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Steven Spielberg
Climbing the Hollywood ladder, one coffee or script delivery at a time
Climbing the Hollywood ladder, one coffee or script delivery at a time

Just before midnight, as 25-year-old JP Erickson was getting ready to go to bed, his phone buzzed. "Are you available tomorrow at 5:30 a.m.?" The text was from the production coordinator of a low-budget movie offering a day's work as an unpaid production assistant. First thought: Unpaid and early — still worth going? Then he looked up the address: A 45-minute drive from my apartment. Not too far. Not close, either. But as a production assistant, commonly known as a PA, Erickson is used to late-night texts, early wake-up calls, low and occasionally no pay as well as the not-so-glamorous tasks of getting coffee and delivering scripts. Still, PA gigs are...

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