Friday, January 30, 2009

$21,000 doesn't go as far as it used to...

As many of you may remember, Temp X recently interviewed for an assistant gig that paid the slightly-just-above-minimum wage of $21,000 per year. The irony was not lost on me that it's the exact amount I got at my first job ever -- it just so happened it was during the Clinton administration. I guess inflation is a myth.

Anyway, that got me thinking. Perhaps Hollywood executives have lost perspective? (Mr. Obvious is here.) If they only knew that the wages they offer are so terribly out of whack, maybe they'd increase them a smidge. Clearly my previous posting about housing prices didn't help, but this one might.

Next time a Hollywood Exec offers you $21,000 to read all their scripts, answer their phones, schedule their meetings, get their groceries, lie to their clients and hit the "print" button for them, remind them that $21k isn't enough. If you remind them where they spend their money, this "salary" is only enough to buy...

43 ounces of cocaine based on current market price of $17,000/kilo. That's not even enough to buy an ounce a week.

1/12 of their Aston Martin DBS Coupe which retails for $269,000. Basically the equivalent of buying the car's front bumper.

261 massages from Carino Massage of Beverly Hills. Or one one after every work day. [Note: Happy endings not included.]

70 iPhones with 3G with 16 gig hard drives. Which is exactly the same amount your boss uses & loses every year.

1 year's of private school education (per court order) for their child at Harvard-Westlake. Books cost extra.

3 first-class tickets on Air France from LAX to Paris bought on less than two weeks notice ($8,988). Or the same as your boss paid last time he went on vacation with the 26-year old trophy wife and the 14-year old kid from his first marriage.

4 Panasonic 65" Plasma TVs. After installing one in the master bedroom, living room, kid's bedroom and guest room, your boss couldn't even have one out by the pool. Quelle terrible!

or better put...

It would take 63.3 years for them to make enough to buy their $1,329,856 house in Pacific Palisades.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Due to unforeseen circumstances...

...I will not be able to post today. I have to work on something that might pay. Therefore, I can only offer you The Ramones.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

10 things I love about Hollywood

Not all of Hollywood is awful. Sure a lot of it is filled with self-important shitheads, starving writers or "starving" actresses (neither anorexia nor bulimia count as starving as they're voluntary). There are actually some parts that seem like...well...home. That assumes that you're from a town littered with strip malls, over-priced boutiques and horrific traffic. Lucky for me, I'm from Miami.

So without any further adieu, here are 10 things I love about Hollywood...

1 - Beach volleyball in January. I never liked volleyball when I was younger, but that may be the result of trying to make a dig while playing on asphalt. Sand is a lot more forgiving. And to be able to play it while the rest of the country is trying to figure out whether to wear four or five layers of clothes while checking the mail...

2 - It's only a three hour drive to Vegas. So what if I speed a little bit.

3 - The "Our show got canceled so we're selling off everything" sales. I went to one of these and bought about $2,000 worth of clothes for $85. This includes designer shirts, jackets, pants and shoes, many which still had tags on them. Oh, and I got a cape for $5.

4 - I've met the Mount Rushmore of kitsch: Pee Wee Herman, Mr. T, William Shatner and TV's Frank.

5 - The salad bar at CBS Radford. It's not great, but you can get a pretty decent-sized salad for $4.06. And it comes with a roll or a piece of cornbread.

6 - The friends I've made. Turns out not everyone in Hollywood is a conniving asshole. You know they're normal if they enjoy going to Roller Derby as much as you do. [Note: For those looking for conniving assholes, fear not. Just stand at the corner of Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars in Century City. They manufacture them there.]

7 - Screeners of shows that never made/shouldn't have made it to air. You'll immediately know why certain CBS execs got sacked the second you watch Viva Laughlin. Plus you'll get to watch the desecration the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil". (Perhaps that should be on a list of things I hate about Hollywood?)

8 - Knowing that things can change in an instant. You might need to wait for five-to-ten years of instants to get there. But they can change. Or so I've been told.

9 - This item left intentionally blank

10 - This item left intentionally blank

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Day, Another Pimp...but not Another Job

I registered with another Pimp yesterday. Why? If my math is right, there've been 15 work days so far this year. Of this total, Temp X has "worked" exactly 5 days. This leisurely schedule is not by choice. I just haven't gotten any calls from my Pimps. So I decided to get some action elsewhere.

