Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How little will I get paid?

So every once in a while I'll get a question about how much temps/admins/jr. execs get paid in Hollywood. The easy answer is "not a lot." But if you need specifics, I did a little research for you. The following information is from the site Indeed.com (cough -- name sucks -- cough). While I can't attest to the top end of this scale -- remember I can't even get a full-time job -- the bottom end seems about right. Fear not, minimum wage in California is $8/hr. So you can't make any less than $16,000. Yippie!

[Note: All amounts are gross, and by that I mean before taxes. Temp pay assumes the ability to secure full-time temp work, which never happens. Also note my first gig in Hollywood, just three years ago, only paid $21,000 + overtime.]

If you care about their methodology, here's how http://www.indeed.com/salary/about_salary.jsp

Monday, September 29, 2008

Flashback to September 18, 2008

The following entry is actually from September 18, 2008. But I forgot to post it. Better late than never.

Today I...
...went for a run to settle my morning anxiety
...argued with security about my parking spot (I was right)
...answered my boss's phone & was praised for that skill
...realized I'll never be a perky blond
...had lunch twice: a turkey sandwich and a cheese steak
...worked on future blog postings
...talked with a friend about brain atrophy
...applied for a job in my previous career
...checked five times to see how many hits my blog got
...realized I only get emails from the tracking boards
...was scolded for not being a mind reader
...contemplated throwing my coworker out the window
...made 136 dollars (before taxes)
...wished the Hollywood Bowl was leveled; traffic sucked
...appreciated how smart my friends are
...attempted to watch Hole in the Wall but couldn't take it
...pondered why I can type on my phone but not get a signal
...had nachos for dinner
...fell asleep on the couch at 9:30.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Taking the day off

So please enjoy this test pattern while I work on stuff that might make me some money

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The masses have spoken

So how did Knight Rider do last night? Well, it barely beat a show that was nearly canceled (New Adventures of Old Christine -- CBS) and triumphed over the top show on a network that will be canceled (America's Next Top Model -- The CW).

Yep. KITT and his scantily clad co-workers clocked in at a 2.4/7 among viewers 18-49 dropping it right in the middle of the Wednesday at 8 pm heap. This rating means that 2.4 percent of households were tuned in at any given moment and 7 percent of all televisions in use at the time were tuned into this program. For what it's worth, the ill-fated Cavemen drew a debut rating of a 3.3/10 among the same demo. (I know, the comparison isn't exactly accurate for a variety of reasons so don't send me hate mail.)

I'll admit that I tried watching it. And for 27 minutes, I did. But at 8:28 p.m. I could take it no longer. Here are the preliminary overnight ratings...
ABC -- Dancing with the Stars -- (8-8.30 pm 3.2/10; 8.30-9 pm 3.9/11)
FOX -- Bones -- (8-8.30 pm 2.9/9; 8.30-9 pm 3.2/9)
NBC -- Knight Rider -- (8-8.30 2.3/7; 8.30-9 2.5/7)
CBS -- Old Christine -- (8-8.30 2.1/6); Gary Unmarried (8.30-9 2.3/6)
CW -- America's Next Top Model -- (8-8.30 1.9/6; 8.30-9 2.2/6)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The countdown is officially on

You've no doubt noticed the Knight Rider Cancellation Countdown that sits atop this page. This deathwatch has probably left you wondering, "How does Temp X know a show that hasn't even aired will be scrapped in just 4 weeks?" Does our hero of the underemployed have a screener? No. Did Temp X watch the made-for-TV movie/backdoor pilot? Nope. I wasn't even a fan of the original series.

So how did I know it was gonna suck? That's easy. It's on NBC. (zing - That's a joke left over from the Ben Silverman Celebrity Roast). But seriously, my friend put it best, "Talking cars didn't exist in 1982. It was a cool idea back then. But that was before GPS, OnStar and cell phones. These days you can't get 'em to shut up." Well said.

The show debuts tonight at 8 pm EST/7 CST on NBC. Here are some reviews from people who have actually seen the show. See if you notice a pattern...

"...like salmonella in the kitchens of the unvigilant, it has returned." Kansas City Star

"You'd have thought that NBC would have learned its lesson about remakes from last season's Bionic Woman..." San Jose Mercury News

"There is much to despise in Knight Rider, a shockingly incompetent, barely coherent, ad-driven rip-off about a shape-shifting autobot..." USA Today

"Knight Rider is a disaster, a remake so deliriously and delectably bad that you have to watch just to tell your grandchildren that you were there." Newsday

"How many things are wrong with NBC's Knight Rider remake? Well, how much time have you got? Or is all you need to know that NBC is doing a Knight Rider remake?" Newark Star-Ledger

And now for one positive review...

