Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Larry King Tuesday

Somehow I thought I was going to be further along in my career by now.

Man vs. Cholesterol
How is it that Adam Richman, host of Man vs. Food hasn't dropped dead yet?

I miss bendy straws.

I'm disappointed that Wonder Woman didn't get picked up because I wanted to post my Wonder Woman cancellation countdown.

What do dogs dream about?

Which has been worse for television - the growth of reality programming or the recession?

Make it a double.
If you shuffle around the letters in Newt Gingrich you get "Grit.  Gin Wench."

If you shuffle around the letters in Sarah Palin you get "Anal Parish."

Hands down, the best place in town to see a movie is the main theater at Paramount.  Giant seats, leg room, no previews.  It even made Alice in Wonderland a tolerable film.

Has anyone watched Piers Morgan recently?  I know I haven't.

I love flossing.

My new favorite magazine
Worse sequel -- Grease 2 or Caddyshack 2?

CNBC's Jane Wells is "tittering" (her words) because of my recent post comparing Sarah Palin's non-campaigning bus to Jack's truck from the Jack in the Box commercials.  If only my ex-girlfriends knew I could make women titter.

Remember when you could take spare change to the bank and they'd count it for you?

I'm taking the Miami Heat in six games versus Dallas.  Haslem's return makes all the difference.

My take home pay for my current temp gig pays $103 per day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sarah in the Box

Sarah Palin announced today that she's taking an extended bus trip around the country. Now this doesn't mean she's running for President. Nope. Because if she did, then reporters get to start asking her questions like "What do you read?" and "Can you read?" You know, the hard stuff. Until then, the part-time Alaska Governor is simply taking a long drive in the oddly decorated bus seen below.

Hello, world, here the song that we're singin'. C'mon get happy!

When I saw pictures of her Prevost X3-45 with the custom paint job I started to get a nasty case of déjà vu.  This happens to me a lot because I often get confused between what happens to me and what happens on TV.  It's entirely possible I was just flashing back her bus tour from the 2008 election.  Or perhaps I remembered it from one of her book promotions.  Or maybe I was just thinking of an old episode of the Partridge Family.  But that wasn't it.  Then, like the dreamy waft of a cheeseburger on a warm summer day, it hit me.  It's the exact same design as used in the Jack in the Box commercial titled "I love America."

What's more American than a truck getting 7 mpg? A cholesterol level of 205.

Yep.  Sarah's non-campaign campaign bus is using designs inspired by a burger joint.  Now why do I have this sneaking suspicion her economic policy is solely focused on answering the question "Would you like fries with that?"

Following is the full commercial.  Bon Appétit.

Off Topic

Stop!!  He's...slowly...getting...away...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ask Fake Ari Emanuel

Still not real Ari
Welcome to another edition of Ask Fake Ari Emanuel.*  Fake Ari will answer all of your questions because he's made it to the second highest level of Hollywood -- WME2.  And who knows? One of these days CAA might just hire him as a floater.  If you have any questions for Fake Ari, please send them to TempX@tempdiaries.com.

*Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.  No animals were harmed during the writing of this posting.  Please don't sue me.

ANONYMOUS READER ASKS: I graduated from an Ivy in 2006 and a top 25 law school in 2009.  Following graduation I used every connection I had at the top agencies to get in as an assistant. Eventually, I got an interview with CAA but it went nowhere (Why did your slaves at WME blow me off son?). I don't fit that storm trooper mold I guess. Ultimately, I took a clerkship and have been working that for the past year. But I can't take it anymore. I have to become an agent; nothing else will do.

Tell me something I don't know
FAKE ARI EMANUEL RESPONDS: It's not often that Fake Ari doesn't have an answer for everything.  Ask me the last digit of Pi, I know it.  Looking for the answer for the Grand Unified Theory - child's play.  Hell.  I even know why Jim Belushi keeps getting work.  But your question almost had me stumped.  Your credentials fit in perfectly with what this town is looking for -- Ivy-league ego, Top 25 law school (unless you went to UC Davis, they don't count).  But yet no work.  So I poured myself a glass of Chivas 18, grabbed a copy of the Wall Street Journal (I read the paper version) and the answer became clear as to why you can't find employment with an agency -- the unemployment rate in California is 11.7%.  It's the second worst jobless rate in the country, only beating out Nevada.

