Tag Archives: Hollywood

AWARD SEASON PT. 2

TBT ONE OF MY MANY SHITTY JOBS…

Rated R: For retardation, redundancy, rudeness, & rhetoric.

Let’s start off with the ‘glam squad,’ and the assistants to the ‘stars.’  These are people whose self-importance reigns supreme. They possess entitlement that depends on the proximity of the celebrity they’re sucking the ass of.

J-Lo’s people first; extremely dismissive, totally cheap.  They’ve been ordering all day and night and never tip, and are surly, contemptuous and angry. But most of Hollywood is just wolves in hipster clothing anyway.

Knock knock, ‘room service’

I get in the suite and they’re ordering me around all servant style.

First an agro pierced Chubby girl: ‘Um, yeah, hi or whatever, just quickly push the cart over there.’ She’s wearing skintight jeans and a sweater that shows every roll.

Me: ‘Ok’ I say, handing her the bill. Pushing the cart as slowly as possible.

Agro: ‘Ok so we’re gonna need all this other shit out of here, like yesterday!’ She says this while sweeping her hand on the air then points to a HUGE conference table that’s loaded with dirty plates, glasses, Perrier bottles, Fiji Bottles, et al. More than will fit on two or three carts. There are small flies and gnats en masse around the buffet. I have no cart or any way to remove all of it. (By the way delivering & clearing the room is usually a no-no, but this hotel is so incredibly fucking cheap they expect you to do all of that, two guys for eight floors.)

‘I’ll have to go get some carts for this.’

She says, ‘Oh my god! Can we call somebody and get those up here immediately!? We need this all CLEARED OUT!’

Now I’m fucking annoyed, ‘Nope. I have to go down and get them, give me 10 or 20 minutes and I’ll be right back.’

‘Oh my god! Okay, whatever!’

I left. I never returned to that room again. 

Let somebody else do it.

-At three o’clock we get a rush order for champagne and hors-d’oeuvres. A fancy word for quesadillas, deep-fried rock shrimp, chicken wings, and other less than big word worthy greasy goodness…and cheap champagne (Sharfenberger? Wtf is that?) I Rush the order up to the room, woman answers in what looks like a Met ball gown. The room is filled with people dressed to the nines, ‘Wow you all going to the Academy Awards?’

A couple of people laugh, and I here scoffing.

‘No love,’ she says. Gross. Please don’t call me love. Ever. 

‘Oh.’ I say.

‘We’re having a little Oscar gathering. Um, it’s a little more than just a party.’

‘Oh.’ I say. I hand her the bill. It’s 450.00 for a spread of garbage that you could have bought at a low-end grocery store and made yourself for about $114.00. She doesn’t tip. Of course, she doesn’t. None of these people do.

I’m drained from the sycophantic non-stop star fucking and the very idea that awards should be given for art. Especially ‘based on’ bullshit movies that are revisionist history. (I.e. American Sniper fuck that movie).

The orders keep coming, I continue my night and become a completely disinterested, disenfranchised, disassociated shell of a man. I think of moving to a third world country, and helping lepers or hair lipped children. Somewhere else, something else, somewhere, anywhere, but here. 

 

ROOM SERVICE DURING AWARD SEASON

Well, it’s here, that self-congratulatory jerk-off fest and ass kissing extravaganza!

Film, music, and television award shows! Look I’m not trying to hate, I enjoy one or two shows here and there. But Jesus Christ it’s nonstop in this town! I would love if they gave an award for ‘biggest douche bag, biggest asshole, the biggest pain in the ass to work with, biggest ass, biggest man boobs…’

I don’t know, maybe if we get a little more creative, and a little more self-deprecatory maybe the general public wouldn’t take actors and celebrities so seriously. They seem to look at them as these monumental, incredibly important, amazing people. What’s worse though are the sycophants & minions that blog and report on said celebritards. And a lot of those people stay right here in the hotel. These are the flies buzzing around the secondary shit that is Hollywood. Based on the delusion that there’s any glamour in Hollywood, entertainment reporters would be the very lowest on that wrung. How do I know? Because I worked for an entertainment magazine (STAR) long enough to see what a load of stupid fucking tripe all that information and news is. But hey, I grew up in this town so I’m probably a little jaded.

Ok on with it.

Golden Globes Night.
I get a big order $860.00 rm. 412, knock knock.
‘Room service.’ The TV is LOUD; I hear audience laughter as well as heavy room chatter. A lot is going on in there. I sense douchery; I hope I’m wrong.
‘What? what? Who is that? Why are you bothering us! Come back later.’

I knock again and scream loudly over the noise, ‘ROOM SERVICE!’
‘Yes, Yes. Okay. Hold on.’ The door opens a Perez Hilton looking guy gives me a dismissive wave in. Fat dude in purple skinny jeans and deep v-neck with a wolf’s head print. I’m annoyed, right off the bat. Why do I have to be visually offended by your bad taste in fashion and your lack of physical exercise? I hate everything.