"...as probably the dumbest show of the season...Knight Rider fits perfectly as a lead-in to Deal or No Deal, the dumbest reality series in America. It's a masterstroke of programming at the Peacock network." SF Chronicle

Monday, September 22, 2008

At least MY synapses are working

People say a blog is like an online diary. And I suppose that's basically true. A blog just takes an experience and distills it into a piece that offers opinion, analysis and reflection. The problem is blogs don't convey the feelings of the moment about which you're writing. Lucky for us, there's instant messenger which traps all these moments.

Wanna know what goes through a Temp's mind when things don't work out in Hollywood? Following is an actual transcript of a conversation between Temp X and a Friend after another Hollywood decision that defies logic.

Temp X
: it's always nice when my temp assignment feeds me blog material on a silver platter
Friend: oh yeah?
Temp X: yep. they won't interview me for an open position, but they've requested me multiple times to fill in and want me to come back for another week
Temp X: i'm good enough to request, but not good enough to interview.
Temp X: logic does not prevail in this town
Temp X: and the person they will hire -- not someone they know
Temp X: not a contact
Temp X
: not an anything except a 24 yr old perky blonde
Friend: did they give you a reason why they won't interview you?
Temp X: no
Friend: i mean christ, even if they think you're not right (which is still frustrating), why not just yank your chain and bring you in?
Temp X: i choose not to ask. there's no answer that will be satisfactory
Friend: where are you working at?
Temp X: [Company Name Redacted]
Friend: ah
Temp X: i've learned to control my anger and frustration (years of therapy helped me with that). i just channel it in a different direction
Temp X: i blog about it. or use it for material at some point
Friend: sucks dude.
Friend: fuck them.
I'd offer a witty concluding remark here, but there's not much left that can be said other than, "So what? So let's dance..."

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Preview of the Emmy Preview

Well kids, the Emmy Awards are this Sunday. And chances are you'll come up with something better to do like spend time with your family, read a book or count what's left in your 401k. Lucky for you The Hollywood Temp Diaries has secured portions of the actual script from Entertainment Tonight's pre-Emmy red carpet program. So at least when you go to work on Monday, you won't feel left out at the water cooler.


Blah blah blah from the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles blah blah blah Lara Spencer. Blah blah blah the big night for the small screen blah blah blah recovering from the writers strike that blah blah blah. Blah blah blah the little cable networks beating up on their big network brothers blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah reality TV hosts Ryan Seacrest, Hedi Klum, Tom Bergeron, Hedi Klum and Jeff Probst blah blah eating mosquito larvae blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah The Sopranos won't be here to blah blah. Blah blah 30 Rock is a virtual shoo-in blah blah Tina Fey's dead-on impersonation as Sarah Palin blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah Two and a Half Men's Angus T. Jones has grown up before our eyes blah blah blah soon have to call it Two and Three-Quarters blah blah blah. Blah blah blah the perennial Boston Legal has been relegated to blah blah blah. Blah blah Ugly Betty is gorgeous in person blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah HBO's miniseries John Adams starring the versatile Paul Giamatti as blah blah blah.

Blah blah blah blah big screen queens Glenn Close, Sally Fields and Kyra Sedgwick taking over TV blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah Tony Shalhoub seems to own this, but Alec Baldwin portrayal of blah blah blah. But don't count out Dunder Mifflin's blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. That's what she said.

Blah blah The Daily Show is a no brainer blah blah blah blah skewering of the news media blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah the big winners should be the cigarette-peddling Mad Men blah blah blah blah blah passengers of Oceanic 815 blah blah and Dr. House.

Let's throw it to blah blah blah blah inside the Nokia blah blah who is with blah blah. Blah blah blah you look beautiful tonight blah blah blah.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Taking the day off

I've been working on a bunch of other stuff this week and I'm creatively spent. So how about some topical humor from Eddie Pepitone? He's way funnier than I'll ever be anyway.

[Note: He uses some dirty words, so turn it up real loud when your boss passes by.]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Ben Silverman Celebrity Roast

While you were watching something good on cable last night, you missed NBC's broadcast of the Ben Silverman Celebrity Roast. Following are excerpts from that telecast (it drew a 0.8/2 share).

