So, you think it would be exciting to be a personal assistant for a celebrity? Doesn't sound like too hard a job on paper, certainly easier than what most of the world does from nine to five. If you were to read the "trades" - The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety, and happen across a want ad for an assistant, it might sound pretty good. It could read like this...
Wanted: Personal Assistant for an A list film star. Duties include coordinating and arranging travel plans, household management, preparing and organizing for meetings, parties, and other social occasions, overseeing personal appearances and schedules, responding to correspondence and traveling with the client as needed. Salary starts at $50,000 a year, includes a private house on employer's estate, all expenses paid. Must be flexible, possess good people skills and have a current passport. Previous Celebrity Assistant experience preferred, but not required. References mandatory. Will train the qualified candidate. Apply to (blah, blah, blah...).
And here is what the job really entails. (These are all- sadly - true stories).
Must be available at 3 am to move the foosball table from the Beverly Hills house to the Malibu house, by way of a drug pickup in Santa Monica. If table will not fit in the back of your small sports car must possess knowledge of how to take apart and put back together and the tools to do same. You have thirty minutes. Go. You may not ask the drug dealer for help. He is not your friend. He is your employer's friend.
Must study daily schedules carefully to ensure that employer's wife and mistress are never in the same zip code. If it is unavoidable that they will be, assistant must stay with wife at all times to ensure that they do not come face to face. Mistress may try to force a confrontation during Power Pilates. You will be fired if she succeeds. The wife may try to shake you off, as she has her own liaison planned (and knows full well what you're doing in the first place), but remember who pays you. It is not the wife.
You must be prepared to support your celebrity in whatever way you are asked to. This means that when she is training for her new film, (which requires her to look even more buff than usual), you will be following her in a car, on Pacific Coast Highway, at four in the morning, while she rides a bike ahead of you accompanied by her personal trainer, bodyguard and a production assistant from the film who is going over her lines with her as she cycles. Your job is to provide water bottles from your backseat that have been cooled to exactly the proper temperature... and to watch out for photographers and autograph seekers.
Speaking of water bottles, it is useful to know which brands of refrigerators hold which brand of bottled water at the celebrity's preferred angle for optimal temperature range. Water will be tested to make sure it is at the proper cool (not cold) degree and refrigerators will be sent back to the store they came from if the fit is not right. The celebrity realizes that the fridge was gratis to start with but is "sure they'll understand" and replace it with another, more acceptable model. Celebrity will not be so understanding if their water is served at an improper temperature (by you) again.
The "private house" in the want ad is actually an annex off of the garage that doesn't even have a bathroom. This doesn't mean that such a house doesn't actually exist on their estate, only that one of their freeloading relatives is already living in it. This is really just a ploy for the assistant to always be available to the celebrity, even if all they need is a replacement for the sex toy that just broke at exactly the wrong moment. What are you complaining about? Don't you know that a million people would kill for your job?
Or how about this. You've traveled halfway across the country with your celebrity to a film set in the middle of the boonies. You're excited, but your employer is not happy, because his costar in this film has an attribute that your guy lacks - he can actually act. And he's the hot young thang of the moment. But he also likes to drink. So, you - young, cute and blonde - are given the job of hanging out with him at the bar to make sure that he drinks enough to make him not at his peak the next day, which happens to be the first day of shooting. Why would Actor #2 hang out with someone he barely even knows, when there's no shortage of cute local ladies all watching breathlessly? Well, he's a notorious loner and your boss has promised him that you'll take care of his every need that night. When Actor #2 brings this up you realize that no matter what you do you're screwed, so you hem and haw and try to change the subject. Meanwhile, a local lad, who wants to look good in front of the gals and show them what pansies these Hollywood types are, hits on you to prove some obscure point that no one ever does figure out. Actor #2 drunkenly takes a swing at him, a full blown brawl ensues and production is delayed an entire day because Actor #2 got his ass kicked and there's only so much makeup in the world. And what does your boss say to you? "If you'd been in his hotel room like you were supposed to be, none of this would have happened."
And then there's my personal favorite. You must be prepared to sit with the actor and his girlfriend, who is in active labor with their first child. The girlfriend, who weighs about ninety pounds soaking wet, followed, per your employer's "request" a macrobiotic diet the entire pregnancy because it was "best for the baby." She is now screaming at the top of her lungs while delivering an eleven pound baby - at home - with not a drug in her system. The celebrity was appalled earlier when she said (yelled) that she might have changed her idea about the meds ("I want them NOW") and asked her, through a hit off the third joint that his assistant had rolled for him, how she expected to be in the moment if she was impaired by drugs.
Now, doesn't everyone want an application?
And you though The Devil Wears Prada was an exaggeration.