Ask Atlas: The Pull of the Famous Relatives: 4.36
Somewhere along the way, I became an authority on the world of Hollywood. Some of you, dear readers, have turned to me, a completely anonymous personage, for help. I get questions from writers wanting advice for meetings, people asking what I've heard about working with certain people or agencies, young bloggers seeking a blessing, even a question about my favorite car service (don't really have one, actually, although readers like PTS Limo/Executive Transport for demanding bosses).
My friends, have no fear, your Hollywood assistant superhero is here!
Today's letter comes courtesy of "Paul", who writes:
Your blog is great, it's helping me get ready for my future agent job. I have question: I have a very famous relative who i barely talk too, but still we have a lot in common. He has an agent at a big name agency, so obviously i'm thinking about how i can exploit him. What should i shoot for? Mail room, assistant to the executive assistant, or higher? he's a straight shooter and family so i don't wanna play him, i gotta be pretty up front with what i want, but i just wanna know how far an agent with bend for an A list client?
In response, I say: Dear Paul,
Interesting. Based on your willingness to work any angle to get ahead, I'd say you might be cut out to be an Ari. Here's what I'd do-- decide if you want to be an agent, first. If you want to be anything else, the connections should work, but just use them to get you started down the right path.
As to how far an agent would bend for an A-lister, insert your own buttlove joke here. Truthfully, it kinda depends. If you have some skills (ie- a good university education, a little experience as an assistant or prod. asst., anything, really) your A-List relative could probably score you a second assistant job on another agent's desk in the company. If you have no experience whatsoever, he could probably still get you into the mail room.
Here's how he'd have to pitch it to his agent (whom we'll call Ari for obvious reasons):
"We're all a big family here at XXX agency, aren't we, Ari? That's why I really want my nephew to work here- so our families can get closer. Because I think we both know that you don't want my nephew over at the agency across town telling me how great it is over there all the time, now do you?"
And then your relative would have to make sure Ari gave the HR person a call to ensure you got an assistant position on some relatively important person's desk. Make sure Ari knows that Uncle A-Lister is expecting you to get a call within a few days for an interview. If hired, you will likely start at the bottom of the agency assistant food chain, but it'll be almost ideal training for you.
Now, remember, pulling this off (and by 'this', I mean using nepotism successfully) could be tough. If Uncle A-Lister decamps for another agency, you could find a tough environment if you stay behind. And if you follow, you'll have taken another step forward thanks to nepotism. The key is that you'll have to wean yourself off of nepotism at some point or you're just another Eisner kid.
And finally, here's a little ditty I found at the Dabbler's Diary that might inspire you. It's called The Agency Blues. Enjoy.
TECHNORATI TAGS: Hollywood, Agency, assistant, Agent, Ari, nepotism