Some Things I Learned From Working in Hollywood

Really helpful information for people who want to work in showbiz or know what Charo smells like.

Dec 5, 2011 at 3:00pm | Leave a comment

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People often ask me if I ever thought about working in television. Wait, sorry, let me clarify: People often ask me why there aren't multiple TV shows based on my amazing life, competing with each other in similar time slots. You know, "Lipstick Jungle" and "Cashmere Mafia."

The truth is, I worked on a television show once. Actually, on a couple. After college, I ran away to Hollywood, where I moved into a building directly behind the one where the hooker roommates live in "Pretty Woman." Before I got my first Internet writing gig, I worked a series of thankless, low-level jobs gleaned from the section of UTA job list subheaded "Extra Demeaning."

I was dead broke but I met tons of cool people and still had plenty of time to work on my virtuoso horror comedy about the antichrist*. I was basically that brilliant but cruelly undiscovered violinist from that Jamie Foxx movie but way more talented and more cruelly undiscovered.
 
If you've ever wondered what it's like to work as a PA, receptionist, intern, gopher, editorial assistant, and all-purpose showbiz bitch, I'd like to share with you a few things you should know beforehand.

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BOSSES.

You will have at least one boss with age-inappropriate facial hair.

Taking your visiting mom to the Chateau Marmont for lunch is really fun until you get back to the office and she notices that one of your bosses has hilariously changed your desktop to midget porn.

If you work for a television show that specializes in celebrity coverage, you may quit shortly after your boss demands upon hearing of a newly dead person, "Somebody get in a cab and follow that hearse!"

Never, ever answer a Craigslist ad to be somebody's assistant that involves going to his house in Encino and being asked to park down the street.

If your boss invites you over to his fancy house in the hills, it is bad form to drink so much you fall asleep in his Jacuzzi.

You'll be briefly upset when your boss submits that picture of you with pink hair and chola eyebrows to Hottest Hollywood Assistants until you're ranked #7. Then it's flattering!

When moving offices, your boss may suggest that you go hire a few migrant workers from outside the Home Depot to help. Donnnnn't do this!

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BEING A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

Never ever get Yum Yum donuts. Yum Yum donuts are bullshit.

BEING A RECEPTIONIST

Nobody grabs the door at the exact time you buzz them in. They will wait until you are done buzzing then furiously yank at the door. You will learn to enjoy this.

That one crazy lady who always thinks you are hiding her packages turns out to compulsively order vibrators and knives.

When actors come in to audition for the production company upstairs but demand to know where their "sides" are, have a script handy for a Massengil commercial.

Try to work someplace with a desk big enough to sleep under when you are hungover and pretending to be "at lunch."

SCRIPT WORK

Brass brads can really cut up your hands.

Don't accept freelance formatting work from a crazy Christian guy who wants to make a movie about Christian extreme skateboarders. Wait, no, do, it's hilarious.

Script coverage is really fun on the first day and on the second day you will probably be done with the whole "watching movies" thing.

Screenwriters are great lays. All of them. Every last one. Bang them.

THE PARAMOUNT LOT

Make friends with the smoothie guy!

CELEBRITIES

Donny Osmond thinks your name is Julia.

Dennis Haskins gives great hugs.

If you tell Juicy J a joke and he doesn't think it's funny, he will stare at you for a really long time.

Donal Logue is incredibly fucking handsome.

Jason Segel is incredibly fucking handsome.

Ted Danson is incredibly fucking handsome.

When you see Jon Hamm, you will literally temporarily black out from his beauty. I'm not joking about this.

Do not fuck with Florence Henderson. EVER.

Charo! Is! Fucking! Great!

You will learn to be very cool about celebrities until you smoke right next to Johnny Depp and you will call your mom right after and somebody will take a picture of it and this is what your face will look like:

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PAT O'BRIEN'S MUSTACHE

Don't look directly at Pat O'Brien's mustache. He will catch you.

FINALLY

Don't hate on CPK, their thai salad is pretty good.

*It was not very good.