There are tons of people like you wandering the streets of Hollywood trying to join the ranks of people like me.  You're over educated and underemployed.  My advice to you is simple -- move to where the jobs are.  Or be a manager.  Those jobs are easier to get.

Oh, and they're not considered slaves if they do it voluntarily.  Then they're just considered young, impressionable fools. 

That's what he said
ANONYMOUS READER ASKS: I've been interning since Jan 2010 - nine months of it being desk level experience. I'm in and out of interviews at CAA and Gersh but didn't land any past the initial HR interview. I was wondering what you think is appropriate follow-up with HR is. I don't want to piss them off and I don't want them to forget about me.  Thoughts?

FAKE ARI EMANUEL RESPONDS: Fake Ari has one simple rule about interviewing -- if they want to call you, they'll call you.  Everything else will piss them off.  As for the nine months of internships...well...the longer you want to work for free, the happier your employer is.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest Column: Top 10 Reasons You Know You've Been Reading Too Many Scripts

I love when people send me posts.  It's not just because I enjoy hearing other people's perspective on this shithole industry.  It makes my day because it means I get to take the day off.  So if you'd like rant, feel free to send your thoughts to TempX@tempdiaries.com.  It can either be with a byline or anonymous, you pick.

Today's post come courtesy of Nicole Belisle.  She writes:
First off, thanks for your awesome site! It gives me hope in my darkest assisting hours. I hit a wall yesterday reading scripts and came up with the below Top 10 List that I think many of you readers would get a kick out of.  It would make my day to see you post it on your page!
Well Nicole.  I'm in the business of making dreams come true.  So here it goes...

10. You refer to your past as "Act 1."
9. You describe your boyfriend as Brad Pitt meets Zach Galifianakis.
8. You compare your sex life to a bad script...no climax.
7. You overhear a piece of conversation and rewrite the line better in your head.
6. Your wedding gift to your brother was coverage of the ceremony.
5. When your significant other doesn't remember a past fight you've referenced, you tell them to see the footnote.
4. You recall epic moments in your life as dramatic montages.
3. When you first meet someone you estimate their age, categorize their level of attractiveness, and note one other defining characteristic.
2. You refer to your friends as supporting actors and your boss as the antagonist.
1. You live by the motto What Would Aaron Sorkin do?
Only 12 more Mad Men specs to go

Thursday, May 19, 2011

An Open Letter to Lars von Trier

Dear Lars,

Just say no
I know you've had a tough 48 hours.  You said at a press conference after the debut of Melanocholia at Cannes that you "understand Hitler" and you "sympathize with him a bit."  For these comments (jokes or not), the festival's board of directors deemed you Persona Non Grata and threw you to the other side of the velvet rope.  To make matters worse, The Hollywood Reporter called Melanocholia "a bit of a bore."  So while you've probably retreated to Denmark and crawled into a bottle of akvavit, I'd say it's about time you cheer up.  In 10 short months, you'll be getting standing ovations again.  How do I know this?  I have two words for you -- Mel Gibson.

Seriously Lars, listen to me.  It was a scant 320 days ago that Mel's voicemails to his baby mama, Oksana Grigorieva, leaked out to the press.  He said all sorts of quirky things.  And let's not forget his "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" rant.  Look at Mel now.  He's getting a standing ovation at Cannes for The Beaver.

See.  You'll be back in the headlines -- the good kind -- before you know it.  The one thing you need to remember about Hollywood is people here have a very short memory -- likely the result of extensive cocaine use or possibly general stupidity.  Whatever the reason, you can say racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic or generally hateful things and within a few months, people will have forgotten completely.  It worked for Mel and it'll work for you.

I know these are tough times.  But it's gonna get better.  I promise.  And how much could the Cannes Film Festival really despise you if they still have your press conference on their website?  You can even re-live the hilarity. It starts at 34:30.

Now turn that frown upside down.

Your Pal and an overall Good Jew,
Temp X

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Great Moments In Product Placement History -- Gossip Girl

And now another (cue echo effect) GREAT MOMENT IN PRODUCT PLACEMENT HISTORY.  Today's moment comes courtesy of last week's episode of Gossip Girl.

