THE PUBLICIST: Working in Hollywood means you'll always be on the move

Ever since Hollywood left Hollywood, one must be nomadic if one wants to work in the movie industry. Or doesn't even want to - but has to. The latter category includes me. True, I've been lying around all year working on my tan (oh, it's looking good) and trying to ignore American Idol, but it's time to pay some bills.

Ever since Hollywood left Hollywood, one must be nomadic if one wants to work in the movie industry. Or doesn't even want to - but has to. The latter category includes me. True, I've been lying around all year working on my tan (oh, it's looking good) and trying to ignore American Idol, but it's time to pay some bills.

So I've headed down South to work on a movie in the sticky, humid heat. This particular sticky, humid state lured our production from LA by offering great tax breaks, T-shirts, and the right of crew-members to raid the refrigerator of any local resident, at any hour. Now there's a state fighting back against production flight to Canada! Of course, not all residents are as excited about our presence as is the film commission. Local officials attempt appeasement by promoting how much money a film crew spends on location, but that's mainly on beer and traffic tickets. The hardest thing about leaving home is waiting in Los Angeles International Airport and listening to the world's most self-absorbed people conduct their lives at full volume on cell phones. (I do it myself sometimes, but I always feel bad about it.) If you listened, you would think everyone is in showbiz. Here people are working on a deal, closing a deal, fantasizing about a deal. So who's fixing the phone lines or painting houses? On the plane, it's mandatory for these loud cell phone showoffs to have a script in hand to impress fellow travelers. (Even though they put them down and watch the movie when dinner arrives.) It's simply an accessory, like a Gucci bag. And have you noticed that the person in the gate lobby you take an immediate dislike to always ends up sitting next to you on the plane? The pretentious guy to my left tried to strike up a conversation, which I immediately squelched by saying I was just released from prison and was going to my brother's funeral. Unfazed, he asked me if he could option the story rights. (Just kidding. He went right back to talking about himself.) When I arrived, it was even hotter and stickier than I imagined, and let me tell you, there are some very, very large people here. No wonder. It's simply too damn hot to do anything but eat ice cream. But I may not be here all that long anyway. The guy I dissed on the plane turns out to be one of the producers. I'm probably going to have to write one very flattering bio to keep this gig.
  • Lawrence Mitchell Garrison is a (sometimes) LA-based freelance publicist and writer.

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