Happy Tuesday! How is everyone doing this week so far? I actually started a show last Wednesday and started typing this up as I locked up downstairs. I wrote those first 2 sentences 2 weeks ago. I seriously need to manage my time on this blog better. Luckily the topics never are really outdated so lets carry on. I just wrapped up an 8 day pilot and now I’m unemployed again as we all are once our gigs wrap up. The pilot was a blast. We had a few long days, a night and it was all in the desert but overall a great experience. There was certainly minor changes I would make if I was given control over those problems and did the gig over but I don’t have a time machine or care that much. On to the next one! As the great Jay-Z would say. Alright let’s get into this shall we?
Directors, Producers, Writers Assistants or any other type of personal assistant in which you are in charge of a specific person or persons, this post is exclusively for you….and anyone else that wants to read it but you get what I’m saying. This post may even lend itself to assistants in other fields. When your boss (You know, the person who you’re “assisting”) asks for anything, it is YOUR responsibility to get it. That is why you were hired. At least that what I thought the job always entailed. Am I Right? I mean I can be wrong here and if I am someone please correct me but from my understanding an assistant is there to assist the person with ANYTHING they need. I know nothing about being an assistant because I’ve never been one but I would assume if I was to go into the job blindly I would expect that my job would include assisting this person with anything they needed. I wouldn’t assume that I got to pick and choose what I wanted to do and what I felt like getting someone else to do for my boss. If an assistant is constantly asking others to do something they are being asked for then who is the assistant here? You don’t have an assistant, assistant. Your boss does and that’s you. At times and some individuals may think that they’re above everyone else because they’re assisting some big name person but please allow me to burst that bubble and let you know that you are not. In most people’s eyes you are basically a personal P.A. Sure you may have that big heads ear but in reality no one cares. That should never let you feel entitled to take advantage of others and have others do your job. I think a person should try to stay as humble as possible in this business especially when given these assistant roles. I think some assistants let this title get to their heads and instead of thinking their assisting they start to think that they are more of an extension of the person they are assisting. They seem to think that when they are asked for something that their job is to find someone else to take care of it. Trust me everyone you work with will be a lot more helpful and welcoming if you don’t come in asking and requesting things before so much as an introduction which I see happen often. Assistants assume that because their boss requests something that everyone else must drop what they are doing and that’s just unrealistic. Most people will not be very helpful when an assistant runs up to them demanding things get done because their boss asked them for it. While it may be a big deal to you that you are working for this person and choose to run around like a chicken with its head cut off anytime they ask you for something typically no one else will care that much. Relax, breathe and get yourself in order. There’s no need to get all flustered anytime your asked for something.
Now, I’m not trying to shit on the assistant position. I mean honestly I want an assistant job. I think I would be excellent at it and I think that’s a great way to get to that position. If you want to direct I believe assisting a director is a better route to directing than doing it all on your own and hoping someone sees your work. One crappy aspect of being an assistant though is that the title most times already comes with its own negative feelings and thoughts from others on the crew. This is because assistants in general have given the position a bad rep. Assistants are also most times are viewed as part of the producers and associated with all the other above the line folk which when you are below the line you resent because well…Fuck the MAN right? The studio and producers are always the MAN. So at times crew will have a not so friendly tone towards assistants. Which is bullshit. It’s like the shit attitude and unreasonable harsh feelings that crew people have towards the background. I’ve written about it, check it out here: Why Does Everyone Hate The Background
I’ve worked with great assistants and I’ve worked with terrible ones that honestly I felt went home everyday and cried themselves to sleep because they just couldn’t seem to do anything right. I’ve worked with very smart assistants and ones that I was amazed they remembered to keep breathing to not die. I’ve worked with assistants that never asked for any help whatsoever and others that literally would get off their director chair to ask someone to do the task they were asked for and then return to sitting down next to their boss. A parrot could easily have accomplished the same. I’m not stating that I would never help if they needed assistance but if the person they’re assisting asks for a water then that is their responsibly to get them that water not to look for a someone to get them the water for their boss. I will gladly point them in the direction of the water but it’s on them to get it and take it to their boss. I’m always willing to help you if you need assistance but NEVER and I mean NEVER should you ask someone else to handle a task that your boss asked you, the assistant to do. Unless your busy with something else in which case at least have the decency to tell the person your asking to get this done for you so you don’t look like a lazy shit. If your boss is the one that is telling you to ask someone else to do it then you should take the initiative to say “No, I can take care of it. That’s why you hired me.” I want to make it extremely clear to all the assistants out there that may be reading this. Don’t think for a second that when you try to pull these stunts about getting others to do the work that you’ve been hired for that we all don’t talk to one another and discuss what a piss poor job you are doing. We actually go out of our way to make sure every single person on that shoot knows exactly how useless you are. Granted that probably wouldn’t do much since the person in power is typically who hired you but why be an asshole? We’re all here to help one another so let’s do so instead of trying to pile all the work on any one person or persons.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out another post here at We’re Not Rolling. I know it’s been a slow year. There’s a lot of shit going on in my life and sadly some of that is procrastination and laziness at times but I’m working on it. I appreciate everyone that continues to read these and I hope that I don’t let you down too often. Have a splendid rest of your week and till next time.