As I’ve mentioned before, for my day job, I work in reality television.
It’s not the focus of this blog, because the goal is to have cooler things to talk about than my day job, right?
However, some people have shown interest in learning how I made my way into the field and what it’s like to work in it.
So, I suppose I’ll start doing some posts about that stuff. And if you find that idea either really interesting or really uninteresting, you can let me know in the comments.
Many people have seemed to want to know – how did I get my first job in television? I was living in Boston (going to Berklee College of Music) at the time. (This is back in 2009.) I’d been doing a fair amount of theater work, and I was checking Craigslist (and any other available sites) all the time for more work.
I wanted to work as much as possible. I desperately wanted to keep building my resume (so I could work for wages that would sustain me after I finished college). (I did not finish college, but I do still sustain myself.)
I didn’t have cable or internet in my apartment. I had no distractions, and I tried my best to be out working as much as I could.
While on Craigslist, I found a posting for an unnamed reality show. I thought to myself, “I bet this isn’t even legitimate. Some random reality show with barely any details listed, and not showing a name, is really hiring in Boston?
Well, I’ll apply. Even if it is some kind of small thing some friends are putting together, as long as it’s in a public place and doesn’t seem genuinely dangerous, I’ll do it. Work is work.”
So, I sent in my resume. I think it was a day later that I got a call. “Hi, I’m from America’s Got Talent. I got your resume off our Craigslist post and was wondering if you’d like to work with us at our Boston auditions next weekend.”
A major network’s summer hit? Of course I will.
So, I was booked to work on the show. I had zero television experience before that. But, I applied because –
a) I applied for everything I was even remotely qualified for.
b) In the few details they did share, it sounded like kind of a live/theatrical show, and I figured that would be a TV show I could realistically work on with my theater credits.
I believe the reason I was hired was because they needed about 30-40 extra production assistants for just two days to help with their Boston auditions. Basically they needed a large group of people for a short amount of time. The L.A.-based show had very few people in Boston they knew, andnd they had a ton of other stuff to worry about.
My guess is that they took the first 30 responses from people who sounded like they probably could handle two days of work well enough to get by. Then they called it a day. I happened upon the right timing.
Incidentally, one of my friends from high school called me shortly after the production coordinator called me. He said he was working on the America’s Got Talent Boston auditions, and asked if he wanted me to have him get me a job.
“So funny you should ask! I was just booked on that show earlier today!”
So, there you have it – how I got my first TV job. (I will loop around and do how I got my first theater job as well.)
Now, how did I turn a 2-day gig into a 3-season-long job, and leverage that into working in television for four years now? How about we talk about that tomorrow?