What Does A Celebrity Assistant Do? 7 Insane Tasks You May Be Expected To Perform Should You Choose To Accept This Unglamorous Job
Life at the beck and call of a celebrity is rarely glamorous. What does a celebrity assistant do? Sure, as I write about in my novel, Oh! You Pretty Things , you get to drink a lychee martini or two in an exotic locale every once in a while, but while you’re there you’ll likely to be on the receiving end of a 3 a.m. phone call requesting emergency tampons/a pregnancy test/condoms. Good luck finding a 12-pack of Trojan Extra Large on an island where the solar electricity poops out at 10 p.m.
At home, you’ll find yourself running interference with bad dates and drug dealers, doing the dishes if the maid doesn’t show, carrying luggage that outweighs you, and babysitting bratty offspring. The payoff? Well, that depends on whom you’re working for, but your big reward is probably going to be the dregs from party gift bags and a paycheck that is going to keep you living in a very different zip code from the one you’re working in.
You’ll need a reliable car and a willingness to get up at one in the morning when your boss forgets her most recent astrological chart in her trailer. Which is on location. In Valencia. (Not the glamorous one in Spain, silly, the one 40 miles up the 5 Freeway.) Still sound attractive? How about de-lousing your boss’s precious, squirming offspring when the Hair Fairies are booked solid through the weekend, or being tasked with figuring out what that disgusting smell in the attic is on a 90-degree day in the hills?
Here are a few more tasks you can expect to perform on the job. A couple of my personal stories are mixed in here. Which ones are they? I’ll never tell.
- Didn’t like doing your homework in high school? Tough sh*t. You may find yourself doing homework for your celebrity’s kids. In their handwriting, of course. Anything less than an A is unacceptable.
- Do you have a significant other or a pet waiting at home? Could be a long wait. Lady Gaga’s former assistant sued her for allegedly requiring her to sleep in her bed because she didn’t like sleeping alone.
- Hope you’re willing to get your hands greasy. A legendary, but aging, performer has his assistant spray cover-up on his ever growing bald patch. (Not fooling anyone, by the way, not even with that matted, dyed mess he’s got going up front.)
- Naomi Campbell’s former (and not so discreet) assistant claimed that the supermodel required 25 Diptyque candles be distributed around every hotel suite ahead of time: ten in the living room, ten in the bedroom, and another five in the bathroom. Which isn’t really so bad, except Miss Naomi is also notorious for throwing punches and cell phones when she’s displeased. Better make sure you’ve got your armor on.
- Too squeamish to consider a career in medicine? Pop a Xanax and buck up, because you’ll probably be tasked with shuttling urine samples and saliva swabs, hazmat cleanup of the human and animal varieties, maybe even scheduling a vasectomy and then going over every intimate detail with your boss.
- Ready to put your art degree to good use? You might find yourself painting an unused guest room in the middle of the night just because your boss didn’t like the vibe.
- Here kitty, kitty. One brilliant actress has a separate house (but not a separate assistant) to care for the feral cats that swarm her property. Another celeb requires his assistant to have scripted conversations with his cat when he’s out of town. What is it with cat people?
Still enthusiastic? Good for you. Good assistants are hard to find and are valued, but getting your foot in the door can be a big challenge. Most assistants get stolen from agents, film sets or other actors, but if you’re still determined to give it a shot, buff up your resume to a polished sheen and try the big staffing companies around town. In addition to providing maids, nannies, house managers and the like, they sometimes get assistant jobs. But be warned: if a celebrity has to use an agency to snag an assistant, chances are they’ve already got a closest full of assistant skeletons. Proceed with caution.
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