On The Job In Hollywood

On The Job In Hollywood

I’m excited to be participating in the 6th Annual Lit Crawl L.A., a community partner of The Los Angeles Review of Books and the CicLAvia-Heart of LA annual all day event on October 6, 2019. I’ll be joining TV showrunner and author Bruce Ferber at the LA Central Public Library, meeting room B from 2:30 to 3:15 pm. We will be reading our essays from Bruce’s anthology, “The Way We Work: On The Job In Hollywood”, a collection of insightful stories from a diverse group of working professionals who span the Hollywood ecosystem.

On The Job In Hollywood

My essay, “Master Class On Mulberry Street” looks at how I landed my first job in the film business as the New York location script supervisor for Martin Scorsese’s seminal classic, “Mean Streets” while still a student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Little did I suspect this small independent film would win the Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, or be selected years later for preservation by the National Film Registry for the Library of Congress, or that the experience ultimately took me to Hollywood, where, unlikely as it seemed at the time, I would find my calling as a literary agent.
On The Job In Hollywood

On the set of Mean Streets

Here’s an audio clip of another recent reading I did from for Dynasty Typewriter’s Improv presentation of “On The Job In Hollywood” at Jenji Kohan’s historic Hayworth Theatre.

If you’re interested in reading more, On The Job In Hollywood is available to purchase on Amazon.

On Landing My First Job in the Business on Martin Scorsese's 'Mean Streets'

On Landing My First Job in the Business on Martin Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets’

10 pm. NYU Film School, The East Building 8th floor, Editing Room.

“Who wants to work on a movie?” a voice pitched, over the din of old time moviolas. We worked on the same ultra durable film sewing machine used by all the studios in their heyday. (It now occurs to me that maybe these are what inspired “Star Wars Episode V’”s AT Walkers.) We used a form of scotch tape to make temp edits, and carefully scraped the tape with razor blades to carve the film sprocket holes, a frustrating and messy business. Hours melted away. Time stood still.

Every wannabe filmmaker in the editing bay just wanted to finish and be done. “I need two camera assistants… a gaffer and…a script girl,” announced the voice I now recognized as Mitchell, our TA. Groans were heard. “OK, there’s coffee in it, on me,” definitely sounding like Mitchell. Heads poked out. Five guys plus me, the only girl around, threw on our coats and shuffled past the purple walls trimmed with bright yellow paint, yawning and stretching. We piled into a station wagon parked in a red zone.

I asked, “Is this your car?”

“No,” Mitchell answered, “It belongs to the bank, it’s a lease car.”

“What’s a lease car?,” I wondered.

Around eleven, we pulled in front of the Gramercy Park Hotel, a seedy place in those days. The lobby couldn’t have been creepier. But the elevator, an old fashioned cage, was. It occurred to me as we were being yanked up a few flights, that maybe I‘d made a mistake. The cage opened onto a fairly well lit hallway. But that wasn’t a good thing. A door opened and light spilled out like the sun just came up. Guys were pacing around as far as the phone chords would take them. Things settled down, however, when the eye of the storm, a dynamo with shoulder length black hair and a dark but smiling countenance, became the center of attention.READ MORE