Trust Your Instincts

I reader wrote in about an odd job interview she obtained through my site:

I got an interview for [company], but it’s in an apartment and no one signed their name on the email so I can’t even confirm the company or producer. I’ve generally only been to interviews in offices and am unsure whether to proceed, it sounds a little weird. Is there a way to confirm whether this is a legitimate job? Even if you can’t say who it is, a yes or no would make this meeting a lot less difficult to accept. Thanks!

The problem is, there’s almost no way to confirm that any of the job notices are legit. It’s the Internet.

Nobody knows you're a dog.

It’s not uncommon to not list the company or person you’re interviewing with. If you’re reasonably famous or powerful in Hollywood, a lot of weirdos come out of the woodwork if you put your contact info out there.

For the most part, though, I think they are legitimate jobs and internships. (At least, as far as internships can be legitimate.) The thing is, most scammers don’t want to actually meet you in person, so there’s no incentive to create a fake job interview. Unless, of course, they’re trying to lure you into their apartment.

Hey, it's that guy from the meme!
Hey, kid, want a job interview?

A job interview should probably take place in an office environment, but due to the vagaries of our business, that’s not always possible.  More than once I’ve had an interview at a coffee shop (but not for a coffee shop, you know?) before the production office was set up.

Home Office

You might also find yourself interviewing for a job at a home if it’s more of a personal assistant position. This can come up with writers and producers, who often work out of their homes when not actually in production. If that’s what kind of job this is, though, they should say so in the job notice.

If they give you an address like 123 Main St., #218, and you show up to find that’s apartment 218 instead of suite 218, this should give you pause. When you get a weird feeling about being alone with someone, especially in their own home, trust that instinct. Your gut sometimes figures things out before your brain has had time to process.

Get Out

I don’t want anyone reading this to get a wrong impression. Most people in the movie industry, like most people in most industries, are decent. But if you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, you’ll know there are a lot of creeps in this business, too.

Victor Salva and the Creeper.
Pictured above: a real creeper and a fictional one.

I’ve written about harassment before. And I’m not the only one. Producers harassing stars get the headlines, but it happens at all levels of the Industry. The best thing you can do is to get yourself out of a bad situation, report it, and support others who speak out against it.

A Ray of Hope

A major contributor to these sorts of issues is the simple fact that most of the people running Hollywood are men. They may even be good men, by and large. The thing is, men just don’t experience or even see the harassment, assault, or worse; at least not as often as women do.

After this rather depressing post, you should really read this article from Kristin Thompson about the rise female producers. We haven’t reached parity by any means, but things are moving in the right direction, and there is hope.

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One Response

  1. I saw very few female producers, writers, or directors when I first started in Hollywood back in the late 70’s. I did see lots of female PA’s, though, and many of those stuck with it to rise through the ranks. The last few shows I did had a fair share of female producers, writers, and a growing number of directors. These things take time, but the change is underway — and may well be accelerated by the ongoing explosion of harrasment revelations.

    That said, you’re right on about trusting your instincts. Listen to that quiet little voice inside…

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