Sunday, July 31, 2011

I get the worst Spam email

The rest of the world gets Spam email promising them millions upon million from unknown relatives in Nigeria.  Others hear of pretend lottery winnings that exceed the GNP of several developing countries.  I, on the other hand, am apparently only worthy of $350.  And you thought you were a loser.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Larry King Tuesday (Thursday Edition)

I'm already sick of The Smurfs and the movie hasn't even come out yet.

Buy seven get one free
Larry King is currently on a comedy tour, presumably doing old Catskills-style jokes.  I wonder if his opening line is "Take my ex-wives, please."

In Los Angeles, Subway charges tax if you get your sandwich heated.  That's why I save the 51 cents and stick it in the microwave myself.

A new comforter can make all the difference in your sleeping experience.

A riot broke out last night at a Hollywood screening of the documentary Electric Daisy Carnival Experience about the electronic music festival. No word on what prompted the melee, but I'm guessing word spread that skinny jeans are out of fashion.

I'll take 'Home Invasion' for $600
Don't fuck with Alex Trebek.

Scarlett Johansson can't go to the Marine Corps Ball because she has "prior commitments."  I'm guessing those "commitments" include not wanting to go to the Marine Corps Ball.

Running a blog is more work than it seems.  That's why I'm considering outsourcing it to India.

One of these days the folks at Twitter will realize both computers and smartphones can handle more than 140 characters at a time.

"I'm sorry"
I don't really care if you think you can dance.

Dave Chapelle apologized for one bad night of stand up comedy he recently did in Miami. If comics are now saying "I'm sorry" for unfunny routines, don't you think Carrot Top owes about 20 years of apologies?

I've never known anyone who watched One Tree Hill, but for some inexplicable reason the show is going into its ninth season.  Makes me wonder what Arrested Development did wrong.

Is it tomorrow yet?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Temp Diaries is looking for correspondents

Hi. It's your host Temp X here. Hope your day sucks less than mine.

From its humble beginning on the back of an EDD envelope, the Hollywood Temp Diaries has always been about me. This approach has captured the imaginations of tens of people around the world. But every once in a while (like when I run Copyright Infringement Theatre), I long to hear about the experiences of other Hollywood nobodies.

My exposure to entertainment idiocy is typically in an office in Burbank, but there's so much more to this head-up-its-own-ass industry than that. There's the agencies, the production offices and the PR firms among others. There's so much silliness that we need to know about and share. This is why I am officially extending an invitation to you to be an official Hollywood Temp Diaries correspondent.

As a correspondent, you can write about anything related to your trials and tribulations in entertainment. This could entail the joy of driving across town to secure someone's foot cream. Or perhaps it's walking into your boss's office to see him shirtless, administering a spray-on tan. If it happened, I want to know. So I'm looking for contributors in the following areas:

  • Talent Agencies/Management firms -- There is no wackier place in Hollywood than an agency. Duplicitous behavior combined with stimulants always make for great stories. This area is woefully underrepresented in my postings because I can't stomach working at them any more. But some of you are braver than I.
  • PR Firms -- As the crystal meth-using, toupee-sporting tennis star Andre Agassi used to say, "Image is Everything." And no place is more tuned into image (as well as meth and toupees) as a Hollywood PR firm. I think it'd be fun to share the stories that happen here. This is not about aggregating celebrity gossip. There are thousands of other sites for that. I want the dirt behind the dirt.
  • NYC -- I think something happens there. Or did everything move to cities with better tax incentives and no labor union issues? Let me know.
  • Production Offices -- I aspire to join you people, but no one will hire me. Until then, regale me with stories so I can live vicariously through you. Alternatively, you'll convince me that my Emerald City is nothing more than a double-wide with Kryptonite siding.
I'm also interested in what happens at casting agencies, financiers and at personal assistant gigs. Let's share our misery and a laugh.