Thank you everyone for joining us for the first -- and likely last -- Ben Silverman Celebrity Roast. As many of you know, Ben Silverman is president of NBC. He took the reigns of the Peacock at tender age of 38. You could say he's a TV wunderkind -- as in he makes Jeff Immelt "wonder what this kid did to my network." (hey-o!)

Ben recently said he was the "Paris Hilton of NBC." I can only assume that means he's a party animal with "Fuck You" money and no discernible talent. It's either that or there's a video where he's blowing Rick Salomon.

Ben decided to bring Knight Rider back. Yep, good old KITT, the talking car. If you listen closely you can hear it saying "GET ME THE HELL OFF THIS TERRIBLE EXCUSE FOR A SHOW!"

I'm just joking. It's a roast. We've got some dais tonight. David Hasselhoff, Katie Couric, Bill Bellamy. If this dais was a TV show it'd be called The Biggest Loser: The Who gives a Shit Edition.

"Father of the Year" David Hasselhoff is here from the "Summer Hit" America's Got Talent. Of course "Summer Hit" is industry speak for "Only viewed by the bedridden and agoraphobics."

Bill Bellamy is here. As host Last Comic Standing Bill helps aspiring comics get their big break. What a shitty idea that is. That's like getting relationship advice from O.J. Simpson. Bill, just one question for you -- How did you not get voted off first?

Tina Fey is here. Tina, great performance as Sarah Palin the other night. I forgot what it was like to laugh during SNL. Of course after the opening routine it was 85 minutes of torture -- or was I watching an Andy Samberg movie?

Former Today show host Katie Couric has joined us. Katie, great to see you. In fact this is the first time anyone has seen you since you moved to CBS. I went to the grocery store the other day and your picture was on the side of a milk carton. If your ratings were any lower they would call you "The CW."

But let's talk of our Man of the Hour -- Ben Silverman. For those who mock Ben, I say you're way out of line. Ben has put some great shows on the air -- Ugly Betty, The Office, The Tudors. Genuine hits. Sure, he's had a few clunkers too -- Coupling, The Weakest Link, Bionic Woman -- shows so bad Jeff Foxworthy wouldn't even do them. But Ben's a smart guy. He's developed the ultimate business plan -- have your production company buy a Guatemalan show, translate it into English and sell it to the network you run for millions. I haven't heard of a business plan that smart since Charles Ponzi.

In closing, I'd like to thank everyone for coming here tonight. You've been a wonderful audience. And Ben, you've been a great sport and we love your work on NBC, or as we call it BBC-West. For all you kids out there, I have one piece of advice, "Don't do drugs." "Why?" you ask? Because you'll suffer a terrible fate, one of unimaginable horror, something you'll regret for the rest of your life. You'll end up running a network. And then you'll run it into the ground.

Thank you, good night and drive home safely.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More crap that might be coming soon to a theater near you...

I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Well in Hollywood the phrase is slightly different. Out here the it goes "Imitation is the only way you stay in business because we believe the American public is just a bunch of suckers who will pay their hard-earned money to see the same basic idea with minor adjustments." Actually, I think that's probably the abbreviated version, but you get the point.

So without any further adieu, here's a list of scripts that have recently been sent out to producers. If you're lucky, some or all might come soon to a theater near you.

[Note: A theme will emerge, let's see if you notice it.]

Logline: SUPERBAD set in the world of competitive tennis.

Smells Like: Jokes about fuzzy balls, love, game/set/match and someone using a tennis ball shooter as a weapon. Does Anna Kournikova have a cameo? That'll be the only thing worth looking at in this piece of...

Prospects: About the same as a McCain/Palin win in November...frightfully possible.

Logline: SUPERBAD for adults at a giant football tailgate party.

Smells Like: ...the only thing worse than watching a riveting match-up between the Houston Texans and the St. Louis Rams. Expect oodles of product placements from Coors Light and Outback Steakhouse. Oh and there will be at least one Zubaz pants joke.

Prospects: Like Brett Farve, this idea will be retired, then it will unretire when it realizes that it'll make $12 million dollars, then it'll start playing and wish it had stayed retired.

Logline: SUPERBAD but one of them is gay.

