Hollywood Executive Assistant

Hollywood Executive Assistant

HEA

Los Angeles, CA

Female, 0

High-Level Assistant to Chairmen & CEOs of Fortune 100 Companies & Hollywood Executive Producers. Ask me anything! "Like" my answers, especially if you submitted the question so I know you read it! :D Thx!

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Last Answer on August 23, 2020

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I recently saw a job posting for a large TV entertainment company seeking EA. I have never actually been an EA, but I have experience in costumer service, private aviation, etc. What is the best advice for someone looking to apply as a first-timer?

Asked by Kimee Bee over 11 years ago

What a great question! For a first timer, here are some things I suggest you try. 1) Focus your resume on your skills/talents vs the job title/chronology. You want to highlight how similar your skill set is to what they are seeking. Whatever bullet points and items they list that you do well, lift those sentences verbatim from the job description and put them in your resume. 2) Temp while you look for a job so you can say you have executive or admin assistant experience and within entertainment. Call every single temping agency in town. Most major companies also have one on site already. 3) Ready my blog to make sure you want to work in entertainment and for an executive. There's nothing quite like it out there! 4) Try to network or search online for that job posting on other sites or thru other people. Sometimes you can figure out which company it is and tailor your cover letter and resume or find the HR or hiring manager's email address online. 5) Be prepared to take tests. Sometimes companies will give you tests on Word, Excel, Grammar, Listening, Logic, etc. There are about 10 different types of tests out there. 6) The largest obstacle you will face is the catch 22. You need experience to get the job, but you need the job to get the experience. Aim for entry level work where you only need 1-3 years of experience. 7) Get on LinkedIn and make sure you have an online presence that is professional. It will help you brand and sell yourself better and network! "Like" my answers, especially if you submitted the question so I know you read it! :D This is my blog: musingsofahighlevelexecutiveassistant.blogspot.com/

Do you think being an assistant is a necessary requirement to move up the ranks in executive hollywood, or is it paying dues just for paying dues' sake?

Asked by gregg about 12 years ago

Borclans asked a related question on 5/9/12 so you may want to see that one as well. The answer really depends on what kind of executive you want to be. While some do start out on the assistant track or in the mailroom, you have to be superb to make it thru the ranks. You can pay your dues by starting out as an assistant, but the surest way to your dream career is to do exactly what you want now, on your own dime and on your own time. The best ones create their own luck WHILE holding down a full time job. The most successful of the Hollywood elite - whether CEOs, Network Executives, Film Directors, or Executive Producers - carved their territory early on, made their mark while relatively young, and/or went rogue and truly did their own thing and started their own projects because that's what they do for fun. It is ingrained in them. And where they end up is really just a natural trajectory of where they began. If you ever read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers you'll see the concept of 10,000 hours reflected everywhere and Hollywood is no exception. 10,000 hours of precise, goal-oriented practice equals about ten years of working at one's craft whether it be business strategy and vision, visual and creative storytelling, or finding a great team of people to work with that compensate your weaknesses. You have to really really want it and breathe it and you can't imagine yourself doing anything else. You will die trying. You will be extremely committed to your career. You will not accept no for an answer. You will be constantly learning and growing within your craft and always feel thisclose to succeeding. That's when you know you are doing something right. Hollywood is filled with a million others wanting the same dream you have, it's filled with rejection and patience and people just as smart and creative as you. It's filled with people who are trust fund babies or who have great connections. Hollywood has no safe routes or guaranteed ladders to climb. It's true, a lot of agents start out in the mailroom. If you want to be an agent become great at meeting people and connecting groups of people to projects. Know how to network and be helpful. The best become partners in their own firm or the CEO. SOME studio executives or filmmakers have the assistant background. But the most successful studio executives went to great schools, had brilliant mentors, and amazing internships. They often come from a business/mergers background or in writing/publishing and probably got a graduate degree/MBA and joined a company on the lower rungs of management or mid-level of their craft right out of the gate. That all counts toward their 10,000 hours of preparation. Great filmmakers had buzz while in college, entered contests and garnered attention locally, perhaps even online. Again, they took the time to master their craft to satisfy their own curiosity and passion. The reality is, anyone with enough drive will just be happy CREATING along the way and the icing on the cake is the Oscar, becoming Chairmen/CEO, or signing a great deal. Many successful people come from humble beginnings and this is why the overnight success and being discovered is so coveted, unbelievable, YET believable. Whether you are 20, 30, or 40, if you start on your 10,000 hours today, you'll be further ahead than a great majority. Like Nike says, JUST DO IT.