I went in full of optimism, seemingly with good reason. When I first contacted this firm two weeks ago, they told me their first available interview was yesterday. "This pimp was going to have a treasure trove of gigs," I thought. "Why else would they make me wait so long."

I wanted to make a great impression, so inspired by the recent Miss America pageant (broadcast on TLC?!), I looked up tips on exuding confidence during a beauty pageant interview. Maybe that would deliver my dream assistant gig (an oxymoron if one ever existed)?

Let's see how that worked out...

Prepare for your interview as if you were studying for a test or job interview -- Because I didn't take typing in junior high and haven't secured a full-time job in years, I'm immediately concerned. I prepare for the interview by driving around their office building four times (the truth is that I'm looking for parking because they don't validate.)

Pay attention to your posture -- The moment I walk in to door my posture went from runway modelesque to Australopithecus as I realize I'm [age redacted] and I'm applying for a temp gig in a job market that's climbing toward 10 percent unemployment.

Use simple tricks for controlling nerves -- Lorazipam and Jagermeister. Can you think of a better way to mellow out?

Listen carefully to the question before speaking -- Sure I listened to the question, whatever it was. But what I really listened for was how often the phone rang. I consider this to be a pretty good indicator of how business is these days. I was in their office for 45 minutes and the phone rang exactly once. It was a personal call.

Pause to think before speaking -- Maybe I was distracted by their lack of activity. Maybe it was the nerve-controlling cocktail. Whatever it was I missed this step and blurted out the following, "I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh...people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and...I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., err, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our..." I became even more concerned when my Pimp-to-be agreed.

Be confident enough to be honest -- I failed this point, which is the only thing that might help me get a job. If I was honest I might say something like, "Please shoot me. All I wanted to do when I moved to Hollywood was get paid to write. Turns out I'm getting paid to type. So please, for the love of God, shoot me."

Now I wait by the phone. It's not ringing.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stupid Interview Question -- Rorschach Test Edition

Getting inside the mind of a Hollywood executive is a lot like a road trip to Vegas -- miles of arid real estate only to be interrupted by a small, densely-populated area that's gaudy, self-important and drunk. This is why I find today's stupid interview question so fascinating.

Rank the following in order most important to least important: Family, Friends, Love, Work.

A Hollywood executive offering a question your therapist would ask during the first session seems so atypical. But there's a reason. Any answer other than...
WORK is the most important thing in my life. For the prospect of fetching your latte, rolling your calls and faking your expense reports far exceeds any emotion I could feel in finding true love, being among friends or resolving issues with my family. completely unacceptable. But if you value Love, Family or Friends more than Work, don't think you're leaving your boss in a lurch. There's a line of 10 people behind you willing to make that sacrifice.

If you were the victim of a dumb interview question, please send them along to I promise your identity will be protected.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Curious Case of Tempjamin Xutton

Working in Hollywood is a lot like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in reverse. You start off your day looking beautiful and feeling mature ("Hey, look at me! I'm an adult with a job and real responsibilities.") only to end up 166 minutes later looking like Yoda and feeling like a handicapped five-year old ("Can't you even make coffee right?!!") De-evolution sucks.

On the subject of de-evolution, tomorrow marks nine months since the official start of the Hollywood Temp Diaries. So for any of you who got knocked up last April, your water is about to break. Get yourself to the hospital pronto. It also marked the beginning of the design of the Temp X logo which evolved from the following concept (as explained to Sister X):
I'd like something that represents the boredom and uselessness that I feel every day. Something that reflects working for a boss with an inflated sense of self-worth. Something that indicates that I'm waivering on whether to be suicidal or homicidal.
And thus, a star was born. I'm not exactly sure how this connects to Benjamin Button other than it started off fine only to devolve into a series of needless squiggles. I have no idea what I'm trying to say. It's Friday, I've had one day of work this week and the former CEO of Merrill Lynch spent more money to fix up his office than I'll make in a lifetime.

Enjoy the de-evolution of Temp X, my official logo/mascot/alterego...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

So you think you can rent?

