From Atlanta to Hollywood
From Atlanta to Hollywood, Nayisha Bargblor isn’t wasting a single second in pursuing her passions and neither are we in sharing her story. Introducing — Nayisha Bargblor.
Would start by telling our Readers where you’re from & your background in the Entertainment Industry?
Originally from Brooklyn, but my mother relocated to Atlanta in 1996. I remember the day that we moved as if it were yesterday. I was 13 yrs old and wasn’t prepared to leave our family and friends.
I have so many good memories of living in Brooklyn. My grandmother loved to entertain and she would throw parties at her place. Any chance I was able to dance I would.
I was also a big storyteller as a child; I had a big imagination and would tell people all sorts of lies to see how far I could stretch the truth.
When I was in my teens, I had my own experience of the story “The boy who cried wolf.”
It was a clique of girls that I hung around with in school. One of the girls lied on me that I was bad mouthing one of the other girls. They all confronted me in a big circle about it and only one of my friends believed me.
I felt like I was out casted out of the group and it was a humiliating time for me. From that day I knew that I had to stop lying to people and made it my mission to always be truthful.
But back to answering your question, I wanted to be in front of the camera up to the age of 14. My mother enrolled me in performance art classes but as time progressed that passion subsided. During my auditions I would have terrible stage fright and then I began to put that goal behind me.
In College, I decided to look for a profession behind the camera and received a bachelor degree of fine arts in Media Production.
How did you first get involved in the Entertainment Industry?
I interned on the set of Teen Wolf Season 1 as a production assistant and was blessed to work on multiple projects since then.
You’ve primarily worked in Atlanta, but recently relocated to Los Angeles, what has that transition been like and what inspired the move?
While I was working on Insurgent, I was able to work with some great people and witness the creativity come to life on screen. It inspired me to want more than what I was doing. One of my favorite sets on the movie is the Factionless set; all of it was built on stage.
This faction was an outcast in their society. They are impoverished and lived in ruins. Walking through that set sparked a fire to push harder for my dream. I went to talk with one of the Producers and told him that I want to become a creative producer.
One of his suggestions was to relocate to Los Angeles. I started to look into relocating but the cost of breaking my lease for my apartment was over my budget. It would cost me four times the amount of rent. I didn’t have the money at the time and started to put that goal behind me.
A few months have passed and now I’m working on another movie. On Oct 3rd of last year, something devastating happened to me. The entire week I would wake up at 4:30am for my hour drive to set.
That Friday, I got up early around 4:00am. I almost went back to sleep but I got ready for work instead. I fixed my hair in a high puff and jumped in the shower.
Finishing up, I reach for my towel and a shadow came in. I did a double take and the shadow was now gone. Surely, I had been tired from working a long production week.
But, to be precautious I stayed in the shower and looked through a peek in my shower curtain. My bathroom had a huge mirror and I was able to see into my bedroom with the door open.
There standing in front of my closet was a man. Immediately I begin to panic and thought he came there to kill me. Who was this man? How did he get in?
I didn’t hear anything while I was in the shower! I thought to myself that he came in while I wasn’t noticing and will take what he needs and leave. He walked past my bed and then stood against my bedroom wall waiting for me. My legs felt like they were going to cave in under me.
I started talking to God saying, “Surely, this isn’t my story!”
Something told me to get out of the shower, that I couldn’t let him corner me there. I said a prayer and asked God for strength to face him. I looked around for something to defend myself with and all I had was shampoo and a wide toothcomb.
I put on my towel, grabbed the comb and started to slowly exit the shower. As I’m trying to make my exit, my 4:30am alarm goes off and it startles me.
I then try to exit out the door that leads to the hallway and the intruder meets me there. Now I am face to face with my attacker. I have no idea who this guy is.
He was about 6ft tall, clean-shaven and he seemed to have sense in what he was doing. I managed to speak but it took everything out of me. In a loud, unrecognizable voice I yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE?!”
At this point its fight or flight; I accepted that I may die that morning and was ready to fight for it. He looked at me and said, “I have the wrong place.”
In my mind I thought, what kind of sick game are you playing? I didn’t break my stare and he slowly left my apartment through my back patio door. He closed the door behind him as if he was there before.
I ran to the door and locked it behind him. Ran to grab my cell and dialed 911. It took them 18 minutes to get there. Do you know how much damage you can do in 18 minutes?
After that incident, you can imagine that I replayed it many times in my mind. A close friend made a statement that has stuck with me — How many stories do you hear of home invasions that ended like yours? That traumatic incident woke me up!
In an instant my life could have been taken away or left with an event that could have turned for the worse! What is life if I don’t work hard for what I want?
I want to be able to really live life and not go through the motions of getting by.
Within a month from the incident, I was able to get out of my lease with a refunded deposit. Now I can continue to plan to relocated to Los Angeles and pursue the pathway of becoming a creative producer.
I had to take back control of my life and not let something that traumatizing cripple me.
I allowed it to fuel my passions in what I believe is the right direction.
I have been in Los Angeles since February 5th and it has truly been a blessing. It has been an easy transition to make new friends and work on new projects. Recently, I was able to work as a production assistant on the set of Blackish.
The cast and crew are awesome and I was ecstatic to meet Kenya and his writing team. I haven’t landed my dream job yet but I’m well on my way. Every day is a mission to work on my craft, network and enjoy another day of life.
In April, I begin my classes of stand up comedy. There I will be able to combat my stage fright and improve on my writing skills.
For those that don’t know, what are the typical duties of a Production Assistant (PA), on a film/tv set?
Being a Set Production Assistant falls under the Assistant Directors department or the AD’s. The AD department runs production on set and are responsible to communicating to the crew of the production schedule.
