Other Jobs

Gabriella tweeted me:

Advice on managing part time nonPA jobs with being a PA? I got a chance to work on a film, & said no due to my other shit job.

Sometimes you hit a dry spell, and you just can’t find any work. It happens to the best of us.1 That’s life in a freelance world.

Sometimes you just have to take another job. Like actors, you could become a waiter or bartender in your down time. Or maybe you could explore other areas of the entertainment industry, like music or video games.

But if you really want to work your way up in film and television, you have to be willing to leave that job at a moment’s notice. There’s no two week’s notice in production. When you get a job offer, you have to be ready to take it, right then and there.

Yes, this will burn your bridge at the other job. But do you care? Is that the job you want? If it is, why are you writing me?

If you get a job offer, take it. You don’t know when the next one will come along.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Meaning, of course, me.
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6 Responses

  1. My advice on outside jobs? Don’t have one.

    Early on in my career I had been warned if I was gonna pursue a career in production those are the only jobs I should take. Period. Well, three months in with one unpaid feature and nothing else under my belt, I cracked, and took a day job at a bookstore. Literally the minute I’m finalizing my paperwork at my new job I got a call to work 3 days on Mythbusters. I had to say no. Been kicking myself since.

    I quit that bookstore job a month later, and began following that early advice to the letter. To survive solely on production jobs. Keep in mind, I’m not in some super hopping film region like LA or NY. Yes, in those early days for me there were litterally months in between a smattering of one-to-two day jobs. But I spent every minute in between sending resumes out, networking my ass off, even doing the occasional freebie job. The decision required me to move back in with my parents. 3 years later I’m nearly 26 and just now got my own place. Yep, it took that long to finally pay off, but pay off it did. I’m working consistently now and it feels great. Things might go differently for others. I’m always envious of people who’s first production job led to all the others. I had a year and a half of false starts before I started getting callbacks and recommendations. But I stuck with it.

  2. I try to take as much as I can. I mainly do translations and most of them are for tv shows (interviews or international formats)…at Ieast I get to write! Something I don’t get to do while working as PA!

  3. I work in film in a very narrow specialty (not on set) as a freelancer. I NEVER turn down a job. I might have to subcontract part of it, but I always take work.

  4. In a perfect world, yeah, you take that job, but what if you can’t? It seems that there are fewer paying PA jobs these days. Money sure as hell doesn’t grow on trees, and most of us working class folk don’t have the convenience of rich uncles/moms/dads/whatever. You can’t panhandle in place of that shit job. Or maybe you can? I don’t know, I’ve never tried it?

    Best of luck to ya.

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