The Sunday Giveaway: 2 Tickets to Assistance at Playwrights Horizons

Ever been an assistant?  Ever wanted to be an assistant?  Ever had an assistant?

Well, there’s a new play just for you . . . and we’re giving away two free tickets!

Assistance, by Leslye Headland, the writer who brought us the much heralded Bachelorette,  is “the story of young assistants enduring endless humiliations at the hands of their hellacious uber-magnate boss.”

Huh.

I wonder what Producer inspired this story.

(And no comments from any of you on my staff . . . or I’ll get out the “Who’s Your Boss?” stick.)

Here’s how to win two tickets to see Assistance:

Comment below on the craziest job you’ve ever done for someone else.  And if you’ve never been an assistant, or worked for anyone, well then, you get to comment on the craziest thing you’ve ever asked someone to do.

I’ll go first.

When I was in college, and freelancin’ as a Production Assistant, Stage Manager, and whatever else anyone wanted me to do because I didn’t care what it was as long as it was in the theater . . . my current General Manager of Godspell, Charlotte Wilcox, who was working on Grease at the time, hired me to drive Adrian Zmed’s golf clubs to Boston.   (Ok, maybe that’s only a 6.5 on the crazy scale, but it’s a definite 9 on the random scale).

Craziest assistant-like job wins!  Go!

 

(Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)

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Comments
  • I had to call my bosses ex-wife and tell her she would be receiving a smaller allowance than last year.

  • Susan says:

    I was “invited”(had to attend) the middle school music recital of my boss’s youngest child.

  • Robb Johnston says:

    I was very involved with the concert committee at my college near a civil war battlefield. One semester the band wanted a tour of the battlefield and I ended up driving them myself, etc. When I dropped them off, they were informed that a stool that the lead singer used had fallen apart.
    They gave me money to head to the stor to find a 3 legged (and absolutely not 4 legged) stool for them.
    I succeeded, and gave them the stool, the receipt and the change, but they told me to keep the change. So at least I had that going for me

  • Erin O says:

    Forced cat-sitting. Always the worst.

  • Morgan says:

    Flirt with a Sony exec for an hour to try to soften him up so he would let my bosses (the dragon ladies as I now like to refer to them) book “Resident Evil: Afterlife” in 35mm at their movie theaters instead of in 3D. And they didn’t get the booking anyway.

  • Peri Star says:

    I had to type up a grocery list for the maid, who would then shop for the items checked off by my boss and his wife. Not weird enough yet? … I had to alphabetize at least 100 grocery items and hand draw a box next to each item, then make a zillion photocopies.

  • Margie Goldsmith says:

    My first summer stock job was a PA at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pa. I can’t even remember the play nor the female lead, but i had to her out of one costume and into a 32-button dress. The first time, not knowin you should start from the very bottom, I missed a button and had to start over again. She almost missed her cue and was livid. After that, she was just generally nasty to me. Being 18 years old and spiteful, the last night of the show, I don’t know what possessed me, but I told her I’d just inherited a million dollars. I’d like to think that was the reason she never gave me a tip –not because of my one mistake.

  • Mark Gagliardi says:

    I am an intern for a Broadway Producer/General Manager and I answer the phones (one of many jobs in that office). I have a womanly voice, and many of his clients question my gender alllll the time. Well, one day Tony Danza had a full out 5 min debate with me whether I was a man or a woman.
    The kick was: I had been working with him a month ago….He knew who I was….
    ….PS. im totally looking to be a Producer’s personal assistant. Anyone?….Anyone?

  • Lindsay B says:

    I was the only one who fit in a harness during the build of a show, and usually would do small detail work where a ladder couldn’t fit. One day my boss decides that they want me to weld two giant metal pieces together at 50 ft in the air for something they couldn’t move any lower without the fix. I had never welded before, but within the hour I was dangling in the air with a giant welding wand figuring it out. The real kicker is that I’m a dramaturge who only took the carpenter position because it meant I got my foot through the door or 50 ft in the air, in this case.

  • I worked for a Broadway producer in 1983 who worked at home. One day I called in sick with a terrible cold– and she asked me to come in and stay in her bed with a pitcher of orange juice on the nightstand and answer the phone while she was out all day.

  • San D says:

    I worked for a lawyer once, who decided that since I had an art degree, he would rent a printing press, and I would print out all of his forms during the “trial rental period”. So, I rolled up my sleeves, and learned how to ink and work a printing press, and cranked out forms for the next 5 years. Mind you, my title was “file clerk”, and at that time, when the minimum wage went up, I had to “ask for a raise” to make the minimum wage.

  • Claire says:

    I was a PA on a music video shoot for a Christmas song, but we were shooting in August and of course it was the hottest day of the year. I had to help haul 30 Christmas trees up three flights of stairs because the elevator wasn’t working (and of course there was no air conditioning). Then, because the shoot went late (it was after 2am) and the extras had already been sent home, I had to dress up in a reindeer costume and dance around in the background of the video. I think I lost 5 pounds of sweat that day.

  • MJD says:

    I had to take my bosses place at the annual G.M. meeting at Disney Worlds for a full week, because our theatre was getting an award and he happen to get sick and was contagious just a day before the trip…wait there was a catch…I had to agree to chaperone his 12 year old spoiled brat son who he didn’t want to let down…

  • JD says:

    I love assisting and I’m a bit of a ‘yes person’ so I often find myself doing things not related to my job description, but my favorite crazy moment was the day I was called to pick up a new video camera and take it to the hospital because my boss needed it for his first son’s birth (post birth, luckily) and he’d been too busy before her water broke. Oh, and coffee because hospital coffee is terrible.

