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Flashback Friday! (Adventures in Hollywoodland)

posted by BatSheva Vaknin @ 3:20 AM
Friday, February 24, 2012

Every Friday, I post an oldie but a goodie blog for your enjoyment. To those of you who just started reading The Grownup Girl recently, enjoy the “new” blog! To those of you who have been with me from the start, but have memories like mine, enjoy the “new” blog!

And to those who were with me from the start and who already read this blog and burned it into your memory, word for word, photogenically, I say:

What are you doing wasting your time dilly-dallying on my website? Get out there and find me a book deal!

If you hate to read, just click on the audio link, below.

BatSheva (BatSheva Vaknin) – Adventures in Hollywoodland – the BLOG

I had some really excellent jobs after I graduated at the top of my class from Yale. There was my summer in DC, bartending. There was that waitressing gig where my boss thought he was Johnny Rotten. There was that very first job I held in LA, working as an assistant for a big executive at Atlantic Records, a young, hot, ex-ICM agent who liked to scream and throw things and who fired me four months into it for crying on the job.

And then there was the time I worked as an assistant for “Albert.” Albert (not his real name) was a creepy ex-Freudian therapist-turned producer. The ONLY reason Albert had gotten a job as the “Producer” in this pretty high level management company where he had just been hired before he hired me, was because his best friend was the head of a studio, and the managers were getting old and I guess that made them exceptionally naïve.

Albert talked in a low, fake soothing voice, just like you would imagine a creepy therapist would sound. He was bloated, with blotchy white skin and womanly fingers. He would make me sit across from him most days, “rolling calls.” I was instructed to listen to each call on mute, so I would sit there sometimes for hours, listening to him drone on, unable to take my eyes off his bloated, pasty cheeks and his smooth, tapered fingers.

Albert had no idea what the fuck he was doing. He would use the company’s hard-earned cash to option obscure stories that he thought somehow could get made into smash hit movies. He would talk all day to other slimeballs about nothing interesting, and the rest of the time he would try to impress me with disgusting stories of him frequenting the Monkey Bar or some other gross place where he would go with his more powerful friends to try and pick up chicks.

After a while, it became clear that Albert was going nowhere fast. With his blessing, I started interviewing with other companies. Albert agreed to help me give me a great recommendation if I found a better option, so when I interviewed with a producer who knew Albert, I was happy to have him call Albert to check my references.

Imagine my shock when the call came, and I stayed on the call, on mute as I always did, and I heard Albert slander me – tell lie after lie about my work ethic, my abilities, my accomplishments.

Like an angel, my cousin called me on the other line at exactly that moment, and she gave me the solid advice not to quit, but to stay and let him fire me if he dared, so I could at least be eligible for unemployment.

“How could you do that?” I confronted him. “You told me you would give me a recommendation. How could you lie like that?”

“You weren’t supposed to listen into that call,” was the best he could come up with.

I kept accusing him of lying about me, which he couldn’t deal with, and he did wind up firing me. I heard he got fired a while later, having spent the company’s entire coffers without a single production to show for it.

But hey… that’s show biz!


Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)

Would YOU trust this guy to make the next Titanic? Me neither.

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