To volunteer or not volunteer, that is the question.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for me. Go. Go. Go.
I had the opportunity to volunteer as a PA (production assistant) on a film project shooting in the area. For those of you who don't know, a PA is the "low-man" on the totem pole. Often one of the first on set and one of the last to leave. The PA is responsible for providing transportation for cast and crew as needed. The PA is the gopher and does a lot of the needed grunt work. It's a tough position and one that many would not consider volunteering for. In fact, at one point I had reached out for more volunteers on this project and it started quite the debate of whether or not a production company should ask for volunteer PA's and whether or not one should take such a position. I was able to understand both sides. Not everyone can or is willing to accept volunteer work. But for those who can, volunteering as a PA can be a great networking opportunity. Here's my story.
I am a filmmaker. An actress, writer, director. I have previously done PA work, but it is one of my least favorite positions on a production team. So why would I volunteer? Because of the opportunity to network with like-minded people. When I showed up on set, I showed up with a positive attitude and a good work ethic. Although "only" a volunteer, I wanted to continuously put my best foot forward and give 100% to the job I was there to do. That's exactly what I did.
In a matter of three days, I went from volunteer PA to paid production manager to 2nd AD (assistant director) with an LA production company. Generally, that doesn't happen. But it did for me. It did because I showed up, worked hard, stayed positive, and gave my all despite what position I was in. Again, don't expect something like this to happen. It rarely will. BUT it is possible.
Volunteering looks great on resumes and school applications. It builds character and allows for the opportunity to network with other people within your industry. Not only did I get to work with an AMAZING cast and crew, but I may have some other doors opening from this experience.
In everything you do, ALWAYS do your best. Stay positive. Be a servant leader. Believe in yourself and NEVER give up on your dreams!