Hi, I’m Michael Jamin. I’m a professional television writer. I’m here to talk about entry-level jobs to break into Hollywood.
These are low-level jobs that require no skill or training, and you get in, and then once you’re there, you can move up to a director or producer or a screenwriter or something like that. Right?
1. Become an Agent’s Assistant
So one job would be a personal assistant, and you could become an assistant to, let’s say, an agent. If you want to go the agency track, that’s interesting.
2. Become an Executive Assistant
You could become an assistant to an executive, a creative executive at a studio or network, or at a production company. And you’re sitting at their desk, and you’re answering their phones, and you’re learning how they do their trade, which is good.
3. Become a Showrunner’s Assistant
You could become an assistant to a showrunner. So the head writer of a show is often called the showrunner, right? And so they usually have an assistant. So you’re sitting at their desk, you’re helping out with all the clerical stuff. I did that for at least a year and a half, and it was a great experience. I definitely recommend that, if you can get that job.
4. Become an Office Production Assistant
You can become a production assistant. So there are many types of PAs. You can become an office PA. On a show or a movie, they have people who work in the office. Their job is to make coffee, go on run, make copies, get lunch, stuff like that. That’s an office PA.
5. Become a Set Production Assistant
You could become a set PA. So there you’re actually on location. You’re on the set. Maybe you’re on location, or maybe you’re on the soundstage, or whatever. But if you’re on location, you may have seen a set PA. They’re usually the ones who are furthest away from the action. They have a headset on, and they’re the ones stopping traffic. They’re the ones stopping people from crossing on the sidewalk, “Please wait. We’re shooting a scene.” You know?
6. Become A Night Production Assistant
You can become a night PA. Some shows, at least back when I was starting out; I’m not sure they still have them, but I was offered a job as a night PA on Roseanne. Remember that show? And the job was from midnight to like noon every day.
I wound up turning down that job and taking a job that was better for me because of the idea of… I’m not a night person. The idea of being awake while everyone is asleep and driving around to deliver things, scripts, and tapes in the middle of the night wasn’t for me. But for some people, it is. They would like that job.
So there are many different ways to break in. Are these jobs easy to get? No. Nothing worth getting is easy. So don’t complain about, “You have to know someone; you have to know someone.”
If you feel that way, then get to know people, right? Come out to Los Angeles and meet people and make your networking, make it part of your job.
Follow me on Instagram @MichaelJaminWriter.