Smells Like: A bad ABC After School special, but not as bad as What if I'm Gay? Neither Ed Marinaro nor Evan Handler star. Tolerance preached. Stereotypes dispelled. Yadda Yadda.

Prospects: If Hollywood will greenlight a bio-pic on Liberace, anything is possible. This is not to say that Liberace was gay. He never admitted to anything of the sort. Also, the Santa Claus is real and the fundamentals of our economy are strong.

Logline: SUPERBAD in a retirement home.

Smells Like: A chance for Bea Arthur to do something other than be the butt of Jeffrey Ross' jokes about shaving her back. But seriously folks, I'm guessing Christopher Walken plays a key role in this bad idea, just like he did in Balls of Fury.

Prospects: Have you ever seen Going in Style with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg? No? Please watch it instead of Winter's Discontent.

Logline: A family's life is turned upside down when a father's innocent wish causes his son and daughter to switch bodies with the family's dog and cat.

Smells like: Freaky Friday with pets.

Prospects: SUPER BAD (actually it'll probably do really well, which is even scarier).

Yep, a Chris Jasper reference. Look closely, the joke is there.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Copyright Infringment Theatre

It's not that I'm lazy, I'm "motivationally impaired" today.

Courtesy of toothpastefordinner.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting discovered the 'Hard' way (that's a pun, you'll get the joke in a minute)

I fondly recall the last moments of moving here. I was brimming with so much satisfaction and excitement that I was completely oblivious to the horrific traffic. I was in HOLLYWOOD and was FINALLY gonna do something I cared about. But I knew to succeed I'd have to try things outside my comfort zone.

So I went to networking functions. I joined writers groups. I made videos and put them on YouTube. I sucked up to people I barely knew and told them, "You look great. Have you lost weight?" I even took an unpaid job as a part-time agent's assistant. Anything to get my break. And then there was the time I did stand up comedy at a nudist camp...

To make a long story short, my friend (a talent agent) booked his client to headline comedy night at the annual gathering of California Men Enjoying Naturism (CMEN). Of course the headliner needed an undercard. After a few beers and a few jokes, my friend insisted that I take part. I said NO with conviction that makes Nikita Krushchev's shoe-banging performance at the U.N. seem like John Kerry's "I voted FOR it before I voted AGAINST it" routine.

After a few more beers and a few more jokes, I agreed.

But what to say to a room of naked men? "Nice Hat?" "Take my wife, please?" Well, for my one and only stand up routine, I did the only thing I knew how -- be the rude, acerbic asshole I've always been. Here are some of the highlights:
Is everyone having a good time tonight?


I can see you are sir. Perhaps too good. Might I suggest thinking about Rosie O'Donnell. That works whether you're gay or straight.


Ma'am. How about you? Oh. Whoops. Sorry about that. Anyway, it's great to be here at NAMBLA 2007....
Not a fan of that one? Neither were they. But I continued.
Nudists get a bad rap. You hold down real jobs. You eat just like the rest of us. You sleep just like the rest of us. You play naked volleyball just like...errr...scratch that last one.

Now let me ask you a question. When you play sports, I’m guessing the whole shirts and skins idea is kinda out the window. So do you play cut versus uncut? No, that won’t work. Jews are no good at sports.
It went on from there. Did my material suck? Yeah. Was I glad I did it? Sure. It makes for a great story and helped me practice writing and performing. Would I do it again? Once you've worked one room of naked men, you've worked them all.

And for those who think I made this whole thing up...

Got a story about absurd things you've done to get noticed or hone your craft? Send them to TempX@tempdiaries.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An editorial from Temp X

I have a rule with Mom X. Don't call me before 10 a.m. unless it's critical. I like my sleep. When my phone rang at 6:50 a.m. on September 11, 2001, I knew something bad had happened. All I remember her saying was "Don't go to work today." Everything after that was a blur. I turned on CNBC and just couldn't believe what I was seeing.

My anxiety, fear and pain was heightened by the fact that my company (a SF-based investment bank) had an office in Tower 2. My old client had probably 10 floors (if not more) in Tower 1. And I sat there watching TV, helpless. I wondered whether Whitney was ok. What about Melissa or any of the other people I knew?

Every September 11, I have a little chat with Whitney and tell him I'm glad he made it out ok. Luckily for him and the rest of my former coworkers, their office was on the 3rd floor so they all walked downstairs to safety. I know Melissa made it out ok too (Google search). I wish I could say the same for everyone who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald. Or a research analyst named Dean Eberling who covered my former client.

