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A Day in the Life of a Celebrity Personal Assistant

Jun 30, 2008
I'm a celebrity personal assistant. People often ask me, "What's a typical day look like in the life of a personal assistant?" The answer is emphatically, without question, a definite, positive: there is no typical day! Each and every day is unique to itself. For example, one day you can be setting up a photo shoot for your celebrity, arranging for stylist, hair and makeup people, and the photographer all to converge at a certain time and place. The next day you can be calling the Oprah Winfrey show to explain that the private jet carrying your star will not be landing in Chicago due to a tornado warning but your celebrity will be at the taping of the show on time no matter what. Or you may just spend a day waiting for the telephone company to repair a television at the star's summer home. I remember the time line I was once given from AT&T was: we'll be there sometime between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. Are they serious?

But being a celebrity personal assistant obviously has its perks too. I've ridden in more limousines and planes than I can count. I've hobnobbed with other famous people at lunches, dinners and events because they were hobnobbing with my famous person. I've been to the Academy Awards (that's where the little golden statue called The Oscar is bestowed on a chosen few). I'll never forget my husband at the time calling a friend to find out where to rent a tuxedo. "We're going to the Academy Awards," he said. His friend replied, "What do you need a tux for if you'll just be sitting on the bleachers outside?" "We're going inside," he gloated.

And the hand-me-downs are often quite wonderful too. Many assistants I know have been given designer clothes, shoes, handbags, nice gifts they've received and didn't want to keep like candles and holders, paperweights, picture frames, silk wall hangings, etc. I often take beautiful bouquets of flowers home to enjoy because my boss will out of town and not there to appreciate them.

But being a celebrity personal assistant isn't all roses and Chanel sunglasses. The job has its hazards and roadblocks to maneuver around too. Insert name of derailed celebrity here, such as, oh I don't know, let's say Britney Spears?

The key to finding success in this job is to understand the job title. Celebrity. Okay this is pretty straight forward. Anyone who is recognized in their field as a household name is a celebrity. Assistant. Most agree that this describes a helper, supporter and often a secretary. Personal. Ah. This is where the job title gets tricky. Personal means working in the celebrity's home. Interacting with everyone in their world on a day to day, personal level. Being the confidante to the celebrity. Being one of the few people in the world to see the good, the bad, and the ugly side of a person. Being in a relationship with the celebrity, almost like a marriage, for better or worse.

Being a celebrity personal assistant is both exhilarating and sometimes exhausting. Most don't receive phone calls in the middle of the night or on weekends from their boss. Most people don't go home every night having just dealt with their employer's goofy friends, stressed out relatives, hyper children, and neurotic pets, all the while handling the celebrity's needs and desires for the day, and maybe getting some real work done in the process.

Most people aren't as crazy as I am. Take it or leave it, I'm a celebrity personal assistant, and I love it.
About the Author
Shelley G. Anderson is the personal assistant to self-help author Louise L. Hay, and writes the column Dear Miss Know It All. She is the author of Dealing With Divas: A Survivor's Kit for the Celebrity Personal Assistant (or Anyone with a Pushy Boss). To learn more about her, visit Dealing with Divas.
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