You see I was flipping channels (Really! I don't watch this show because that would also mean I know it comes on right after 90210.  And knowing that would be too embarrassing for words.) and who did I see, but Vizzini from The Princess Bride gazing longingly at five multi-colored bottles.  Hoping he'll make a quick homage to his famous role by saying, "Hurry up! Move that... thing. And that other... thing," I stay on this channel that apparently has the unfortunate name of "The CW."

Two product placements in one?
Sadly those multi-colored bottles were just part of an elaborate product placement story and my hopes for whimsical pop culture moment were dashed.  It turns out that Vizzini and some woman with an indeterminate accent were simply giving Blair Waldorf the low-down on the Vitamin Water Design Competition -- whatever that is.

Strangely, I was uninterested in any of this. So I threw the remote at my television and picked up a book.  I then realized I no longer knew how to read, so I fell asleep.

And thus concludes another (echo please) GREAT MOMENT IN PRODUCT PLACEMENT HISTORY.

As a post script, I'm fairly certain I would have won the Vitamin Water Design Competition using nothing more than a faucet, some food coloring, a ground up Centrum and two packets of sugar.  My flavor would have been called "Vitamin Water Sucker," not because it tastes like a lollipop, but because you're a sucker to pay $2 for a bottle of colored sugar water.

125 calories per bottle < Healthy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stupid Interview Questions: Arnold Schwarzenegger Edition

Not Sign Language
What luck!  I post a Stupid Interview Question last Friday and I get another one in return.  At this rate, I'll never have to come up with an original blog post again.  Keep up the good work.

Hollywood execs are a smarmy bunch.  When they're not buying/thinking about drugs, they're buying/thinking about sex.  Well, it appears I've underestimated their smarm, as it appears they want applicants have the exact same mindset.  How do I know this?  Look no further than today's Stupid Interview Question one of my fans got from the owner of a boutique management agency:

How often do you get laid?

So many ways to answer this.  It's probably easiest to go old school on this and say something like "Whenever your mom comes over."  But feel free to think of your own responses and post them below.

If you have a Stupid Interview Question to share, please send it to TempX@tempdiaries.com or put it in the "Overheard in Hollywood" box to the left. All submissions will remain anonymous.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stupid Interview Questions: The Craig Kilborn Edition

Talent agencies are filled with hard driving assholes who aspire to make your life miserable.  This is nothing new.  But you'd like to hope for a bit of normalcy when it comes to their HR staff.  Turns out that's not the case, or at least not the case at a certain acronymed firm.  How do I know this?  Look no further than this for a stupid interview question:

What are the five most traumatic experiences in your life?

Luckily I wasn't the applicant facing this question.  But then I started to think about it.  What would I say if I had been the one in the hot seat?  I couldn't answer this honestly because the question is so awful and inappropriate that it doesn't deserve an honest answer. But I know I'd have fun with it.  I'm thinking I'd answer like this:
  1. When the temp agency made me take a typing test on a QWERTY keyboard.  I only know the Dvorak version.
  2. Watching the Shaquille O'Neal movie marathon they just aired on BET: Old Skool. Kazaam, Steel and Blue Chips make Freddy Got Fingered look like Kurosawa.
  3. When I came in last at the junior high science fair.  Turns out creating a small-scale meth lab wasn't as impressive Michelle Potter's model of the Solar System.
  4. The time Uncle Rico stabbed Aunt Tina last Thanksgiving.  Dinner was so awkward after that.
  5. When I farted in your office two minutes ago.  I'm a little nervous.
If you have a stupid interview question to share, please send it to TempX@tempdiaries.com or put it in the "Overheard in Hollywood" box to the left. All submissions will remain anonymous.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Great Moments In Product Placement History -- The Biggest Loser

Technically it's method acting
NBC loves their product placements from Subway.  I think if it'd been up to Silverman, they would have just renamed the entire network Subway-NBC.  They have a portion of their website dedicated to those who like to "Eat Fresh"®.  And of course there's the much-mocked episode of Chuck that seemingly jumped from placement into full-on advertisement.

Never one to rest on their laurels, NBC has broken new boundaries yet again.  This time they've gone into the short-form Subway infomercial business and disguised it as one of their televised fat camps.

