How Being a Production Assistant Can Lead to Awesome Things

How Being a Production Assistant Can Lead to Awesome Things

This past Monday I got to work as a production assistant on the same film I worked on a couple weeks ago.

We were in the same location but this day was much different than the first day I was there. The first day was mostly spent dressing and undressing the set. This time, there wasn’t really much to dress, so I mostly just set up the craft services table and ran errands as needed.

I did, however, have three big things that happened for me that day:

  1. Halfway through the day, one of the main actors arrived. He spotted me and came right up and said, “Hi, I’m Marshall.” He asked my name and my position and if he had met me yet. It was not until hours later, when I heard other people talking about the movies he had been in (“Twins”, “Starship Troopers”) that I realized this was a much bigger star than I thought. Finally, someone mentioned his last name (Bell) and I looked him up on imdb. He’s done a ton of stuff! I apparently need to start watching more movies so I recognize stars when I meet them, lol. He was the nicest guy. We got to chat a little bit (he has actually heard of the town I live in!) and, because I had no idea who he was, I was not nervous to talk to him.
  2. One of the crew members and I got to talking about our film goals. He told me he would try to help me get on sets as a PA when he hears of openings, so I gave him one of my business cards. Now I have a great contact in the business! 🙂
  3. I got to act in the film!! The first time I was on set, the director asked me what my film goals are, and I told him I’d like to be and actor and a script supervisor. He said he could probably put me in the film. So, at the end of the day Monday, he gave me a part as a waitress and on the spot wrote a couple lines for me to say. I even got paid for it. 🙂 It was small but super exciting!

What I have learned from working on this film:

  1. Be vocal about your goals and aspirations. I sometimes feel silly telling people I’m an actor. I worry I’m not good enough to say that yet. What if they give me a role and I suck at it? But because I ignored those fears and told him (and everyone who asked) that yes, I am an actor, I got a role I otherwise would not have gotten.
  2. Being patient and nice (but also persistent) really pays off. I was worried I would annoy the director by messaging him so much about working on the set, but at the same time he had so much on his plate that I had to be in touch regularly to figure out when and where he needed me. At the end he thanked me for all my help and for my patience throughout the two months we spent talking about the film. And now I have another awesome contact. 🙂
  3. I have no problem working 12+ hour days when it’s something I’m passionate about. I was worried about how I would fare when I learned most days on set last that long, but I think because I feel like I’m moving forward with my goals they are no problem at all.

Pick one thing you’ve been wanting to try and go for it. That’s what I did with acting. I’d been wanting to try it for years before I actually did, and ever since I finally got brave enough to do my first audition it has taken me on such an amazing journey.


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