Thursday, October 30, 2008

30 Rock

Hollywood Assistants like 30 Rock. There’s nothing Hollywood likes more than to see itself reflected through a lens on film or television. We never chuckle louder or harder than we do at things we can relate to. Ari just fired Lloyd for the 15th time this season. LOL! That’s happened to us, too!

That’s one of the reasons why we love 30 Rock. Forget that it’s impeccably written, consistently hilarious, and lead by our ultimate smart girl icon Tina Fey. We love drawing the similarities between the workplace shenanigans that go down at the Rock and the crazy antics that happen in our offices every day. Each one of us can relate to one of the assistant-y kids on the show. Obviously, we’re Cerie. We’re hot, blonde, serve no discernable purpose, and bring down the house with one choice line every 22 minutes.

And we’ve all had drinks with Jonathan, the lovable greasy aspiring network exec whose undying devotion to both his headset and Jack Donaghy remind us of the loyalty we should show to our own bosses.

And who can forget Kenneth? Our office might not have an official page program, but every office has a Kenneth. He’s the kid who will jumpstart your car when your battery dies and who breaks out his secret awesome bowling skills at the office Christmas party. Sure, you might underestimate him in every day life, but once in a while he will really come through and impress you. You’ve got to admire his gumption.

So if you’re not already watching 30 Rock, get to it. You’re really missing out, and we’d never steer you wrong. (Ahem, please see our Mad Men post from this summer. Callllllleeeeeed iiittt.) Hilarious story lines, loveable characters, amazing guest starts – OPRAH, people, OPRAH!!! – what’s not to love?

WHERE: NBC, Thursdays at 9:30p
COST: Skipping the Grey’s Anatomy live airing. Tivo it. Trust us, you’ll be better off.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Drinks

Hollywood Assistants like having drinks. Normally, anything that includes the term “drinks” makes me prick up my ears in gleeful anticipation of an exciting night full of flip cup, vodka sodas, a few rounds of Red Headed Sluts, and eventually waking up in an unfamiliar apartment. Alcohol is usually your ticket to Adult Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth, where you can experience dizzying spins, indulge in one too many pieces of fried goodness (mmmm….fried cheese), and maybe make friends with a dwarf.

But unfortunately, “having drinks” isn’t as fun as it sounds. “Drinks” is the codeword for what is sometimes (or in my case, usually) the most awkward of all assistant activities. You show up to a drinking establishment to meet with a person you only deal with over the phone or on email, and your expressed purpose is to schmooze one another in hopes of getting some sort of future advantage out of a 45-minute interaction. Drinks are anxiety inducing for a number of reasons. If you’ve never met your drinking partner in person before, it can be somewhat akin to going on a blind date. You have no clue what the other person looks like, so you must resort to telling them “I’ll be the girl in the purple dress and the grey cardigan”. Then, if you’re the first to arrive, you spend anxious moments peering at the entrance and keeping your eyes peeled for the guy wearing the “pink striped button down shirt”. Once he walks in the door, you scramble for your blackberry, so you don’t look like you’ve been staring at the door for the past 20 minutes. Play it cool, chief. Play it cool.

Once you’ve found one another, it is important to stick to a few socially accepted rules for drinks. In general, unless you totally hit it off, stick to ordering only one beverage. We’re all busy, and we need to get out of there in time to watch Jon & Kate Plus 8/make that pilates class at LA Fitness/read 9 scripts before tomorrow morning. If ordering food, keep your choices to things that cook quickly and aren’t too disgusting to watch another person eat. Now is not the time to indulge in your buffalo wings fetish – your drinks partner probably won’t enjoy watching you pick meat from a bone like a hyena. Remember to balance the work and personal life small talk. By agreeing to meet in this context, you’re expected to give up a little dirt about what’s going on at your job. But it doesn’t need to be a full information shakedown. And feel free to gossip about mutual acquaintances. You never know who your drinks partner knows (scoping out your mutual friends on Facebook ahead of time will give you a good indication), and you might pick up an interesting “Janie was so drunk one night at Michigan that she…” anecdote to store away for later. And most importantly, keep in mind that this is a professional interaction, not a viable means of getting you laid. On the rare occurrence of your drinks partner being uber hot, remember to keep your cool and maintain an air of professionalism. You will still have to deal with this person on a regular basis long after you’ve signed the check and left your $1 tip, so try not to make an ass out of yourself.

When you’ve reached the point where you can’t ignore the 5th email from that agent’s assistant asking you to grab drinks sometime, throw the kid a bone and go. Sure, he might be a little eager, but he might also be the next Ari. Drinks don’t have to be that dread-worthy event that we all make them out to be. It’s not like you’re going to the dentist. And, bonus, there’s alcohol involved. You never know where your next job is going to come from or who’s going to give you the lead on a really hot spec that bowls your boss over. So take one for the team and just do it. You’ll have plenty of time to watch America’s Next Top Model once you get home – just don’t forget to set your Tivo.

WHERE:
Varied divey to not-so-divey bars around town. Our favorites include 3rd Stop, St. Nick’s, Little Bar, and Molly Malone’s.

COST: $8-$20, depending on what you drink and if you can find street parking. But keep in mind that it classifies as “Business Promotion” and is a tax write-off.