Erica writes in:
First, I want to thank you for all of your awesome advice– I know it’s greatly appreciated by your readers and once-blind-wanderers like myself.
Secondly, I want to ask about getting work before moving down to LA. I know that in previous posts you’ve said you need to be in LA to even be considered. I graduated college last May and am giving myself one more month to get a job in the industry before throwing in the towel to just get a better paying job than one I have now (nice for getting gigs, but not REALLY for sustaining yourself). I completely support myself and simply can’t move from the Bay Area without something lined up.
I’m wondering what your feelings are about using a friend’s address to get jobs and then, if after finally getting a bite, giving myself a couple of days to get down there or let them know that I am in the process of moving.
Side note: Why are you giving them your address? It’s not like they’re going to write you a letter. It’s just taking up space on your resume. /endaside
But if it somehow comes up, I think it’s fine to say you live in Los Angeles, as long as you can get there (or wherever the production is) within a day.
But don’t tell them that.
You want to make this process as easy as possible for them. Any indication that hiring you will cause a headache for them, means they’ll just move on to the next PA. Don’t tell them you’re moving, and don’t ask for several days’ notice.
Generally speaking, ADs and coordinators want you to interview the following day (or the day they call), and they want you to start working within a week. The moment you get an interview, you need to pack your bag, get in your car, and head down the five. Worry about moving your stuff later.
You’ll almost never get offered a job from a phone interview. You really do have to be there for that. If you don’t land the first gig, it’s back to San Francisco for you. It’s up to you if you can take that kind of commute.
As I said, sometimes they want to hire you the same day that they call. Another white lie can fix that. “Oh, I’m on set, right now. Can I come by tomorrow?” If they ask when you wrap, give them a time like “Probably 11:00pm, but that’s being optimistic.” Everyone understands the vagaries of production; they’ll accept that.
Are you cool with all that lying? Maybe you should be an agent, instead.