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

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stuff I Learned While Not Blogging for Two Weeks: 5.49

Sorry about the lack of posting. Of course, no one really emailed to say they missed me all that much. You guys still visit, though, which is sweet.

But here's what I learned.

1) Doing exec duty/doody for awhile dulls the writing senses. As much as I thought not blogging would lead to my working on my various scripts in an attempt to get paid the big bucks for writing small amounts (and plan for a viable Internet TV network while I'm at it), I largely failed. Oy.

2) I am no longer surprised that superflacks get work and get paid big bucks. Because frankly, it is rare that a Hollywood actor nowadays ain't got some major skeletons in their closet. And it's not just Tom Cruise and being gay, it's the Gubernator and dildos. I've heard so much dirt these past few weeks it's amazing. You'll probably get to hear some of it in the upcoming weeks. I'm spreading it out to protect and/or keep my sources in the dark, but I've heard some stories whose tellers certainly believed they were true. And often, they just seem to work out.

3) And speaking of publicists, I've discovered that the people of one of my favorite occupations are mostly afraid of bloggers. Mostly, I think this is due to the totally uncontrolled nature of the Internet. And bloggers react much differently to PR entreaties than what most PR types are used to. Add the fact that a number of bloggers are totally nuts, and you can see where apprehension is justified.

Unfortunately, that makes running PR-related activities is tough if you operate in the New Media arena at all. You guys know how I like New Media. But unfortunately, I haven't gotten much traction in my actions to push my media masters that way, despite all the business publication hullaballoo about how the industry is being redefined by New Media and shifting ad dollars around and the like. Bloody rot that, as my English friends would say. More on that later (#6)...

4) Something else I learned: Even Americans can be embarrassed by Americans abroad. It's one thing to have your people embarrass your in your home country at your home airport, but it's another thing entirely when they do it in front of the French. Case in point: the fanny-packin' Americans at Orly airport who were literally grabbing people as they ran through the airport, screaming at them: "DO YOU KNOW WHERE MY GATE IS?" Um...tried checking your tickets? Or one of those bright screens with all the flight numbers and cities on them? Numbers are the same in French and English. Trust me on this one.

What else have I learned?

5) It's a tough business, this Hollywood industry is. Fortunately, the Internet has made things more fluid and uncertain and given young people a fairly unique (but not unprecedented) ability, in historical terms, to leverage technology to their financial, and perhaps cultural, benefit.

6) Starving me of resources, as my bosses are doing, is not a good idea. If only they knew to invest in the future. Any ideas or comments on how to convince superiors to do this? I welcome them...

Perhaps that shall be a future post? Stay tuned, kids, this crazy train ain't nowhere near the station...

TECHNORATI TAGS: Hollywood, PR, publicists, Jetsetting, Travel

Friday, December 01, 2006

Disgruntled NBC Ex-Employees Dish About Today: 5.48

Sorry for the lack of posting lately....things in my life having been blowing up lately, from laptops to relationships and everything in between. Except the career, which has been going well, but leaves me with no time to deal with the explode-y parts of my life.

As a treat for my absence, I took the time to verify some gossip that came my way....well, as best I could anonymously. And since I know for a fact that you kids like gossip, I thought I'd pass along some I've received in repeated email conversations with a recently-laid-off NBC employee. Apparently, it was the "Jeff Zucker, Quitter" post that brought 'em my way. So now, with the blessings of the downsized Employee X, I present some inside gossip for one of TV's remaining cash cows, NBC's Today (show).

Let's start with Matt Lauer, since he's the official alpha male at Today.
Alpha Matt.
I kinda expected him to be prissy, and I was somewhat right, according to my sources. Apparently though, it's not too bad-- tolerable at least-- and it at least seems to serve a purpose: it makes him a very reliable on-air personality. So he's demanding, a little arrogant, but when it comes time to put up or shut up, Matt usually puts it up very nicely. Truth be told, I think Employee X had a mild unrequited crush on Matt Lauer. Don't worry, that's not the good gossip.

Now, we all know that Meredith Vieira stepped in to replace Katie Couric's legs. But do you know why she did? Know why they didn't have Ann Curry, who had appeared to be next in line to sit next to Matt, step in?

It's because everyone working on Today apparently just wants Ann Curry to shut the hell up.
Don't speak. Smile.
This woman, this Ann Curry, manages to just about ruin every single thing she does. Everyone, but especially the segment producers, who fight over who has to use her in their respective segments, passing her around like the drunk girl at a party no one wants to take care of. You know. That girl.

So please, Ann Curry, if you are reading this, please know that your fellow employees, those who are left anyway, want you to talk less. And not just that, but really try to listen when other people speak. Also, really do your best to actually understand what they are saying as best you can. I know it probably will hurt your brain, but try.

As for Ms. Vieira, it's apparently true that most staffers really like her. Even the somewhat-overblown-somewhat-fictionalized Katie Camp (fictional because no one's actually loyal enough to be in a "Camp" anymore in Hollywood) have been won over. Meredith's very together, works well on the fly, works it consistently, and is frustratingly perfect according to everyone who has heard anything about her.
Katie who?
So congratulations, Meredith Vieira, because one of the snarkier bloggers on the Internet and in Hollywood (two rather snarky places, generally speaking) could not find anyone who has anything bad to say about you at all. And that, Meredith Vieira, makes me think you're probably owed sainthood. Or a few Emmys.

And finally, there's everybody's favorite weatherman, Al Roker. Oh, Al. It really was when I read Employee X's description of you that I knew I would have to publish the exchange.
Hard out here for the Al.
Perhaps you would be best served by my quoting of the original passage from Employee X:
"...Al Roker is actually the sh**. [ed. note: Passage edited for adult language] Pretty much everybody likes Al just because he's Al. Skinny or fat, it doesn't matter. And he's a friggin' pimp, too. It's weird, but I think he seems to be able to work it with a bunch of people, little side projects fo' the Benjamins. I'm telling you, Al Roker is a pimp."

And that my friends, is what I leave you with for Today. The thought that Al Roker is a pimp.

TECHNORATI TAGS: , , , , , ,