What Did I Mean By “Sacrifice More” To Get Into Scripted Television? – Part 1 (Realizing How Tough It Is To Move Up)

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

This is another multi-part story that was sitting in my drafts. So, what if we get to it? 🙂

A while ago, I said I’d continue telling you more about my day jobs (working in reality television) – talking a bit more about my career trajectory and what it was like to work on certain shows.

So, how about we start that now?

In one of my posts, I said, “If you want advice on breaking into scripted, well, I’ve got nothing for you. Go figure out how to do it, and get back to me. My guess is, a lot of the ideas in these posts still ring true, it’s just a matter of meeting/knowing different people, and/or getting a different lucky break and/or sacrificing more than I did.”

But I felt like the sacrificing more part sounded almost sort of cryptic and didn’t necessarily make sense. So, this post is to talk about what I meant by that.

Once my first show was ending, I got an interview at a sitcom – a sitcom I loved, by the way (though it never got wildly popular, it still managed to reach that magic number of 100 episodes). And they offered me an internship.

For whatever reason, going in, I thought I was interviewing to be an intern with the writers, but I learned it was a production internship. Basically, it was going to be a more-than-full-time job – 5 days a week of days that could be 16 hours or more.

They did have random full weeks off here and there. So, it wouldn’t have been that schedule day in and day our for four months, though that would’ve often been the schedule.

I wanted to take it! And I do believe that if you want something badly enough, you will figure out a way to make it work. But I was feeling… I guess perhaps a tad jaded at the time.

I’d given a lot to my first job in terms of traveling myself around the country for two seasons. All that materialized into was working not even full-time in the summer. And I didn’t move up from PA at the end of the season (even though I pretty much worked my butt off). There kind of seemed to be… this club… ish that I didn’t belong to (or at least that’s what it felt like).

And I felt I could tell (though who really knows) that this wasn’t going to be a show where I moved up – or at least it probably wouldn’t be. It can be hard for anyone in general to move up, because on an established show like that, barely anyone ever leaves.

Also, in order to move up (or even to keep getting jobs at your same level), sort of this aligning of the stars has to happen with the right position being open, and the right people recommending you, and the right people approving you (and trusting you), and the timing working out and on and on.

So, I’d begun to not be super hopeful about moving up sort of in general in this crazy world of TV – which made me hesitant about an internship, because I just didn’t want to waste time making negative money (though I get that sometimes you need to…)

Anyway, this is where I’ll pick up next time.

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