This page will be for fans of this site to share their unusual, weird,
experiences from working in the entertainment industry. If you
feel free to also
plug whatever you want (film, web site, blog,
youtube video, etc.)
Hi, I'm Stacey D. I used to work on the Paramount lot for a fairly well-known production company that shall remain
nameless, because even
though the exec I’m about to write about deserves to be outed as an A-hole and a creep,
it wouldn’t be good for me to be
the one doing the outing.
So this guy, like I said, is an exec with some importance. And I believe his hobby was to make new assistants cry.
Maybe he secretly desired to be a drill sergeant and felt this was toughening us up, but the scope of his blunt meanness
was hard to believe sometimes. And I’m not someone who cries all that easily. It wasn’t the insults when a mistake
was made, although those were plenty (like the time I was rushing and faxed something with the paper the wrong
and his response: “Are you so f***ing stupid you haven’t mastered how to fax something?”) No, it was
more about the not anticipating things he wanted done that seemed impossible to anticipate.
Like the time he yelled
at me for not finding him a romantic comedy script,
after he made it clear months earlier
all he wanted right now were
action/thrillers. When I brought that up, his actual response was I should have been
able to tell from his mood lately
that he wanted romantic comedies. He
went on to tell me that if my observational
skills were so pathetic, I shouldn’t
be working in this business.
There’s many more examples of this nearly daily behavior but I don’t want to spend all day recounting them. I lasted
a few more months, went on to be an assistant somewhere else, which was better, but still not great, and now am
myself as a web designer, with the hopes of starting my own film production company by the end of the
year … and being kind
to my assistants.
The web site I want to plug right now is called Fit-Teen and is dedicated to helping teenagers (or anyone, really) live
It features a teenage fitness model who made a DVD, and is chock full of great free information about
motivation, and body image, plus interviews with fitness and health experts, free workout clips,
and lots more. Go ahead and
check it out at: Fit-Teen-Inc.com.
My name’s Darren. My bad experience was with my first sort-of agent. I say sort-of because I’m not really sure if I
could ever really call him
my agent. I met him at a pitching seminar, and he worked for himself, and had a handful of
At the seminar, he seemed like a great guy to have as an agent. A guy who cared about his clients. I had a chance
to chat with him, and in doing so he mentioned how he was looking for some help in his office. Well, I came up with
the bright idea of offering to help out for a few months for free in exchange for him possibly
acting as my agent,
and at the very least having him read my scripts and give me his thoughts.
He agreed – and put me to work right away, transcribing letters he’d record, reading and mailing scripts, and sometimes
answering the phone. This went on for a little while, with me working more hours for him than I had anticipated, when I
finally asked if he’d read any of my scripts yet. Not yet, he said, but he’d be getting to it real soon.
More time went by. Still hadn’t read anything. And the chores became greater – help clean out his storage space,
make deliveries, etc. Still no scripts being read. Well, during that time, at another pitching seminar, I pitched to
a producer who wanted to read something. To make me sound more official, I told him I’d have my agent send it over.
So, I went to my sort-of agent and he told me to write the cover letter and he’d sign it. I asked if he wanted to read
the script first.
He said he still didn’t have time, but he would get to it. Uh huh. But I wasn’t too upset because I had a
producer reading it.
Well, the producer did get back to me. He told me he liked my script and wanted to get my agent a contract. I was
ecstatic! No one had ever offered me a contract before. He faxed it to my so-called agent, who told me he looked it
over and didn’t like the terms. It was an option for $200 for the first 6 months, and he didn’t like that. While I
would have preferred more money, I wanted to work with this producer and I was still THRILLED that an actual
producer liked my work. I told the so-called agent I wanted to go through with it. He said he’d call the producer and
see if he could get me more. I assumed he would do this in a fairly timely manner.
Well, the producer called me a few days later and said my agent wasn’t returning his calls and he was getting annoyed
and may just move on. So I called the agent and he said he was going to call yesterday, but it was Columbus Day and
no one really worked then. Columbus Day?!!!
Anyway, he took two more days to finally call the producer back, and in the producer’s word, sounded like he
barely be bothered to talk. More time went on with nothing happening. Finally, the producer called me again,
and said he didn’t want to deal with my agent anymore. So, I had him just fax the contract to me,
and I signed it.
Postscript: the screenplay never got filmed, but I became a much better writer by working with this producer,
(Note: Darren also didn’t take the opportunity to plug anything. Maybe he had nothing to plug, or maybe he was
me tough but great notes to do a rewrite. I haven’t talked to the so-called agent since, and he’s certainly
to check up on me. So that’s my story. Oh yeah, through that producer, I have a much better
agent now, and have
gotten more scripts optioned and even some assignment work. That’s my story.
worried about burning bridges with the agent he spoke of. Of course, he didn’t name him, either.
C’mon people, plug away.
It’s heart healthy.)
Well, here goes. I’m Cindy. Stephen tells me people will be reading this … and will be interested. Hmmm…
I have nothing to plug yet, but he said if I ever do, he’ll hire a blimp and advertise my plug on it in neon.
I don’t know if I believe him.
Anyway, I’m originally from Kansas and have been in LA 8 months. Kansas and LA are EXACTLY the same,
so the transition has been very smooth.
My weird story has to do with being in an elevator. By the way, I’m an aspiring actress.
I was on my way to my third audition ever, to try out for a character named Mandy, who was described as spunky
with a Midwestern appeal. So I talked to some friends back in Kansas, just in case I’d lost my Midwestern appeal,
and then I teased up my hair some.
So, I find free parking – my God that’s a pain in the ass in this city – and I head to the building. I get in the elevator.
There’s four other people there: Another girl who was on her way to the same audition, a delivery man, a woman in
her fifties, and a dude with jeans, a tight T-shirt and one of them chain things coming out of his pocket. I had the good
fortune of standing next to him. The audition was on the sixth floor. We get past floor two with nothing unusual going on –
and then, the Dude SNIFFS me. He sniffed me!
And it wasn’t a small subtle thing. He’s breathing in like he’s a vacuum cleaner. I didn’t say anything. I don’t know why – I guess it was too weird, and I was very shocked. At the next floor,
he gets out, like nothing ever happened. Never said a word to me. I know I said Kansas and LA are EXACTLY the same,
but I’m pretty sure no one’s ever sniffed me in an elevator in Kansas before. So, there’s a difference after all…
Seriously, though – does this happen in LA often? Aren’t there laws against this? By the way, I didn’t get the part.
That’s my story that Stephen’s sure people will read. Bye.
(Stephen’s Note: Cindy chose not to use her last name or leave her email address for fear of sniff-fetishers contacting her.
So if you have any comments for her that won’t scare her back to Kansas, I’ll pass it along.)