It was a sad day that no one ever wants to see again. But it's not the lead story today on any of the morning shows. For some reason, the news today is focused on whether "lipstick on a pig" is offensive. The only thing that's offensive is that the Presidential candidates and the media are focused on this at all.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting to know Temp X

I must admit I was a little bummed that Getting To Know Your "Hollywood Friends" (post date: July 25, 2008) never became all the rage. Was it because I didn't post my responses? Well, this time I did. May this time it'll become huge.

If I learned one thing from watching The Arsenio Hall Show (other than to not wear light blue suits), "If at first your joke doesn't succeed, just keep retelling it until they laugh out of pity. A laugh is a laugh."

1. What time did you get to work this morning?
N/A. 7:57 a.m. and so far no calls from my Pimps.

2. Coffee, Diet Coke or Red Bull?
Decaf with extra sugar.

3. What side of "the Business" do you work in?
My Pimps focus on the studio side because those gigs pay more. I go where they put me.

4. Did you have breakfast at home or did you wait to get "Meeting Leftovers"?

I had cereal for my past 4 meals. So I'm not sure how to answer that.

5. How many WPM can you type?
40 with 97% accuracy (I look at the keys).

6. What were your goals when you moved to Los Angeles?
Learn to surf (failed). Get to "know" Paris Hilton (pending). Write and get paid for it.

7. How many times a day do you wonder if moving to Hollywood was the right decision?
Twice an hour while I'm awake. Once an hour while I'm asleep.

8. Which do you dislike most: rolling calls, Xeroxing or getting your boss lunch?
Getting my boss lunch -- especially during the summer. Unintentional sweating is annoying.

9. Does you boss know how to pronounce your last name?

When I had a boss, No. Now that I'm a Temp, they just point at me and say "Hey you!"

10. Have you ever had to do anything illegal for your boss?

Yes. Nothing nearly as illegal as some friends have (picking up their cocaine! Falsifying government records!).

11. Which websites do you waste the most time on while at work?
Hollywood Temp Diaries (natch), Defamer, YouTube (for this video)

12. What's the worst excuse you've heard for not getting a job?
We think you'll be bored and quit within 2 weeks.

13. How many hours have you worked since Monday morning?

14. How many hours sleep have you gotten since Monday morning?

15. Have you ever taken anti-anxiety medication because of your job?
Yes. That's one of the reasons I quit. The other reason is I didn't want to go to Pelican Bay for homicide.

16. On average, do you make more or less than $11 per hour?
If I make $20,000 this year and there are 2,000 work hours in a year. Wait. I can do this. How many times does...move the zero...carry the one...the denominator is...CRAP! LESS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! What's California's minimum wage?

17. Who do you think could pick programming better -- Ben Silverman or a trained Chicken?
The chicken will get its own show on NBC, thus solving both problems.

18. Fill in the blank, "My job requires the skills and intellect of a ___-grade student."
Fourth or perhaps Third. Yeah. Third.

19. If you don't catch a break in 2 more years, will you give up and try a new/different career?
Yes. I'm not much for this "vow of poverty" thing.

20. Will you tell your friends about the Hollywood Temp Diaries (www.tempdiaries.com)?
No. It's not terribly interesting. The proprietor is a self-absorbed twit who is simply using the site to catch the attention of an agent. It has nothing to do with any desire to educate or inform other Barnacles on the Good Ship Hollywood. Hollywood Phony. I bet that nose isn't real either.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nothing from Something

And then there are days when I wonder why I even bother...

It was a Monday just like any other Monday. The promise of slightly more than minimum wage awaits me at a job where my intellectual capacity will be tested by either a photocopier, a fax machine or a multi-line telephone.

Everything seemed off to a normal start. I was at my assignment at 9 a.m. Right on time. Of course, I was the first one there and had to wait to be let inside. Remember, time is an approximate in Hollywood. That's how people like Winona Ryder can stay 31 forever, even though she's a breath away from 38.

So I ready myself at the computer when the boss (a cross between Timothy Leary and Cousin Itt) asks a simple but telling question.
"Who are you?"

This wasn't the "Who are you?" as in "What's your name because I might as well know who's working for me for the next few days?" This wasn't the "Who are you?" in an existential "Explain your inner being to me and tell me why you're here on earth." This was the "Who are you?" as in "Who is this stranger in my office and you better have a good excuse before I call the cops?"

