Being a PA has really changed my life. I have learned so much about people skills, they way the industry is run (obviously) and to be honest, having thick skin, but also, how to be a part of a team and work together to handle anything thrown our way.
Being a production assistant requires you to be 5 steps ahead at all times, be able to have 3 conversations at the same time (Walkie, texting, and in person) and be able to professionally handle really any situation to pop up while working on set.
I would say 95% of the time crew and actors know this is how it is and give grace and credit due. I would say that’s the biggest thing to keep pushing forward, to be recognized taking on this insane job and as well as doing it for minimum wage. As much as I have worked with teams that show no consideration, my AD team on Netflix's Rebel Moon that will be released this year really took care of me and my needs and didn’t make me feel like I would lose my job over being a human.
I am sober as well as deal with a lot of depression, and on Tuesdays I would be released early to attend my therapy session as well as my support group for my sobriety. That may not seem like a big deal to the average Joe, but if you work on set you will know how much that helps and what it means. Usually if you ask for any special treatment in that way, they would replace you before you could even finish your sentence on why you needed it.
I felt looked out for, seen and most of all heard.
Being a PA is a very hard job, and so when you get shown even the smallest drop of gratitude, it goes a long way. Please know if you ever look out for a PA, you don’t make a joke about sitting, or even ask how their day is, and if you can grab them something while stuck in a far lock up, it goes SUCH A LONG WAY, AND THEY WILL REMEMBER IT FOREVER. TRUST. ME.
It doesn’t take much to be there for the underdog and you may just turn their day around when they need it most. My dream is to have the industry be a place people want to stay and not be run into the ground. We’re just making ideas come alive, we’re not saving lives. And that’s something I will never forget after being told.