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The Real Poop

Are you sure? Wouldn't you rather get a job as a crash test dummy for an automobile safety department? You are positive you've ruled out the option of becoming an Al Qaeda bomber, or something else similarly as fulfilling?

There are few occupations that can be as torturesome as that of a Celebrity Personal Assistant. More emotionally than physically, but you still may find yourself wishing you were secured in an iron maiden rather than having to take one more call from your neurotic, overly demanding and just plain cruel employer.

Where he makes you sleep.

To be fair, it isn't always like that. There are some very nice people in Hollywood, too, and they need someone to tend to their personal affairs just as much as anyone else with that many personal affairs to keep track of. You might luck out and work for an actor who used to be a PA himself, and understands how tough the gig can be. But we wouldn't count on it. The fact is that a vast majority of stars are extraordinary PITYs (Pains In The You-know-whats). Even many of the nice ones have no concept of what it means to do things for themselves. And this isn't just an unfair generalization—it takes a desperate, enormous, and fragile ego to "make it" as an actor, and while it serves them well in their own pursuits, it simultaneously makes your life miserable. So PITYing is the rule rather than the exception. PITY them.

Why would anyone want to put themselves through such agony? Because the money—and the perks—can be pretty great. Note that we say the money can be great. It isn't guaranteed. If you work for a B-list celebrity who isn't rolling in it like they once were, or for an A-list celebrity who is stingy as all get out, you might be working your butt off for ten bucks an hour. But if you luck out and get a job as the personal assistant to a generous megastar, you could be raking in as much as some of those stingy B-list celebrities.

However, don't fool yourself. Most of the time, this is not a path to bigger and better things in Hollywood. Your employer wants you to remain their assistant (if you're doing a good job), so they're not going to go to any lengths to hook you up with a big casting director or put your screenplay in the hands of the right people. You're going to be too busy to seriously study and pursue your craft on the side, and your schedule is going to be too unpredictable and demanding for you to go off on a bunch of auditions. You will meet a number of important industry people in the course of your work, however, so if you're able to hit it off with a major director, who knows. You're sitting on a stool at sunset, the light hits you just right and you're the perfect look for the seemingly clueless hottie who is really an international spy. Done. You're "made." You will also get to know the business inside and out, which is essential if you ever plan on making a name for yourself. But like we said, you're going to find that you are cursed with a shortage of free time, so good luck making that work for you.

What this job can prepare you for is a career in management. If you eventually decide to drop out of the accounting biz, a potential employer is going to be impressed to see that you were able to put up with whatever crazy movie star you worked for, and that you were able to successfully organize their twisted life. The skills it takes to be a good PA carry over quite a bit into the world of management. Show that you can manage a diva, and managing the marketing of a new organic toothpaste should be a cakewalk.

You're going to be run ragged, fetching coffee, picking up dry-cleaning, dropping off your boss' pet Chihuahua at the groomers, making numerous phone calls to take care of truly trivial—or completely non-existent—issues, acting as a barrier between your celeb and the media or crazed fans, making sure his taxes are done and filed in a timely manner, making travel arrangements, paying the utilities bill, and attempting to handle some of the most infuriating lose-lose scenarios in which you find yourself forced to take action. But on the flip side, you're going to be immersed in the culture that you've always dreamed of being a part of—you'll be able to attend exclusive movie premieres and parties, mingle with the Hollywood elite, and feel generally like a big shot.

Sadly, it generally takes someone with a low sense of self-esteem to perform this work. Unless you really get lucky, you are going to be ordered around, berated, asked to carry out unrealistic tasks, and more or less be treated like a bondservant. Individuals with any reasonable sense of self-respect will not put up with such treatment, and so it falls to the meek and resigned to accept the abuse. If this sounds like you, then go for it. But a preferable alternative might be to sack up and stop letting people push you around.

So what it comes down to...is it worth it? Couldn't you just repair your relationship with your father and get a real job?