I can’t say enough how small this industry really is. Whether you are working in Nowhere, Idaho, or in the heart of Los Angeles, we’re all separated by only a few degrees from one another (cue the Kevin Bacon game). The talent aren’t the only ones who have to mind their p’s and q’s , though. Each industry partner is giving the same opportunities to protect or demolish their future potential. The bottom line is that you don’t have to like everyone, but you do have to work with them regardless, so showing common courtesy and respect to even the PA or intern is wise.
For example, I was reminded at dinner the other night about a fairy-tale story I watched unfold a few years back. I booked a model on a print shoot with a well-respected photographer. It was a small job and she was a part time talent, so there wasn’t a lot of thought that went into it from my end, admittedly. A few months passed and I found out a budding romance had developed while on set between this model and photographer. (NOTE: I strongly advise against getting involved romantically with someone who could hire you if being a talent is a career focus.) But warning aside, this romance turned into a permanent deal and the two love birds are now happily married.
This same talent had repeated bad experiences with another industry professional while auditioning for prior work. Turns out that the now married photographer used to do business from time to time with that same industry person with whom his now wife had so many unfavorable experiences. Since they met, the photographer and industry partner have never joined forces again.
Now did this industry partner do anything terrible? No. The point here is that you never know where that intern or PA will end up down the road. Be kind to them now, while they are open to new connections. It’s not your place to be their best friend or bosom buddy, but be sure they have warm feelings when they hear your name.