Thinking about becoming a celebrity assistant? Want that glamorous lifestyle with tons of perks, parties and $$? It ain’t that easy folks. If you are hearing that being a celebrity assistant isn’t one of the hardest jobs and does not take A LOT to do it well, then your not hearing from an actual celebrity assistant.
I have personally assisted three A-list celebrities and want to break it down for you first hand before you jump in. Here’s a few insights on what to expect:
1.) You are there to work. Yep, WORK. Just because they are a celebrity, doesn’t mean you are to be getting spa treatments and be buddy buddy with your boss. Get ready to work harder than you ever have with non-stop tasks & demands ahead of you. Think about what your role is-you are the gatekeeper. Most celebs are being pulled in all directions with a TON of different people coming at them from all angles. A plethora of people need answers to questions constantly-managers, lawyers, publicists, editors, stylists, staff, their family & friends….the list is a mile long. Of course it is impossible for them to answer all of these so they will come to….you guessed it….YOU. You need to be able to manage a never ending ball of chaos with calmness and a smile. If you are assisting an A-list client, some of your decisions could become International news. Been there, done that…you learn FAST. So toss your image of mingling casually at cocktail parties and lounging at photo shoots and trade those heels in for cute blinged out flats-because you need to be ready to move fast!
2.) Your life. This will be no more. Keeping up with your friends and fam will be via twitter & fbook if you are lucky. If you decide to take on this role, you need to trade in your dinner & movie nights with your friends for good. Try to go to a movie and see what happens…or what doesn’t happen (in the move I mean). I’ve ended up in the movie theatre lobby during most of the movies I have attempted to watch . There are too many people depending on you at all hours that need crucial information on their time. Don’t get me wrong-your experience is incredible and you are a sure winner to handle ANY position after being a celeb assistant. However, you need to go into the role with the mindset that you are willing to put your needs aside and focus solely on the position to be and do your best.
3.) Sleep. This is a tough one. If you are with an A-Lister, you might think you will sleep when they sleep-right? Wrong. When your boss sleeps, they aren’t asking you to do things and you can get things done. You are also not thinking big enough. Time zones. These are a killer. Your in LA? Well, guess what. Dealing w/an A-Lister means dealing with NOT only the US, but International time zones. Have a publicist, travel agent or manager in NY or London you have to deal with? The time zones can be a major pain in the booty and really affect your sleep. Be prepared for your blackberry or smart phone to buzz literally all through the night. I compare it to having a constant newborn. You are going to be constantly sleep deprived and cranky. That goes with the territory. Also, your boss may be a night person. That means being on THEIR schedule. If they work through the night, then you do too. You may have to be on a Vampire’s schedule and be ok with that. It’s NOT a 8-5:30pm job. It is a 24/7 job and only the strong survive that. My solution for sleep deprivation? Take a nap whenever you can. Cat naps are miracle workers. SLEEP on the plane b/c as soon as you land you hit the ground running and don’t know when your next zzz’s will be. Also, try to eat as healthy as you can. This is important b/c if you have a heavy meal, you are going to feel tired and weighed down. Always bring snacks with you to keep your energy and sugar level up.
4.) Traveling. Be prepared to go at a moment’s notice. I have literally had to pack and be on a plane in 3 hours and had to pack for over a week. My solution for being able to pack fast is to have 2 of every toiletry item you need. Therefore, it is ready and you don’t have to worry about leaving anything. This even comes down to my hair straightener. My toiletry bag is always packed and ready. Use cubes for packing and have a Travel check list(check out my Packing list post). A travel list allows you to be able to pack at lightning speed. If you have pets, you need to have someone in place to be able to take care of them at all times. Your schedule will be tight and you will not be home a lot, so they need to be taken care of too. Be prepared to be away for long periods of time. I thought I was going to Vegas for a few days and ended up staying over a month. Same with New York. Think you are going home after being on a trip? Don’t get too excited. Your boss may change their mind in an instant and before you know it you are heading to Miami. Remember, this is NOT an average schedule or lifestyle. It can change at ANY moment. That is a very important concept to grasp because most professionals are on a very regimented schedule. I used to be in the banking/brokerage business, so was used to scheduled hours and lunches with weekends off. It was very difficult to acclimate to this new lifestyle. That is why I am sharing these with other inspiring assistants. This information is important to know and to be able to accept so you can be the best candidate that fits the lifestyle your boss leads.
Those are a few pointers for now. Stay tuned for other insiders and let me know if you have other questions! If you are kosher with the above, then now you will be prepared on what to expect and on your way to becoming a Savvy Assistant!