Everyone’s favorite Morningside newspaper is taking a midterms hiatus, so no QuickSpec today. There will, however, be Ask Bwog. Bwog will be taking on questions about anything—Columbia-related or not. For instance, “Why does Lerner 4 smell like vomit?” or, “Why does the M104 smell like vomit?” both make excellent queries. Send questions to email@example.com and they’ll be posted and answered the following Tuesday. Today’s question comes from Paul Barndt, a senior and Blue and White editor who wants to know:
How can I become a celebrity personal assistant?
The obvious starting point would seem to be doing a stint as a non-celebrity personal assistant. As lame as that may sound, it’s probably correct. A friend of Bwog recently made an off-hand comment in one of Bwog’s seminars that he was looking for a job. The professor happened to be looking for an assistant and— voila!— a personal assistant was born.
When celebrities are in need of assistants, chances are they’re not going to advertise on Craigslist. What’s more likely is that they will advertise via word of mouth. The most likely scenario is that there will be a lengthy interview process in which the applicant will be screened by several managers, lawyers and agents before actually being interview by the celebrity in question.
To ace these interviews, an applicant must have a squeaky-clean background and probably must have some experience as an assistant, nanny or babysitter. The applicant should be extremely organized and at least have a semblance of competence. Finally, if all goes well, the prospective assistant will have a casual meet and greet with the celebrity. If sparks fly, chances are that the celebrity is looking to hire someone as quickly as possible.
If you are (un)lucky enough to be hired, be warned that the hours of a celebrity personal assistant are all day, everyday. Assistants are expected to do everything from menial tasks like dropping off laundry and picking up Starbucks to helping the celebrity fix appliances in the middle of the night.
There are obvious perks, besides the proximity to a theoretically extremely attractive/talented superstar. You’ll probably follow the celebrity as they go on vacations or fly to various exotic locales for shoots. And don’t be surprised if the celebrity passes along swag from award shows and promotions.
The thing about celebrity assistants is that most of the time, attention is paid to the “celebrity” part and no so much the “assistant” aspect of the logistics the gig. Glamour be damned, this is an assistant position. So, my star-struck hopeful, be careful what you wish for.