The Savvy Assistant

Profiling Tiffany Rinehart, Kathy Griffin’s most excellent assistant

· 12 Comments · Assistant Tips, Celeb Assistants, Entertainment

Tiffany Rinehart has been on my wish list to interview for some time, so I was totally psyched when I got to meet her. Tiffany is Kathy Griffin’s assistant and well-known from her exposure on the show, the “D List” with Kathy Griffin.  Tiffany is a breath of fresh air, just as sweet and down to earth as you would imagine. So great when your expectations translate into reality! You may not know Tiffany has a great sense of humor and the best part? Her infectious and brilliant laugh. What a pleasure to be in her company and I truly enjoyed my time with Tiff. I am grateful for her sitting down with me during her busy touring schedule at  Henry’s Hat restaurant (great cobb salad btw) in Studio City (LA)  for my interview, assistant to assistant:

LH: You found your position through MySpace, right?

Tiff: Yes, I was just one of the lucky few who just happened to be clicking on Myspace and I recognized Jessica, Kathy Griffin’s assistant from the show and just happened to send her a message asking her how she began as a personal assistant and they needed help at the time so I tried it out and almost 5 years later I’m still with Kathy.

LH: Did you have any prior experience?

Tiff: I went straight out of college so I really didn’t have any personal assistant experience. I worked in offices and have been assistants to people like that but nothing like this-totally different.

LH: Jessica probably helped you out a lot and showed you the ropes- so that’s great that you had somebody.

Tiff: Yes, definitely great having somebody show me the ropes, instead of being just thrown into the fire..which I kind of was. I really didn’t have any training but as the years went on it got easier.

LH: Is it what you thought it would be?

Tiff: I didn’t know what it was, so I can’t say it’s what I thought because I really didn’t know what was entailed. I just knew there would be travel and I knew I’m not married and don’t have kids…so either  I could have that 9-5 desk job or I could have this opportunity that I didn’t know I would have had in the future.

LH: Is it just you or do you have another assistant to help you?

Tiff: Right now, it’s just me, so kind of the lone soldier…but it’s kind of been great. We’re not doing the “D List” this year, so it’s a little sad. So things are a little, kind of slowed down, but touring will be a lot more and stuff always comes up. Just when I think it’s going to slow down it doesn’t.

LH: Which is great-you never know what’s going to happen next. It keeps life interesting!

Tiff:  Yeah, for sure. Which is why I love the job.. because I hate being in a routine and knowing exactly what my day is going to be. I love when stuff just pops up.

LH: Yes, isn’t it nice. Instead of this spreadsheets due on Monday-you don’t have to do that-it’s wonderful.

LH:  What does your typical day look like? When do you start your day, at what time?

Tiff: If it’s a normal day, I’ll start my day at 10am and just get to the office.  Just answering e-mails.  If we are going on tour, it’s me booking the trips and getting her ready for that. Sometimes we’ve had those 5 am calls-that are not fun at all…but if she’s filming something or doing radio or whatever. The schedule always varies, but normally it’s between 10-6pm.

LH: E-mails –about how many do you handle each day?

Tiff:  It could vary from hundreds, depending on what time of year it is. Like the holidays, they’re kind of tapered off as no one is in the office. But I could get caught up on e-mails and walk away for 10 minutes and come back and have like 20 more, so it depends.

LH: And the best part is when you answer that e-mail and then they reply, like “Thank You”

LH:   Were you a big traveler before you started?

Tiff: I’ve traveled a little bit. I didn’t do as much as I have been, so I’ve definitely amped up those miles.

LH:  How many do you think you logged?

Tiff: Lots. I’ve recently become a Premiere United flyer, so I’m getting up there. It’s just been the past couple of years been crazy with travel.

LH: What’s your favorite city that you’ve traveled to?

Tiff: I think my favorite one has to be Boston. I love Boston for some reason, I don’t know why. It’s a great city. I just love walking around Boston. I love the accents, the food is delicious.

LH: Do you have any packing tips? Do you  throw everything in in 10 min. or have a set one?

