Hollywood, yet again, is poking fun at itself by making a sort of satire on the dark side of being a Hollywood assistant; but the portrayals of assistants in the entertainment business are often exaggerated, like in The Devil Wears Prada.
This time, Tinseltown has reimagined the movie "Swimming with Sharks," but for TV audiences. In the show's trailer, featured below, a new assistant at a movie studio -- filmed at the real-life Paramount Studios -- is berated, chastised, and demeaned in a number of ways. Personally, for me, it's hard to watch because I know that the producers are going for the "shock value" of it all to pull in viewers. In reality, many personal assistants in a variety of industries are like Pepper Potts in Iron Man, which is to say that they are the true right hand to the CEO and are co-running the company they work for.
Theatrics aside, what do Hollywood assistants really do?
It's a great question, but it's not easy to answer. It depends on the "niche." There are a number of different areas to focus on, including but not limited to:
The aforementioned roles are more of an office environment, which would have a lot of traditional duties like answering phones, doing rolling calls, reading screenplays, and the like.
What is the personal assistant side like?
If you're working out of the office, that is called a PA (personal assistant and not to be confused with a production assistant). The candidates that work in the office, are often referred to as Executive Assistants. The PAs are usually working much longer hours and are managing the estates and personal lives of the people they work for: Actors, directors, producers, studio chiefs, entertainment lawyers, etc. Those duties include but are not limited to:
Travel plans (both commercial and private aviation)
Running errands (grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, walking pets)
Dinner reservations and party planning
The list goes on and is virtually endless. Depending on where you want your career to go, that is the niche you should choose. If you want to be an actor, for example, being a celebrity assistant to a renowned A-list star in Hollywood is a great way to understand the ins and outs of the industry.
Domestic Staffing Blog
Written for assistants and estate managers working for celebrities, CEOs, UHNW families, billionaires and royalty.