Eli Roth was a production assistant who made connections and found success as a writer/director/producer. Bill Hader was a production assistant who went on to be a regular on SNL. The list goes on… it all seems so easy.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and it doesn’t get much more start-y than being a production assistant. Plenty of people have worked their way up from PA to department head or even director.
Have you ever had difficulty landing a gig as a PA? Imagine how much harder it is to be hired as the director.
Now, I’m not saying you should give up on your dream. If you want to be a director (or writer or producer or whatever), go for it. But don’t let the outliers fool you into thinking it’s easy.2