Tuesday, March 6

Working for free is called slave labor

I'm sorry, filmmaking industry, but I'm tired of working FOR FREE.

I've been spending my time and resources on you for three fucking years. And, even after three years of experience as an intern, all I can do is more interning because I'm still in school. I have news for you: I'm better than the people you're paying right now. I'm more passionate and inspired and creative. I'm more hard-working. And fucking A, I'm funnier.

So don't give me any of this Craigslist bullshit, with your "This is an unpaid internship" and "College Credit Available." Do you think I'm not going to graduate without your help? Your college credit won't help me pay the rent in New York. Way to treat workers fairly, Fox. Way to pull out a metrocard for me while you giggle at your mountain of personal profits, Comedy Central. And how much do you think it warms my heart to read that no, you won't offer me minimum wage, but lunch is on you? Here's a clue: chilly as that cold shoulder you just gave me.

Remember when you were six years old and your parents told you to lie down and watch TV when you were sick? And, as they slid a bowl of soup in front of you they chant "You can be whatever you want when you grow up."

They forgot to mention this part.


JG said...

True. TV sucks. Get out while you can. It's to late for me, but I preach on!

Strange Bird said...

I've never understood why people who like TV don't just watch it. Why do it for a living so it's not fun anymore?

Dropout! said...

So let me get this straight... you think you're funny?

Oh right, I forgot that everyone gets your jokes.

And buck up, buckaroo-you can always crash in my closet if the need arises.

Single guy blogging said...

Weird -- I always thought of tv people as helpful, friendly, honest folk just looking to bring new talented people up and creatively helping them build a career. I'm totally surprised the industry is filled with backstabbing pricks looking to take advantage of you at any opportunity. ;) Hang in there TAB, I'm sure you will make it -- just don't turn into one of them...

The Ambiguous Blob said...

being an indie producer, working for free and paying to work is what I do. On the side. I had to get a real job. Bastard industry.

Wanderlusting said...

Problem with the film industry is that it's all about connections, networking and putting in the hours. Sure you can luck out as some do (and that has a lot to do with connections) but otherwise you have to work your way up, starting for free and then for min wage and then, maybe, more.

Imagine, if they did pay, how many people would want your job? The competition will be ten-fold. Unfortunately they don't though, so it's one of those things you just have to accept.

But just think, when you have all this experience under your belt, how much that will help you get a real paying job. So much more than going to school for it ever will!

PS in Vancouver (aka Hollywood North) we aren't so blessed with internships...but there is more opportunity to just jump into the business. It's just less competition here than in NYC and LA.

Hoosier Joe said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and agree that slave labor is no fun at all. I always hated the "college credit" thing too ... sure, "college credit" will feed me. It sucked too because the journalism program I was in only let you use an internship once. On the other hand, I'd rather have someone say their giving me a non-paying internship than offer a ridiculously low wage. You don't know blind rage until someone offers you $25 to do a 2500 word article and then gets high and mighty when you turn them down.

GrizzBabe said...

Hang in there! Your tenacity will eventually bring you success.

Crashdummie said...

Ouch! I'd say quit cuz your are obviously being used, but I know that to be able to get a new gig you have to have contacts.

So I'd say start networking and dazzle them with your charm, maybe someone might have a better opening for you?

Good luck!

kittenpower said...

TAB- just keep thinking long term. It may suck now, but in a couple years, your time here, will have been well worth it!

The Accidental Bitch said...

jg - But I like it. Gah.

strange bird - It IS fun. I just don't get paid to do it. That's the only problem, really.

dropout - You get my jokes, and you are everyone, so... deductive reasoning, my pet.

single guy blogging - lol... actually the people that I've met so far ARE helpful and nice (maybe because I'm an intern) but they don't have the money, etc. It's the same way in the rest of the corporate world, too. Thanks for the encouragement.

the ambiguous blob - Yeah... I'd be okay with that if I had enough money to even scrape by, but... I don't anymore.

wanderlusting - Oh yes, Hollywood North. I was considering working there this summer, but... no connections up there. And I know I have to work my way up, but 3 years and no pay is getting old.

hoosier joe - lol I know. Everyone (peers included) get all: "I can't believe you turned down [X company]! I would have done it in a heartbeat!"

grizzbabe - lol that sounded like a fortune cookie. But thank you.

crashdummie - Yeah, in film if you quit for being used, you won't get work anywhere. And helloooo of course I'm dazzling! I'm inherently charming!

kittenpower - I do think long term, as evidenced by starting with internships my first year at college. And I still think long term and I know the benefits of internships, but if I literally can't live on it then I have to do something else, y'know? And I don't want to.

JG said...

Ya, I like it too, but some days I think I could be just as happy adding numbers.

I tell my daughter that when I get old I am living with her. It can either be in an extra room or an extra wing, it's up to her.

She tells me I am already old.

kittenpower said...

I feel you TAB...I'm a receptionist by day and an artist by night. Sadly enough, one needs money to live.

Miss Devylish said...

Honestly, that's why I stopped acting. Got tired of waitressing and hated auditioning. Have many friends in 'North Hollywood' but the pay is also Canadian.. and I doubt they'd sponsor an American when another Canuck would suffice. But they're also doing less and less up there, which is frustrating for many of them. But I say, if it's what you want to do, you gotta keep at it.. and yeah, networknetworknetwork. I'm going to guess they actually consider this your building block and aren't apt to pay at minimum until you get your degree.

Was just talking to someone about this the other day too.. actors and theatre/film people do things for resume.. Musicians are taught to get paid for their talent. I always kicked myself for giving up the piano.