Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Simple Twist of Fate

Back in April..... I was still in "Business Film" school and eagerly awaiting my future. I knew it wasn't going to be easy to land a job in the film industry but I had my usual naivete about things and figured it would all work out in the end. It did....but back then I thought the "end" would come much sooner.

I did my two-week internship as a development assistant at a big production company and promptly discovered my "dream" job. Here I was, on the sidelines, helping bring ideas to life. Sure, it was just an internship and I was doing tons of odd jobs but I realized that THIS is where I should be. This is what I went to school for to become. This is what I had always wanted to do, every since I saw Jurassic Park when I was 12 and decided I would BE in film. I would do this!

I totally thought my determination would help me secure a position within the company but sadly it did not. Then I thought my ambition would help me get a position with any OTHER film company. And sadly, it did not.

I applied absolutely everywhere - I went through the entire list of my province's producers and contacted them all directly. I worked my way through friends of friends, people I kinda knew, teachers etc, all hoping to network my way into a position in the film industry (after all, its who you know).

But nothing happened. Though the responses I got were all nice, they all said the same thing. Either "not right now, maybe later" or "you can work for free."

As has been the topic of this blog many a times, I will not work for free. Pay my dues, work from the bottom...YES. But for free? I have a mortgage, mouths to feed (mainly my own) and I'm 26. I'm done with the free shit.

So I kinda forgot about film and started to think maybe it wasn't such a good place to be. A place I wanted to be, yes, but the signs were all pointing to NO. Or, not right now.

And such I took the job at the ad agency, feeling so damn guilty about it. This wasn't film. This wasn't anything I just went to school for and it wasn't anything I was interested in. Luckily I didn't at ALL feel guilty about it when I quit 2 weeks later (as an aside, I've noticed the company reposting my position on Craigslist every month...yup, it seems that I was right to leave since no one else in my position can apparently handle the abuse either).

Then started my long, L O N G, foray into getting a job that I wanted and liked. I'm not going to go into much detail since you all damn know about it by now and are sick of it but to summarize: I applied for everything. Film, reception, admin, marketing, writing, journalism, communications, personal assistant, executive assistant, public relations, office manager. After awhile though, I realized that I was no longer going after my dream job. I was getting desperate. I would take anything - screw my dream job. After trying so hard, I knew I would be lucky to get anything.

And still! Nothing came! I had lots of interviews but they were always OH SO CLOSE. They never went where I wanted them to (employment, natch). Luckily, and I do mean this now, there was only one or two jobs which I really, REALLY wanted, so the blow wasn't too devestating when I didn't get them. One was the executive assistant job at the post production company. The other was marketing for an indie theatre company. Both had something to do with film and touched on my education. A sign right?

Well, just as I started to think I may just never get a job - even a job that I DON'T like - I got one. It wasn't the one I wanted because it was a low-paying contract 2-month position (I know you all know that but I digress) but I took it anyway.

It was something. It was film-related. It could one day lead me to where I wanted to go. I was willing to take a pay cut. I was willing to start from the bottom. It wasn't ideal but I was WILLING to make the best out of it. And I have.

Was there a chance of me continuing on after 2 months? Yes. Maybe. Most likely in an admin position, which again, wasn't ideal. But it was too soon to tell.

And so I did something I never did before; I stopped worrying about the future. I started living in the here and the now. I did not think about what lay beyond October. I just started going to work, enjoying the job (or at least not minding it) and my stress levels pretty much vanished over night. This is me, now, and this is me happy. Tomorow will worry about itself.

Then...the strangest thing happened. I had gotten several calls from a well-known local production company. I knew of this company because they were one of the companies that I REALLY wanted to work for back in April and had applied for (course, never heard back). I had also applied again in July for an internship position I saw advertised. It was paid and it was e x a c t l y what I wanted to do, the same kind of thing I had done on my previous internship. Only this one paid well (for an internship), was sponsored by the government and was for a minimum of six months.

I never heard back though and totally forgot about the whole thing until I started getting these voice mails from them. And then emails. I figured I had to get back to them at some point - after all, I had JUST accepted a position and I couldn't do the internship anymore but I still had to turn them down regretfully.

The guy there was totally cool and understood - he was disappointed though because they saw so much potential with me. That was a nice feeling, to be in demand FOR ONCE, but sadly it was not to be. Such is life. He wished me luck and said even though they need the internship filled now, maybe in October we can work something out.

I've heard that before so I didn't think much of it. Back to living in the day to day. October? That's way off.

Then on Monday I got an email from them, again. The guy told me that the head producer - someone very well-known in this country's industry, still wanted to meet with me. Like the next day. She wanted to see if we could work something out anyway.

And so suddenly, yesterday, I found myself sneaking away from the office at lunch time to attend an impromptu interview with said producer and crew.

And then a few hours later I was notified by phone that I they wished to hire me on for the internship.

What exactly just happened here?

Well, it means that together we are applying to the goverment for a mentorship program for producers. This prestigious program is only awarded to 20 pairings of producer/interns in the whole country. Is there a chance that despite the company picking me, we still may not be one of the 20? Of course. But given that every single intern that's applied with them has been chosen, well the odds are in my favour. More than in my favour.

I'll find out in six weeks, either way. And in six weeks my current contract job will be up which means I am free to start working for Production Company S.

And when I say work, I mean work. I will be an actual employee of the company. I will receive a nice paycheck (OK, when I mean nice, I mean I will still have to borrow some money from my parents each month but it's "nice" compared to all other internships...and a lot of other jobs out there). I will have full-time steady work until April. After which, they will give me a raise (providing I do well) and I will continue to work with them. If I end up like all the past interns, then great. They've all either stayed with the company and are development managers, screenwriters, script readers or producers or have gone on to do great things.

Most important of all, I get to be doing which I only dreamed of doing, which I had given up on doing and which I had regretfully accepted may never be in the cards for me.

And yet, here it is. A dream job internship just freakin' fell in my lap. And I was totally getting ready to accept that my career may never be as exciting and unusual as I had hoped it would be.

I know you've all said it before, and I will say it again, but seriously....good, nee, GREAT things happen to those who wait, to those who aren't looking and to those who learn to just enjoy what they've got.


Bittersweet Confusion said...

It's like everything else...

Once you snag a man ... that crush who never gave you the time of day reveals he's into you...


Kass said...

Yay! That's so awesome, I knew it'd work out for you.

Does make me want to a) move back to Vancouver and b) join the film industry tho...

Wondering Woman said...

As us old hippies are fond of saying "Be Here Now"..........

Sarah said...

Thats so great! Fingers crossed it all comes through, but it looks like it has all lined up like fate, as it should - you deserve it!

Kathryn said...

congrats - so happy things are working out for you

~nOe~ said...

Awesome you got a job and something you really love!
So good to read that!!!!!
I'm very happy for you, and it's like that verse you said: everything good happen to those who wait!
Have a great day!

Farrell said...

that's good news!

( . )( . ) said...

OMG that is soooo exciting!! I am the same, as soon as you start worrying about something things just dont go right.

Its like when you go shopping looking for something you find nothing, but when your just browsing, you find those little things you have been looking for, for ages. I love it!

Vegas Princess said...

Isn't it funny that the minute you STOP looking the offers come pouring in. Why is it always that way? If we just knew things would work out that way then all the stress and worry would be unnecessary. I am so happy for you. Things are definately looking up. I will keep my fingers crossed that everything works out and in the meantime, enjoy you nice, worry-free two months.