Well a momentary chat revealed my Pimp did everything right except confirm the company actually WANTED a temp. So in a business procedural sense this means my Pimp did everything wrong.

This was followed by the requisite call and screaming match between Itt and my Pimp. To be honest, I didn't pay much attention to their conversation and I spent my remaining minutes there having a very brief existential crisis.

And that was my Monday. I got $30 for "travel time" and promptly spent it on cereal, milk and coffee. Oh and I called my Pimp and said "I'm available."

Monday, September 8, 2008

More of the same -- The same

The early 1980s were spiritual times for Temp X -- perhaps not in a traditional sense, but follow my logic...

For a 10-year old living in suburbia, paradise is where you find it. Our Garden of Eden was the multiplex on 136th Street. We could Dine on Feast of hot "buttered" popcorn and Snow Caps. Our Milk of Paradise? What could be better than a 44-ounce "Suicide?" And best of all, it had the Holy Trinity of movies: Scarface (the Father), Clash of the Titans (the Son), Poltergeist (the Holy Spirit) and Ghost Busters (the other Holy Spirit if you were easily scared). Jesus himself couldn't have constructed a better facility!!

Well, God is dead. She died when the multiplex was torn down and replaced by a much larger, louder and commercially successful facility. So it's regrettable, but also fitting, that Hollywood execs are taking the films we enjoyed at our Garden and remaking them bigger, louder and with more product placements.

It's like Easter, but you had to wait 25 years and you're no longer in the mood for chocolate.

Poltergeist (1982) -- The winner of the Zelda Rubenstein Award for "Worst Remake Idea" (beating out the Poseidon Adventure). This movie scared the snot out of me. And if I had the courage to watch it again, I'm sure it would still scare the snot out of me. Spielberg made a classic. So if the ghosts are telling Hollywood execs to put this movie out again, may I suggest remastering it and re-release it ala E.T. (which made $75 million domestically on its re-releases!) The truth is with special effects, marketing and talent, the budget for a new Poltergeist is gonna balloon to $80 million and gross $130 million. $50 million is less than $75 million.

Clash of the Titans (1981) -- They're gonna turn this classic from campy fun into a special-effects waste of time. Think Harry Potter but with more flying horses. Ladies, does the idea of Zac Efron in a skirt make you giddy or just confused? Even if he's not in it, it's gonna suck. Only one man is man enough to pull off a red toga. That man is Harry Hamlin.

Escobar (1983) -- Ok, so there was never an actual movie about Pablo Escobar. But let's be honest. It's Scarface. And I don't care who you cast, or how much cocaine you use (note to Hollywood execs, it's fake cocaine. The real stuff would balloon the budget and the lawyers would never agree to it.) If you wanna see what a remake is going to look like, just watch the faux trailer from Medellin instead.

Ghost Busters (1984) -- With the exception of the Ray Parker Jr./Huey Lewis song that makes me want to pull my ear drums out with a fork, this movie is flawless. Nothing's better than ghosts, slime, marshmallows and Ernie Hudson (hint: He's the black guy). So Columbia studios is gonna remake it and call it a sequel.

How long until Hollywood execs get really confused about what year it is and remake 1984?

Due to unforeseen circumstances...

I will be unable to post anything today. The person I'm working for has a direct view of whatever I am working on.

[Update: Things change as evidence by the above posting. More info tomorrow.]

Friday, September 5, 2008

"And now you know the REST of the story."

I know what you're thinking because I think it myself. If temping offers the worst of both worlds -- low pay and limited intellectual stimulation -- and you can't find full-time assistant gig (no thanks to the "unnegotiations" between SAG & AMPTP) why not work in another industry for a while? Why not make a couple bucks, prevent brain from atrophy and rejoin once things get better? Perhaps it's blind optimism that my breakthrough moment is just around the corner. Perhaps it's dogged persistence driven by a desire to do something I've wanted since I was 12. Perhaps it's hope that reality shows are a fad like the Pet Rock or Republicans (hey-o!).

The truth is it's all of these. But what seals the deal is what follows. The job posting below is not a joke, parody or figment of my imagination. It's an actual listing for something I'm qualified to do (I had a career prior to temping. Of course that suggests temping is a career. Eeek! Even my interior monologue is losing its mind.). If I give up on writing, this is what I have to look forward to.