Most personal finance experts recommend you spend no more than 30 percent of your gross income on rent. Based on data that estimates Hollywood Temps make $28,000 per year (a number I believe is about $6,000 high), a Temp should spend no more than $700/month on rent. This amount "jumps" to $750/month for full-time assistants who scrape together $30,000 annually.

These are perfectly reasonable amounts if you live in Columbus, OH or Indianapolis. But in LA, this poses a problem where in 2002 (and it's safe to say due to inflation and the housing market crash, today's numbers are comparable) the average rental prices are as follows:
  • Studio/1 Bath -- $960
  • 1 BR/1 BA -- $1,298
  • 2 BR/2 BA -- $1,798
  • 3 BR/2 BA -- $3,220
Source: APA, pg. 45

So what's an hourly slug to do to account for this disparity? You can cut costs by dining on corporately-issued Red Vines and Cheetos in lieu of an actual meal. You can live like the Amish and stop paying that electric bill. You can even buy domestic beer...or maybe not. The best idea is to find a way to keep your rent down.

Following are some ways to lower your housing expenses because I can assure you, your paycheck ain't gonna go up...

Live under your work desk -- Sixteen cubic feet of paradise complete with DSL, HVAC (Mon-Fri, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.), parking, building security and all the microwave popcorn you can eat. The only downside - you're living like veal. But at least it's cheap. You can also take comfort in knowing you're not the first person to do it.

Live in a big group house that probably violates code -- There are pluses and minuses to such an approach. Sure, it'll drive your rent down significantly. But you might get stuck living with a freak. And no one wants that.

Move in with Someone Famous -- The smartest way to reduce housing expenses -- have someone else pay for them. There are many Hollywood execs who are shopping for a new model (double meaning intended) to replace the aging one they have at home. So put on your most form-fitting outfit, belly up to the Roosevelt Hotel bar and before you know it, you'll be living in 5-bedroom house in Pacific Palisades. [Tip: This works especially well if you are good looking and female. For men, this may result in waking up next to Madonna or Cher.]

Stay Where You Are -- There are no jobs here. Warner Bros, NBC and Viacom just finished layoffs. Disney and Sony are soon to follow. They just need to finish distributing bonuses first. Until then, I suggest you live in a place where jobs are more plentiful, housing prices are cheap and no one ever says the word "resies." Oklahoma City anyone?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stupid Interview Question -- Ansel Adams Edition

A new day has dawned in America. It's a time of unbridled hope and optimism that perhaps our $14/hour jobs won't go away quite yet -- unless you work for Warner Bros. Then you have a 1-in-10 chance that it will. Let us rejoice...

Now, because no matter who the President is, Hollywood executives can always find a way to out-stupid themselves. Thus I offer the following question one of my loyal readers received during a job interview...

"How does being in nature make you feel?"

Perhaps the exec meant to ask "How does 'taking a nature' make you feel?" The correct answer to that is "Slightly better than I do after watching Crusoe." Well, whatever. At least Obama is still President.

If you were the victim of a dumb interview question, please send them along to I promise your identity will be protected.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Special

It's an important day in American history, so I'll celebrate the only way I know how...with some Alice Cooper

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hollywood Dictionary -- Volume 4

Hollywood can be a confusing place for newcomers. You're faced with impossible questions like:
  • If the Golden Globes take place in Beverly Hills, why are they broadcast live everywhere but here?
  • Will network execs ever stop greenlighting cooking shows?
  • How does Jim Belushi have a career?
While I can't answer these questions, I can help you understand the absurd terminology you'll face on a daily basis. Following are the newest entries into the Hollywood Dictionary.

Brads -- Pitt, Garrett and Hall (Mr. Julia Louis-Dreyfus)? Nope. These are simply the brass fasteners used to hold scripts together. Yep. Glorified paper clips. But as a glorified intern, you'll need to know what they are and how to use them. [Tip: To hold a script together, only use two "Brads," putting one in the top and bottom hole. If you use three, you'll risk major embarrassment. Trust me on this one.]

Pilot Season -- This has nothing to do with plane crashes in the Hudson River or hunting Roman Governors. It's the time of year when the major networks (for the sake of simplicity I'll include NBC and the CW in the "major" category) make sample shows to replace the ill-advised ones they bought last year. For your average assistant, pilot season is a three-month long phone call. If you're still unclear of the concept, perhaps Jules Winnfield can explain it better than I.

