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Applying to be a Writer’s PA

J asks:

I called up some shows a couple weeks back and asked if they were hiring, and of course they were all staffed up, but said I could fax a resume that they’d “keep on file”.

Now I know you’ve written that if you want to be an Office PA you should contact the production coordinator and for Set PAs the ADs. If you want to be a Writer’s PA, then is that still just an office PA and contact the coordinator or should they be sent to someone else?

Also, those people I called told me to either address any faxes to them or just put “production”. Do you think that’s even remotely a good idea?

The writers’ PA, assistant, and coordinator are unusual in that they’re relatively low-level positions, but report directly to the producers of the show. Generally speaking, writer/producer/show runners don’t have the time or energy to sift through resumes, like a coordinator would for an office PA. Instead, they simply hire a) the first PA they see in the office, b) their nephew/cousin/husband’s frat brother, or c) whoever the Line Producer (i.e. “actual producer“) recommends, probably from pool a) or b).

Sending your resume to “production” or whichever PA answered the phone is like dropping into a black hole– you’ll most likely be crushed by the unfeeling forces of nature, and if you escape, it’ll be due to luck and that fact that I don’t really understand either side of this metaphor.

Strange that it doesn't actually look black...
Put it right there.

That being said, it’s a “good idea” in the “it couldn’t hurt” sense. Last month, I actually did pull resumes from the file for the first time in my career, and we hired someone from that pile. So, it can happen.

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3 Responses

  1. Possibly… right now, we’re working on a few volunteer only (ie: not for profit) productions, but we’ve got a couple for profit ones in planning. Feel free to send me an email!

    Best,
    Rob

  2. Re: “whoever the Line Producer (i.e. “actual producer“) recommends”

    Ummm… wow! Don’t know what to say to that, but indeed it’d be nice if the world understood what that position entailed. 🙂

    I am glad that in our production, people do know, including very appreciative execs.

    Best,
    Rob
    (Line Producer)

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