I was once on a reality show.
I know. Nowadays that’s not so unique.
You actually have to crawl into a cave and live there for the rest of your life in order to avoid being filmed by reality show cameras. Except someone might tip a Hollywood producer about the person who moved into a cave to avoid reality show cameras, and they’ll want to document your life story.
Even in a relatively small city like Austin, it’s tough not to happen upon a reality show taping.
My reality show, which I will neither tell you the name of nor will it ever see the light of day ever again, was an interesting learning experience.
It taught me that reality shows are made up — even the ones you don’t think are made up (I’m a slow learner). It also taught me that I will never want to be on a reality show ever again. Not only is it a huge invasion of privacy, but you have such little control over how you are perceived.
The reality show I was on? I didn’t really have any say in whether or not I (more…)
Some of you guys might be familiar with this story for I’ve broached the topic of me being friends with an acquitted murderer/b-list actor before. If you’re not familiar with it, check out my story over at CultureMap. Murder, sex and purple pearl snap shirts. Such a wonderful children’s story for the Holidays.
Being Friends With An Acquitted Murderer (and B-List Actor) Is Not Easy
12.16.11 | 12:05 pm
I was once friends with an acquitted murderer-slash-B-list actor.
He was a sad man, but I guess that shouldn’t be surprising. The sort of man who spent Thanksgiving alone, eating a grocery store rotisserie chicken in the woods of Ojai, California.
The sort of man who owned nothing but a couch, a bed, a guitar and the photos of his long forgotten career taped to his wall.
The sort of man who has no friends.
The sort of man who lived like the characters he portrayed.
The sort of man where you couldn’t tell if he was acting in real life or not.
I met the (more…)
Over at CultureMap
, I wrote a story about my days in LA. Some of you who have hung in there with me might already know this story. Occasionally I get nostalgic and cry like a little bitch about ol’ Hollywood. Either way, I’m happy I left it…
True Hollywood Story: The Life and Death of a Tinsletown Assistant
12.10.11 | 01:00 pm
I used to work in Hollywood — as a personal assistant.
Sometimes it seems like a dream, my time there. A forgotten dream only triggered by a minor chord or someone else’s love letter to Los Angeles. By songs or films that I relate to but that are not my story. Sometimes I drift off in a cloud of romanticized musings of things I did not experience.
It’s much easier to recall your time in Hollywood like one would a movie, giving your story a narrative when in reality, while you were experiencing it, there was no voice guiding the way.
I meet a lot of young people in Austin who want to move to or are about to move to LA. My initial reaction (more…)
On Sunday I was interviewed by the wonderful gang over at Beyond 6th.
Beyond 6th is a weekly love letter podcast to Austin. Hosts @EddieCantu @BriDraffen @JustinTArthur and @WadeofHonor interview local artists and talk about what is going on in this marvelous city. I had a blast meeting with them and I highly recommend subscribing to their podcast.
I met Beyond 6th in a swanky apartment above 6th Street. Did I think I would have the same fate as Paul Allen? Maybe. But that didn’t stop me from forgoing the beer they offered me before the interview and digging into the sweet, sweet sweet tea vodka. As you will notice, at some point in the interview I have difficultly finishing thoughts and sentences.
Listening to yourself is never a fun experience, but I was happy to notice that I didn’t sound like Kermit the Frog over the podcast. Not that Kermit the Frog sounds shitty, I mean, who the f doesn’t love Kermit the Frog? But Kermit is not sexy, you know? I’ve been striving for the (more…)
Watching Drive and writing that post today really got to me. The LA in Drive is the LA in so many movies and was the LA in my head when I lived there, though it’s not the LA that actually exists. I’ve written about this way too many times before, so I will not rehash it too much. Or maybe I will.
There are multiple LAs that exist in film- the glamorous 1920’s LA, the dangerous noir 40’s/50’s LA, the sunny carefree 1960’s LA, the porn/drug-riddled 70’s LA and the beautifully nihilistic 80’s LA. After that, the LA that exists now is the one we all know, but we want the other LAs, you know? The Day-Of-The-Locust-Who-Framed-Roger-Rabbit-Chinatown-LA-Confidential-Boogie Nights-Less-Than-Zero all rolled into one LA.