I go in, 10 or 12 people are huddled on a couch looking up at a wall mounted plasma screen. They’re consumed.
They’re desperate for a fix. They speak as if they know the celebrities intimately and personally. Using first names, or shortening the name or making child like names of the nominees.
‘Oh my god Patty (Patricia Arquette) is hot!’
‘Well Meryl is like that…’
‘Bobby D was up for that.’
‘And Well George (Clooney I suppose) is so blah blah…’
I’m totally ignored, and someone says ‘pause it.’ The poor man’s Perez replies, ‘Don’t you fucking dare, I need to see this in real time! Ok come in. Quickly please.’ At that point I move even slower. ‘Where would you like…’ I say slowly.
‘Oh god, just over there. Where ever.’

Then a chubby girl in skintight everything. ‘No no not there! Just leave it. Right by the window.’ She gets up with a grunt. ‘Nyuuhh, oh my this looks fan fucking tastic!’ Another rude chubby wubby on the Couch yells, ‘eat my quesadilla bitches and just see what fucking happens!’
‘Oh shut up Gavin!’ I back up towards the door, now I really want to get out of here. I feel my soul being sucked out of every orifice. The depth of this crowd resembles a dried out birdbath.

I leave the room. I look in the book, of course there’s no extra tip or gratuity. ‘Oh God you cheap assholes,’ I say under my breath as I round a corner. I bump into a bellman that’s bringing someone’s luggage to the lobby. ‘Yeah man,’ he says ‘this is the cheapest fucking crowd of the year prepare yourself.’ The next room, 516. Just tea. Small order smaller auto gratuity. I knock,
Room service before I can even finish the sentence a girl whips open the door,
‘Finally.’ she says. The room’s packed with wardrobe racks, and suitcases, and boxes, and shoes and high-end designer shopping bags, jewelry strewn all over the tables. I manage my way around the obstacle course of couture footwear and accessories. I give her the check.
‘Yes yes I’m here dressing and styling VIPs I’m sorry to be short, I just need things delivered very quickly.’
‘That’s nice.’ I say.
She grins at me.
I walk out.

Short & Sweet
The Grammys. In the great words of Chuck D of Public Enemy, ‘Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy.’

More senseless awards for art. I will not be commenting on Kanye West, because I really don’t care. I haven’t heard the new Beck album either. I’ve never listened to music because it won an award. Seems like an Award just solidifies your self-worth as well as a future paycheck.
Most of the guests that I dealt with on Grammy night were too self obsessed to be dismissive or mean. Anybody that was of real importance was already at the show. At the end of any shift (regardless of the event that’s taking place) I usually laugh it off. And I realize that it’s not my career path and you wouldn’t get the entertainment of this lovely little blog, so I will be reporting more about this fantastic award season after the Academy Awards! And we’ll see you at the movies!

 

My days at the London Hotel were numbered. Essay #1

#2:00 AM London Hotel, West Hollywood.

I was walking the halls collecting trays, and picking up early morning orders left on doorknobs. As I made my way from floor to floor, I pondered all the decisions and wrong turns and I made in my life. Disastrous turns that led me up to my current position at 50 years old.

Sure, there were drug and alcohol incidents here and there, also some jail stints. There was also first-degree burglary, grand theft auto, possession of controlled substance as well as assault with a deadly weapons charges but all that was many years ago.

When I applied for this job, Jill Myers in human resources said The London was to do an intensive background check. Apparently, it wasn’t that intensive.

Truth be told, I lost all my hustle when I sobered up and I stopped doing hard drugs. Thank baby Christ I’m not permanently psychotic or paranoid. These thoughts were broken by a woman in a nightgown running and screaming coming down the hall straight towards me.

‘I left my key in my room, I left my key in my room! She looked distraught and flustered. At first, I thought she was dead on the reincarnation of Leona Helmsley, or the ghost of Leona Helmsley stuck in a Hell-like hotel purgatory.

Was it Leona? At 2 AM your mind really plays tricks with you. Think the Overlook Hotel but I’m way more passive Mr. Torrance.

‘Okay okay, ma’am. Ma’am, what is your name?’ This was the protocol. Simple enough.

‘What the hell does that have to do with it! Just let me into my room! That’s private information anyway!’ She seemed to be moving closer toward me. I started stepping backward.

‘Ma’am, I’m sorry I just can’t let anybody into any room without proper identification.’

Her eyes lit up, ‘Anybody, anybody? Into any room? I’m Sofia De Aragon and I’ve been staying at this hotel on and off since it was The Belage! How dare you!’

A door in front of us opened and a guest popped his head out. He took one look at Mrs. De Aragon and quickly went back to his room and shut the door.

‘That’s right! You mind your business!’ Sofia said as he bolted the door.

Suddenly I felt like a scolded eight-year-old. ‘Okay okay, I’m sorry. What room are you in? ‘Well that’s just it, I don’t know what room I’m in. They used to put the room numbers on the key, how the hell are you supposed to remember what goddamn room you’re in?’

‘Well, I guess we’ll have to call the front desk.’

She looked angry, ‘Well where is that god damn phone to even call them? We’re on the eighth floor! Do I have to run downstairs?’

