De-Mystifying the UTA Job List: 4.41
A little while back,I mentioned the UTA joblist and many of you were kind enough to send me a copy. The latest ones I duly sent on to the very grateful fledgling assistants. (one even said I was God, as if my ego needs to get bigger...point is, they were grateful, so thanks)
So I was doing some research (read: about 5 minutes of lazy Googling) into the history of the UTA list and reading many of the emails accompanying the list-- many of which were reviews of its effectiveness. Some were quite critical, while others seem convinced of its usefulness.
First off, though, let's destroy the mythology of the list. I mean hey, I like mysteries and all, but when it comes to my career, I don't need any more friggin' mystery. Or drama. Or struggle. Although I doubt I can avoid those last two.
Anyhoo, the UTA list was created about a decade ago, essentially a few years after the Internet got going (remember, kids, it was only in about 1994 that Al Gore invented the Internet). A UTA assistant started the list with the blessing of higher-ups, who are generally okay with their assistants getting promoted after they've abused them for awhile, because it usually expands the reach of the bosses' tentacles. UTA assistants still compile it today.
Now, on to the debate over the list's effectiveness. Here's a good example of the thoughts of the list's detractors:
I'd like to share with you my thoughts on the UTA job list. It has never gotten me -- or anyone I know a job.
I have sent COUNTLESS resumes to it over the years of struggling to get somewhere, anywhere that would let me move up and eventually out of the assistant seat. I have even used it to get resumes for my replacements over the years, but I never ended up hiring from it because the good candidates I called were already working and the poor candidates were not up to snuff. I have gotten a total of 2 calls from those resumes. One person told me I was "overqualified", the other person told me that he called me because I "looked good on paper" and would I be willing to take a meeting to see if I looked as good "in person".
I'd love to know the origins of the list as well, if only to impress my drinking buddies. IMHO it's pretty much a useless waste of time.
Cheers and keep on keepin' on,
"Assistant Woman X"
I would like to personally back up Assistant Woman X's testimony. I applied for perhaps 20 jobs from the UTA job list and was called for exactly one. And that call was a courtesy call telling me the job had been filled.
So I know what she's talkin' about. On the other hand, John August is the most luminary of the luminaries who've spoken on the subject. And he considers the UTA list to be "the classic resource."
But here's why I'm inclined to agree with Assistant Woman X. The UTA assistants siphon off the best jobs for themselves before putting the list out. This ensures that the only jobs on the list are the crappier ones that probably won't lead to your dream Hollywood career.
Fortunately for everyone who remains a supporter of the list, USC's School of Cinema & Television regularly posts the list when it's updated. You can find the latest one online here. But if you're interested in the list, keep checking back in on the News Releases section here and I'm sure you'll get it shortly after everyone else does.
For more on the list, Variety has a nice, accessible article about it. So for further info, click here to go read it.
UPDATE: I received a flurry of emails on the subject and will be doing a follow-up on the UTA list in the near future. Stay tuned.
TECHNORATI TAGS: UTA, job list, career, entertainment industry, assistants