I just can’t stop thinking about her tonight. I can’t stop thinking about all the illusions and the dreams that weren’t real. The holding my breath, waiting for something to happen. The anticipation that anything– good or bad- would reveal itself to me. (more…)
11:34PM 10/10/11 I think?
I spoke with my father earlier this evening. Dad is a part-time actor and part-time chauffeur in Los Angeles (aren’t they all?). He works for a well-known car service and because of his super flyness and charm, he often drives some of their largest clients. Most of his clients are kind or completely aloof, but never mean. Dad told me about one of the few cranky clients he had the other night, an older actor who had his heyday 40 years ago but is still milking it for all it’s worth. To make a long story short, the actor handed my dad a tip, but then decided he didn’t want to give the tip and pulled the money out of my dad’s hand and left. Dad thought it was hysterical.
But this wasn’t the story that struck me during our conversation. No, it was the part about getting hit head-on by a drunk driver on Friday night. “Now, I don’t want you to worry,” he said, “I’m fine.” My Dad knows I worry a lot. However, I think he thinks I worry more than I do. I’m not (more…)
Working on a low-budget indie film is new to me. When I worked in Hollywood I worked for big people and therefore there was big money put into the films (in other words I worked on pieces of crap). Everything was taken care of on set- food, transportation, accommodations- and you only had to worry about your own duties and not making eye contact with ANYONE.
On a low-budget, guerrilla-style indie feature, none of this applies. Typically cast and crew wear many hats, eat homemade meals, and sleep on air mattresses. As stressful as it sounds, it can be a lot of fun because the ego involved in Hollywood is nonexistent. Everyone is the same and all working towards the same goal. They’re working on the project because they believe in it.
Currently we have 6 people sleeping in a 3 bedroom house with only 1 bed and 4 couches including one couch from the set of Tree of Life. We are all sleep-deprived and pushed to the max. Daily needs like eating, showering, and peeing have gone out the window. (more…)
|my first year in Hollywood
On my blog, I’ve only mentioned a few times that in a previous life I was a personal assistant in Hollywood.
And as I also stated in that post, I don’t talk about that time often because of the a.) WMD-sized confidentiality agreements that loom over my head and b.) because I value a person’s right to privacy. I worked for people who trusted me and I will never break that trust.
I often forget that I was a personal assistant in Hollywood. Occasionally people will ask me my story- where I came from before Austin- and I’m reminded that the Hollywood part of my life was a very big part for 5 years. 5 years in 28 years of a life is, well, I’m terrible at math, let’s see here, a little over a fifth of my life? One day it will be an eighth, then a sixteenth, and then I’ll be dead.
I’m sad that I’m slowly forgetting this important time in my life. Or rather, forgetting the emotions I felt at the time. Like the day that I was asked to work for (more…)
It’s easy to love Los Angeles. It’s sunny and warm and exciting and big.
What is hard, is loving the Hollywood you experienced. It’s so much more enjoyable to revel in the Hollywood from movies, books, and media. The Hollywood you thought you were going into when you first decided to move to Los Angeles. The industry you thought you were going to conquer, or at the very least, never give up on.
Having worked in the film business off and on in Austin and my boyfriend being a local director and film professor, I meet a steady stream of people who are en route to Los Angeles. When you’ve experienced LA for yourself, and you’re talking to a young person who has limited concept of what the film industry in LA is actually like, it’s hard not to give your two cents. It’s hard not to sound jaded, regardless if your time there was good or bad. I can separate the joyous moments from the terrible that I experienced in LA and I can sum up that ultimately my time there was worthwhile. That still (more…)
The style of an assistant- bags under the eyes, frizzy hair, bewildered look on face
There is a time in my life that I rarely discuss on my blog, yet it constituted a significant part of my story. It was the five years I was a personal assistant in Hollywood. I don’t talk about this chapter for a few reasons- 1.) I respect the privacy of my former employers 2.) I consider my former employers friends 3.) I signed confidentiality agreements that would threaten the soul of my first born. Truthfully, the first two are more important to me then the latter. Though there are a lot of fun and crazy stories I’m itching to tell, I would never share them on a public forum.
Last evening I watched the film I was first told to watch when I moved to LA in 2004. That movie is Swimming with Sharks. This indie gem chronicles the complicated relationship between straight-off-the-bus assistant Guy (Frank Whaley) and his heartless, demonic producer boss Buddy (Kevin Spacey). After a year of enduring (more…)