Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Assistant Paths: 3.11

This is one of those 'in case you were wondering' sort of posts to head off barrages of email. [barrages- Wikipedia is down, is that a word?]

As illustrated by the various characters of "Entourage", here are the varied varieties of assistant, for those who've always wondered.

Agent's Assistant [Lloyd, Josh Weinstein, Emily/Samaire when she worked for Ari]
Subcategories: Talent vs. Literary, TV vs. Film
starting gig: usually agent trainee or intern
ultimate gig: a superagent, just like Ari.
The bottom line is that agents sell. They sell actors, shows, scripts-- yes, entire lives. Some are evil, and you might indeed WANT your agent to be evil. Trust me, those lunatics at CAA make things happen. Of course, the real Ari heads at Endeavor, the third most-evil agency in Ho'wood.

Kids, you can be Ari when you grow up.

Development Assistant [Emily/Samaire once she moved to James Cameron's Lightstorm]
starting gig: personal pants remover. No seriously, who starts out with a development job?
ultimate gig: Producer, via Director of Development or VP, Development.
Development Assistants are usually glorified secretaries who read scripts. But the development path is one of the most influential throughout the industry. Which means that you'll actually be affecting what Hollywood produces for the length of your career instead of just the end.

You like your good job, don't you, Samaire?

Manager's Assistant [Eric, if he had an assistant]
starting gig: manager's assistant, unless your best friend just happens to be a movie star.
ultimate gig: Manager [that's 5%]
This one's pretty straightforward.
I only need one client.
But if you're gonna be a manager in real life, it might be a good idea to have more than one.

Personal Assistant [Turtle]
starting gig: "Personal Assistant" is the starting gig.
ultimate gig: anything from professional dog-walker to superproducer
A personal assistant can be anything from a right-hand man [or woman] to the maid. This is the most highly-variable of all the positions listed. With this one, you could end up a Gwenn Stroman* or the personal pants remover for Brett Ratner. Frankly, it all depends on the person you're assisting-- with this path more than any other.
*Fun fact: Gwenn Stroman began her career as Drew Barrymore's personal assistant. I'll look for a confirmation or denial of that from Gwenn at some point.

You've gotten really funny this season, Turtle. Good job, Jerry Ferrara.

Production Assistant [no comparable Entourage character]
starting gig: film school, previous experience that you faked
ending gig: the most nebulous: anything from "hardscrabble no-lister for the rest of your living days" to Steven Spielberg.
Production Assistants are the b*tches of sets. They do everything from coffee-fetching to herding cats and/or extras. But they do gain valuable on-set experience. Like knowing when not to eat the last blueberry muffin on the day Star Jones visits the set.
I was never a P.A.

Public Relations Assistant aka- "the PR" [Debi Mazar's assistant]
starting gig: communications major, aka-the easiest major in the history of existence
ending gig: Partner in PR firm, all you can carry in free stuff
If you don't love your mobile more than anything else on earth, this is not the job for you. That's all I'll say.

Debi Mazar must be connected at all times. Or else she will die.

So those are your basic sorts of Ho'wood assistants. There are probably more varieties that I've forgotten, but I'm too tired to do more 'splainin. Comment if you have questions or want clarifications. Now's the time.

Thanks to the cast of for stopping by.

16 Comments:

Blogger The Quintessential Negro said...

It's nice to see that bitch work can actually pay off. Too often, bitch workers are exploited and exploited and exploited again for no personal gain.

You didn't mention how long it takes one to transition from bitch laborer to superbitch. That's what I want to know.

1:24 AM

 
Anonymous underwire said...

Don't forget the Producer's Assistant! I started as a Producer's Assistant up here in Canada, which was basically the shovel behind the elephant as she tore a strip off of the crew, post-production supervisor, cast, innocent passers-by, etc. My job was to make sure no one quit. Until she did, then my job switched from random paperwork to ensuring the completed delivery of the film to the distributor. Egads. From there, I was promoted to Head of Development, which meant the typical d-girl crap of attending events to sweet-talk writers, directors and other producers into working with us. Definition of "sweet-talk"? Use your imagination. Now I write. It's not glamourous or particularly sexy, but at least I don't have to fake the love anymore.

8:13 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're as bad as those old bats who lived and died by what happened Sunday night on Sex and the City. Entourage is just a show, assistant boy.

2:54 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous, you are just an assistant. Furthermore, what kind of an assistant are you? Do you even work in your precious industry which you seem to know nothing about? I've been reading, or rather, attempting to read your blog, and have only come to one conclusion: you have little to no idea about this business minus what you watch on t.v. Oh, and what's with all of the Chad Michael Murray stuff?

3:09 PM

 
Anonymous an_actual_reader said...

To the anon commenters: You should actually read the site before dismissing A/A so easily. First, he hasn't been a fan of Entourage. There was some definite mocking before he decided it got better in the second season [which I totally agree with, btw] My guess is he just used Entourage because it's probably the closest tv show to 'reality' as far as 'the biz' goes-- at least, it has a variety of ho'wood characters that could be used to illustrate the jobs.

Anon @ 3:09: You are the worst kind of arrogant. I can just tell.

As a quickie assistant snapshot, I thought it was decent, if not detailed. It's obvious to me [but again, I've read most of his posts] he knows more than the average Joe about Hollywood.

As for the last part, I guess I really don't know why he uses Chad Michael Murray. But you could probably find out why-- but once again, there'd be that whole reading thing you don't seem to be so good at.

7:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everybody needs to chillax. And Anon@3:09-- isn't the reason people are assistants is that they don't know everything about the system yet?

9:53 PM

 
Blogger writergurl said...

Barrage. No "s".

barrage

n 1: the rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic communication (spoken or written) [syn: outpouring, onslaught] 2: the heavy fire of artillery to saturate an area rather than hit a specific target; "they laid down a barrage in front of the advancing troops"; "the shelling went on for hours without pausing" [syn: barrage fire, battery, bombardment, shelling] v : attack with a barrage; "The speaker was barraged by an angry audience"

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

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