S. writes in:
I started out as an intern last year on [redacted tabloid show]. Before my internship was over, I was offered a freelance Set PA position. The season ended in May, and I stayed on in the summer to work in the office. A few weeks ago, the EP asked me into her office and basically told me that I will be a Booker PA next season and could possibly be an Associate Producer by the end of the season if I perform well.
My problem is… not really a problem, but I would like to be in a bigger market. I mean, of course, I want the AP position, but I don’t want to get stuck in a 2 year contract, and I also don’t want to be stuck doing this type of television. But I also understand that leaving is basically starting over and its definitely going to be harder to work my way up in a larger market. I really would like to work on something scripted and I don’t know if being and AP here, would allow me that opportunity in the future.
You really have to decide if this is a job, or an adventure.
If you really (want to) care about your job, you need to seriously think about whether you’ll be happy working in reality for the rest of your career. Because once you become a producer, that’s pretty much where you’ll be.
Some people are perfectly happy with reality shows. Hell, millions of people watch them every week. If you like that, more power to you.
But that’s not you. You want to get into scripted, and wants to work in a major market, like Los Angeles or New York. With a year of PAing under his belt, now’s the time to move. You’re young, you have no responsibilities or anything tying you down. Just go.
Sitting around and thinking about it isn’t going to get you closer to your goals. Doing something will. Go to one of those major markets, meet people, show them your resume to prove your experience, and back it up with skills on the set.
There’s no guarantee you’ll make it, but if you don’t try, I guarantee you won’t make it.