There are usually three different AD’s; the 1st AD, 2nd AD and 2nd 2nd AD. Usually before pre-production or during, the AD’s hire their production assistants.
Depending on the budget of the Film or Television Series, AD’s may hire three to four production assistants. On each set you’ll find a Key Set PA or an acting key, 1st Team PA and a Background PA.
The key PA usually stays on set to support the 1st AD and 2nd 2nd AD. This person is responsible with the lock up’s, communicating to department heads, setting background, etc. The 1st team PA would be assisting in getting the actors ready at base and being with them on set.
This PA would also communicate with hair, makeup, costumes and sound on which actor will be seen on camera. Most of the times there are two PA’s that help with 1st team; one at basecamp and another on set.
The background PA is responsible for checking in the stand-ins and background. This person will also communicate with hair, makeup and costumes on the featured background and the times for them to report to set.
Having been a PA, you’ve likely seen how different departments operate, is there a particular department you’re more drawn to & why?
I love the creative process of building characters and seeing them come to life on camera. My end goal is to write and produce a comedic series on a major network.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
The most challenging thing for me is getting accustomed to the long hours of production. You’re working for 12 to 16 hour days.
For example; on the last day of production on a 6-month TV series, I worked 23 hours straight.
Production squeezed all the work in that last week, so that we wouldn’t have to return after the winter holiday to continue filming.
It was hard juggling my work and personal life. Over time I’ve learned how to move things around to fit my schedule; make online payments and deposits, calling friends and family during lunch, stretching, developing healthy eating habits, etc.
Another thing that helps me is building on my faith walk. Working in this industry you have to develop thick skin. Some of the craziest things that have been said to me have happened while working on set.
Going to church and having my daily devotions help me to balance my work and personal life.
I think with anything in life, you have to find a balance that works best for you.
How has the growth of Social Media Impacted your career?
Being a freelance production assistant means that you’re getting most of your work by referrals or an established relationship.
Social media has helped me to stay in contact with friends and coworkers.
It is another form of networking without constantly having to send emails and calls.
What are your current career aspirations?
There are so much pain and turmoil in this world! I want to impact it by creating social change and to develop opportunities in the urban communities.
Writing on a television series on topics that I’m passionate about, will help me to affect my audience in a positive manner.
Top 5 Favorite moments thus far in Entertainment?
Oh Boy! Top 5 fav…Lets see.
1.Seeing my name on the Call Sheet on Teen Wolf for the first time. I had been interning for a few months and finally seeing my name in black was exciting.
2. It was awesome working closely to legendary actors like Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, and Kevin Kline on the movie Last Vegas. These are actors that I grew up watching and to be in there presence was just an honor.
3. Meeting Dwayne Johnson while working on Fast and Furious 7–2nd Unit. Our unit got to do all the stunts of crashing cars and explosions. When I saw Dwayne Johnson, you could’ve made a river with all the droll I had over him! That was definitely a plus!
4. Working on a BET show called The Game; I met one of my closest friends on that show. Might sound cheesy but one day I was having the worst day at work. He came and we prayed together. That meant everything to me and we’re best friends today.
5. Getting my make up done in the hair and makeup trailer. I’ve learned tips and tricks of the trade from professional hair and makeup artist.
What was it like to work on location in Las Vegas?
That was my first time working in Vegas and I was there for a month. I did not enjoy working there because everything was a detour. You can’t just walk straight down to the next hotel; you have to take a detour up a bridge or through another building. Not being able to open the window for a month was like being in prison. As you can tell, I didn’t care for it.
Being in Vegas for two days is my limit.
You’ve worked in television and film, how do they compare, and do you have a preference of working on one over the other?
For me it depends on the project and my department heads. Television is scheduled on how many episodes they have. Production can run for 4 to 6 months to a year.
You have the flexibility to develop your craft and build a strong relationship with your department, cast and crew.
Features typically have a larger budget than television and most of them have a shorter run than television. I’ve been able to see some cool stuff like throwing a school bus off of a 50ft cliff or trying not to laugh so hard and blow a take because Will Ferrell just said something hilarious in a scene.
For now, I would prefer working on television. Landing a writers assistant job will allow me to develop my skill.
What did you do to prepare for your career?
I went to the Art Institute of Atlanta and American Intercontinental for Media Production. They both taught me the basics to help me understand how production works.
The best ways to get the experience is by getting on a production set and observing it for yourself.
Interning gave me room to grow and ask questions without the pressure of being staffed.
Once you’re staffed, people tend to have a low tolerance level in helping you grow and understanding the mistakes that you’ve made.
What was it like working on “Last Vegas?”
I really enjoyed my department the most on that show! I also became close to one of my best friends during production. She was my roommate at the Aria in Vegas and from that we’re like sisters now.
Did you/do you have a mentor or someone that either helped you along the way or gave you really good career advice?
Recently, I have become vocal in pursing my dreams. Before, I would never talk about my dreams or myself at work.
Later on I realized that it is ok to ask for help and you must express what you want in order for people to help you.
Kristina Peterson, a 2nd AD that I worked with often would give me lots of encouragement. She also helped me to understand how people work and she genuinely cares for people.
I’m also blessed to reach out to people that I have come to love and respect like Christina Fong, Cheryl Miller, and Rob Hoffman.
What is something you found surprising about working in Entertainment?
How certain actors can totally disregard the entire crew on a film or tv set. Its amazing how one person can impact the working morale in a good or positive way. I’ve seen it done with an actor whose presence can motivate the crew on set to move faster.
Then I’ve seen an actor have the crew and cast wait for 30 minutes because he didn’t have the right Nike bag his character would carry into a room.
Where can people go to find out more about you and your projects?
My IMDB Page or look for me on Facebook — Nayisha Bargblor.