Once upon a time there was a girl who could not see herself fit into any mold, so she took a leap of faith and went after her dreams. And so it began, almost ten years ago, when for the first time I stepped onto a set and never felt more in tune with myself and every organ in my body, screaming this is what we are going to do for the rest of our lives.
After all these years, I love being part of a process that you can see the result and be part of a team that is in my opinion creating magic through story telling. The moments that have really stuck with me are moments when every single crew member is on the same page and the energy put forth is incredible; it truly makes you feel that you are part of something bigger.
Any given role in a crew is challenging and difficult in their own way; for PAs who are
primarily starting out in their career, it is an overwhelming experience, right from facing
the energy on set, to the long hours, to the erratic work hours and, to be very honest, the
meager compensation given. One has to be fairly certain on taking the challenge on
and somewhat be mentally and emotionally ready to know what they are getting into.
Having immediate superiors who look out for you and give you chances to push
yourself in a healthy way and experience something new. The thing about the
entertainment industry that I personally feel is that you cannot study it or go to a
college to learn it; it may give you a broad framework to know what there is, but you
only truly learn on the field. So, the more you work, the more you learn. Having worked
almost ten years in this industry from back in India to now here in the States, it is clear that no two shows are alike, even if you have the same crew. Everyday there will be something
new; expect the unexpected, and be able to work through it.
I have personally been truly blessed to have worked with teams where everyone is
heard, seen and understood, which truly helps you go above and beyond. Small
actions can help PA’s truly help, grow and feel supported. Right from having a slight
increment to the hourly rate, better turnaround and someone there to explain to them
the HOW and WHY of things. I personally had to do a lot of re-learning simply because there was no one to guide me early on.
The one big thing I hope happens is that there will be a legit / proper database for PA’s. A
lot of getting around (getting work) is still through word out mouth or networking. If there was a designated place where they can register and Production Houses / ADs have access to it, I feel it will truly help existing and upcoming PAs to pursue their dreams.