Fit out the stage for theater productions.
Television Production Assistants spend their days on the set of TV shows…well, their days and part of their nights too. This is one of those jobs that consider a workday to be 12 to 16 hours long, not the usual eight. And those 12 to 16 hours aren’t spent hobnobbing with celebrities or doing any of the glamorous jobs you might think of when you imagine TV work. No, the Television Production Assistant is the one that does the boring, everyday grunt work that needs to get done to keep production rolling.
This is an entry-level job in every sense of the word. As a Television Production Assistant, you don’t make a lot of money, plus you’re the lowest man on the totem pole. And you spend your days trying to prove yourself to everyone.
You can work in the production office, doing things like answering phones, filing papers, getting coffee, or collecting mail. On set, your duties are a little different. You set up chairs for the Director and stars, take lunch orders, keep things quiet, and let the Actors know when they need to come to the set.
The best way to describe your job is that you do anything a Production Manager, Production Coordinator, or Director needs done. You might spend part of your morning estimating the price of a set’s wall paint, part of your afternoon finding the phone number of a show’s Producer, and your evening making sure script copies are ready for the next day’s taping.
That being said, the job is an excellent stepping stone to higher-level TV positions. Television is a very difficult industry to break into. So if you really have a desire to get into TV work, you wouldn’t mind starting at the bottom, would you? After all, anyone who’s ever gotten far had to start somewhere.