I was facing unemployment. My spirits were low. I was creating a spreadsheet of my financials — which I aptly titled “How Bad I’m Fucked”. Then a miracle happened. Right as we were wrapping out the production office a new show was starting down the hall — and I overheard the UPM saying they needed a writer’s PA.
Holy — fucking — shit — balls.
That fabled job. My white whale. My Helen of troy. My holy grail. And this wasn’t just some show — this was a BIG NAME produced SERIES for a MAJOR NETWORK. The job would last for over a year — just for the first season. So I hustled my way into scoring an interview. And landed that motherfucker. I had good references. Great work history. A working knowledge of the lot and the surrounding city. A passion for the craft. Everything was lining up perfectly. The interviewer caught himself saying “When you’re hired.” instead of “if you’re hired”. I even had a colleague who knew the show runner and put in a good word. I had this motherfucking cat in the motherfucking bag. No one could stop me.
The gods laughed.
Sometimes all that hard fucking work — the ass busting, the schmoozing, the blood, sweat, and tears — just doesn’t mean shit or hold any god damn weight in this industry. And there is a word for it — NEPOTISM. Not a lot of people like to talk about it — but it’s there. And to give them credit — maybe it wasn’t nepotism. Maybe someone interviewed who was more qualified… who fit better than I. Writer’s PA jobs are notorious for snatching up sons and daughters of the high and mighty. But what are you gonna do? If your EP or one of your writers “suggests” that you to hire someone… why take a risk on pissing that person off for the cost of a measly PA job? It happens all the time. It’s called a political hire — and I’m pretty sure I got politically fucked right out of a job.
I know I shouldn’t have let it bother me. Shrug it off! But I have to be honest — I was fucking depressed. I pretty much locked myself in my room for a week. Here I was… having worked in LA for almost three years. Busting ass in production. WAITING for that chance to move my professional life in the right direction. (I do not want to be a coordinator.) And BAM! the job I needed to make the connections to take me forward in the creative world was destroyed in one single email. “We’ve decided to go with another candidate.” I fell apart. I was so depressed I didn’t even want to watch the new episode of American Horror Story. YEAH! That depressed.
Then after one week of unemployment and depression I got a call and landed a job as an assistant to a big name writer in the biz.
Such is life and the revolving door of doom and destiny.