A screenwriter with real credits advertised that he is looking for an intern, and it looked like a good way to make some connections so I shot him a resume and short note. He e-mailed back asking me to call him to arrange an appointment. He was all set to give me some time when he asked the fatal question: Are you working full-time? The answer to that, of course, is yes, because unless you're living off a generous trust fund or your last name is Clampett, it's pretty hard to get by in the City of Angels without a full-time gig. Whatsmore, let's be clear that this internship was unpaid, and only came with the vague promise of paid expenses and perhaps some money sometime down the line -- how's that for a solid deal?
So I admitted that, yes, I am a common wage slave.
My would-be mentor quickly piped up, "Don't bother, Bro', a full-time job ain't gonna cut it." Stunned, I muttered something like, "OK, thanks anyway." I had scarcely gotten the words out before I heard a click on the other end of the line.
OK, so let's review: I was willing to donate my time for free to an internship that would likely never reward me with any real cash, and I was OK with that. I was even willing to commute to Hollywood to do it. But in this town it's hard to get even an unpaid gig if you are unable to offer full-time devotion to the job.
Yup, sounds fair to me.