Sides -- Not quite sure how this word came into Hollywood vernacular, but we're stuck with it. It simply means selected pages of a script that are read during the course of an audition. You'll probably hear as your boss yells at you, "Courier, fax and email those fucking sides to [client's] house pronto! And then get me some coffee!" -- The most popular website among Hollywood execs who cheat on their spouses. It provides an excellent selection of products for all types of homewreckers including secret hotel rooms, slutty underwear and first look deals all for the low, low price of...uh, what was that? Oh never mind. It's "Who Represents" not "Whore Presents" and is simply a list Hollywood talent and their agents. Oh.

Double Banger -- Doesn't have anything to do with the Olsen Twins, the Sklar Brothers or any other marginally relevant monozygotic offspring. It's simply a term for the on-set trailer a celeb uses to snort cocaine, throw up lunch or violate probation in between takes. The size of a celeb's on-set "banger" is inversely proportional to the size of their [insert body part here].

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random Thoughts and Questions

I suppose there's an upside to being jobless, that is you have a chance to think about things you normally wouldn't. But rather than ponder world peace, personal betterment or doing my laundry, I think about other -- less useful -- stuff.

So in the event you're wondering what Temp X thinks about while gazing at the phone, hoping against hope that my telekinetic powers will make it ring*, here's a peek inside my head. Avert your gaze...

* Further research revealed that telekinesis has nothing to do with telephones.

I left my wallet in a friend's car, but because I had no work and no where to go, I didn't notice for 48 hours.

How come movie studios remake films, networks remake TV shows but publishing companies never re-make books?

Why is Black Licorice still sold under the brand name "Red Vines?"

A Google search for the words "NBC" and "crap" yields 1.68 million results

If my icon in Wii Boxing wears glasses, will he still get punched in the face?

An anagram for "Golden Globes" is "Blond, Legs, Ego."

Is there a difference between entertainment blogs TMZ, I Don't Like You In That Way, Egotastic, Perez Hilton, The Gossip Girls, Faded Youth...well you get the point.

Should I be concerned that The Secret Life of the American Teenager airs on ABC Family?

So far in 2009, I've worked the same amount of days as I haven't.

Why are there so many low-flying helicopters in Los Angeles?

I know it's just honorary & promotional nonsense, but how is it that David Hasselhoff (1996) had a star on the Walk of Fame before Glenn Close (2009)?

When did I start writing like Larry King? How can I make it stop?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stupid Interview Question -- Jane Goodall Edition

Hollywood is full of a bunch of copycats in expensive (but designed to look cheap) clothes. While these execs will never admit it, I'll bet you a Caramel Macchiato that Supernanny/Nanny 911, Dancing with the Stars/Skating with Celebrities, Trading Spouses/Wife Swap, Lost/Invasion, Beverly Hills 90210/90210, Dallas/Dynasty, Simon & Simon/Riptide (ok, I'll stop) are more than just eerie coincidences.

But idea mimicry isn't limited to just stealing movie or TV show ideas. It extends into day-to-day behavior -- like testing Newton's Second Law of Motion. With that in mind, I offer the following question one of my loyal readers received during a job interview.

"When I get angry, I sometimes throw things...Is that okay?"

Monkey See Monkey Do?

If you were the victim of a dumb interview question, please send them along to I promise your identity will be protected.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Golden Globes -- Blogging the Blogs

(Sunday 1/11/09)

With a mild hangover enveloping me and a slight case of Wii Tennis elbow, I realize I need to work on tomorrow's blog. Well, the Golden Globes are tonight. I could do a "blog along." But everyone does them. So I've decided to blog along to all the blogs. Have I ever mentioned that the word "blog" is the most annoying words since "twelve."

8.02 a.m. -- I need to find all the blogs out there before the awards start. A cursory Google search reveals probably around 10. I'm sure there are many more. I bookmark all of them for easy access.

8.03 a.m. -- Brainstorm! Search of Google Blogs reveals a even more planned Golden Globe blogs (clearly not the most original of ideas) including Nikki Finke. I'm sure she'll be exploiting someone.

