logo PRE-ORDER NOW

« My Secret Shame | Main | Hollywood Explained Part II »

September 21, 2009

Hollywood Explained Part I

In the next few entries, I will explain a little bit about Hollywood for those curious about how things work there:

Whenever you are in Los Angeles, as I was for the last week, you have meetings. That’s what people do. They have meetings. All day, every day: breakfast meetings, morning meetings, lunch meetings, after-lunch meetings, dinner meetings, followed by more meetings over after-dinner drinks. I meet you. You meet me. We meet. We might even arrange to meet again. Often, these meetings aren’t even about anything specific, but they give purpose and structure to a town whose entire existence is predicated on the creation of fantasy. Everybody’s hope is that these whirring, airy meetings will somehow magically spin all those sugary words into delicious Hollywood cotton candy.

Over the hundred years or so of Hollywood’s existence, these meetings have evolved into their own intricate art form as ritualized and strange as a Japanese tea ceremony.

The first thing that happens is your people call their people. In Los Angeles, everybody has people. All kinds of people: agents, managers, lawyers, business managers, publicists, personal assistants. And all of those people have people. Even if you don’t want people, you have people. You have no choice in the matter. In Hollywood people are like the cute little Tribbles from the old “Star Trek” show. Somebody brought one onto the Enterprise. It seemed harmless enough, but soon there were a few more Tribbles, then hundreds, then thousands. Eventually the ship was stuffed with Tribbles, threatening to suffocate everybody with their cuteness. At the end of the episode Captain Kirk figured out how to get rid of the Tribbles, but nobody has figured out how to do that yet in Hollywood.

So your people call their people. You cannot call yourself. Even if you did, the person you are trying to call would not answer the phone. People do not answer their own phones in Hollywood, which is strange because everybody is always on the phone. Who are they talking to? People. Probably agents. Agents are the gatekeepers to the meetings. Without agents, meetings could not happen. Nobody would ever meet anybody. Hollywood would be a town filled with people who have not met but because there are agents, everybody seems to know everybody else. If you don’t know somebody, you take a meeting.

So your agent sets up a meeting. Or, more precisely, your agent’s assistant sets it up. Because the agent has people, too. Your agent’s assistant calls the assistant of whomever it is you are hoping to meet. A meeting is set. Your agent’s assistant calls your manager’s assistant, who calls you to tell you about the meeting. If you are an actor, you need an agent and a manager. What is the difference? I have been in this business for twenty years and I still have no idea. Basically each is there to make sure the other one is doing their job. You might think it would make sense to simply hire one person who will simply do their job, but that is not the way of Hollywood; their philosophy is why hire one person when two will do the job just as poorly?

So the meeting is arranged, the assistant calls you (or if you are like many actors, your assistant) and you ask, “What is this meeting about?” And they say, “It’s a general.”

A general is how people in Hollywood get to know each other, kind of like a first date. Except that it’s far more intimate because unlike regular dates, the first thing you do at these meetings is to tell each other you love them. This is a very important part of the ritual. As soon as you are in the same room, they tell you how much they love you, you tell them how much you love them, you agree that you love each other and will continue loving each other in the future, and then you never hear from them again.

In Part II I will tell you about how these meetings go down and the amount of potential liquid involved.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00e54edada5e88330120a5de6c56970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hollywood Explained Part I:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Preston

Firsties! I'm back!

Snivelingmess

I believe it.

Reen

Oh! This WAS quite fantastic. I have many questions/comments but I'll save them all for "Part 2". Only there won't *be* a Part 2 now will there? You tease with Part 1 of this and Part 1 of that and we never do see a Part 2. As in ever. So although this was a wonderful read, I shall hold not my breath for Part 2. I shall exhale instead -after chewing some gum. I have a dirty mouth. And at least Orbit will come through for me. I said come and talked about my mouth, but there isn't any correlation between the those two. Much like there is no correlation between your idea of part 1 and part 2 <--- I say with authority.

manobon

...Well, SOMEbody's a cranky camper!

Hope these non-meetings don't have to do with negotiations regarding Season 2 of MMHI. I mean, that couldn't Possibly be what's driving this entry, right?

...Right?!

Camille

Well, this entry has secured my decision to never, ever move there and to stay as far away from that industry as possible. Oh, except to come watch shows, movies, use Netflix,etc.

Camille

Why is there a green sun next to my post? Is it because I recycle?

Zeph

This Hollywood thing sounds awesome. I'd like to have people. Maybe I should work on having friends first though.

Reen

Cammie, I had that really cool magic symbol next to my name too, up until I posted.

Just telling you this so you don't feel special.

A

Such a pointless, complicated, and unnecessary aspect of show-business. The more "people" that you have, the more complex it is to reach you, the more successful you are thought to be. its haughty taughty snots walking around with their noses far up their face. bleh.
...its no wonder fake human beings like heidi and spencer are able to crawl from the abyss and inhabit the earth.
man corrupts all: each other, art, government, religion, etc.
so deep. i deserve a gold star, at the very least. ill take that or a cookie, im flexible.

Camille

Thanks,Renee. Can't I just have one damn moment? Sheesh!

Michael

"You cannot call yourself. Even if you did, the person you are trying to call would not answer the phone. People do not answer their own phones in Hollywood, which is strange because everybody is always on the phone."
"As soon as you are in the same room, they tell you how much they love you, you tell them how much you love them, you agree that you love each other and will continue loving each other in the future, and then you never hear from them again."

^ truest sentences ever written in the history of mankind

BK

Yea, that's alright. That's alright for your type but that's not ours. We live a thug life. Ya heard?

Nike Air Max TN

You may remenber the four proverbs:
A bad workman always blames his tools.
A contented mind is a perpetual feast.
A good beginning is half the battle.
A little pot is soon hot.

pandora charms

I agree with your point,nice article,thanks.I will continue to read your articles.

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.