What? There’s perks to being an assistant in showbiz? Oh, wait,define “perks….”
by Jason Benoit, Esq.
I can feel it in my bones… Winter is coming!
As much as you probably hope such an introduction would mean a long geeky diatribe about Game of Thrones, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Though, how badass is that show, right?!
I’ve worked as a Hollywood assistant for many years. Nowadays, I balance a day job with my writing gigs. It’s not easy and many times it just downright sucks. Though I’m one of the lucky few who has a boss who not only acknowledges my writing career, but actually supports it. It helps that we’ve sold something together previously, me thinks.
But this isn’t about writing. Or trying to write. This is most basically about that entry level job in Hollywood. Where year round you are abused – hopefully unlike Richie Incognito – though most likely not too dissimilar in nature. I’ve heard stories about people getting staplers thrown at their heads or jelly toast smeared on their shirts because the toast was too burnt. In some ways, as sad as it is, these are a few of the hazing rituals that come with aspiring to be somebody in Hollywood.
Should there even be hazing in Hollywood? No, not at all. Because at the end of the day, we’re just creating entertainment. We don’t cure cancer here, folks. That might come as a surprise to some executives and producers around town, but we don’t. We don’t dig ditches all day, though slogging through your phone sheet may very well feel like you are.
“But it’s so easy to just quit,” you might say to a poor abused assistant with starry-eyed dreams of motion pictures dancing in their heads. And this is where you should know that when someone says that there are five hundred people lined up willing to do your job for cheaper, they aren’t lying. It’s true. There really are. Just try applying to anything you see on the UTA Job List.
But being a Hollywood assistant isn’t without its own little perks as well – as few and far between as they may feel like they are.