Hi Kiyomi, Do you mind sharing this opening with your network? It's for an EA to a celebrity CEO in SF.
Thanks!

http://www.findcelebrityjobs.com/jobs

Asked by Grace over 11 years ago

Of course! :)

What's your educational background? Do you feel overqualified to be an assistant?

Asked by Judith about 12 years ago

I have a BA from a state university where I majored in Broadcasting. Believe it or not, some assistant jobs actually prefer you have an Ivy League degree even if they ask for a career assistant or to promote them up the chain. As to whether I feel overqualified for what I do... It might help to give a little background. When I was a teenager, I was already working part time jobs on-air or had clients who were 30-50 years older with very advanced degrees. Before I graduated college, I also did a lot of internships alongside well-respected people in the industry or at well-known companies. When I entered the workforce, my resume was already pretty lengthy so I didn't have to start from the very bottom. Over the years, I've been steadily promoted in regular intervals and given more responsibility so my career actually hasn't stagnated. Within a few years, I was being headhunted consistently by Fortune companies ranked in the top 50 since I had started my career working at Fortune-ranked companies. At times, it's not that I felt overqualified, but assistant/admin work to a degree is the same skill set utilized repeatedly without creativity injected. At the heart of it, you are organizing someone's day and business life. (Most other jobs revolve around a product or an idea in marketing, advertising, software, or what have you, that is constantly changing.) The daily grind can get quite repetitive with no end in sight at times. On the very worst day when boredom would set in from so much repetition, I wondered if I was actually killing brain cells and getting dumber. For an assistant who isn't rising in the ranks, or anyone who does have a degree, I think the perception is being an assistant is too beneath them. Why go to college if you will just be an assistant? The stigma of being an assistant coupled with the role being largely undervalued and under appreciated adds to that thought. I think anyone should have a degree if you can afford it without going into too much debt over it. Regardless of what you major in, if you can say you have a degree from a 4-year university it says a lot about your character. You can juggle studying, you can follow thru on a goal, you most likely work part time while having a social life, it means you're committed and invested in yourself. People can also show these qualities in other ways without going to school like starting a small business, etc. A BA will only improve your chances of finding work because the standard for getting a BA is the same everywhere. Everyone knows what is required to get one and how long 4 years is. This is why anyone who works at Trader Joe's must have a degree, it demonstrates a higher set of skills, thinking, and attitude. Studies have stated that the assistant is the most powerful person in the office because they are the gatekeeper and run the office. Because it can be a very behind-the-scenes role with "minor" duties that seem easy or unimpressive, it's often misunderstood that anyone can just come in to do the job. Finding the right assistant, that's outstanding, and one who is happy to be there is really really hard to find. There are only so many personality types or people that will thrive in this sort of environment. The very detailed, little tasks that assistants manage don't seem like much because 80% of the work is preparation, 10% of the work is while the event is happening, and 10% of the work occurs afterward. Most people only see 10% of what you do, until you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You're running an executive's life, you're saving him time, effort, money, energy, stress, and you're keeping him sane. He trusts you with his life and reputation. You're a mini-me, a clone, and help him run a multi-million or billion dollar dept or company. Without you he would be lost. The best attitude to have while being in an assistant role is to realize you are among some of the best and brightest minds of your company. It's an inside look on how decisions are made, companies are run, and how to sharpen your soft skills. I love my career which is why I've been doing it for so long.

Is it part of your job to sometimes take the blame for things that your boss messes up (like unreturned phone calls, missed meetings, stuff like that).

Asked by missy about 12 years ago

I've never really had a boss that was messing up so bad I had to cover for them. Part of it is because I wouldn't let it get that bad. Believe it or not, the assistant manages the boss - his time, his schedule, his to do list, and about 90% of his life. Even before too much time had passed, I'd reach out to someone and say we haven't forgotten about them. On the off chance my boss did mess up, when someone is so high-ranking, they are truly that busy and it's not that they forgot, they just didn't have the chance to address it yet. It's a good rule to never throw your boss under the bus. If they make a horrible mistake, apologize profusely, ask that person to always go thru you to reach your boss, and say something like: Wow! I'm really surprised he didn't take care of it! It's so unlike him and I'm not quite sure what happened. I will definitely look into it and I will get back to you by the end of the day/week.

