“Made in NY” Graduate of the Month: Mabell Fernandez
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.
August 19, 2014 - Working a typical 9 to 5 job, Mabell Fernandez, a Bronx native who grew up in Queens and now lives in Staten Island, didn’t really think she’d ever be able to pursue her dream to work in production. “I always had my eye on the film and TV industry,” she said. After being laid off from her job at a medical company, she learned, through a friend, about the “Made in NY” PA Training Program, the free program that prepares unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers for entry level jobs in the production industry, and thought it might be her chance to explore the kind of career she always wanted to pursue.
Once accepted into the program, she took her daily two hour commute from Staten Island in stride, sometimes having to wake up at 3:30am in order to be ready for a 6am call. She likened the training to a “very intense boot camp” that prepared her for what productions would expect of her on set. She also learned to set personal goals and work toward them.
“The program was phenomenal,” she said. “The most important things I learned were patience and hard work and to be on time.”
Fernandez graduated as a part of Cycle 29 in February 2013 – in the middle of a blizzard – and has worked on many productions since then, including projects for MTV and VH1. She also worked as a camera PA on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and she’s currently a part of the reality series “Black Ink Crew,” where she’s worked for the past year and a half. Her role of coordinator means she’s involved with anything related to the show's talent. She’s also been able to bring on some of her fellow graduates from the PA program to work on the show.
Her favorite part of her job is working with the stylists involved with “Black Ink Crew.” “I have an eye for fashion,” she said. Her ultimate goals include becoming an executive producer and producing her own projects in the near future.
She is also a mother of two, and her family is “ecstatic” for her and fully support her efforts to work in the industry. “Without the support of my family, I wouldn’t have been able to do this.
“I now say I have a career that I have a passion for,” she said.
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.