8.04 a.m. -- I go back to sleep.

[Later that day...]

5.19 p.m. -- Got a late start after playing five games of beach volleyball. For everyone who doesn't live in LA, that's what we do here in January.

5.20 p.m. -- I open browser windows for seven different live blogs. Since I can't watch the GGs live, Channel 13 is showing something called The Missing. Not sure what it's about, but it's sure to be as interesting as the Globes.

5.24 p.m. -- Nikki Finke starts off with with scatological references to Jim Carrey, Jack Nicholson and Christine Lahti (whoever she is). Apparently the prunes I sent Ms. Finke have taken hold.

5.27 p.m. -- I've never heard of the National Post, but they have a blogger named Brad Fernette. Apparently anyone can get invited to the Globes if they can laminate a business card. Brad is joined by the equally unknown Nathalie Atkinson, the National Post's fashion editor. As I have the fashion sense of an Eastern European in summer, I'll assume Nathalie knows what's she's talking about.

5.32 p.m. -- Only four postings into the blog and TV Addict's has demonstrated their version of quality control. It's spelled "Rumer" not "Rumor."

5.39 p.m. -- On to the Entertainment Weekly blog with Annie Barnett and Mandi (last name not given). Annie throws out the word "discush." I can only assume that results from having capped teeth too large for your mouth.

5.46 p.m. -- To's blog. I'm not a fan of a product name that generic. It's like naming your beer "Beer" or your network "National Broadcasting Company."

5.50 p.m. -- is hosted by the equally unknown Laramey Legel. He really enjoys asking questions as opposed to stating what's happening. Journalism 101 -- never use a question in your lede. I'm guessing Laramey missed that day at J-school, assuming he even went to it.

5.55 p.m. -- Wondering if Nikki's at home watching the NYC feed or if someone actually let her in the door in the Beverly Hilton press room.

6.00 p.m. -- Manny Pacquiao beats out January Jones, Mariska Hargitay, Kyra Sedgwick and Sally Field for the Best Pound-for-Pound Actress in a...oh's Anna Paquin. Nevermind.

6.06 p.m. -- DVR Playground has no postings an hour into the awards. I can only assume they find the awards as newsworthy as I do.

6.07 p.m. -- Oh, yes. the whole Anne Hathaway thing. Apparently the Golden Globes website said she won on Friday. Well what do you expect from Ernst and Young. They got duped on Bernie Madoff, so you probably shouldn't expect miracles from them.

6.09 p.m. -- Least interesting comment from a blog so far, "Nathalie Atkinson: Marisa Tomei is bringing back the evening blouse!" The National Post is gonna win a Pulitzer for this one. Entertainment Weekly's blog informs me they "love Brian Grazer's hair."

6.26 p.m. -- I'm only half way there?! Ugh. Did I mention that I saw Ali Larter as she was going to some Golden Globes pre-party last night. She would make a great Mrs. Temp X.

6.43 pm. -- I've finally learned something from Nikki Finke -- sadly it's just that Tom Brokaw was a presenter. Looks like NBC will do anything for a ratings point. Next year John Chancellor?

6.47 p.m. -- Laurence Fishburne and Glenn Close present for Best Comedy or Musical. Apparently foreigners can't tell the difference between the two? Probably left over from when Jerry Lewis was popular?

7.02 p.m. -- The West Coast feed of the "Red Carpet" show just started. I'm now "Live Blogging" about something that happened three hours ago. Can someone get me Dr. Emmett Brown?

7.04 p.m. -- Miley Cyrus vs. Brooke Burke on the red carpet in a battle of wits. Who wins? The first one to correctly spell "Red."

7.08 p.m. -- It's Lifetime Achievement Award time. Or as I like to call it, bathroom break.

7.30 p.m. -- Colin Farrell won for a movie no one has ever even heard of and made less than $8 million domestically.

7.39 p.m. -- Does anyone know which countries are considered "Foreign Press?" Is Freedonia represented?

7.49 p.m. -- Slander award winner for the night from -- "Colin (Farrell) accepts and may very well be on cocaine."

7.50 p.m. -- Kate Winslet wins again. Every blog I read can't help themselves from making Titanic jokes. Can't anyone write anything original these days?

