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My DREAM is to work on film sets.

My dream is to work on film sets, and I needed an internship in order to graduate film school. So I was ecstatic when I found an internship to help out on a feature film shoot. I applied and within a day I got a phone call. I went down to their office and sat down for an interview. It was a gorgeous office, with probably half a dozen people working there. Shooting had already begun on the feature, so I guess they were just looking for people to pickup some of the slack. This interview was slightly odd because they knew they couldn’t pay me, but still asked me what I thought I would get out of it. I replied that I would be getting college credit and suddenly she sounded relieved.

Regardless they decided to bring me on. The location was quite the distance from my house (more than 30 miles) but I didn’t care. I was going to be on a film set. The picture was a period piece and even had some name talent. The crew was great and the actors were great to be around. All in all I had a blast. So, at the end of the day I made sure everything was put away and I headed home.

I was scheduled to go back to the set a couple days later as to work with my school schedule (this negotiation was part of my initial meeting). Come late the second day I get a phone call from the AD with a surprise. Apparently, their production insurance didn’t cover for interns, so in other words I was let go after one day through no fault of my own. The AD thanked me for my help and said if they could keep me on they would. I don’t know if this is code for something, but he did sound sincere. I just find it odd that they would go through the trouble of bringing me on without checking their insurance. If I had gotten hurt on that first day who knows what could have happened.

School was already in session so I had to quickly refill paperwork and find another internship. But that is another story.

The only thing I would have done differently in this venture, is during that phone call from the AD, I would have asked him to bring me on as crew, to hire me. If he liked, my work then there should be no reason (other than money) why he couldn’t bring me on.

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It was the year 2010 when I just graduated from college and was sitting on my ass applying, reapplying and applying again to many upon many of jobs. I heard no responses, and I then decided to go the intern route cause maybe JUST maybe there was a paid internship out there.
I stumbled upon an internship that was completely within my field of studies, that paid for my room/board, and had a stipend of money. I applied. I waited a while and finally got a response. I came for the interview that was about 16 hours away from where I went to school, but I went for it anyway.
I knew what I was quasi getting into: I would be working with kids that had had mental health issues ranging in age from 7-17. AND that I would have to do some shit like restraints, but I thought, “They guaranteed jobs when you get out of this, so why not?” Also, on a side note I’ve seen a lot of “dark things” in my youth so I was up for the challenge and I was up for being involved in guiding.

If it wasn’t the shitty/long hours it was the fucking criticism that you would receive on a daily bases from upper management. You would work a 16 hour shift and then be required to work yet another 8 hour shift just so that you would make your “requirement.” Myself and others were treated like mule horses. There were also staff members that were kind of like spies so when you went to the bar to “unwind” there would be someone that would go to report you to HR. I saw my file and I scoffed with laughter. Yes, I drank a lot, but I don’t think anyone would necessarily blame me when your hours were long and you’d get out of work at like, 12am. I doubt there was a yoga class that I could go to at around that time.

I was written up, a lot. Mostly for not picking up shifts, but then the one reason that just made me break down was for being sarcastic. I was sarcastic with my coworkers, but it wasn’t that mean type-of sarcasm. It was just dry and I wouldn’t do that in front of the kids.

Speaking of the kids, i seemed like a lot of staff were more knit picky towards their negative behavior and a lot of them were not rewarded as much. Same went with staff: You were treated like some sort of robot that could not share emotions/feelings. In meetings that I was in the manager of that facility would ignore anything that came out of my mouth because she found me to be completely incompetent.

By the end, when I was done with that year-of-hell internship, I wasn’t guaranteed a job due to my write-up. Also, mental health cuts were made in the state that I resided in.. Travesty, really. The world of helping those with mental issues has become such a crying shame. The only positive experience was the other interns that felt the wrath just as much as I did, and yeah, most of them had gotten jobs there but quit shortly after 6 months. I will always remember their support and myself supporting them. I will also remember the skills of Dialect behavior therapy that basically helps me to this day when I EVER feel overwhelmed.

However, I wish to never remember countless nights of eightballin’ myself with redbull and 5 hour shots, drinking till I wouldn’t be annoyed anymore, and being criticized about how tired I seemed after an 18 hour shift.
Yeah, that’s what work PTSD looks like.

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