Consistent Work

Pat writes in:

I really enjoy your site and it has given me many tips that really have been helping over the past few months. I am a PA working in New York. I have gotten a decent amount of jobs, but really not a sustainable amount.

A few months ago, I went to the Mayor’s office to try to get on a regular show or to see who I should contact. They really couldnt help me and gave me mailing addresses to send resumes to. This seemed crazy, but I sent resumes and never heard anything back. I didn’t know if you had any tips on how to get on a regular job here, the majority of my work has been a day here and a day there. Any help would be definitely appreciated!

I’ve also attached my resume, not sure if you had any tips on how I could maybe improve it / get it down to one page.

The film office in places like New York and Los Angeles are unlikely to help a PA find work. The reason is, local productions don’t have any trouble finding PAs on their own. This situation can be different in smaller markets, but you’re out of luck in the big film cities.

So what’s a PA to do?

Unfortunately, the answer is to keep doing what you’re doing. Work a day here and a day there. Work hard. Be the PA on set. Leave a good final impression.

I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but this will eventually pay off. You’ll start get a reputation, and people will want to bring you back. Eventually, you’ll get called in for the entire shoot, not just a day or two. Soon, you’ll have several shows competing for your attention.

You just have to make every day count.

As for tips on resumes, I’d start here. If you need more specific help, I offer a resume editing service just for film crew. Production resumes are totally different from the standard templates you find in Microsoft Word.

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One Response

  1. Pat! Good to hear that TAPA has other East Coast readers. Good to hear you’re reaching out to the Film office and following up with all of the addresses that they do give you. You’ll hear a hundred no’s, but you never know when timing is in your favor and someone happened to call out sick two minutes before your resume popped onto the APOCs desk.

    Also, it’s good to hear that you’re already working here and there. Don’t worry, this will blossom. The natural course of networking will take hold. Just make a good impression, keep in touch, and follow up respectfully. Make friends!!! They’ll keep calling you back and spreading your name around.

    I do recommend to stop by sets to hand off your resume to their key PA, or frankly any PA. We all often find ourselves scouring our phones for someone to work last minute and would happy to add another contact provided that you leave the right impression. Aka, be respectful, ask for advice and not for a job. I say not to come right out and ask for a job, because people will want to help you but not feel put on the spot. You can turn “advice” into a job if you follow up in an appropriate way. Even further, people want to help their friends. Make friends!!! Most bars in Brooklyn or Astoria will have PAs hanging out. Call the PAs to hang out on the jobs you already worked with them on.

    Find the local film fests in these neighborhoods and ask to jump on a team. A surprising amount of union people are working on these shorts on the weekend for fun and can carry you further. Craig’s list. “Local Zero Heroes” is a large and fairly well known facebook group with PAs in NY from all walks of the industry, so please join it if you haven’t already.

    Good luck, be safe, and I hope to meet you on a job some day!

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