Send your musing whenever it strikes your fancy. You can submit it through the "Overheard in Hollywood" box in the left column or email me at Regardless of how you send it, know that confidentiality is paramount. I won't tell anyone if you don't. The only reason email is preferred is if I have items I want to clarify. But whatever works.
No. Maybe when I get advertisers. But you can use it to pad your resume. That's fine with me.

It's fun and cheaper than therapy.


Now start writing so I can take a couple days off.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Resignation Tendered: Revisited

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!  It's been one year since I quit my go nowhere job working for the least important company in Hollywood.  In hindsight, I should have quit sooner.  I kinda also wish I could mention who they are, but even if I did, your response would be "Who?"  So what's the point.  Suffice it to say, never trust an employer who makes you pay for your own business cards.  And then there was the dog poop.  But I left that for someone else to deal with. 

(The following was originally posted the day after Comic-Con 2010) 

Today was my last day at my now former employer.  There comes a point in one's life where you have to evaluate what's important and what makes you happy.  I spent this past weekend doing just so.  So today I quit, resigned, retired, etc.  Now I'll tell you why.
I aspire to work for people who I respect and who respect me.  I aspire to work at a place where verbal abuse isn't the norm, but an unacceptable exception.  I aspire to work at a place that demonstrates professionalism all the time, not just when the situation demands it.  I aspire to work at a place that I enjoy, if not all the time, at least decent portion of the time.  Are these unrealistic goals in Hollywood?  Perhaps.  I hope not.  I have no idea what I'm gonna do next, but it'll probably end up right where it began -- Temping.  Temp X is back.

For those of you interested in my now former job, I'm sure it'll end up on the next Joblist.  Maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did.

Wednesday, July 20, 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

*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 am currently temping for a CEO of a production company and he's a bit of a kurmudgeon...the difficult/challenging type.  I am currently getting paid $15 an hour however someone here at the company revealed to me that temp agency is getting $35 an hour!  Can you believe that kind of capitalist shit?!

Anyhow. Do you think it's possible to negotiate with my temp agency for more money...I'm looking for $20-22.

Me Spell Pretty Some Day
FAKE ARI EMANUEL RESPONDS: Have you ever used a computer before?  I'm guessing not because everyone who has knows HOW TO USE FUCKING SPELLCHECK!!  It's "Curmudgeon," not however you fucked it up.  I'm surprised the temp agency even placed you.  And don't get me started on your punctuation.  Sentences that are questions end WITH QUESTION MARKS!!

As for the abomination of marking up your hourly rate, I'm horrified.  I mean most businesses secure things like rent, employees, utilities, insurance and office supplies on the "Free Stuff" section of Craigslist...Of course I can believe it.  I'm guessing you took Econ 101 in college and got a C-.

But let's get to the re-negotiation portion of your question.  Can you attempt to talk to your temp agent about getting a higher salary?  Sure.  Is asking for a 33 percent raise a sure-fire way to get replaced?  Absolutely.  These are the kind of discussions you have before starting the job, not while you're already there.  Remember, "Temp" is short for "Temporary Employee," which is exactly what you'll be if you consider asking for this kind of a pay bump.

My recommendation -- find a real job.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Carmageddon It

The end is near...
What kind of mediocre entertainment site would I be if I didn't make some sort of reference to this weekend's 405 shutdown -- or as the local media are calling it (cue echo effect) CARMAGEDDON?  Well, I'd probably just be Deadline|Hollywood.

Anyhoo, as you all know, I fancy myself a low-grade Weird Al Yankovic.  And what could possibly be a better topic than the traffic jam to end all traffic jams?  You know the drill by now, click "Play" and sing along to my newest song "Carmageddon It."

Now it's time for me to prepare.  I'll be at Rite Aid getting my survival kit -- four cases of beer, ten cans of Spaghetti-O's, pepper spray and US Weekly.

Ya better get home now before chaos comes
There's no chance if you don't change your stance
The 405 is a four-letter word
And now they're fixin to shut it down

You got it?
But are you stuck in it?

