The pros and cons of being a Celebrity Assistant

For those not in the know, the work life of a celebrity assistant may be shrouded in mystery. We can rarely disclose who we work for due to crazy NDA’s we have to sign; or in the case we can tell who our employer is, then the fun is over because we can’t tell any of those weird challenges we’re tasked with on a regular basis. Like that one about sourcing a female goose to pair with a male so Boss could have baby geese. *eyeroll emoji*

Some may think that the life of a celebrity assistant is all about travelling the world alongside their A-list principal, going to premieres, walking red carpets, staying at luxurious hotels, being driven in super fancy cars, flying on private jets and the list could go on forever. The reality is – yes, those working in the film/TV industry like myself may enjoy that, but only up to a certain degree. Worldwide premiere? Tick. Luxurious hotels? Tick. Private jets? Tick tick tick.

But is it a real enjoyment when you’re effectively working 24/7? Away from home, family, partner and friends? Yes, having wonderful meals at lush restaurants is nice, but you must be always on your best behaviour, away from any booze, paying attention to what is being said, memorising names, faces, notions – all of which is going to be useful to do your job better. Personally, I find it exhausting and not that glamourous at all. Glamorous to recount perhaps, to show off a little (who doesn’t like to show off?) but that’s it. Flying on a PJ is exciting at first, exhilarating to think “how on earth did I end up here?!” but then it’s hours of work next to your boss. Doesn’t sound that great, does it?

Inevitably there are perks to the role too. For example, you meet all these fabulous people, most of them (at least in my experience) are super nice, except the odd, rude one but I always know how to put them in their place; or the presents your boss doesn’t want, you always get first dibs.

The main pros for me are not having a single day at work exactly like the one before, there’s always something new and different and exciting. Sometimes dull, but most of the times exciting. Or playing such an essential role to your boss’ life to the extent that oftentimes you feel like you’re living a second life, theirs!

The main cons are the unpredictability of your day. You go to the office with a list of things to do and everything is thrown up in the air by a massive curveball coming from your boss – their entire day needs to be changed. And then being bothered at weekends, after work and while on holiday. Setting your boundaries will only get you this far.

Being lonely in the job is another downer, but for that you can always join an association of like-minded people such as the one I’ve had the honour to be President of for the last couple of years, the ACA UK. The Association of Celebrity Assistants UK has been around for almost 20 years and essentially is a group of assistants working for different principals, helping and supporting each other, meeting at events, workshops and on fam trips too, exchanging ideas and having -let’s be honest here- a moan about Number 1. You can always rely on other members for help with those seemingly impossible tasks, because – rest assured – no matter how crazy it seems, somebody else has dealt with it before!

The pros and cons of being a Celebrity Assistant