  • Mary says:

    I had an abusive alcoholic boss who was a magazine managing editor, he constantly berated everyone on the staff I went through his garbage after hours and discovered that he was scamming the company out of money by having freelancers (friends) overbill the company for services. (and of course getting his fair share). This was sent through our company’s gossip mill and it was the basis (along with several other things) of his firing. If you are an assistant you have more power than you think as long as you keep thinking… Manage that boss

  • David says:

    my producer had to bring his 5 month old baby to the theatre once… and i had to change his dirty diaper…. i dont work well with poop, and my lunch almost wound up all over the baby. thank god i held it in, otherwise i would have had to clean THAT up too!

  • Michael L. says:

    I was assisting a director (and Artistic Director — of a major regional theater), and one of my responsibilities was to make sure there was always soda to drink when he reached down for his 20 ounce Caffeine-Free Diet Coke bottle. Woe to the assistant who caused a missed sip!

  • Alex says:

    I think Sarah wins.

  • Caitlin says:

    While working as an assistant on a film project, we had our beloved coffeemaker taken hostage by a “rival” production group. I was sent on a rescue mission to recapture what was rightfully ours, and we got bonus points for filming the recapture of our beloved caffeine source as it took place.

  • Randy says:

    I used to clean apartments to supplement my acting income. I worked for this guy who paid about eight dollars an hour. So one day, he sends me out to the middle of Brooklyn to “clean up someone’s basement.”
    I get out there, and it turns out it’s not the basement. It’s the bathroom, which looked like a group of ten foot tall pigs had sprayed their poop all over the walls, floor, toilet seats and sinks.
    I almost threw up. This place needed a sandblasting.
    “I’m not doing this for eight bucks an hour,” I thought. “Hell, I wouldn’t do it for eight hundred bucks an hour!”
    So i went upstairs and asked the “client” where I could buy a slice of pizza. He said with extreme irritation, “Da corner over dere.”
    I went upstairs, bypassed the pizza place and took a subway back home. Had a great nap, too!

  • Ben says:

    My boss once called me with an urgent/unusual request. It seemed his wealthy friend’s housekeeper had fallen ill. While the wealthy man was at his house in the Hamptons, I needed to drive 45 minutes to pick her up in NYC and bring her to the emergency room (while a blizzard was being anticipated). But first, I had to call up the insurance company and try to find out all the necessary information for someone I had no relationship with. “Hi…. I’m trying to get the insurance information for my bosses friend’s housekeeper… hello…. hello?” Finally got the information and all turned out well!

  • Cam says:

    Wow! All of you have me topped. LOL

  • I once assisted a professor at college. She loved coffee and would drink it all day, but she would leave half a cup over in numerous cups – for hours or overnight. So one of my jobs was to clean out all the coffee cups.

  • Ryan F. says:

    I was an assistant for a big Broadway actor who made me do all sorts of nutty things.
    I couldnt pick just one anecdote so ere are my top three:
    1) I had to go to an Amish farm in PA to pick up four
    chickens and then drive them upstate so he could have fresh laid eggs.
    2) three words: drug deal middleman
    3) Then there was that one time when he got sick the day of the Tonys and
    made me preform in his place at the dress rehearsal. I was a business major and had no business performing at the Tonys. I’ll never live that down.

  • Catherine Y says:

    Wow. These are crazy. I love Mahesh and Sarah’s!
    Probably my weirdest was being told to steal Starbucks’ Christmas decorations a couple of weeks ago to use as props in the Nutcracker.

  • gj says:

    unfortunately all of my craziest moments have been repressed, only deep hypnosis could ever bring them back. And if that happened the screaming would start again, the screaming of the lambs …

  • Marybeth says:

    A former boss asked me to dress up like Marilyn Monroe to promote the launch of a new book. I worked in publishing. Textbook publishing. And the book was about biology.

  • Susan C says:

    I used to work as an assistant to someone who had me buy tires for the car, pick up the dry cleaning and buy the groceries and supplies for parties–which I was never invited to attend, of course! I’m almost amazed I didn’t have to cook and serve the food too!

  • Kimothy says:

    I have tried TWICE to post my assistant story here and it doesn’t post! What is the problem?

  • ALi says:

    I WAS KEN DAVENPORT’S PERSONAL ASSISTANT. I could go into detail, but let’s just leave it at that. 😉

  • EllenFD says:

    I had to rewrite letters and other documents for my boss’s son, who was being paid a princely sum for his supposed writing talents, which were actually not exactly stellar.

  • Kim says:

    I assisted a professor during my last year of grad school. I was responsible for opening, reading (aloud) and typing hr responses to all emails. This was the time when 3rd year grads were being assigned thesis roles, which we were told was a very thoughtful process where the faculty examined where we were as actors and chose roles for us based on many factors. I then had to read (aloud) the email from our advisor that said “I don’t think we need to have a meeting, who wants which student in their show?” Then be the middleman in an email casting battle for myself and my classmates. Definitely awkward.

  • Amanda says:

    I had to schedule a colonoscopy for my former boss. My co-worker said “You’re lucky you don’t have to PERFORM the colonoscopy,” to which I responded, “No, HE’S lucky I don’t have to perform it!”

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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