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.
November 4, 2013 - Jasmine Blackmon always knew she would find her way into a career in production. After hearing about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, a friend of hers told her she’d be a perfect for it. Securing a spot as part of Cycle 7, she finished her training in October 2007 and has been making her mark on the industry ever since. Today the Bronx resident is a production manager and recently worked on an insurance commercial for one of India's biggest companies, HCL Technologies.
What made you decide to pursue a career in entertainment production?
I was always intrigued with production and its process. In high school, I was a part of the stage and lighting crew, so I knew I wanted to further my education in that field. I also always paid close attention to the credits of TV shows and movies to see who and which company were [involved].
What was your experience like during the training?
Intriguing. It felt like I was back in school but with more field experience. Kind of like a bootcamp for production with the results being two years of job placement.
What projects have you worked on since graduation?
Since graduating from the program, I have worked on any and everything I could have. I've mainly coordinated commercials ranging from Capital One, Bank of America, Hilton Hotel, Verizon, Pepsi, NFL, ESPN, CNN, Autozone, Dark & Lovely, Kohl's, Allstate, SONY and Kia. I've also done videos for Drake, Beyoncé, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Carly Rae Jepsen and Haim as well as some work for reality TV on VH1's “I Want to Work for Diddy,” and Bravo's “The Real Housewives of New York,” “Bethenny Getting Married” and “Project Runway.”
How has your life changed since the program?
Drastically, but for the good. I've accomplished way more than I had envisioned in these few years. I'm always busy working on my career, meeting new people and living my dream. Working in production has opened so many doors for me to do so many things creatively. Just from the connections I've made in this business to the family I've built by being in the program the opportunities are boundless.
What do you family and friends think about your new career?
They think it’s great, now. At first, they didn't understand why I had to work so many hours or how I would get called randomly to come in. But now, I think they've finally grown accustomed to me always working and not being available as much as I used to.
Describe your experience of the industry thus far. What is your favorite part of working in production, and what challenges, have you faced since entering the field?
My experience of the industry thus far is that it is very fickle. It is constantly changing, and you need to be able to keep up with it, or you'll be overlooked and replaced. My favorite part of production is that it is not the normal or typical line of work. From my first day in this business to present-day, I have never had two days alike. Things can change up to the minute, and you have to be on your game to be as flexible as your day will be. It has really made me become more business savvy and organized with everyday activities and events in my personal life.
What are your career goals, both short- and long-term?
My short-term goals are to continue expanding my network and taking on every challenge that presents itself. I also want to begin volunteering with the youth and get them more active and knowledgeable about production and all of its entities from an early age… It would be great to give back and give someone that same eye opening experience I received. My long-term goals are to venture out a bit and get more involved with casting, as well as begin creating my own content to build a brand of my own. I ultimately would like to executive produce, write and just have creative control over great long-lasting content.
Do you have any advice for other “Made in NY” PAs or people who might be interested in the program?
If this is something you want to do and think you'd be great at it, go for it. Don't be afraid of the long hours, the loads of equipment, the large crew size; just remain focused and determined, and you will go so far. I get to go to work every day and meet tons of interesting people from all walks of life, all the while doing what I love. I'm so excited for what the future holds for me and the City of New York.
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.