From where can i send the all important make or break "Gift" Say Chocolate covered espresso beans (1/2 Decaf!) I view the 4th asst as the 1st, The studio head far above of course.. help?

Asked by I'm dancing as fast as I can.. almost 12 years ago

How about from here? http://nuts.com/chocolatessweets/chocolate-covered-espresso-beans/decaf.html http://nuts.com/search?q=Chocolate+Covered+Espresso+Beans

Do you have experience or ideas for encouragement and continued motivation for upper level management? Our valuable leaders don't appear on the outside to need this but I think we all need rejuvination.

Asked by Lori over 11 years ago

Lori - What a great question and it’s very thoughtful of you to look out for the well being of your executives and staff. I couldn't tell if you were an assistant yourself trying to motivate your boss or generally wondering about company perks and benefits. If I didn't answer your question specifically enough, please let me know! The below ideas can be enjoyed by all staff and have been utilized at many of the offices I’ve worked in. The giver can be the CEO or anyone in the company. The below perks or extras address mind, body, and soul and can be paid for by the company or by the employee to make their life easier by the company offering a service onsite. Some ideas are free, cost effective, and some are very, very generous. -Do whatever you can to make the executive's life easier even if it's not part of your job, especially during times of high stress and long hours -Compliment an employee and be specific on why they are a good employee, a favorite boss, the hardest working assistant, or smartest intern, etc -Asking for advice from a peer or someone younger or below you in the hierarchy on their opinion or something they are an expert in will make them feel valuable - maybe it's a about social media, technology, or something related to office culture -Offer to stay late when your normally wouldn't or stay in for lunch to help out more -Acknowledging an executive’s long hours and working weekends with a heartfelt thank you or even just saying, "You must be so tired! Let me go get your lunch, what do you want?" -Treating an employee to lunch and mentoring -CEOs or executives going out to pick up and buy the assistants’ or department’s lunch -Remembering little details of an employee - favorite beverage/dish/restaurant, how they like their coffee prepared, what’s going on with their family and asking about their children or their holiday -A public board highlighting sales #s, milestones hit, or any gesture of excellence by staff, when someone said something funny, or showcasing everyone's pets -On site massage therapists -On site car wash services -On site dry cleaning -On site food truck -On site coffee cart -On site yoga classes -DVD or book library to check out items for free -Company swag -On site doctor -On site haircut -On site manicurist -Box suites to your city’s basketball, hockey, or any sports teams -Tickets to concerts, Disneyland, spa, hotel, airfare, or invite-only events -Very very delicious catered lunches for office meetings -Donut or bagel days -A plethora of cereals, milk, snack, quick foods, and fruit -Allowing staff to go home early or come in late -Half days before a 3-day weekend -Fridays off during the summer -Offices closed from Xmas Eve to January 2nd -Wrap parties and seasonal parties (summer, winter, etc) -Internal craigslist type forum to sell items, find a roommate, etc -Anonymous suggestion box -CEOs would do quarterly breakfasts with employees chosen at random for a group of 10 -A company award with crystal “trophy” with a special dinner at an executive’s home -Gifts for all admin assistants on that holiday -Employee gifts during the holiday season or when a project wraps -Cash award for anyone nominated for a job well done -Spirit Day and raffle prizes -Volunteer as a company -Writing a LinkedIn recommendation or endorsing someone on LinkedIn -Art class, language class, or guest speaker brown bag lunch series -Employee organized and paid field trips to socialize with colleagues on the weekends -A hallway or lobby area to showcase employee art, photography, etc. -Employee discounts to local businesses and the performing arts -Executive retreat or seminar based on Jim Loehr’s The Power of Full Engagement or The Power of Story -A team of volunteers to promote a fun culture at the office with a nominal budget allocated by the company for game nights, Halloween costume contest prizes, talent shows, etc. -On site pool table, ping pong, aquarium, nap lounge, basketball court, gym, etc -$500 “free money” to all employees to go toward whatever hobby or interest they have whether it's sewing class, marathon fees, or a magazine subscription, whatever you are passionate about is game