or tight shirts. There are a lot of dudes on set, and they are lonely. Mostly because they’re working 12+ hours a day. Good luck!

    1. I’ve just gotten into doing some PA work and yes, you are absolutely correct. For locations (a la Vancouver) where the weather can change faster then you can say “The Flash”, it’s best to bring extra clothes because at the 7 hr mark, you don’t want the feeling of damp socks already! In my short time I’ve already learned how important the art of layering can be…

  5. OK this is a random question but what do female set PA’s normally wear on the job? Do I need to get a fanny pack? Cargo pants? Or are jeans ok?

    1. RL –
      I’d recommend cargo pants and a really good and sturdy belt.
      The way I organize my stuff is:
      Left leg pocket: cigarette holder acting as wallet and phone
      Right leg pocket: keys and pocket-sized pack of tissues and bandaids
      Left butt pocket: notepad and gloves
      Right butt pocket: My various clickable Sharpies and pens
      I clip my keys to my left back belt ring, my walkie clips to my belt wherever is most comfortable (usually near my right back belt ring)
      I don’t keep anything in my front pockets because when I lift stuff, I tend to use my hips as support and anything in there would be crushed.

      Good luck!

  6. I’ve gotten two recent calls asking if I’m available for something IMMEDIATELY. One is a commercial and I was told they’d email me the boards. Three days later: “Did I send you the boards”? “No”. “I’ll get those right out to you”. (That was two days ago…no boards yet.)

    The other is a foreign film coming to shoot 2nd Unit NYC. Said they’d send me the pages/scenes right away. No pages yet.

    Apparently, my phone and email work just fine to ask if I’m available, but not so much for telling me what they want done.


  7. I had a friend give my info to some production supervisor dude a few months ago. The guy called me about a Post Production PA position. I said I’d love to do it. He said he’d call me in the next two days to set up a time to meet. And then he didn’t call the next day. And he didn’t call the day after that. And he didn’t call the day after that. And he didn’t call after the weekend. I had no number for the guy. Just knew his name and that my friend was friends with him on Facebook. So I sent him a message on that. He didn’t reply to that either. And shit like that is why I’m on my last two weeks of unemployment and I’m going into temp offices asking for any work, regardless of being in entertainment.

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