Below is a transcript from a portion of last night's The Biggest Loser when the team goes on a little field trip.  Enjoy and "Eat Fresh"®.

The five remaining contestants and their trainer Brett open the door to a Subway restaurant in a suburban LA strip mall.


Oooh.  I'm hungry.


So it's always fun when we get to leave The Ranch.  And today we're going on a Subway field trip to learn about fresh food we can eat on the go that will still be within our calorie budget.

The group huddles around the sandwich bar as a dutiful Subway employee begins assembling sandwiches.
When it comes to nutrition, if you have to sacrifice flavor too much, you're not going to stay on it.  Here at Subway, you do not have to give up flavor to have great tasting food.  I want to talk about the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki.  Alright.  Here's what's in it: 6-inch bread - whole wheat, a little more than a tablespoon of fat-free sweet onion dressing, about three ounces of chicken teriyaki - teriyaki sauce is on top, it's not just plain chicken.  So I hope you pay attention to what she's putting in it because again it's final exams week.  And you have a pop quiz right now!

Oh no!

Gift cards taste delicious
How many calories are going to be in this sandwich?  Who ever guesses it correct or closest to it is going to win this $500 Subway gift card.

Extended pause for shot of gift card.

Nice.  Very nice.

We ready to rumble with the numbers?  
(Pause for enthusiastic response.  Not achieved.) 

Let's do it.

Alright Hannah, whaddya got?

The 20th digit of Pi is 4...no...6
(Pensive, as if reconciling modern and classical physics)
I'm gonna say 380.


I'm gonna say 335.

I say 250 calories.

I had one for 240


Jay nods.  Brett doesn't believe him.
And the winner of the $500 Subway gift card goes to...
(Pause for dramatic tension...not achieved)
Exactly 380 calories.

(faking excitement because she read it on the signage that litters the store)
I won something

Cheers from the crowd...

Can you believe that?
(Awaiting group response of disbelief.  Not achieved.)
All that flavor and only four-and-a-half grams of fat and under 400 calories.

Wow.  That's great.

Boo-ya.  I remembered something. Thank God.  Maybe this wasn't a physical challenge, but I still won $500 to Subway, which I will definitely use when I go home.

The group is now eating.

Oh my God, that's good.

(either ironically or with terrible acting)
I like the teriyaki sauce.

The group raises their 20 ounce beverage that better be Diet Coke.


"Eat Fresh"®

Monday, May 9, 2011

Celebs: They're just like us -- only better looking and dumber

It's all about me. Me me me.
Models have a pretty easy life.  All they need to do is stand there, look pretty, snort cocaine and collect an absurdly large paycheck.  But sometimes they get outside of their core set of skills and decide to talk.  That can only end poorly because these women haven't fired off a synapse in 10 years or more.

Another example of a model going outside her core competency is super hot Jew and Sports Illustrated cover model Bar Refaeli from a 2007 story in Jewish news site Ynet.com.  In the article she explains her logic for getting into a sham marriage so she could dodge her military responsibility as an Israeli citizen.
"What, isn't it better to live in New York?...It's dumb that people have to die so that I can live in Israel...I don't regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time...That's just the way it is, celebrities have other needs."
They're so cute when they're stupid.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Overheard in Hollywood

Say what?
In a town with so many bad ideas and foolish people, it's impossible not to hear people saying ridiculous things.  That's why I started "Overheard in Hollywood."  If you've eavesdropped on inanity that you'd like share, send it along to tempx@tempdiaries.com or submit it via the the submission box in the left column.  Of course, everything is confidential, anonymous and I promise not to tell anyone.

And with that, here are the exciting ramblings from around town.

A douchey talent agent playing the role perfectly -- well-groomed 5 o'clock shadow, expensive suit, iPhone holster -- escorts an interview candidate out of his office.

You certainly give good meeting.

The candidate smiles confidently - he's learned enough "Douche-speak" to know this is a sign of approval.  He then chooses to steer the conversation to the interview to make one last good impression.

I'm very interested in the position and believe...

And I can already tell that you wouldn't annoy the shit out of me.

The candidate bites the inside of his face as he's not really sure how to respond to this "compliment."  Luckily the agent, not short of words, continues what is essentially a monologue.

