Last week’s post, Never Quit a Show, seems to have caused some confusion, judging by the comments on Twitter, Facebook, and the post itself.
“Never” is hyperbole. If you’re being harassed, if you’re not being paid what you’re owed, if you’re working in unsafe conditions, then yes, quit. I thought these were pretty obvious caveats, but I guess I was mistaken.
One reason that’s not a good excuse to leave is, you don’t like the end product. Everyone has worked on movies and TV series they don’t like. But it’s also not your fault the show sucks. Quitting because you think you’re working on a bad show is a quick way to never get hired again.
Even if you have a job offer on another show you do like, leaving in the middle of the season is a bad idea. You’re burning a bridge, and you’re probably going to end up hating the show you used to like, anyway.
One positive reason to leave a show is if you’re genuinely being offered a promotion. The ridiculous example offered by a commenter was moving from a reality show PA to a writer’s assistant on a scripted show. This will never, ever happen, but if somehow the laws of space and time break down in your favor, sure, go ahead and take this job.
Far more likely is bumping up from PA to production secretary or writer’s PA to writer’s assistant. Everyone will understand if you take a job with better pay and greater responsibilities.
But none of this was the original question. The original question was, should you leave a sure thing in Chicago for not even the possibility of a job interview in Los Angeles? It wasn’t even a bird in the hand versus two in the bush question; there were no birds in the bush.
If you’re between seasons, take any job you can get, unless the show specifically offers you your job back next season. But don’t leave town just because you think you might be able to get a job in another city. It’s a terrible gamble.