My 24-year-old son is presently dogsbody to a Super-Important Person in the film industry. No, not an actor or director – it’s nobody you’ve ever heard of.
But still, she’s super-important because everyone in the film industry is super-important. Much more important than you or me. And busy busy busy. Much busier than you or me.
One way to prove to the world how important you are is to have a Personal Assistant. And because there are hundreds of hungry young people who want to “break into the film industry” the supply of willing dogsbodies in Hollywood is bottomless and they come really cheap.
I’m sure many PAs are treated well by their employer, but my son picked a witch. She runs him from 9 in the morning to 7 at night five days a week, no overtime pay, no thanks, no acknowledgment that she’s putting him out. Her personal life is a mess and she takes it out on him. When she’s wailing not on her therapist’s couch, she’s screaming at him for not covering for her mistakes.
Last week she got a speeding ticket. She sent him to the DMV to pay the fine and sign up for the Online Traffic School that was a part of her sentence. And then she ordered him to DO the online traffic school for her – a ten hour series of lessons as if he were her!
Of course that’s illegal.
This is the last straw. He quits this week and rejoins the hungry horde of Hollywood hopefuls. Perhaps you’ll read about this dismal period in his life when he becomes a famous screenwriter and has a personal assistant of his own.
Update: A reader just pointed me to this article at Salon.com about the shitty existence that is “working in film” (click thru the member login screen to read it).