QI’m a second year at a well known Chicago firm. I’m looking to move to LA and break into Hollywood. Maybe get a job as an agent? Any advice?
AYeah. Don’t do it. Unless, of course, you really want it. I mean, really, really want it. Hollywood’s no joke. It’s an insular, hyper-competitive, random business overflowing with narcissists and pettiness. It’s cliché, I know. But it’s true. However, if your dream really and truly is to represent Brangelina and sip watermelon mojitos with studio big shots, and you can’t imagine doing anything else, then go for it. But do it with your eyes open. Wide open. For starters, know this: you won’t be the only lawyer with a fancy resume looking to break into the biz. You’re a dime a dozen, bro. Just another educated douche bag looking to move west and touch fame.
Talked you out of it yet? If not, here’s what you do: try your hardest to get a job as an assistant for a top agent. Sounds demeaning, I know, but it’s a tough job to get. As tough, if not tougher, than landing a job at Skadden. Really. Only difference is, your starting salary will be about $30,000 per year. And you’ll be a secretary. In other words, you’ll have to swallow that Ivy League JD and become a phone-bitch for two, possibly three years before you actually become an agent. That means answering phones, making lunch reservations, overseeing your boss’s kitchen re-model and dropping off urine samples at the urologist’s office. For real. Oh yeah, and the hours suck. 8 am to 9pm, plus weekend chores like reading scripts and doing household errands. It’s a long, grueling and demeaning process. So get ready to suck it up in ways you never imagined. But the good news is: if you’re a dutiful soldier and actually get promoted to agent some day, and “sign” lots of successful clients, you’ll make big money. Investment banker cash. Partners at top agencies make a few million bones a year. Uber-agents make five to ten. And the social life ain’t too shabby too. Definitely better than being an attorney. Like a lot better. The people are prettier, the parties more fun, and no one talks about law.
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