I started moving towards the lobby of the eighth floor, I knew there was a phone there. I had to get away from this woman. I felt like she had stuck an invisible straw into my chest and was sucking the very last bit of life that was left in me. It had to stop. I picked up the phone. ‘Hi it’s Mike, In-room-dining attendant, I have a Mrs….’ I looked up at her, ‘Ma’am your name?’ She shook her head and whispered, ‘give me the phone, give me the phone.’

I attempted to walk away. Let them come up and let her into her room, or figure out what room she’s in. I just couldn’t do it anymore.

‘Hey where are you going? I’m in room 416 you need to let me in.’ We were both on the 8th floor. I don’t even know how she ended up on this floor. You need a room key to use the guest elevator to go from floor to floor. Which I don’t even have. And I was told under no circumstances were guest allowed to use the service elevator. I walked towards the phone called the front desk again. I hung up. Then I explained the situation to her and that she would have to wait here while somebody came up from the front desk.

She was flustered and upset ‘Why can’t you just let me in?’

‘Ma’am if you don’t have your room key we can’t get down the elevator to your floor, I don’t have access to that elevator with the key that I have.’ We both stood there looking at each other for a moment, but it felt like an eternity.

‘Well that’s absurd, what kind of bullshit operation are they running here?’ I walked away. She was saying things to me as I was walking away. They can fire me, they can discipline me, they can do whatever they want. Bottom line, I was not talking or looking at this woman for another fucking minute.

Hollywood Shit Show.

Due to complete financial need and desperation, I’ve been an extra on a couple of different television programs, commercials, and reality shows. You get paid to sit around and wait to be herded to set or location…

It can be up to $300.00 a day, or it can be minimum wage. This particular day it was minimum wage, I was to be an extra on the Tim Allen show. From the moment I drove through the gates at CBS Radford my stomach started to turn, and I felt an incredible amount of anxiety and fear. It was the same way I imagined ‘Damien’ from “The Omen” must have felt as he got closer to church.

I was given a parking pass and told to park on the 6th floor visitor parking garage, then to walk to soundstage #9. Sounds easy enough. It was 9:00 AM and already eighty degrees and I was wearing a black wool suit. I parked, and started leisurely walking to the elevator, I heard footsteps running up behind me at a fast clip. “Are you an extra on the Tim Allen show?” she asked me frantically. “Yes,” I said. “Oh My God! We are so late!” I push the elevator button. “What? The call time said 9:30. It’s 9:05.” She whirled past me garment and duffel bag in tow and started running down the stairs, “You didn’t get the e-mail? The call time changed to 8:45!” I hate being late.

I started running down the stairs behind her, “What e-mail? When was that sent?” She was already down a couple of flights of stairs. “This morning, at like 8:15.” she screamed. I started running down the stairs behind her in my wool suit and dress shoes. I had a vision of slipping and falling down the stairs and how that would look in an obit, “He was to be an extra on the Tim Allen Show. Unfortunately lost his footing and tumbled downstairs. He broke his neck and died instantly.” I slowed my roll I wasn’t going to kill myself to get to a soundstage for minimum wage, plus my feet already hurt in the dress shoes I was sporting for the big occasion.

As I walked at a fast clip down the last flight of stairs I saw that she was already 100 feet ahead of me, she looked back and said, “you better hurry up, they close that stage door and the red light goes on we don’t get paid, we are fucked! No money!” she screamed as she ran past a group of truck drivers sitting around on a tailgate lift eating donuts and drinking coffee, reinforcing and reppin’ the teamster stereotype. They laughed out loud at her. I ran behind her I already felt like a douchebag, I didn’t need validation from the Teamsters. I looked up, I was passing stage 3, I had six more stages to get to, it was nowhere in sight, it was easily a quarter-mile from where I was, I walked at a fast clip. I was sweating, my feet hurt, and I felt a rash starting in my crotch from the wool trousers.

I cursed myself and started focusing on all the bad life choices that brought me to this moment as I ran past stage 6. Now I was sweating profusely and pissed off. I gave up and started walking very slowly, “Fuck it.” I yelled aloud, which received a high sign from an executive walking by. I got to the soundstage, a woman greeted me with, “I’m Elizabeth. The production manager. Didn’t you get the second fucking e-mail? You’re late!’ I walked past her leisurely and through the door. “Go wait with the other background players, first room on your left!” I walked into the room.

It was hot and jam-packed with extras. The lucky ones were seated in those old grammar school style desks, others sat on the linoleum floor, even more leaned up against the wall. All waiting. The ‘craft services’ table was an absolute abomination. It consisted of paper bowls of Doritos, mini boxes of Milk Duds, and Good and Plenty, and old brown bananas and played out apples. It also featured Mexican candies and Mexican baked goods, I guess that was for our Latin background friends. The production manager popped her head through the door, “settle in kids Mr. Allen is running 2 hours late.”    “Cool man. Overtime,” a guy next to me said. I made my way to the craft service table and grabbed a handful of Doritos and a couple of boxes of Milk Duds. “Fuck it,” I said again under my breath.