“Made in NY” Graduate of the Month: Tanesha Hartfield
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.
May 5, 2014 - From out of work to a career she loves, Tanesha Hartfield, a Harlem native, changed her life by taking part in the 25th cycle of the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program.
Tanesha Hartfield. Photo courtesy of BWI.
What were you doing before you began the program?
Prior to the program, I was working as a bookseller until I was laid off.
What made you decide to pursue a career in entertainment production?
When I was laid off, I decided that I would not take any other job unless it was in the film industry.
What was your experience like during the training?
Training was a blast. It really gives you a feel for what it is like to work in the industry. I learned the stuff that they don’t teach in film school.
What projects have you worked on since graduation? What are you currently working on?
I have worked on “Snookie & JWoww,” a feature called Learning to Drive, The Amazing Spider-Man and more. I'm currently working as the production secretary on a feature called The Great Gilly Hopkins.
How has your life changed since the program?
My life has changed for the better. I am able to have a career versus a job. I work in the field I love.
What do you family and friends think about your new career?
My family and friends are very supportive and love my career choice. I recently had a baby, and my boyfriend is a stay-at-home dad, so that I can continue to grow my career.
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?
My experience thus far have been great. Every day is a learning experience. There are people who have worked in this industry for 25 years and are still learning the tricks of the trade.
What are your career goals, both short- and long-term?
My goal this year is to get into the union, Local 161, as an assistant production coordinator. In the long run, I want to be a producer.
Do you have any advice for other “Made in NY” PAs or people who might be interested in the program?
My advice is to take a leap of faith and just do it. I was very hesitant about entering the world of freelance, but once I started, I haven't looked back. You will never know how good (or bad) you are at something until you try.
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.