The Job Situation

I first came to Vancouver at the end of a long roadtrip in late August/early September 2009 and I completely fell in love with the place. I knew when I was leaving that I would be back; I would just have to figure out the details later.

Christmas Eve I sat down to catch up on a few DVRed episodes of Fringe, one of which took place in Chinatown.

“That looks like Vancouver…don’t be ridiculous. You know they shoot that show in New York. The last Chinatown you were in was in Vancouver. Don’t assume they all look alike.”

So I checked IMDb to prove to myself how wrong I was. And it turned out no, I was wrong for thinking I was wrong. The production moved for its 2nd season and I have a freakishly random photographic memory. (I was only in Chinatown once that trip.)

“Oh my god! Wouldn’t it be great if I could get a job on that show??!? Oh my god–how do I–what do I–who? Okay. Breathe. Focus.”

So I scoured IMDbPro and found contact information for the Head of Television Production at Bad Robot. I wanted to call her right then but it was 9pm on an international day of holiness so I reasoned it probably wasn’t the best time.

I waited until the first Wednesday after the new year, the 6th. I was so nervous and at first I just sat there staring at the phone, willing it to dial and speak for me. As I tried to talk myself into it I noticed the red 1 on my mail icon.

Seriously, universe

And so with that and a surge of confidence, I picked up the phone and dialed.

“Bad Robot.”
“Hello, may to speak to [head of Television Production] please.”
“Please hold.”
To myself: Omg omg omg omg this is happening. Right now. Don’t be a spaz. This is just a phone call. And you probably won’t speak to her today anyway. The worst that can happen is she says no and you’d be in the exact same position you’re in now.
“Hello, [HTP]’s office.”
“Hi, may I speak to her please?”
“She’s in a meeting right now.”
“Okay, well can I leave contact information for her to get back to me?”
“Sure. And will she know what this is regarding?”
“It’s about Fringe.”

I gave him my name and phone number and myself a pat on the back and went on about my day. I figured I would probably have to make that phone call everyday for about a month or so until anyone took me seriously. That was about 10:30 a.m.

At 2:38 p.m. I got a call back.


Omg I don’t even–how–but–I can’t even figure out what a cell phone is right now!

I missed the first call, immediately called back and was told, “Yeah, we did just call you but someone just walked in so we’ll call you right back.”

Breathe breathe breathe breathe breathe. This is what you want remember? You will do this. You will make this happen! Now, I wonder when they’ll call back?

I didn’t have to wait long because “right back” = 2:41 p.m.

“Okay, you’re on with [HTP].”
“Hello. Happy New Year! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to get a job as a PA on Fringe so I am calling you to set up a meeting so that you can see how fabulous I am and offer me the position.”

She laughed.  Told me that the way they get tax credits is by hiring locally so nothing could happen while I was in L.A. but to call her back once I was in the country and she would put me in touch with the line producer. I thanked her. We hung up. I reminded my lungs how to exchange  O2 for CO2.

It was a brief but encouraging conversation and I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe that it even happened.

I sent her a thank you card a few days later.

Then another card in March when the show was nominated for 4 Saturn Awards.

She had told me that the show started back up in June which was perfect because I was already thinking May/June anyway so I decided to wait until the week after my birthday to make the drive up. Towards the end of April I called again to see if there was anything that I could/should be doing to increase my chances of things working out. I didn’t get a call back which I interpreted in 2 ways. Either:

  1. There was nothing, hence why she told me to call back when I was in the country or
  2. I was being blown off because who I am to them?

I preferred the first one but it didn’t matter because I was still coming. Vancouver felt like home to me before I knew Fringe shot here and I hoped it would still feel that way if I never got to speak to anyone at Bad Robot again. (But still, I really hoped it was the first one.)

I originally attempted to cross the border on Friday, May 14th. After that was unsuccessful I stayed in Bellingham, WA until far too early for good sense Tuesday morning. Monday afternoon, while at a bagel shop in downtown Btown (I’m sure no one calls it that), my phone rang. BAD ROBOT WAS CALLING ME!


“Hey. [HTP] asked me to call you to have you email over your résumé so that we can send it to the people in Vancouver and see if there’s even a position available. We’d hate for you to go to any great expense and there not even be a job.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was just hoping that when I got to Van and called back that she would take my call again. Not to mention that she’d have to follow through on what she said; that there’d have to be a position available; that the line producer would have to want to hire me; and lastly that the government of Canada would have to say that it was a job I was allowed to have.


I raced back to the hotel room and emailed it over. I emailed again on Wednesday to give them my Canadian phone number.

It’s June 1st. I’ve been in Vancouver 2 weeks today. I haven’t heard anything since.

I don’t know when in June things start again but in the event that I were to be hired, I’d need to file for a work visa and I’ve seen everything from same day to 6 weeks when it comes to processing time–I think the average is 3 weeks though.

I know I should contact them again but I’m not ready to admit to myself that this may be just another case of the almosts.

About J.

A former twentysomething with a head full of curls and heart full of questions wondering: when we get to nirvana, will there be food?
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3 Responses to The Job Situation

  1. Jamie Kornberg Phillips says:

    Keep the faith! I am keeping it for you…

  2. Pingback: I don’t remember how it started | Footsteps On Concrete

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