We'll be in touch.

[Post Script: They never called.]

Or if you're interested in celebrating your Mexican heritage, you might like the following post...

A marketing executive is animated and slightly perplexed -- almost like her dog just started talking to her.

Guess what I just learned?

Tell me.

I just found out that Cinco de Mayo is on the same day every year.

Me sorprendiria si sabe como amarar sus abujillas.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2011...

I was recently asked to give the commencement address to the 2011 graduates of Emerson College. This is a decent honor (like most Emerson students, UT-Austin was my first choice), but I accepted it anyway.  In the process of writing this speech, I realized Hollywood execs are smarter than first thought.  Turns out it's much easier to remake something than it is to start from scratch.  

Following is a transcript of that address... 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of 2011:

Sunscreen sucks.

If I could offer you only one tip for your future in Hollywood, skip the sunscreen. The short-term perks of a tan -- the healthy glow, tantalizing bikini lines -- have been proven time and again. The rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this nonsense now.

Sleep around.

It's fun. Everyone in Hollywood is good looking. When poolside at the Roosevelt, tell the model wannabe next to you that you're a producer on CSI: Miami. Then see what happens. Bottle service helps.


There's no better way to keep your body in shape than doing abdominal crunches while talking on the Porcelain telephone.

Be jealous.

This town is full of people who get things they don't deserve. Some day, that person might be you. And then you can look down on the masses and mock them.

Keep your old bank statements. Throw away your love letters. Only one of these is beneficial in divorce court.

Smoke cigarettes.

Parliament Lights. Marlboro Lights. Camel Lights. Any of them act as a fantastic appetite suppressant. Smoking makes you cool and it looks great on film. But don't smoke pot because it'll make you hungry.


Just tell everyone that your script is an homage to Chayefsky's Network, not a scene by-scene redo. (But hire a good lawyer just in case.)

Buy knee pads.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have an affair with the boss and get promoted. Maybe you'll accidentally get knocked up and have to have an abortion which your boss will put on his corporate AmEx and make you file the expense report. Maybe he'll go back to his wife because he can't afford a divorce in a communal property state especially in this economy.

Love is a relative term.

Whatever you do, don't ever stop self promotion. The key to success in Hollywood is convincing others of how great you are, even if it's not true.

Enhance your body.

If you see something sagging, bagging or dragging, it's best to nip it, tuck it and suck it. If God didn't want you to get plastic surgery, he wouldn't have invented Dr. 90210.

Lap Dance.

Because it pays more than temping and you'll meet more Hollywood executives that way.

Read the directions.

Because your boss's iPhone won't program itself.

Read fashion magazines. Inner beauty is for ugly people.

Get to know your parents. Because once you become a big Hollywood star, you'll blow them off in favor of partying at the Playboy mansion.

Be nice to your siblings. They've got dirt on you that they'll happily to sell to the National Enquirer if you screw them over.

Understand that Hollywood friends come and go because if they can't do anything for you, they're not worth your time. Plus it takes way too long to get from Santa Monica to Los Feliz.

Live in Hollywood once, but leave before you get stupid. Live in Burbank once, but leave before you get bored.

Drink heavily.

Accept certain inalienable truths. Reality programs are here to stay. Movie studio execs are mostly lazy. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, TV shows had scripts and some movies weren't remakes.

Suck up.

Nothing will get you further in Hollywood than kissing ass. Differentiate yourself by ass kissing in different ways such as the Spider-man Kiss ("You produced Spider-man 3? I love when Mary Jane sings!") and the French Canadian Kiss (It's like a regular kiss, but without union difficulties and with a better exchange rate.)

Find someone to support you. Maybe they have a trust fund. Maybe...oh it's probably a trust fund. But hold on with a vice grip because it's easier than working.

Use hair extensions because they look completely natural. Make sure you use a nice epoxy when installing them.

Advice is a way to helping others. Don't offer it. Dispense "recommendations" that won't work, because you don't want someone younger and with a higher, firmer butt passing you on the final lap.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"My life in Hollywood sucks" - May Calendar

Think your experience in Tinseltown is worse than everyone else's? Tell me how on the "My Life In Hollywood Sucks Because..." entry. Your tale of woe might just make it to the monthly calendar.