Senior Director of Corporate Media Relations, Public Relations; Financial Communications at global leader in pressure-sensitive technology and self-adhesive solutions. [Yup. It's marketing tape and post-it notes.] This person will be responsible for developing and executing strategic media relations ["Buy tape because it's...err...tape."], public relations ["No horses were killed in the making of this tape. I bet the glue factory wishes it could say that."] and financial communications [I can't argue here. The company is worth as much as General Motors.] for this highly successful global industrial/consumer products corporation [but could be replaced by a paperclip]. This professional will develop and execute focused media relations programs including: development of editorial angles [100 unknown uses for tape: #63 Suspenders for your pants. #41 Easier than shoelaces. #26 Will hold your side view mirror, no thanks to that 'Hit and Run' jerk.] targeting key national and international business [el tape, le tape], consumer and trade publications [Key publications include Converting Magazine and Food Logistics].
I know. Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. Damn.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"The Hollywood Temp Diaries" -- 100th episode spectacular

I know! It seems like just yesterday I was relaying stories of a Hollywood exec's bout with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. But here we are, 100 episodes into this little experiment. Let's Party!!


In deference to the scaled back Republican National Committee, which is in deference to the needs of victims of Hurricane Gustav, which is in response to their own lack of response to Hurricane Katrina, I've scaled back my own celebration.

Sorry folks. And we even had a star-studded line-up featuring Black Velvet Flag, "Chef Ron" Popeil and the Hollywood Temp Diaries Dancers. But instead of all that, we're just gonna do a rundown of my day -- an ITO (Intended Day Off) because of a 5:30 p.m. interview.

12:05 a.m. -- Went to bed after watching Letterman's opening monologue, Top 10 and some bit from the RNC. Decided to see if Nicolas Cage was an interesting guest or just a boring blow-hard. I made it about 30 seconds into his interview and he said he spent Labor Day on an airplane. No punch line. That was it. I turned it off.

5:55 a.m. -- Dog X wakes up.

5:55:01 a.m. -- Dog X wakes me up. I'm on the couch because the living room is the only place in my apartment with air conditioning. I turn on the TV, flip through all eight channels (no cable) and give up.

6:30 a.m. -- I finish Wednesday's posting "It's a Wonderful Life?" only to realize there's a code error that requires 20 minutes of repair. It's as tedious as it sounds.

8:45 a.m. -- Mid-morning nap.

10 a.m. -- Mid-morning nap concludes. Brief check of e-mail indicates no job offers.

10:41 a.m. -- Realized that 100 episodes means I can now go into syndication and make real money.

10:52 a.m. -- Gazed blankly at computer.

11:37 a.m. -- Took Dog X out. Simultaneously wondered whether dogs have better lives than Temps.

11:45 a.m. -- Found a bag of peanut M&Ms I stole from Tuesday's gig.

11:46 a.m. -- Finished eating the found bag of peanut M&Ms. Began counting down until sugar rush.

12:01 p.m. -- Dropped off an invoice for some work I did reading scripts. Realized it will pay just enough to cover 2 weeks rent.

12:32 p.m. -- Bought two used books for a combined $2.25.

12:32:03 p.m. -- Realized I have more unread books than read books.

1:12 p.m. -- Made fish tacos for lunch. Or better put -- fried up canned tuna, re-fried beans and salsa and pretended it was fish tacos.

1:38 p.m. -- Researched my 5:30 p.m. interview on Studio Systems using account info I stole from one of my previous temp assignments.

1:47 p.m. -- Decided to read a movie script that's in active production with the goal of mimicking major components of it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

2:27 p.m. -- Actually began reading the script.

3:21 p.m. -- The phone rings. An unrecognized number. This can only be very good news or very bad news.

3:21:02 p.m. -- "Hi, this is [Name Redacted] regarding your interview today..."

3:21:04 p.m. -- Uh oh. It's gonna be bad news. The apologetic tone of voice is a dead give away.

3:21:08 p.m. -- "We found someone we want to hire. Sorry to cancel on such short notice. So...I guess that's it."

3:21:10 p.m. -- How do I know this won't be the last time something like this happens?

3:22 p.m. -- Finished today's blog.

3:30 p.m. -- Celebrated the 100th posting and drowned the pain of another canceled interview simultaneously with a shot of Jagermeister and a nap.

Ok. Maybe we can have a little celebration.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life?

Somewhere between America's Next Best Televised Dance Competition and game shows where contestants are expected to be dumber than 11 year olds , we lost contact with the mother-of -all schedule fillers -- the clip show.

