Today was a surprisingly long day.
I was supposed to be doing my usual nothing…
A few weeks back I had applied for a production assistant job in Brooklyn that was paying $200 for the day.
They emailed me back saying “I’m sorry, we got the budget wrong. It will only be $100 dollars for the day, are you all right with that?”
Of course $100 is still fine.
I waited for weeks for a reply and didn’t get one until 9:30pm last night.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see it until 10:30pm.
The email said that one of the PAs dropped out and they really needed my help. Since call was at 6am and it was such short notice, they doubled the day rate (basically just making it the original rate) to $200 for the day.
I got to the shoot in Park Slope 25 minutes early and decided to get some breakfast and coffee while I researched the dating website that I had never heard of before that I was about to work for.
I got there just as two others did. One was definitely the wardrobe guy. He was too chic to not be. I decided, in my head, that the other girl was his assistant.
She was someone important.
I walked in and met the woman I’d be working for, who was absolutely adorable and looked so familiar. She said we’d be putting our stuff down stairs and then I would be going to get the bagels and coffee for breakfast.
Most people get angry on a set when this is their first job. I tend to not understand that. If someone is paying me $200 for 10 hours worth of work, I’d give them a sock to creepily smell if they asked for it (and an extra $20 – It’s only a sock, after all).
Not only will I happily get bagels, but setting them up and handing them to everyone will get everyone to know me. It’s kind of like feeding a cat, they don’t necessarily want to hang out with you… but they know that you feed them so they’re going to come over once in a while.
I put my stuff downstairs and start talking to two people who look like the cool kids. Maybe this dude and chick are the other PA’s. Maybe the one is the camera guy (always a good friend to make).
He started looking for a pen, I offered one of the two from my hair. — Here is a tip for the industry by the way – always carry a pen.
First off, it makes people think you are smart. I’m not saying carry a pen because no one will think you’re smart unless you do, but what if a girl wants to give you her phone number? What if you get offered a job? What if you meet Ryan Gosling in the street?
That shit could happen.
Not only all of that, but having a pen shows the people above you that you are always prepared – and they never have a pen so you’ll be their new best friend.
Anyway, this guy didn’t need a pen, but we laughed about it and I told a story from my waitressing days about a pen stealer we had at work (a part of my schtick). He laughed. I excused myself.
I find the producer again to do some bagel talk and she says that I should meet the creative director for the company…
Turns out it was the cool kid I was talking to down stairs.
He continued the joke as he shook my hand.
The producer’s face was priceless.
As I’m waiting at 6:45am for bagels that weren’t supposed to even be picked up until 7am, a girl walks in. She comes over and introduces herself as the other PA. I immediately forgot her name. I wasn’t doing this out of spite or because she wasn’t high enough on the totem pole, it was just 6:45 in the morning and I assumed I could catch it again when the producer was talking to us (and I did).
The first thing, after a free breakfast that I ate even though I had a small breakfast a little over an hour earlier, that we did was start wall paper-ing the most beautiful brick wall I had ever seen. As we ghetto-rigged the wall paper with tape, I got a little sad…
Then I realized that we’d be helping the set decorator/prop lady all day.
We got moved outside and help make flower arrangements, mix drinks, and salads look pretty. Then we finished the wall papering and made milk shakes out of melted icecream (for set).
At lunch, the PAs, per usual, were last to the table, and the only two spots open were next to the creative director.
He loved awesomely bad movies, so we had a lot to talk about at lunch. This was not the first time talking about movies like Troll 2…
Or The Room…
had gotten me an “in spot” at the lunch table.
The creative director suggested I watched a terrible Animal Planet show called “My Cat From Hell”.
It was truly an awful suggestion, that I thanked him for it many times.
After that I kind of just had to walk a bike around Brooklyn.
I kept talking to the other PA about how hard it is to find PA jobs and that many of them don’t pay. I almost said something to the effect of “but thank god this one does”, but for some reason the air felt odd… so I didn’t.
I also had to skip being a paid audience member of Trashy Maury – But if you’re going to offer me $200 for the day or a $25 gift card for the day… I’m gonna take the $200.
Later I found out the other PA wasn’t getting paid. What must have happened was they put out the ad for $200 a day, then saw who would take $100, and then figured they might as well try to get people to work for free… which worked pretty well until the other PA dropped out (which ended up working out pretty well for me).
All in all, it was a great time, getting great experience, with great people… and now I have a dating website to recommend and a great terrible show to watch.
After adding her on LinkedIn, I also found out where I had seen that producer. Broadway.