The Perks of Being a Day Player

Posted on: Jan 25, 2024

Photo Credit: Tonatom // Shutterstock

By Andrea Joy Tucker

It’s tough not knowing when and where your next job will come from. If you get asked to day play on a gig, a part of you feels a bit relieved and happy to have something, even if it’s for less than a week.

Sure, you may not have the same job security as someone who’s full time (is job security even a thing anymore?). I wanted to outline some actual perks to being a day player, in general or for a specific show or project. Here are some of the fringe benefits of being a day player.

Additional Days

There have been many times where I’ve been asked to be on a project for a day that ends up turning into several paid days on set. This always helps being in a rolodex because regardless of how long they film, something unexpected is always happening. That’s when they call you for help. Speaking of additional days…

Possibility for Full-Time Work

Whether it’s on your current project or a different one, there’s always a possibility that you’ll end up working full time! Think about people who abruptly leave a job. When they move on, someone needs to replace them. Already being on-set increases your chances, versus someone who has never worked on that project before. 

A new person will have to go through start paperwork, possible training and getting in the flow of things on a set that likely has camaraderie amongst the crew, especially if they’ve been filming for several seasons. If you’re already there, they can bring you on full-time with a seamless transition.

(Disclaimer: A show in its first season is more than likely going to feel a bit chaotic and unstructured, as everyone is figuring everything out. Be prepared!)

Making New Connections

As a day player, it’s essential to make new connections and friendships. These are people you can hire for your future projects as well as folks who can hire you for their projects. You’ll also have access to veterans, novices and people from all walks of life that you can learn from. The list can be endless.

Balancing Multiple Projects

Being able to work on several shows at a time because you’re not fully staffed on a project is awesome! Plus, you get more credits to your name as well as resume, IMDb and Staff Me Up pages. Personally, I’ve been able to work with ESPN and a scripted or non-scripted show in the same week. 

In a few cases, I was staffed on a show during the week and worked with ESPN on weekends, which sometimes meant working seven days in a row or more. Having the flexibility of being a day player allowed me the wiggle room to accept more than one project simultaneously. It also means the possibility of juggling both industry work and non-industry work (honestly, some full-time staffers already do this!), especially when production work tends to be slow.  

Free Time

Errands and appointments might not be fun, but sleeping in or binge-watching a show you’ve been meaning to catch up on are. Free time means exploring the city in different ways that you’re not used to, being an audience member for a talk show where you can win cool prizes. You might even go on a brunch or coffee date with a friend who also has free time during traditional working hours.

Those are just some of the perks to being a day player. Of course, there are many more. Everything has its pros and cons, but hopefully you’re not beating yourself up for not being fully staffed, at least at the moment. Who knows? You may get a call to have full-time work for an extended period any moment now!

Andrea Tucker is a writer/producer in sports and entertainment.

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