PUBLICIST: PR pros can find a bit of luck in being laid off on Friday the 13th

There's a procession of publicists at the unemployment line this week.

There's a procession of publicists at the unemployment line this week.

They don't need further convincing that Friday the 13th is indeed unlucky - having been laid off by Miramax on that unfortunate day. Some are acquaintances and I know how they feel. I've been there myself. Who hasn't in this industry? But for my money, this is the best time of year to be idle. The weather's nice. The Olympics are in full swing. Football and playoff baseball are right around the corner. Just as long as you can still afford pizza and beer. PR and marketing staffers are almost always the first ones to go in a pink-slip frenzy. I, of course, have always thought it should be just the opposite. Get rid of one pricey SVP of Who Knows What The Hell He Does and you can keep the whole front line of people who are trying to sell your product or image. Companies today, especially studios, prefer to loudly fire people, which greatly impresses investors. Not infrequently, they quietly rehire over a period of months. I was once let go by a studio, only to be re-hired two weeks later, albeit as a freelancer. Speaking of firings, I, too, have been canned on Friday the 13th. Twice. The second time was the result of a city council meeting in which I, as a PR agency staffer, was representing a real-estate developer trying to build on protected wetlands. I saw a friend of mine there, a surfer, who was among a group of citizens opposing the project. "Dude, you should be on our side, bro," he told me. "I am," I confided to him, "once I get home and take off this *%&$#* suit." As it happens, my boss, who owns the company, was standing right behind me. I was politely dismissed the next day. Awesome. I threw a party that night to celebrate - and soon ended up working in Hollywood. The first time I got the heave-ho, well, I'd rather not discuss that episode. Suffice to say, somewhere out there are some pictures that brought a premature end to a promising career in the fast-food industry. Finished - at 17! To my friends let go at Miramax, let me extend an invitation to come to LA and rejuvenate your spirits. Lots of folks here don't seem to work much either, so you'll blend right in at Starbucks as an assumed freelancer, screenwriter, consultant, or, of course, actor. The beach is a great place to consider your next move. And the first beer is on me. Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is an LA-based freelance publicist and writer

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