Not ‘Till You Book It

When I was first starting out, I told my parents about every interview I went on, every potential job offer that came my way, every good parking space I found on lunch runs.

Oh, how years in Hollywood have jaded me.

Now, my parents know almost nothing about my professional life. Why? Because a PA’s life is filled with almosts. I almost got a job as an assistant to an A-list director. I almost sold a feature to Paramount (i.e. I was pitched to Paramount). I  almost met Kevin Bacon (i.e. I interviewed to work on his show).

Other PA’s understand that not every road leads to the promised land, but my parents don’t get that. While catching up with a friend from the Overpriced Film School, I might let him know that I just interviewed to be that A-list director’s new assistant. A month later, when I run into that friend again and I don’t bring it up, he’ll know I didn’t get the job. He won’t feel compelled to ask about it.

But come Thanksgiving, my mom and dad and grandmother are sure as hell going to be asking about the job. And by then, they’ll have told all of my aunts and uncles and cousins, too. Then I’ll have to go to each member of my family, one at a time, and answer the same inane questions. “No, I didn’t get the job… Yes, it would’ve been cool… No, I won’t be going to next year’s Oscars.”

Don’t tell ‘em ’till you book it.

Now, I keep my parents 100% in the dark. If I ever get paid to write something, I’m not even going to tell them until it shoots. I’ll invite my family to set, but I won’t tell them why. Not until they get there and the director calls, “Action,” will I put a script in their hands and silently point to the “written by” line.

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6 Responses to Not ‘Till You Book It

  1. haylee says:

    I just wanted to say you are a godsend…thank you so much for your posts in what I’m sure is a busy life you lead. I hope to start off in the industry like you and this blog is so helpful.

  2. Someone says:

    Just wanted to second you on this blog post. I work in legal, but am in that strange “employment limbo” period before bar results come in. I got an interview the other day that was cancelled because “something came up” on their end and it’s yet to be rescheduled. I swear, this industry drives me batshit nuts. It’s always something; best not to talk about any of it until you have your first day of work or whatever that first legit step is.

    Seriously, we must really love entertainment to deal with this mind fuckery so much.

  3. I know what you mean! I’ve been working 60-70 hours for free lately, and every time I mention a job to my parents they think it’s going to be some kind of typical “job” job where I can do it regularly for awhile. I think the whole “freelancing” concept is rather foreign to them.

    Even when they congratulate me for finding work it’s depressing. Getting hired for free isn’t much of an accomplishment. Still…my parents are pretty supportive. I shouldn’t complain.

  4. Just wanted to second you on this blog post. I work in legal, but am in that strange “employment limbo” period before bar results come in. I got an interview the other day that was cancelled because “something came up” on their end and it’s yet to be rescheduled.

  5. Shari says:

    This is great advice, especially for a recent college grad. I’ve gone through quite a few TV jobs and while it’s tempting to tell your parents (and the whole world) about every interview, it’s certainly much more exciting to share news that you’ve actually gotten the job. Better to hold off :)

  6. Ashley L. says:

    I interviewed for a job in mid-October, got an offer for the job, accepted and had to wait until last week to start. The entire time I was thinking about this blog post, and how asking for an entire month off from my day job would jinx it and I would have been out of two jobs. Even on my first day, I didn’t feel safe until I filled out my start paperwork.

    Phew.

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