How to be a Stellar PA

If you want to work in the entertainment business. you have to start at the bottom. That means being a Production Assistant. I have met many PA's who are tired of doing PA work and are "stuck in the cycle" of only getting PA jobs. We all have to do it, but some spend more time as a PA then others. Here are a few tips to fast track yourself through the PA position hopefully landing you the promotion in production you have always dreamed of. 

1: be 3-5 steps ahead

production work is a moving target, If you can learn to follow the target and be ahead of the game you are on your way to being a stellar PA. I learned this while I was a Grip on a feature film. What that team taught me rings true across all departments, but especially as a PA. Here is an example from one of the shows I have worked on: From studying the call sheet, I Knew production team would be filming interviews on a separate location in the afternoon. What can you do as a PA? get crafty together ahead of time, and grab a cooler and put some drinks in it. If you have been on the show a while you will learn what type of crafty and drinks people like and don't like, so make sure to include those. When the Production manager or Producer asks for a crafty bin you can say is ready to go in the car. You will be amazed at how surprised they will be, and even make jokes about keeping you around a little longer. This one concept of thinking ahead and preparing whatever needs to be done will set you apart from a lot of PA's It should be a goal to never have to be asked to do something because you already did it. 

2: be ready and on call at all times

3: Pep in your step

When someone asks for something on set they probably needed it 5 min prior to asking. Having pep in you

4: out of sight out of mind 

This is a business of hurry up and wait. There will be times when you are super busy and times when you are not. If you are on a small set and there is not much to be done while filming is happening its best to stay out of sight. But as before stated be ready and on walkie at all times. Nobody likes to see others sitting around doing nothing while they are working. You may be in the right and clear at the moment to be doing nothing but its always best to be out of the minds of others who are working.