So there you are, working your ass off as a PA, running around and doing ridiculous tasks that you will never be able to properly explain to your parents.
You love what you do as much as you hate it and you know this is the bottom rung of the Industry ladder. But have you ever had that moment when you just stop what you are doing, and realize you are being taken advantage of?
Okay, okay, calm down. I know you read that last sentence and said, “Well, duh.”1 But I’m not talking about normal, everyday, do-a-hundred-weird-jobs-get-yelled-at-and-not-get-any-credit kind of taking advantage.
Just recently, I came off a small film shoot. 20 person crews, low budget, where they ask you as a favor to work super cheap/free. (You know the one I’m talking about.)
Here of some of the jobs I did:
- PA (You know, the things I was “hired” to do.)
- Art Department Assistant (Okay, this is pretty fun; I can swing this.)
- Assistant Props (Hmm. Not sure if I know enough about art to handle props.)
- Assistant Production Coordinator (The real coordinator couldn’t be on set, so I was in charge of getting everyone to fill out paperwork.)
- Assistant Location Manager (I did pretty much everything but get the permits.)
- Crafty (My car smells like a convenience store. Ugh.)
- Animal Wrangler (Wait… what? Suddenly I’m in charge of the animals and have to take them home from set each night.)
Basically I got the shit kicked out of me.
I have some question for all of you loyal readers out there:
- Have you ever worked on a project that you were ridiculously overworked and taken advantage of? (Exceeding regular PA insanity.)
- How do you decide if it is enough to quit? Do you continue to get taken advantage of because you don’t want to burn a bridge? Are the experience and connections is worth it to you to stay? It’s still better than nothing right?
- Can someone mail me a pizza? I’m hungry.
- You shouldn’t talk to the computer, weirdo.↩