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?
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)
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!: