17 Sep No Stone Left Unturned
My brain was thinking of two paths: the pay rent path and the beef up my producer resume path. I set it up so that I was producing a friend’s short film right as I landed so that I immediately had something to talk about with people. Two weeks after moving, a Catalyst exec connected me to her friend who brought me on to co-produce his short as well; however, I still needed to bring some money in.
I planned a networking event for Catalyst and wanted to use that as another way to let people know I am in LA to stay! After that, I reached out to the rest of my network and told them that I would take any work on set. I don’t have an ego, and I was not afraid to start at the bottom in this way. It took time to hear back, but finally a creator from Catalyst told me he was producing a feature and needed more PA’s. I ran to set an hour later and started working on my first feature film. I was excited, nervous, and so grateful. I had a way to pay rent for that month! Ok, now how about groceries? ::scratches head::
After being on set for a couple hours, the Second AD on that set said to me, “Ok, I don’t know your experience so let me know, but I can tell you are smart and resourceful. I am going to lean on you as my Second-Second AD…” I was just being myself and diving in to help and be of service to the set. This moment showed me that as long as I work hard, and be true to myself, I will get to where I need to go. People will see my potential.
Never knowing how long a check will take to come in, and that one took 45 days, I needed multiple revenue streams to trickle in so I didn’t fall too far behind financially. When I wasn’t on set, days were typically spent looking up jobs. I have the most amazing producing mentor, David Schatanoff (shoutout to Rutgers University!), and he guided me along as I produced those two shorts and connected me to any opportunities he could.
I got on every site I could: LinkedIn (tried the premium for a month, but I personally had no luck with it), The Anonymous Production Assistant, StaffMeUp and Tracking Board (love, love, loved this one) to name a few. I also downloaded Bananatag so that I could see if my emails were opened (just to give me some sense of ease). Finally, my friend (and Catalyst exec) connected me to a post-house in Santa Monica that needed help with Client Services. Between that and random PA gigs, I was finding ways to make ends meet. …but they only met. They didn’t hang out and have a drink together. They met and fled every month. I did not feel any financial security until this job at Netflix started, and even then, I am still getting my head wrapped around my next move in January.
You’ll see my resume where I scribbled down how most of my gigs in LA have come from a connection I made at Catalyst. It’s a web of creators that I am grateful for and proud to be part of.