I was wondering how do you deal with a company asking for a 1-2 year commitment. Of course I’m going to say yes if they’re asking for commitment. Are they just trying to scare the non-committed away? What are the consequences of leaving for a better job? Is it right for me to accept a job, thinking I may want to leave in a few months because a job I’ve been waiting for might open up?
I assume you’re asking about jobs on the UTA Joblist, or something you found on Entertainment Careers. Those are much more like regular jobs in the real world than production. There, changing jobs every few months makes you look flakey and unreliable. In production, working more than six months on a given show is as much a matter of luck as anything else.
Leaving in less than a year will burn your bridges. If you’re just looking for a paycheck to carry you until your next show, fine, whatever. But if you’re genuinely trying to build your career and make connections with the suits, don’t take the job unless you really plan on committing.
There’s an opportunity cost to everything that you do.1 Yes, taking this job might mean passing up another job later. But not taking this job might mean starving if you don’t get that other job later. You have to weigh all of these factors when you consider accepting a position.
One last piece of advice– don’t count on being offered a better job later. This business is way too fickle. In Hollywood, a bird in the hand is worth at least a dozen in the bush.2