If I'm an actor, how can I know if the Friends in Film method (getting on set and working as a Production Assistant, Director's Assistant, Producer's Assistant) is right for me?
This is a great question. Basically, you are replacing your survival job with a job on the film set. The best jobs for actors who want to work on set are Production Assistant, Director's Assistant, and Producer's Assistant. These jobs are great because everyone knows you are using these jobs to GET SOMEWHERE. You should present yourself as someone who wants to learn as much as you can about the industry you are excelling in.
At the same time, you will want to continue to take acting classes, act in plays, invest in great headshots, build your reel… You will be meeting a lot of people who can give you opportunities, but you should not expect opportunities when you haven't done the work yourself. Don't expect anyone to hand you anything…
That being said, if you're working on set, and you know how to act, opportunities will come just by being in the right place and knowing the right people.
You can meet A LOT of people because every shoot, you work with different production teams! For instance, this week, I'm working 10 shoot days in a row on 6 different shoots. A few are 1 day shoots, the rest are 2 day shoots. Every shoot, it's a whole new group of people. In a month, you can easily meet 50 new people… all professionals who work in the business.
How many film industry professionals are you meeting every month right now? You may meet some people at film festivals and screenings, but the people you really want to meet are working.
Bottom line, the relationships that are valuable are with professionals who are working. And relationships develop from working together.
So, perhaps you're tired of your survival job. Maybe it zaps the inspiration out of you. It's low paying or you simply don't like it.
You may love the idea of making money working on set. If you love the set environment, if you're interested in the whole process, if you want to be on set like 200 days a year, and get a real perspective on what the industry really is… then working on set may be a good option for you.
As an actor, you know you need relationships. Acting coaches will tell you to network as much as you can. Actors go to events to see people speak, take copious notes, and send handwritten notes.
But, It's just not the same as knowing people personally.
The only way you really get to know someone is by spending time with them. And really, that happens through work. When you work all the time, you get to know the people you work with, pretty well. You grow to really care about each other, and it's great when your relationships are people who are working all the time in the business.
Will you eventually stop working as a Production Assistant, working as an Assistant and earn your money entirely as an actor? Yes of course! You must also be very disciplined and not get drawn into the money … and stop pursuing your acting career.
But you may find another job you love in the film industry too. It's up to you! But exposure to all the jobs in the film industry can't hurt!
Finally, consider this. Most actors have nobody to get real answers from. They search on the internet, ask their acting coach, perhaps are lucky enough to have a mentor. But when you're surrounded by people who are working, and at the top of their game, right now… those are the people you want to learn from. Not only are they amazing connections, but also great guidance for your career. I subscribe to the line of thinking that I get my answers from people who are doing it. They know.
Bottom line, if you're happy with the way things are going, don't change it, in fact, perhaps you want to do more of what you're doing.
But if you're not satisfied with your career, your professional relationships, and want to learn about the industry, then this may be a great avenue.
Let me tell you, you must be determined like a mother-fxxxxx. You must know your goal and know it's up to you to move it forward. You are in the right place (the film set) with the right people… but it's still all up to you. No one will hand you anything. But if you take your knowledge and learning into your own hands and people see the desire to learn, to grow, they'll want to help you.
Friends in Film people think differently. We are out of the box thinkers. We are learning every day in the environment we LOVE. We create amazing lives from the experiences we have, the shoots we are involved with, and TAKING CHARGE of our relationships, our knowledge, and our destiny.