This ain't no Sig Alert or a traffic jam
It makes rush hour look like a lamb

You know you can't stop it
So don't mock it
It's such a crock it...

Hey, but are you stuck in it?
Really stuck in it?
Gettin' stuck from LA DOT

I'm in all of your traffic - every stupid car
I'm in all that you got - every fuckin' truck
Every bit of your traffic - even motorbikes
Everything has just stopped

Yeah, but are you stuck in it? - Carmageddon it!
Ooh, really stuck in it? - Yes, Carmaggedon it!

You try surface streets because you're clever...
But they're no better than the crap you just left
Yeah, you ride those brakes like a cowboy...
Better get yourself a new pair of boots

You got it?
But are you stuck in it?

You flash your taillights like a peacock...
So much so that you wore out the bulbs

You know you can't stop it
So don't mock it
It's such a crock it...

Hey, but are you stuck in it?
Really stuck in it?
Gettin' stuck from LA DOT

I'm in all of your traffic - every stupid car
I'm in all that you got - every fuckin' truck
Every bit of your traffic - even motorbikes
Everything has just stopped

Yeah, but are you stuck in it? - Carmageddon it!
Ooh, really stuck in it? - Yes, Carmaggedon it!

Take it, take it, take it from me
Rent a helicopter or a UFO
Fly it, fly it, far away from here
'cause the worst is yet to come, I say
'cause the worst is yet to come

Are you stuck in it? Really stuck in it?
Yes, are you're stuck in it? Really stuck in it?
Stuck from LA DOT 

I'm in all of your traffic - every stupid car
I'm in all that you got - every fuckin' truck
Every bit of your traffic - even motorbikes
Everything has just stopped - Carmageddon it

[Repeat Chorus/Fade Out]

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Temp X -- On the Record

Our court system is a thing of beauty.  A jury of 12 randomly-selected, unbiased observers listen as the facts of a case are discussed.  Following that, they go into a secluded room and come up with a decision.  It's elegant in its simplicity, and it almost always (except O.J., Robert Blake, Casey Anthony and a few others) works.

The media -- and whatever Nancy Grace is -- get fixated on the trial itself and for good reason. It's where the action is.  But jury selection can be pretty interesting too.  How do I know this?  I was called for jury duty last year for a case involving someone getting hurt while riding the bus.  I am only posting this today because...well...I forgot I'd written this down.  Forgive me as I've clearly had many more important things to discuss.

Type Type Type
To make a long story short, the judge called every prospective juror into her chambers to begin the weeding out phase.  When it was my turn, I entered her office and was greeted by the judge, prosecutors, defense and a court reporter.  The questions were fairly banal as they asked about my occupation (underemployed assistant), my awareness of the case (I wasn't) and thoughts about the case's subject (wait, there's public transit in LA?).  But then we got to the part every prospective juror looks forward to -- hardship excuses not to serve.  Now I was fairly new to my go-nowhere job with an idiot boss, but I liked the steady (albeit paltry) income.  And I was concerned about what a one-month trial might mean as far as my income and even my job stability.

I brought this to the attention of the judge.  The following is our actual exchange...


The judge (50s), sits at her desk writing in her notepad.  Flanked to either side are four middle-aged, male attorneys representing prosecution and the defense.  A female court reporter (50s) sits across the room.  An imposing bailiff (40s) stands guard by the door.  Temp X stands facing the room.
Would he cut off your pay?

I don't know.  He might.  My boss is kind of a turd.

The judge chuckled as do the attorneys.  The court reporter struggles to find the appropriate key strokes to spell out "Turd."

(to the court reporter)
You don't need to put that on the record.

The court reporter looks to the judge to confirm the instruction.

It's alright.  It's true.

Not surprisingly, I didn't get selected for the trial.  And I would quit my go-nowhere job two months later with no regrets.  But I will always know that somewhere in the Los Angeles County Civil Court files I am on record as calling my old boss "kind of a turd."

