It is a great pleasure to write this for Maria and the Calling All Crew team/ Family.
I have been with Calling All Crew going on 8 years now and it's hard to believe that it would have been possible to survive if not for Maria and Calling All Crew.
I started out as 20 something travelling down to Sydney to do work experience in my TAFE holidays trying to make a go of it. Everybody I met said "Join up with Maria". TAFE finished, I packed up, moved down and did just that.
Maria was warm and friendly, a wealth of knowledge and experience, the kind of person you need in your corner starting out in the tough freelance world.
She placed me on her "Trainee" section which is a great launching pad where clients would take a chance on someone who was keen but not yet fully aware of all the goings on of the industry. This allowed me to get a great understanding, to learn the ropes and culture without the feeling of being chewed up and spat out which can happen with some clients. This hand picked understanding and nurturing of clients was perfect for the exposure I needed to move forward with my career.
It was not long until Maria called explaining with the feed back she had been getting that it was time for the next step to move to the "Apprentice level".
With this came some great opportunities, More responsibilities and larger client base some of which in one form or another are still some of my best clients today. This is where you get exposed to the high end full paced productions where they are either willing to, or sometimes forced to take a chance and this can be your big break as it was for me when a busy period in the outside broadcast industry caused one of the big players to look for new crew. Since then I've never looked back!
The clients at Apprentice level understand you have been working for a while and might not be familiar with their processes but if you are keen and work hard they will give you time and you can become a regular.
The building up stages leads you to the "A list" where you are now instantly recognised as a professional and some of the biggest production companies will call for you based on the fact that Maria and CAC deem you to be worthy of the "A list". Again they may have someone sick or a busy period will have them short of crew, they will bring you on for what may seem like a one off thing but 5 years later you're still working for them regularly as a part of your tight knit client base.
The whole journey through the ranks of Calling All crew is a great one. It will help expose you to the tough freelance industry at a pace that is tailored to you. Maria is always there at the end of the phone if you need advice or support.
Congratulations Maria on 25 years of great work and thank you for having me on board to be a part of it.