A story about me taking the bus somewhere.
I had my first real interview this week, after two solid months of job searching. I have had 2 or 3 second round applications via email, but this was the first time someone gave me the opportunity to wow them with my in-person charisma.
I’ve been trying to get a desk job at a network or management company, or more preferably: a full-time PA gig on a TV show. Pretty much any TV show.
This job was the second assistant at a talent management company with a staff of three–me potentially included. It would require me to bring my own computer to work. How glam is life?
The interview was at 11:30am. I got up at 7:00 so I’d have three hours to prepare before taking public transportation (“yes I do have a car, but it’s in the shop right now, something happened to the engine, can you believe? cars!”) to Studio City.
I put on 100% more makeup than I normally wear, and my most professional leggings ensemble. I got a latte at the Coffee Bean because I’m too woke to go to Starbucks, and it took the whole ride from Wilshire/Vermont to Universal City for it to reach drinking temperature. It felt great to be a commuting working gal again!
On the train I reviewed all my googled facts about my potential new boss’s client list and the projects she produces–renewed for Season 4! Nominated for awards in Canada!
I also memorized answers to potential interview questions that I had decided I wanted to be asked. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS? Well, that would definitely be my self-criticism. I am my harshest critic. BUT it’s actually one of my greatest strengths as well, because it means I’m always open to critique and welcome chances to grow.
I transferred to the bus and reached my destination swiftly. LA actually has a great bus system you guys! Though it’s apparently experiencing dismal ridership levels at the moment…maybe that’s why it’s so quick and easy to use?
I stepped off the bus and realized I had 30 minutes to kill and it was cold outside–like 50 degrees. All the Angelenos has parkas on, and even I was chilly in my short-sleeved tunic. There was another Coffee Bean on this block, so I just strolled in and sat down with my latte from the first Bean.
I memorized films that I thought would sound cool if I was asked what movies I liked, because apparently, I was anticipating that this interview would be like filling out a facebook profile (do they ask about favorite movies anymore?) Then for fun, I memorized a list of films that I think are overrated, in case I was asked to demonstrate my ability to differentiate between popularity and quality (Inception? They should have just called it Exposition).
Finally it was time. I walked into the office and was hugely relieved to see the first assistant wearing a backwards cap and flip flops. Thank god.
Then I saw my potential future desk! It had no chair and would definitely fit a whole laptop and a coffee. As spacious as two TV trays side-by-side.
On the walls were signed posters of movies from 15 years ago that I have no interest in seeing. And also one signed This is Us poster–another thing I have no interest in seeing, because I don’t do emotionally manipulative network dramas.
I acted cool, but inside I was like wow, entourage, wow, working girl, wow a paycheck so I can keep buying rice, and Goya black beans, and Reese’s Stix! This is the start of my Devil Wears Prada moment, I thought–except I won’t be such a stuck-up fool like Anne Hathaway was (and I would never turn down a grilled cheese sandwich due to stress).
Then she emerged: my new Hollywood mentor. She ushered me into her office. She asked me how I was supporting myself in LA with no job. She asked me about my French. She told she needs someone to make phone calls. She told me the pay would be $500-550 per week. She asked if I had any questions for her.
I had made notes for this part, but failed to memorize those because I was too busy preparing my explanation of why Inside Out was disappointing and only ranks 4th among Pixar films at best. (I also don’t like Toy Story, but I find that’s just too controversial to bring up in public.)
So I asked about what she’s looking for and opportunities for job growth or something, and then it was all over. I had been in there fewer than 10 minutes, and I was back on the bus, sending my thank-you email, and feeling simultaneously sure I would get the job (and that now I didn’t want to do it), and convinced that I would never hear from them again (and sad that I had fricked it up).
When I got home I took off all my clothes but none of my makeup, and rolled around in my white sheets for the rest of the day, because I had already done so much.
So there you have it. The life of a hustler. Moi on my grind. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.
If I don’t get a job by the end of next month I’ll probably try to pick up work at Starbucks–I mean Coffee Bean! Definitely Coffee Bean.