It's the small victories.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Larry King Tuesday (Wednesday edition)

Expense it.
My boss just went to NYC for business.  Her hotel room costs as much per night as I make in a week.

If there were fewer cooking shows on TV, do you think there'd be fewer weight loss shows?

Is there anything that gargling warm salt water can't cure?

Nancy Grace has a cute butt.  Wait.  Did I say that out loud?
World HQs

Weird Al Yankovic's song "Craiglist" is his magnum opus.

Twitter is nothing more than electronic smoke signals.

Acute Bunions sounds like something that could be an appetizer at Outback Steakhouse.

Programming idea for CNN: Combine two of your political shows into one and call it "Blitzer Spitzer."  Not coincidentally, that's one of Eliot's favorite sexual positions.

Nom nom nom...
Pop Tarts neither "pop" nor are they "tart."  But they're still delicious.  Branding can be so confusing.

Shouldn't the "Debt Ceiling" really be called the "Debt Basement" since it's about how much money we owe?

Joey Chestnut won the 2011 Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest by downing 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.  Just 12 years ago the record was a scant 20 dogs.  If that isn't proof of evolution, I don't know what is.

Is it basketball season yet?

I can't think of an assistant in Hollywood more important than me.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vote Temp X for Variety's "10 Assistants to Watch"

I was wasting time on Twitter yesterday at my current temp gig when I came across this post from Jeff Sneider of Variety...

Needless to say, I decided I should be one of those 10 ASSISTANTS TO WATCH. But to achieve this honor and long-overdue recognition, I need your help.  So here's the plan...
    Artist's rendering
  1. Below is a letter I've thoughtfully written on your behalf.  Just copy and paste it into an email and send it to Jeff - and BCC me at  
Actually that's the plan.  Just one step - send Jeff a letter trumpeting my importance to Hollywood.  Now, as if you needed one, there's an incentive to participate.  Should I achieve Top 10 status, I will select at random a winning voter from all who nominated me (thus the BCC part).  That winner will be rewarded for his/her efforts with a One-of-a-Kind Hollywood Temp Diaries beer stein.  You can then use this mug for whatever one might use a beer stein for.

I thank you in advance for your participation.  Now get to voting.  Here's the letter...

Dear Jeff-

I would like to nominate Temp X from the Hollywood Temp Diaries ( for one of Variety's "10 Assistants To Watch."  I've thought long and hard about my decision and I was in no way encouraged to do so by any sort giveaway that could be perceived as "vote buying."  It would be very "Un-Hollywood" to do anything unethical or sell out.  Now as for the reasons for my nomination:
  • Temp X tells it like it really is in the Hollywood trenches, which is the most comforting thing someone in my position can ask for.
  • Temp X has helped many people get jobs and many more get interviews by routinely sending out job postings.  How can you dislike a guy who does that?
  • Temp X compiles the Brown List of Most-Liked and Least-Liked Hollywood Executives.  The Brown List is (sadly) a more valuable document than my college diploma.
  • Temp X was called a "Must-read" by Creative Screenwriting (May/June 2009) and "The definition of meaningless" by Deadline Hollywood.  Both of them are compliments and one of them must be right.
  • Temp X makes me laugh with such features as Another Day in Hollywood, Ask Fake Ari Emanuel and Celebs: They're just like us except better looking and dumber.  Additionally, The Bennie Awards recognizing the Worst in Television is the best award show ever. 
  • Temp X sponsored teams for the Hollywood Assistant Beer Pong Tournament.  My employer didn't even do that.
  • Temp X does all of this while temping around town and making less than $20,000 a year.
For these reasons and countless more, Temp X deserves inclusion in your 10 Assistants to Watch.


P.S.  I'm sure he's sorry about the time he posted instructions on bypassing Variety's pay wall.  Hopefully you can look past that.