6 Simple Rules for Assistants With Big Ambitions

The essential rules of getting ahead.

red carpet and limo
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Put Your Fantasy on Hold
“You are young and have a lot to learn. Maybe you think you can win an Oscar next year because ‘like I really believe in this script.’ Or maybe you don’t think you have to worry about a little thing like a movie’s commercial viability…Oh, you little egomaniac, you.”
Sean Locke
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Thicken Up That Skin
“You may hate it when that agent from Endeavor thinks you’ll be more likely to have your boss return the call if he calls you ‘babe’ over the phone, but it’s really not worth getting your panties in a bunch. Why? He could be the same guy who recommends you for the job at Scott Free (Ridley and Tony Scott’s company…) As they say, sticks and stones will break your bones…The exception? Slut, No one is ever allowed to call you a slut.”
Andy Dean
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There’s No Such Word as Can’t
“If your boss asks you to do something, never act like you don’t know how. Pretends that it’s no problem, make a few frantic phone calls, and make the impossible possible. Only after all else fails do you get to tell the boss it can’t happen.”
Luis Pedrosa
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Think Drink
“Part of your new life in Hollywood is going out. Assistant mixers, one-on-one drinks, meet-and-greets… By the time Friday night rolls around you won’t want to see the top of your bar stool ever again…’But I hate making small talk!’ Too bad. In a business where who you know is more important that what you know, you will have to master it...It’s called networking after all.”
paul kline
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5 of 6
Make Them Show You the Money
“If there is anything working in the Biz has taught us, it’s to ask for what you want…As an assistant, even when you’ve proven your competence, you might find it harder to ask for things. Stop it right now. If you don’t get yourself noticed, no one will notice you. It’s that simple….Just don’t, and we can’t stress this enough, sit back and wait for the good karma to come your way. Make your own karma.”
Andrew Dernie
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Build Bridges, Don’t Torch Them
“People are going to tick you off. That’s a given. Your boss is going to inspire thoughts of brutality and torture. Certain assistants will make your skin crawl. Even the interns are going to give you a case of ‘the rage.’ Still, it’s the law of probability that some of the very people you hate will become wildly successful. If you’re lucky, they’ll forget why you didn’t like each other and the two of you will partner up to make a movie that takes Cannes by storm.”
Jaap Hart
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