7.52 p.m. -- I'm the King of the World!

7.54 p.m. -- Just discovered Defamer is doing a "live" West Coast version of the blog. Way to stay on top of the news guys.

8.19 p.m. -- The Globes conclude with Best Picture Drama for Slumdog Millionaire. Annie Barrett sums the whole evening up in one word "Annie: Coke!"

I couldn't agree more.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Haiku-fest

Beer in hand -- Miller.
Celebrating all that's good.
No SAG strike...not yet.

It's "Pilot Season."
The phone will ring off the hook.
Say "Good Bye" to lunch.

"Superstars." More crap.
Aren't there better ideas?
Not at ABC.

Unemployment check?
Not this week. Processing gaffe.
Should I sell plasma?

Candidate asks me,
"What studio am I at?"
He'll likely get hired.

I guess I'm lucky.
Based on unemployment stats
We'll all soon be temps.

Just saw on the news
There was an Earthquake last night.
"Four?" Doesn't count here.

Blogging ain't easy.
Writing stuff every day
Thank God for haikus.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Unless you've been living in a casket, you know it's only a few more days until "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is released. How bad will this movie be?

Final survey results:

MLK Day, the Inauguration and "Paul Blart" -- best week ever! -- 2%
With an ad budget this large, it's gotta be good? -- 4%
No worse than your average night of NBC programming. -- 41%
Makes me wonder why I bothered going to Tisch. A chimp with a 4th grade education could write this. -- 32%
I'd rather go to work -- and my boss is an asshole. -- 18%

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Awards Season Preview Preview

Hollywood is infatuated with itself on a level that would make Narcissus blush. And as we move into awards season, this self-love is about to get a lot messier.

The nice thing about awards season you'll see a lot less of your boss because he/she will often ditch work to go to the ceremony or at least the parties. Sure, you'll have to work your magic to get them into parties they don't deserve to attend (Tip: Promise stuff you can't deliver on), but the end justifies the means.

However once your boss ditches work, you'll have time to kill. Allow me, the King of Hollywood, to help you figure out ways to fill that time...

Jan. 7 -- People's Choice Awards
Your boss will...only go to the parties but will say they need to hold Molly Shannon/Selma Blair/etc. hand as she loses to Jay Mohr or that fat guy from Worst Week who kinda looks like the fat guy from Spin City.

While your boss is away...try watching any of the shows nominated for "Cancelled Show that Deserves a Second Chance" -- Do Not Disturb, Easy Money, The Ex List, My Own Worst Enemy, Valentine. Keep a barf bag handy.

Jan. 8 -- VH-1 Critics' Choice Awards
Your boss will...not go but demand you hook them up with afterparty tix because they've always wanted to hang with Snoop Dogg.

While your boss is away...check out an old Michael Bolton video from when VH-1 was the soft rock alternative to MTV. Then try to figure out what either network does these days.

Jan. 11 -- Golden Globe Awards
Your boss will...leave Friday after lunch for two days of pre-parties which will likely extend into something known as "The Lost Weekend plus Monday"

While your boss is away....celebrate the true drunken spirit of the Golden Globes by raiding your boss's liquor cabinet [Hint: It's the bottles on top of the scripts he/she's been ignoring]. Throw back a cocktail or seven. For bonus points name one member of the Hollywood Foreign Press or simply play the Golden Globes drinking game.

Jan. 15 - 25 -- Sundance Film Festival
Your boss you and, while attempting to drown out the sound of a chair lift, claim it's urgent they extend their Park City stay three days.

While your boss is away...Slather some zinc oxide on your shnoz, bring in Shaun White snowboarding for the Wii and setup base camp in your boss's office. To simulate Park City's altitude, bring along a Mountain Air Generator. As for the movies and networking part, just call Jason Reitman and buy his next film.

Jan. 25 -- Screen Actors Guild Awards
Your boss will
...forget to go. [Tip: Spend the weekend practicing lies to tell your client's manager. You'll need them for Monday.]

Jan. 31 -- DGA Awards
Your boss at the Super Bowl, which means you better get those tickets pronto.

