Thursday, January 31, 2013
An Interview At Fox Studios
Last week I was lucky enough to be asked in to do an interview at Fox Studios. The Modern Family art department team was looking for a new PA, and through a recommendation by a great contact, they had called me up for an interview.
Whaaaaat? I know. Madness.
My heart shuddered with nerves and excitement at the thought.
A couple of emails later, and I had a 10am time booked, a map of the Fox Studios lot, and a stomach of butterflies. I cleaned up my film industry resumé, did a lot of deep breathing, put on my tried and tested 'first interview outfit' (dark blue jeggings, black cowboy boots, sheer black sleeveless shirt, loose grey tee and lots of accessories - kinda goth, kinda glam), and rushed out the house.
Get in the car. 'Waze' (the traffic-dodging GPS smartphone app) tells me it's at least a 45 minute drive - which is longer than I expected (it's true what they say about LA traffic - it really is a nightmare). I'm getting a bit panicky. I still have to find the parking lot that I had a 'drive-on' for (industry speak - there's still so much more to learn), find a parking, navigate the whole of Fox Studios and find the stage and the office where I was due. Have I left to late?
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Traffic. Traffic. Traffic.
I find the parking lot. It's emblazoned with a big 'Fox Studios' across the top - kind of hard to miss, but I'm glad for the directions in those aforementioned emails. The security guard seems positively bemused by my South African driver's license - he's never seen one before he says - and must show the other guard on duty too. I laugh and chuckle with him, but deep down I'm willing him to go a little faster. He hands me my pass, and my 'drive-on', and gives me directions.
Breathe. Drive into the parking building.
First floor - nothing.
Second floor - nothing.
Third floor - nothing.
Jees, how many people are there at Fox?!
Fourth floor - out into the sunshine. A parking!
Park. Grab bag. Check reflection. Nothing in teeth. Wipe sweat from brow. Go, go, go.
Out the car, to the lift. Down to the ground floor. Studying the map on my phone, and trying to remember what the guard said - right and then left, or right and then right?
This place is HUGE.
Walk, walk, walk.
Realise I'm walking in the wrong direction. Turn around. Walk, walk, walk.
These boots are made for walking?
It looks just like it does in the movies - huge big warehouses of film stages, big trucks of equipment and props, people zipping around in golf carts. The only thing missing is a musical cast singing and dancing through the alleys - that always seems to happen in the movies. With the bright LA sun shining down, and the palm trees popping over the buildings and framing the sky, I suddenly feel very Hollywood.
Stage 5! I find it. There's a crew member outside - I bug her for final directions. She's friendly, eager to help. 'Through those doors, up the stairs, and you're there.'
Through the doors. A bathroom! Ace! Did I mention that I was dying for a pee this whole time? Yip, bursting.
Bathroom break. Thank gosh. And breathe.
Walk up the stairs. And breathe. And breathe. Greeted by a loft office, open and bright. A few people are working at their desks. Busy bees.
I made it.
After all that stress, the interview goes smoothly. The art director talks me through everything, and she is kind and fair and nice. We chat about the industry back home, and the work I've done there. The projects they do sound interesting, creative and challenging; and I'm eager to learn. All in all, we chat for about 25 minutes, covering all the bases. I'm happy, and she seems to be too, making all the right motions and sounds.
On my way out I say how nice it was to meet them, and that I hope the rest of the interviews they have scheduled that day go smoothly.
Down the stairs, out the door, back onto the lot.
Smoothly? Silly me. I meant to say badly. Should have said badly. Ha!
A long day. I'm expecting a phone call. A watched phone never rings? Too true. My cold is just starting to settle in, and nests inside my brain, leaving me with an aching headache to accompany me throughout.
Wake up late, groggy with flu. There's a missed call and a voicemail. I can hear the regret in their voice - while I was shortlisted, they're mid-season, and ended up going with someone with more experience on big TV shows, more ready to pick up right where needs be.
Coming second is never quite as fun as coming first.
But, one step at a time. While I might have been on top of my game in the industry back home, I'm a small fish in a big pond here, and I don't want to rush into a job that I may or may not be prepared for. While it would have been an incredible opportunity I'm a big believer that if it's not meant to be, it's not meant to be. And when one door closes another one opens. The experience was completely worth it, and next time I'll be just that little bit more prepared.
Remember yesterday's post? Well, this is me trying to add in a little more real life, a little bit more day-to-day, a little bit more of those gentle nuances which make life so interesting. This is the stuff that I wouldn't usually share on the world wide web, but since my mom, my brother and my good friend Niki seem to be the only three people reading, it's really not that bad.