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.
October 9, 2013 - Just a few years ago, Eric Perez was a supermarket manager. “I was looking for something different, some versatility that wasn’t the same old,” he remembered. That something turned out to be the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program.
Perez, who grew up on the Upper West Side before moving to the Bronx with his wife and daughter, learned through a family connection about the program that prepares New Yorkers for entry-level jobs on sets and in production offices. “They taught us so much, like how to act on set,” he said.
Since graduating from the program in August 2012 as part of Cycle 27, he’s worked on a few independent films, a Nickelodeon show, some commercials and as an union grip on “Blue Bloods” and “Person of Interest.” “I’ve been all over the place.”
He likes the freedom of the work, though he recognizes it comes with long hours. “Sometimes, I have less time with my family so I really cherish the time I do get to spend with them,” he said.
His friends and family continue to be impressed by his career. “They say, ‘You get to do such amazing things,’ but they don’t know all the hard work that goes into it.”
His focus now is on his goal of joining Local 52 as a grip. “I’d like to be able to influence a production, knowing I built that rig,” he said. “I’m a hands-on kind of person.”
For people interested in applying to the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, Perez has this advice: “Make sure you’re ready to dedicate yourself to this. It’s important to understand the hours that go into the job.”
And something else they can look forward to is becoming a part of the “Made in NY” family. On set, Perez is always meeting “Made in NY” PAs who have gone through the program. “It’s like an instant family, even if you didn’t know them a moment before.”
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.