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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Still Working on Those Assistant Superpowers: 4.50

WARNING: This post may be quite random, thanks to my very incoherent (fatigue-induced) state. But y'all seem to like those posts better than most of my serious ones anyway.

This fourth blog season of Assistant/Atlas is drawing to a close after fifty fresh episodes. Even though I've had my differences with the soon-defunct WB and its now-axed head, Garth Ancier, I will give them minor props for calling their new shows 'fresh episodes' because frankly, it was one of their few marketing successes. So that makes four seasons of fifty episodes, for 200 official posts. However, since Blogger tells me I've done 314 and counting, this means that there are a bunch of special features, gossip bits, random asides and updates, and 'hold-on-almost-done'-type posts.

So this is a bit of a reflection around the nature of serials (and past posts). In the times of the novel, New Yorkers waited on the docks for Dickens, shouting at sailors if their favorite character was still alive? Youngsters ran home from town carrying the parcel with the latest batch of post for the family to read by oily lamplight. Americans couldn't wait for the reassurance of FDR's fireside chats. I Love Lucy sent the nation huddling around flickering boxes. But now we're Internet junkies with click addictions, refreshing all day in search of The Latest.

Just like all TV Shows/New Media products that make it to a fifth season, there's a certain amount of certitude with the fourth season finale. Once a TV show makes it to about 88 episodes, the net usually goes for the over 100. Cuz of the syndication bucks. Things are changing now, with earlier syndication for shows that we know will go the distance (CSI: Miami for example). Plus, now there are cash-generating DVDs, soundtracks, and even online revenues. Few shows suffer the cruel fate of the fourth season being the closer. I can think of a few, but they are ignominious examples (through little fault of their own, of course).
So you see, those of you who didn't realize/know it before that syndication. . . well, it's like recycling, but more signficantly more profitable and considerably less staffed by homeless people.

Syndication for a show/New Media phenomenon...definite mixed bag. It starts to show how your characters have started to grow at least a little. In this blog's case, that's mainly 'me,' since the Roomie and Downlowlita have been horrific friggin jerks as contributors. However, they get a modest pass for helping with ideas and news and gossip and invitations and parties and numbers and introductions and such. Plus, I can't forget Gay Valet and the Drunken Disney Assistant and many others for their help in making the fourth season of Assistant/Atlas a not-totally-sucky one.

Oh, hey, you can be my friend on MySpace now.
Check me out on MySpace!
...if you dare.
Just click the above stuff and it'll take you to my profile. Or you can just search for on the search feature.

And if you're wondering why I'm supporting the evil Mr. Rupert Murdoch. It's just so that MySpace gets overexposed and dies and costs Mr. Murdoch a lot of capital and reputation. Which explains the timing-- it's never too early to implode under the weight of your own popularity. Do remember that adding me could mean you could be leaky, but it could also mean you're unreproachably hip. So it cuts both ways.

Think about it. Consider it.

Now is the time when we up the sex appeal. Because not only does it help my traffic, but I actually did wear a mesh shirt once (it was part of a hustler costume and a very long story) and at least a dozen people told me it was awesome. Okay, granted, about 2/3 of those people were guys, but still . . . one-third were girls. And hey, it was an arty, truly underground party. And mesh can be arty, right?

Dude, though, seriously. If Assistant/Atlas ever becomes a real, live-ish show, I'm going to have a gay sidekick. Because seriously, seriously, straight men, please, listen to me. I'm being totally honest with you now-- gay guys are awesome wingmen.

The main reason among the many reasons? Because my awesome gay pals are totally cool with hanging out with the Fuff. You know, the "Fuff" . . . the Fat Ugly Female Friend that every hot girl seems to carry with her nowadays like an undernourished Chihuahua.

As for the future, I honestly don't know what next season holds. If you can't tell, I pretty much make all this up as I go along. But since everyone seems to like this, I'm planning on keeping it up.

But I'm really keeping it up for you guys, my lovely readers, and I do thank you for tuning in.

So there will be a fifth season. And with what I know and am learning and have planned, I think it's gonna be a good'un. A little gossip, and a little bit of me analyzing the world for the people who stumble in from the search engines, a little damning praise, some assistant kibitzing, more hotsexy lovin', and just more of the Assistant/Atlas you seem to love.

And just so you know, I feel happy in my little part of the world. I just want to grow it. Therefore, I need to work on my superpowers, the raison d'etre for this post. Assistants, take note, these are superpowers you'll need.

CALL CHARISMA: You need something from someone over the phone. They have no idea who you are and may not want to do what you ask. Get them to do it anyway.

A COOL HEAD: Under pressure, under yelling, under any conditions necessary, you will handle it. And everyone can count on that. Anything less does not suffice.

CHLOE-NESS: This one's self-explanatory if you click here.

PANACHE: No one's going to respect you unless you do something that inspires it. So be brave and adventerous enough times and one of your ideas will be labeled 'brilliant.' And you'll get the spin-off credit.

TACT/STRATEGY: You must know which battles to pick. Otherwise, you'll be fired before your time.

RESEARCH MANIA: Do it as fast as possible. That's the key. Accuracy is a solid number two, but sadly, speed wins out over 100% certainty on information.

KNOWING WHEN TO SHUT UP: This could be the most important skill. When a boss begins lecturing, shut up. Wait until the tirade is over and a sufficiently awkward amount of time has passed. Then chime in with the idea that saves everything.

KNOWING WHEN TO SPEAK UP: I've discovered that employers really do love it when you share your ideas about their business-- because that's still all about them. So speak up, get respect, and get things done that will make your life easier, because speaking your mind can get you all that and maybe more.

GETTING GEEKY/GOING ALL "NEW MEDIA": It's often tough to show off your technological prowess without making less-savvy bosses and even co-workers a bit uncomfortable. Screw 'em, you're the smart one.

SEX APPEAL: We all know it's a crucial skill, even though it should not, by law, allowed to be one. But it will almost certainly be for at least the future of my generation, so we better get used to it. So I need to start hitting the gym again. Added bonus: we'll all live longer.