Its Me, Bitches

___

My father and I were up early. I was still trying to get my sleep on track, he an early riser for his work outs. He had asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted to come to check out the Niagara College set up for the Santa Claus parade. I said sure. Luckily, the day had come when I had most of my energy in the morning.

We headed downtown to the revamped storefronts and art galleries. A local businessman put a few million in to turning it from dump into a Toronto-esque cultural center. It looked good. A place I’d want to hang out if once my check came in from my transcription work. We found the remote shoot truck parked in front of city hall and two dozen industry prospects running around pulling cables, taping mesh on a tent, drinking coffee, freezing their ass off; doing what they were supposed to be doing. Ah, college memories.

I met my old professor. A very nice guy, but one of those teachers who went from student to getting certified to teaching. Not much real world experience. He took us into the revamped truck. From the inside it still looked the same, but much of the equipment had been changed out and updated. My dad started talking to his future interns. Kids who want to be producers and production managers. Want being a less than accurate term as during his first speeches to them, he’d ask “Who wants to be director?” and hands would fly up. “Who wants to be a producer?” and hands would fly up. Then, “Who wants to be a production manager?” and hands would fly up, but he’d say “Bullshit! No one wants to be a production manager” to the shock of the students. I stood to the side, as this was his gig and I was just tagging along. When he introduced me, he mentioned I was the student that got the internship with the Dr. Phil Show. Their eyes popped a bit. An “ohhh, wow” look.

What I hadn’t known until then was that I was kind of a celebrity at Niagara College. The student who got to go to Los Angeles and work on a major production, not just the local shit most of the kiddos ended up doing. Since 2007, I was mentioned to all the prospects looking to get in the Broadcasting program. I had been out of country since I graduated and out of contact with the staff at NC, so I had no idea. This gave me ideas.

While dad and I walked down to one of the swazzy new coffee shops in downtown, he mentioned to me how all these kids get trained and educated, but end up working master control boards timing commercials, spending their 3 years of education 12 boring hours at a time. They don’t learn much about going out on crews like I have. They don’t get the experience of dragging pounds of equipment through mud, or holding up a sun-diffusing flag with your arms (painful shit) or any other of the down to earth, hands on work that production companies do. Nor do they learn about the needs to the stars, as my work on the Dr. Phil Show did. Getting candy, specific bags, picking up shoes on Rodeo for a over-the-hill producer. This gave me ideas.

Big ego. Real experience. Hmmm. As we entered the shop with its dark oak paneling, cute baristas and friendly atmosphere, I asked him about becoming a teacher’s assistant. My first work on a credited TV show was when I was 15 and I’d been going with him on shoots and helping since I was 10. I know the ins and outs. I know the dos and don’ts. My first job back in Canada was rough, but I hadn’t worked on a production since 2008. Afterwards, I was on the ball, working my ass off with a smile, knowing my place and knowing what I want: money and more jobs.

On our way back, my father asked me if I’m staying in the industry or am I just working. At that moment I knew I was going to stay. Before, I was thinking I’d pay off my debts and do something else. What? I didn’t know. Mechanic, as I wrote a few months ago. Go back to school and work on cars, become big in the racing world. But, with production, I was educated for it. I’m very good at it given the right resources. Its what I know. I can still learn cars. I still want to quite badly, but when you feel your mind reach clarity during work, take it as a sign its what you want and what you’re good at.

The kids reactions to realizing I was the Dr. Phil guy made me realize something other than my career. That my work over there was something big. Something more. I never really held confidence in my jobs. Being a PA means bottom of the totem pole and I put that across a lot. Its not the only thing I’ve done, but its the aura I have, up until that moment. I realized, thanks to them, that I’ve done a fuckton of things they may never. I’ve hung with big names. I’ve worked for a major production company. I’ve crossed paths and said hello causally to some stars people pay thousands of dollars to go see. I got a cinematographer credit on World Poker Tour, for God’s sake. I’m not just a lowly peon like them. I’ve got status. I’ve got swagger. Its best I get to using it and make something of myself.

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One response to “Its Me, Bitches

  1. Pingback: Linkage is Good for You: Thanksgiving Edition

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