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The Challenges of Working Freelance TV Jobs

Los Angeles, CA

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J.D. Pruess is a 6-time Emmy award winning sports producer and reporter who has worked for major networks like ESPN & Fox Sports Net and currently works in Los Angeles for a professional sports team’s broadcast department. In this video he tells us about his experience at one of the best Journalism Schools in the county, The University of Missouri.

Video Transcript

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Brian Clapp, SportsTVJobs.com: Before you worked for a professional sports team you spent some time as a freelancer in Los Angeles, what are the pros and cons of working freelance in a city like Los Angeles?

J.D. Pruess: It’s a challenge Brian, some people are made for it and some people aren’t. Working freelance in sports television is exciting, its exhilarating, its frustrating, its nauseating – it’s all of those things. Working full-time freelance even in a city like Los Angeles is an up and down world and its certainly different than the one you go through with a full-time job where you know where your paycheck is coming from and you know where your insurance is coming from.

When you put yourself out there, first off you have to market yourself, you have to put your name out there, you have to schmooze, you gotta find the next thing while you’re doing the current thing – there are a lot of things to think about. Sometimes it can be a challenge to focus on the job on hand while you are thinking about the project that just finished and the project that may be upcoming. It’s a totally different world – most of the jobs in television in Los Angeles are full-time freelance. In Sports and in reality TV in Los Angeles it is mostly a full-time freelance world. Finding a full-time 9-5 job is a pretty hard thing to do, it doesn’t happen all that often. Getting used to that full-time freelance world and learning about self-employed insurance and job forums and networking. It’s a different world that can be challenging but can also be rewarding and exhilarating.

Brian Clapp, SportsTVJobs.com: So it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it sounds like being in Los Angeles is probably one of the best places to live that lifestyle?

J.D. Pruess: Absolutely, I actually did it for a short time in San Francisco around the turn of the millennium but the economy was in a much better place than it is now so I was able to find a good deal of work. I think outside of the major cities like Los Angeles and New York I wouldn’t recommend the freelance world, because in television, especially Sports Television, there just aren’t going to be that many opportunities that if one falls to the side that you can just pick up more work easily. Its really something I would only recommend in cities like New York or Los Angeles and maybe a Chicago or Miami.