For those unfamiliar, a clip show is where a TV show's producers take the week off and let an intern pick their favorite scenes from past episodes. Then, with clever editing and all the subtlety of packing ice around a keg of Bud Light, they shove in a vague story and call it a show.

Clip shows on a network are like breast implants on a stripper -- the return on investment is high, the parts cost basically nothing and you can watch them for hours...errr...skip that last comment. Heck, if it worked for Friends five times,* then why not try it.

I offer you the Hollywood Temp Diaries clip show in an episode I'll call "It's a Wonderful Life?"

*The One with the Invitations, The One with the Vows, The One with Joey's Interview, The One with Christmas in Tulsa and The One Where Chandler Gets Caught.

From "Potty Break"
"I think I have irritable bowel syndrome." This is never something you want to hear on a job. But this is life as a temp in Hollywood. Let's start from the beginning.

From "No Gig -- Gig -- No Gig"
...people don't refer to you by name, but simply as "Temp" (because it has fewer syllables than my name) or "My Temp" (as if you're their property) or worse "The Temp" (because no one wants to lay claim to you).

From "Zen and the Art of Photocopier Maintenance"
I was in my moment of "Stuckness," and for a moment, I became a non-believer. Then the Xerox 914 started working again, and I forgot what I was thinking about.

From "Getting to know your 'Hollywood Friends'"
# 17. Who do you think could pick programming better -- Ben Silverman or a trained Chicken?

"The Wind Up and The Pitch -- A Mad Lib"
The Judd Apatow -- It's a movie about two (socially acceptable drug) addicts. One night they're watching TV, waiting for (TV show stoners like) to come on, when the news breaks in and reports a major drug bust at their supplier's (term for run-down residence). At the exact same moment, they realize they're out of (socially acceptable drug). The two spend the rest of the movie trying to find a new supplier. Hijinks ensue. It'll star Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen.

From "Remake Tuesday"
In a town where "remakes" are as common as Pinkberry imitators or child actors named Dakota, it's only fitting that Temp X offer up a remake too. So today I offer you a remake of yesterday's posting.

From "Breaking News -- I was right!"
As you may remember from yesterday's posting, I said ABC looks to be fishing through the garbage dump of cinema past for TV shows (Witches of Eastwick). Well apparently Steve McPherson -- the head of ABC -- was looking over my shoulder. The following is from "The Hollywood Reporter":

ABC is bringing the Jennifer Lopez starrer "Maid in Manhattan" to the small screen.

From "ISO -- A message board with useful info
NextGenFemmes -- There are two truths of Catholic School: 1) if you step out of line, a Nun is gonna smack you, and 2) in return for following the rules, you get a quality product. That's what this site is like.

From "An Evening with George Plimpton"
Well, to make a long story short, I worked a half day, and was so high on fumes from the mimeograph machine that I passed out and knocked my head on the desk. So all I had to show for my day was a bulbous knot on my forehead and a slightly aggravated migraine. Which I suppose is exactly what every other assistant feels as well.

From "Because Blogging is Cheaper than Therapy"
I realized I could leave Hollywood today and the only proof I'd have I was ever here is a $132 ticket for jay walking in Burbank...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I know Howard Davine. I worked at ABC with Howard Davine. Howard Davine was a friend of mine. Let me tell you, you're no Howard Davine.

Hollywood was recently all abuzz when an internal ABC memo leaked that essentially said, "Steal show ideas from other countries and don't pay them for it. It's easier than doing our own work and they certainly won't sue us. We're ABC."

Well some people think this attitude is pervasive in Hollywood. In fact, some have even come to a a false conclusion that The Hollywood Temp Diaries is stolen from a site started by an Ecuadorian temp named el Equis. Let me say this once and for all -- it's a coincidence -- like Mark Wahlberg and the other Mark Wahlberg. These things happen all the time. You can't really believe that Fox would rip off Super Nanny (ABC) with Nanny 911. If so, how do you explain TLC's Take Home Nanny? If you believe that, then you have to believe Wife Swap (ABC) is stolen from Trading Spouses (FOX). What about Flip That House (Discovery Home) vs. Flip This House (A&E). How naive can you be? It's all a coincidence. No one copies ideas in Hollywood.

Don't believe me? Then judge the "Los Diarios del Temp de Hollywood" for yourself. Click here. If anything el Equis copied me!