I’m currently an Office PA on a studio film. It definitely has its perks, but it’s not without its troubles (which I’ve documented in detail). Fortunately for me, this job will keep me employed through the end of the year, which, for a movie, is like an eternity. They might as well be offering me a 401k.
Over the weekend, a Production Supervisor that I’ve worked with called to offer me a Director’s Assistant position on her new movie – a low-budget horror film. I was at the Arclight when I found out about this interview. This was my response:
I figured that this was the key to someday directing on my own. I’d quit my current job, take this new one, impress the director so much that he would inevitably offer me his agent and a three-picture deal. (My over-active imagination is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness.) When I got home, I made a list – just to cover my bases – of what this new job would have to offer in order for me to quit my current job.
- Comparable pay.
- Continued employment through at least Halloween.
- A job that I’d be excited about going to, i.e. I don’t want to just get coffee and make copies. (I already do that now.)
Monday, I went into work, having already told the APOC about the interview. That afternoon, I interviewed with the Production Supervisor, and it sounded like the dream job that I pictured in my head.
Then she told me that the movie wraps in mid-August… less than eight weeks from today.
I was up front with her. I couldn’t afford to take the job. I thanked her for the opportunity. But before I left, she asked, “TAPA, what do you ultimately want to do?”
I reluctantly admitted, “I want to write and direct.”
She shook her head slightly and said, “That’s fine, TAPA. I understand that you have bills to pay. But at some point, you’re gonna have to take your shot.”
I’m pretty confident I made the right decision. I enjoy the show I’m on. I enjoy the people. I’m almost positive that they’ll hire me again or that I might be able to parlay this into a Director’s Assistant or Producer’s Assistant job in the future. This show will allow me to pay off my credit card debt and travel and buy my family Christmas gifts.
But I don’t think I’ll ever forget what she said: “At some point, you’re gonna have to take your shot.”