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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Assistant Files

Hi Wavers, I'm back again to impart a little bit of Assistant Wisdom.

You've heard of the concept Six Degrees of Separation, right? Obviously you have; you're with-it screenwriter types. Well, forget Six Degrees; in Hollywood, it's more like two. The entertainment industry is basically high school. Maybe college, if the one you went to was relatively small and privately funded, with a conspicuously lax moral code.

But seriously, it's small. Just how small? Let me tell you a little story…

One night I ended up at a bar in my neighborhood with several assistants from a management company. The bar was about two blocks from the townhouse I lived in with a couple other girls. I had been living in this townhouse with one of the girls for several months, the third roommate had just moved in, someone I didn't know much about other than she was an aspiring costume designer and she looked for apartments on Craigslist. Maybe that situation sounds strange; it would to me too, before I moved to L.A.. But here it's not uncommon to end up living with people you don't really know. A product of lots of expensive housing plus lots of underpaid young people, I guess.

Anyway, I had gone with my management-assistant friends to their company holiday party, and this was our impromptu after-party, a.k.a. the after-we-ditch-our-bosses-party. We were loud, we were rowdy, we were squeezed in and around a booth too small for our group. The two guys in the booth next to ours seemed to be enjoying a quiet evening before we arrived, so I felt compelled to apologize to them. We got to talking, as people in bars are wont to do. One of the guys mentioned he was just visiting, I asked what brought him to town. Turned out he was a screenwriter. Turned out he was THE SCREENWRITER OF ONE OF OUR PROJECTS.

Wait, what? Are you kidding me? I happen to be in a bar and RANDOMLY start talking to a guy who is the writer of a script on our development slate? Bizarre coincidence, right? What a small world, right? But wait, there's more.

"Holy cow!" I said. "What a coincidence! Of all the bars in all of Los Angeles, HOW WEIRD that you would happen to be here, at my neighborhood watering hole!"

"Oh you live around here?" He said. "My sister lives a couple blocks away."

You already know where this is going, Wavers, don't you? After comparing notes further we discovered that his sister was MY NEW ROOMMATE.

Now THAT is a small world.

My point here is that everyone knows everyone else -- this random stranger in a bar happened to have connections to me both personally AND professionally. You never know when you meet someone what connection they have to your life, or what effect they might potentially have on your career.
If you take anything away from my experience, take this: 1) always talk to strangers in bars, and 2) don't get drunk and make a fool of yourself. Hey, I'm not judging. Just, you know, maybe stop before you throw up on some barfly's shoes. Who knows, he could be your future agent.

The Wave-inatrix here:

What Andy says is so true - I have a next door neighbor with windows flung open about 8 feet from where I am sitting right now. It's summer in LA; a REAR WINDOW thing happens in my neighborhood. So this neighbor, he enjoys his (very good and eclectic) music (loved the Bowie yesterday) and I can hear wisps of laughter, dishes clattering and even loud sneezes. He can probably hear pretty much dead silence; I only turn on the music when I'm cleaning or doing my capoeira practice. Anyway, so we finally met, this new neighbor and I, outside on our tree-lined street one evening earlier this week. Turns out this is Steve Faber. Co-writer of WEDDING CRASHERS. He didn't point it out, but when it came up organically Steve blushed some and shuffled his feet. I don't think it would have come up. I tried to keep my cool, Wavers, I really did. But moments later I found myself compulsively pointing out what I thought were the funniest parts of the movie. Among them - Isla Fisher's line of dialogue delivered in a sing-song: I would find you!

I told Steve about The Rouge Wave and hopefully one day, Wavers, Steve might make a guest appearance in the form of an interview. We'll see if I can talk him into it. I'm feeling a lot of blueberry pie deliveries to his doorstep and the mysterious muzzling of a certain yapping chihuahua who lives upstairs.

Steve, if you're reading this, that is totally not MY yapping dog, that is the chihuahua upstairs, really excited about his movie debut - another staggering six degree coincidence - no, I'm lying about that one. But it's not my yapping dog! I have a shih-tzu who might bark once a week or so, questioningly, toward the door when take-out arrives. Then she looks at me and goes back to sleep. So - I have quite the guard dog situation going on. Don't EVEN mess with my house, criminals. That twelve-pound ball of fur will take you down. After she opens one eye and notices you with the TV in your arms.

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1 comment:

PJ McIlvaine said...

Oh wow. I am drooling with envy. You live next to the chihuaua who's starring in BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAUA? Did I even spell that right?