And that, my friends, was the weirdest job interview question I have ever been asked. Not "what would you say your flaws are?" or "describe a situation that used the best of your ability," BUT "Can you call George Clooney's manager?"
Lemme backtrack a bit here. A few days ago, wrapped up in my post-grad haze, I stumbled across this ad on craigslist (which has become a bible of sorts to me): Movie producer seeks personal assistant. My heart leaped iny my throat. As I read over the ad, I found myself agreeing with it. Yes, I can make your dinner reservations. Yes, I can arrange for a hotel in Toronto. Yes, I will fly to LA on a regular basis. I quickly shuffled off my resume and a cover letter and hoped for the best. Then I got sick of hoping and phoned them. A cheery secretary answered and set up an interview for Tuesday (today) at 10:25 AM. Building 5, The Independant Film Alliance. Lions Gate Studios. Yes, THE Lions Gate Studios.
This morning I woke up groggy after tossing and turning all night. I knew that if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, a philosophy I subscribe to and what usually works for me. But it did little to qualm my nerves. A producer's assistant! I wanted to be that girl, the one who has to fetch coffee and arrange meetings with Robin Williams at Gotham Steak House (what, does he like live in Vancouver now?), the girl who gets phones chucked at her head and berated when things don't go right and gets propositioned on the producer's desk (OK, maybe not that last one). I want to fly to LA, pick up dry-cleaning and tell people I can "try and pencil in a meeting." Yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized, this doesn't really use my journalism degree AT ALL.
Nonetheless, I was a bit nervous when I arrived at the studio, my heart pumping from reckless driving over the Second Narrows Bridge. I was ushered into the studios by the guard at the gate and strode purposely past the crew of the TV series "Blade." When I found the office, I found myself sitting in the hall with five other girls. All pretty, all nicely dressed and all looking like they were born to be personal assistants. My confidence wavered.
And then a funny thing happened. I was just chatting to one of them about Journalism at TRU, when in walked Poonam. Yes, Poo was there. It took me a moment to realize it was her. I mean, what are the odds? Turns out she was there for the marketing job that was being offered at the same time. She seemed surprised to hear I was there for personal assistance. I don't blame her. But then again, she has all the PR and marketing experience and I have zilch. I can make coffee.
Then I was called in. Poo wished me luck. I stepped into a tiny office, flanked by movie posters of films the Producer had written and directed. One starred Krista Allen (who happens to be George Clooney's ex...I smell conspiracy). The Producer immediatley put me at ease. "Journalism, huh? See I look at you and think you should be on CTV." Well, that made me feel better. I should be on CTV. And the more we talked about writing and journalism, the more I realized I wasn't here for a personal assistant job at all. He informed me of a few writing positions available within the company.
"You seem confident. Would you feel comfortable doing things, say, calling up George Clooney's manager and asking for an interview?" I nodded yes. I WAS confident I could do that.
It ended well. I left feeling hopeful. Personal assistance may not be for me, but writing about movies, that I COULD do. The 2nd interviews are held next monday. Let's pray I'll get one.
On the way back, I stopped by Bang-Up on Robson (located by CTV) for a shirt. After looking at different shirts for about 10 minutes, the endearing young man who was helping me asked "Are you by any chance a TV personality?"
"No," I answered, "But I should be." It's one of those days.