Three blog readers took me up on my offer and joined the picket line at Paramount. In chatting with them about their hopes, fears and immediate plans, I formulated some on-the-fly advice about what I’d do if I were a recent college graduate hoping for a career in Hollywood.
It’s not a great time to move to Los Angeles. The classic entry-level jobs — assistants and PA’s — will be hard to come by in a few weeks as production companies and agencies are forced to lay off people.
If you’re already here, it might be worth looking for a generic job sooner rather than later, since things like Barnes and Noble might fill up quickly. Writers and laid-off assistants will be aiming for those same jobs.
While it’s a bad time to be looking for work in the entertainment industry, election season is ramping up. Recent college graduates are always welcome on political campaigns. It’s an amazing, exhausting experience — and you could do it in any state in the country. (Thanks to Matt for this suggestion.)
You’ll never meet as many writers as you can during the strike. For a change, everyone is out of their office and out of their cars. Get to know some film and TV writers and talk to them about their work. It’s especially good to talk with writers who are at the lowest rungs, to see how they got started and what the challenges are.
I asked all three of the writers I spoke with yesterday to write in and report how the next few months go. If anyone else wants to talk today, I’ll be starting at Paramount at 1 p.m. today.
Other details from Day Three:
I wore a pedometer. 13,139 steps, which translates to 4.14 miles.
At Paramount, I was delighted to finally meet Gary Whitta. I also spoke with William Mapother, creepy “Ethan” from Lost, who is both a SAG and WGA member. A lot more SAG folks are coming out to the picket line, which is great.
I missed seeing Jesse Jackson, because my strike captain and I went over to help out at Prospect Studios, where the cast of Grey’s Anatomy had joined the picket line. Prospect was super-mellow compared to the noise and chaos of Paramount. I got to catch up with Allan Heinberg, who is doing a new Wonder Woman comic, and C.J. Cox, who I know from Outfest labs. I met Jonathan Kimmel and talked Crank Yankers, among other shows.
Prospect Studios is also where General Hospital shoots. Writers for daytime serials have an unbelievably daunting job, and never really mingle with other TV and feature writers, so it was good to meet a few.
It’s difficult to clean oatmeal vomit from a car seat.