“Made in NY” PA of the Month: Angela Persico
Each month we showcase an individual who participated in the "Made in NY" PA Training Program. Click
here for information on the free, month-long program developed in conjunction with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations and designed to create job opportunities for New Yorkers, connect New Yorkers with employers in the industry, and educate production assistants on how to work collaboratively with the communities in which they shoot.
March 6, 2014 - Angela Persico, a resident of Ozone Park, Queens, didn’t know anyone in the film industry so she had no idea how to get her foot in the door of a field she always wanted to work in. Now, after saying “yes” to the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, she’s fulfilling her dream.
What were you doing before you began the program? What was your life like?
Before the program, I was lost. I was working anywhere and everywhere. I’d get bored and quit and then fall in love with something else, do that for a little while and then get bored again. I was either doing that or was unemployed for large lengths of time. It was terrible. I just didn’t take myself seriously and had no direction.
What was your experience like during the training?
The training was challenging for me. It was intense…but it was also fun, and I gained not only friends out of it, but family. I consider the staff and my cyclemates family. We really supported each other and pushed each other more than anyone else during the training.
What projects have you worked on since graduating from Cycle 25 in February 2012?
I've worked on every TV show in New York: from “Gossip Girl” to “Project Runway” to “Elementary” to “Nurse Jackie” to “Girl Code” to “The Following,” just to name a few. Tons of commercials with MTV. Music videos. Independent movies. My friends' independent projects. Features. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, American Hustle and so many more. I say yes to every opportunity that comes my way unless I'm booked, which lately I am. Currently, I run 1st Team on “The Good Wife.” It’s my first real staff job. The show runs for 10 months. I have the best cast and crew around. I couldn’t have asked for a better team. I’m grateful that they chose me to be a part of something so tight knit.
How has your life changed since the program?
Before the program, I was at the lowest of the low in my life. I had no idea what I was doing with myself, and I was suffering from severe depression because of it. Now, I am the complete opposite. I’ve never been happier, I’m at the highest point of my life, and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.
What do your family and friends think about your new career?
My family and friends are obsessed with my career. They’re always asking me about it and telling people about me. They're proud of me for the first time in my life, and this is something that I'm still trying to get used to.
Describe your experience of the industry thus far. What is your favorite part of working in production, and what challenges, if any, have you faced since entering the field?
I absolutely love what I do. For the first time in my life, I wake up (at 3am) and want to go to work. I've been doing this for two years now and I've never had a boring day. I have fun every single day, no matter what. Of course, working 16 hours a day does take its toll on your body physically and mentally and on your social life. They are huge challenges, but somehow, the drive I have for this overpowers these obstacles and makes them seem not so terrible.
What are your career goals, both short- and long-term?
Short term, after “The Good Wife” wraps in April, I just want to go from staff job to staff job for a while. Day play in between, of course. Get my days in and join the union. I want to be an AD. Maybe I’ll direct and/or produce down the road. But right now, I’m leaning toward 1st AD.
Do you have any advice for other “Made in NY” PAs or people who might be interested in the program?
If you’re interested at all, go to the next info session. You have nothing to lose. [If you’re called back,] this program can and will change your life. It's done so for many people especially me. I thank God every day for the opportunity I was given by being a part of [the “Made in NY” PA Training Program]. This program prepares you and trains you to be the best there is. I can always sniff out a “Made in NY” PA. We are all the same. We’re the best that’s out there, and we are the hardest workers.
Interested in learning more about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program? Click
Read more about previous "Made in NY" PAs of the Month here.