Tiff: I travel so much, mostly once a week..now I wait til last minute. I kind of just know what I need to pack at this point. We’ve been carrying on a lot more just because  we won’t have to check bags so I’ve had to be strategic in my outfits and make sure I can mix and match things. I bring like one or two pair of shoes I can fit in. My method for getting all of my clothes is the rolling method.

LH: Have you tried my cube method? My friends tease me about it, but it works! Side note: My cube method can be seen on my post at: http://lindseyholder.com/?p=415

Tiff: I think my mom does that. My mom puts everything in a Ziploc bag and that’s all you see for the trip.

 

 

LH: Do you get a chance to shop when you travel & experience the culture?

Tiff: It just depends. Sometimes we are going city to city everybody & sometimes…like we we’re in Portland and I had 2 days so I was able to walk around, shop a little bit and just experience the city. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.

LH: You tweet a lot about working out, which is great. How do you balance that when you travel and in your hotel? (side note: Tiff went straight from our interview to her kickboxing class, so she walks the talk, which is great to know!)

Tiff: Working out keeps me sane, it’s my stress relief. I keep up with it. When I’m in LA it’s a little better because I can either schedule it in the morning or at night, depending on what’s going on. On the road, it’s a little more difficult. We pretty much always have a gym in our hotel, so I try to go there. It’s hard when you’re traveling west coast to east coast b/c of the time difference so I try to fit it in as much as I can.

LH: Eating is so hard… you have craft services, late night dinners…(& sorry I can’t translate what I mumbled next on the video, lol)

Tiff: Yes, eating is so hard b/c Kathy is kind of a foodie and she loves comfort food…so we’re on the network website going to all the diners, drive-in and dives to try.  We go to all those places. So she’s all about the best hamburgers to try in town, the good pizzas…she wants to get all that & I’m running on the treadmill every day. (You look great Tiff! Keep it up!)

LH: Do you  pack your own snacks, like almonds or bars?

Tiff: I try to keep an apple or banana and bars are always good. I try to have them with me at all times.

LH: Airports are getting better & giving you more choices. I did go on my trip here to Cinnabun and noticed they also had yogurt beside it.

Tiff: Those are always more expensive, like the fruits like $10 (I agree!)

LH: Do you get recognized from being on the show a lot? (side note-I have that same blue & gray dress in the pic-got it at Old Navy and I love it!Still get compliments all the time-great assistants think & shop alike, lol)

Tiff: Every now & then…it’s mostly gay guys, which I don’t mind (of course, they’re fab!). It’s always weird because they’re like, “Can I have your autograph?” and I’m like, why do you want my autograph…it’s not worth it. (of course it is Tiff!)

LH: Because you’re fabulous!

Tiff: They always want me to sign Kathy’s books.

LH: You on the go constantly and you are going to all of these events. How do you maintain being comfy & chic at the same time? That’s a challenge…you want to wear leggings but want to be chic at the same time.

Tiff: Yeah, it’s hard. I’m always like carrying Kathy’s shoes & all that stuff to events but you still want to look good.  I pretty much suffer (lol). I always try to carry flats with me. They have those cute Dr. Scholl’s flats that fold & fit in a clutch, which are amazing.  And ballet flats- they’re not that much comfort but good for your feet. Another good thing I love is H & M for dresses-for party dresses. When you get them on sale, they’re $10 people (great deals!!) My Grammy dress last year was $10

LH: I saw that (meaning on twitter) & think I responded b/c I got mine at Forever 21 for like $15 and I got so many compliments on it, when everyone else spent thousands of dollars on their dresses.

LH:  Are there any other tips that you would like to tell other assistants?

Tiff: You have to be very organized and be able to handle lots of stress. It’s fun. People always think my job on TV. is all I do…but no I really work. There’s good times & bad times…

LH: I thought you just drank with Maggie? (lol)

Tiff: I did drink with Maggie before I got here (haha)

LH: Well, thanks so much!! And now we are going to have our cobb salad!!

For more info. On Tiffany, go to: www.kathygriffin.net or follow Tiffany’s day on her twitter profile at: @tiffanyrinehart

Tiffany Rinehart Interview: (side note) Interview is transcribed as best as possible-excuse the noisy party that sat down right as our interview started! That’s the way it goes, so here it is!:

 

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