Consider this first if that is your goal:
An experienced producer friend of mine has recently taken up a job on a popular morning show, one that starts around the break of day. This show is topical and to keep abreast of changing running orders and news updates there needs to be teams working around the clock. The solution is a shift system, of course. However if my friend is on one of the 24 hour shifts, she is required to sleep at base. Not at a nearby hotel, nor even in proper ensuite accomodation, not even in a bed!
No she must bring a sleeping bag and doss on the sofa in the green room.
Now anyone under the age of 21 is probably thinking, so what? I’d take that job even if I had to sleep under my desk. And that, my friend, is exactly why management get away with asking staff to bring in a sleeping bag. There are so many people wanting to get into television production that those offering the jobs are in a great position to exploit youth, passion and the otherwise unemployed.
Now of course not all production companies exploit – in fact their track record today is probably way better than it was when I first joined. Many’s the time I got the message that there were plenty more people queuing up behind me for the job if I didn’t like the conditions. There are managers out there who care – if you look carefully enough…..
So there you have lesson number one: if you want a job in television, be prepared to say yes to anything – even if it means sleeping under the arches at Waterloo!
We’ll get onto more useful and practical advice in the coming months, I promise. Subscribe today to be sure you don’t miss out and please – join in! Add your comments and questions, send me your stories, dole out the advice, and gimme the gossip so I can pass it on!