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L.A. TV, Film Production Exodus Affects Bizzers: Set Painter Jill Haber

Caution served her well last year when her work as a Los Angeles-based set painter was coming to a halt

Jill Haber, 51, believes that caution served her well last year when her work as a Los Angeles-based set painter was coming to a halt.

“I was actually looking for a house to buy, and almost purchased one,” she recalls. “But as work slowed even more, I made the decision not to buy. Looking back, I made the right decision, because if I did purchase it, I most likely would have lost it by now.”

Haber lives in the San Fernando Valley with a friend who helps her pay the rent, but she says a second extension of unemployment benefits has just run out. The savings she was going to use to buy a house is practically gone now, too, she adds. “I have started to sell some of (the) jewelry and antiques my mother had left me,” she says. “I also am selling my horse equipment such as saddles (and) bridles.” Since NBC’s “Chuck,” on which she worked for 2½ years, ceased production two years ago, work has been sporadic. “I was lucky to find anything,” she says. “I don’t remember it ever being like that.”

Haber may leave L.A. and move to Florida to live with a relative. “I might just pick and go … it’s really gotten cutthroat out here.” Money is so short that she’s unable to help out her dog, Toby, who has a torn ACL. “I haven’t been able to take care of it,” she sayss. “That’s how bad it is.”

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