Feb. 7 -- Writers Guild Awards
Your boss will...not be attending. Hanging out with neurotic writers dressed in sweatshirts, baseball caps and unwashed jeans? No thanks. And it's on a Saturday.

Feb. 7 -- Academy Awards Scientific and Technical Awards
Your boss will...getting a mani/pedi instead. Worst afterparties ever. And it's on a Saturday.

Feb. 8 -- Grammy Awards
Your boss will...go even though he/she doesn't rep anyone who can even play Guitar Hero well much less sing. Who cares if it's on a Sunday? Snoop Dogg will be there and he's got some bubonic shit.

While your boss is away
...It's on a Sunday, so you'll be working your second job.

Feb. 14 -- Art Directors Guild Awards
Your boss...doesn't give two shits about this. Go back to your desk and let's start rolling calls.

Feb. 22
-- Academy Awards
Your boss will...leave for the Grand Daddy of them all early on Friday and won't return until late Tuesday afternoon.

While your boss is away...leave early Friday or make photocopies of incriminating emails your boss has sent to another employer/lover/etc. Put those away for safe keeping. For bonus points, sneak into Ari Emanuel's famed Oscar party. Tell security your name is Lloyd.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stupid Interview Question -- Angiosperm Edition

Never let it be said that Hollywood executives don't have a soft spot. They produce contrived, tear-jerking dreck like Marley & Me, Forrest Gump and Titanic. So perhaps it's not a surprise that a Tinseltown boss asked the following question one of my loyal readers...

"If you were to identify yourself with a flower, which would it be?"

Or perhaps they were hoping the candidate was going answer "Poppy" for obvious reasons.

If you were the victim of a dumb interview question, please send them along to I promise your identity will be protected.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Temp X is King of Hollywood -- Long Live the King

Did you feel different when you woke up this morning? No, not sober. More like a renewed sense of optimism? Well, while you were catching up on the sleep your 14-hour work days have deprived you of, Temp X led a bloodless coup. I am officially King of Hollywood.

You see there's been power vacuum since Johnny Grant died nearly a year ago. And, as no one stepped in to fill that void, I decided I will. So after months of a Machiavellian and Nixonian campaign based on subterfuge, reconnaissance and Miller High Life, I officially took over as King on January 1, 2009.

So what does this mean to you, the hourly cog?
I like to think of this new order as a more logical version of the Cuban Revolution (happy 50th!). I understand the plight of indentured servants like you, but rather than nationalize and redistribute wealth (or what's left of it), I'd simply like to make Hollywood fair, equitable and reasonable. And maybe even include a bit of humanity.

As I'm in charge, the following rules are immediately in place:

[Note: I have as much power as George Bush does these days, so results may vary.]
All assistants will receive health insurance, paid vacation, a 401k and the requirements as set forth by California's Office of Labor Commissioner.

Assistant positions will present an opportunity for growth. This means your boss will ask you for coverage, notes, creative input and activities that use your degree from Tisch or comparable institution.

There will be no more TV show remakes, movie remakes, TV shows made into movies, movies made into TV shows or worst of all -- video games turned into movies. Additionally, an independent, five-judge panel will review all requests to turn comic books into movies.

There will be no more hidden-camera shows upon the February 2009 cancellation of Howie do it and Game Show in my Head. Candid Camera (which actually began as Candid Microphone in 1947!) wasn't funny before and it's not funny now. I don't care how much of it comes from the "mind" of Ashton Kutcher.

Each assistant's salary will sufficiently cover rent, utilities, food, student loan payments and select nights out on the town. Furthermore, raises will be no less than a cost of living adjustment and bonuses will not simply be the "re-gifting" of something your boss didn't want.

There will be no more reality TV programs about dancing, singing or anything that resembles at 5th grade talent show. Additionally, there will be no more televised "Fat Camps" or programs featuring never weres (cough...Trishelle).

Companies must hire any Temp who has been in the same position for three months. I know people who've been on the same temp assignment for two years! Additionally, Interns not receiving college credit will get at least minimum wage.

Interviews and employment will be based on skill, education and qualifications rather than any other irrelevant considerations.

Assistants will no longer have to dial the phone for anyone but themselves.

I reserve the right to add more as necessary and am taking suggestions. Lucky for me, I don't have any work today. So I've got time to think of other ones.