A friend of mine got a new gig recently. When introduced to the producer, the producer said, “Really? I wanted the nicer walkie talkies, but I can’t afford them and your rate, too. Fuck. Well, good for you.”
This is not to say those walkies were expensive. It’s ridiculous to suggest a production couldn’t afford some gear because of one PA’s salary. An actor with one line in one scene is guaranteed, by SAG, more money in one day than we make in a week. I know of actors and producers who stay in hotels, on the production’s dime, that cost more per night than I make in two weeks.
PAs get paid next to nothing. I am so poor, I have to borrow money to be broke. I’m so poor, I can’t even pay attention. I’m so poor, I can’t even give you my two cents.
What I’m getting at is, PAs don’t make a ton of money, and we need to save every little penny we can. Here’s a few ways:
- Sign up for rewards programs. Ralph’s, Staples, anywhere you shop with the company’s money. Ralph’s gives you, I think, 5% cash back after you spend a few hundred dollars. Buy an office’s worth of crafty every week, and that’s a lot of grocery money.
- Similar to the above, sign up for Coke Rewards. Every production office goes through gallons of Coke products (Pepsi isn’t as popular, for some reason). The points add up quickly, and you can get free stuff, like movie tickets or restaurant gift cards.
- This is an obvious one, but when I’m on a show, I basically only pay for meals on the weekends. Breakfast and lunch are always catered, of course. If you’re smart, you’ll take a second plate to eat at home (or, sadly, at your desk, still waiting for wrap seven hours later).
And then there are less legitimate ways, too.1
If you have more money saving ideas, share them in the comments!
- I edited these out, on the premise that I bear some responsibility to what some of my greener readers might do upon reading my blog.↩