Hollywood's Gadgets

Times Staff Writer

2007-10-15 13:00:06.0 Shai Steinberger: Hi Nicole!

2007-10-15 13:01:05.0 Nicole LaPorte: Hi there! Are you doing this on some fancy computer? Or an iPhone?

2007-10-15 13:01:40.0 Shai Steinberger: haha

2007-10-15 13:01:46.0 Shai Steinberger: nope - just an old pc

2007-10-15 13:01:57.0 Shai Steinberger: but it has enormous sentimental value

2007-10-15 13:02:16.0 Nicole LaPorte: You're terribly unfashionable. No wonder you had to leave William Morris.

2007-10-15 13:02:24.0 Administrator2: Hi all, and welcome to the Rules of Hollywood chat with columnist Nicole LaPorte and former William Morris Agency assistant Shai Steinberger. Feel free to send your questions for Nicole and Shai now!

2007-10-15 13:02:29.0 Shai Steinberger: I couldn't keep up

2007-10-15 13:02:31.0 Shai Steinberger: too cool for me

2007-10-15 13:02:35.0 Jouster: Please don't take this as anti-Semitic, because it's just an observation: it appears to me tyhat in general there are a l;ot more Jewish actors today in what were formerly WASPy roles, particularly in prime-time dramas and sitcoms. Is this a trend you may have noticed?

2007-10-15 13:03:02.0 Shai Steinberger: is that for Nicole or me?

2007-10-15 13:03:25.0 Nicole LaPorte: I think we're trying to keep this chat centered on gadgets. I'm certainly not qualified to answer that.

2007-10-15 13:03:32.0 Teepee: Is there somewhere I can read this "goodbye letter"?

2007-10-15 13:03:39.0 Shai Steinberger: sure

2007-10-15 13:03:47.0 Shai Steinberger: deadlinehollywooddaily.com

2007-10-15 13:03:58.0 Shai Steinberger: just do a search for "shai"

2007-10-15 13:04:01.0 Teepee: thanks

2007-10-15 13:04:07.0 Shai Steinberger: of course

2007-10-15 13:04:11.0 karma: What is the next trendy item? Is there something coming that noone has yet heard about?

2007-10-15 13:04:18.0 Shai Steinberger: i hope your expectations are not too high now

2007-10-15 13:04:48.0 Shai Steinberger: not that I know of - Nicole?

2007-10-15 13:05:12.0 Shai Steinberger: let me take a step back for a second

2007-10-15 13:05:33.0 Shai Steinberger: I do think we are going to see something truly revolutionary via myspace and facebook

2007-10-15 13:05:47.0 Nicole LaPorte: I can't say exactly what the next gadget to hit the market is, but Blackberries, Treos, etc. are updated every couple months, it seems. I also think the iPhone phenomenon is still pretty strong, esp. with the recent price slash.

2007-10-15 13:05:51.0 Shai Steinberger: As Nicole reported in her article yesterday, I was tracked down by two veteran television writers who had their assistant locate me using facebook.com

2007-10-15 13:06:22.0 Administrator2: So is everyone in Hollywood keeping their Facebook and MySpace profiles updated now?

2007-10-15 13:07:08.0 Shai Steinberger: I think so

2007-10-15 13:07:10.0 Shai Steinberger: I sure am doing it now

2007-10-15 13:07:12.0 Administrator2: It seems like Facebook is gaining steam...is MySpace declining? Is Facebook not just for the kids anymore?

2007-10-15 13:07:19.0 Shai Steinberger: It was completely unexpected now

2007-10-15 13:07:38.0 Nicole LaPorte: I think the younger folks, yes, but I have to say in talking to people in the industry, those who do keep MySpace and Facebook pages don't rely them on for work networking, though Shai, you've proven that maybe they should.

2007-10-15 13:07:41.0 Shai Steinberger: there have been articles to that effect (in last week's Opinion sections of the LA Times, actually)

2007-10-15 13:07:50.0 Shai Steinberger: it talks about how facebook is catching up to myspace

2007-10-15 13:07:54.0 Shai Steinberger: it still has a ways to go though

2007-10-15 13:08:21.0 Shai Steinberger: most artists (I am the exception) build really groovy myspace profiles - you don't really see that on facebook....YET

2007-10-15 13:08:32.0 Administrator2: Have you seen any great MySpace or Facebook profiles for Hollywood bigwigs?

2007-10-15 13:08:36.0 Shai Steinberger: yes - for sure

2007-10-15 13:08:52.0 Nicole LaPorte: There's definitely a sese that Facebook, which was initially just for college kids, is now "graying." But I think that's inevitable. These sites start with the kids and then catch on with everyone else.

2007-10-15 13:08:56.0 Shai Steinberger: (not to your question - Administrator 2 - I was saying "yes" to Nicole

2007-10-15 13:09:25.0 Shai Steinberger: I was recently befriended on facebook by a high-school kid - that's new

2007-10-15 13:09:29.0 Shai Steinberger: it's going younger

2007-10-15 13:09:42.0 Administrator2: Please feel free to send your questions for Nicole LaPorte and Shai Steinberger!

2007-10-15 13:09:54.0 karma: what do you think the facebook and myspace phenomenon will lead to, in the long term?

2007-10-15 13:10:19.0 Shai Steinberger: I think you will artists getting more control over their careers - to a degree

2007-10-15 13:10:28.0 Shai Steinberger: and that is extraordinary

2007-10-15 13:10:32.0 Administrator2: Shai, what's the scariest thing about being the center of a Hollywood imbroglio?

2007-10-15 13:10:36.0 Shai Steinberger: if your'e great - you can get your stuff out there for people to see

2007-10-15 13:11:04.0 Shai Steinberger: I have a friend who is a model and she really utilizies her myspace profile to great effect

2007-10-15 13:11:09.0 Shai Steinberger: hahah

2007-10-15 13:11:13.0 Shai Steinberger: Jim Wiatt!

2007-10-15 13:11:50.0 Shai Steinberger: I like to think it's over now, but for all I know, my phones are tapped and someone in this chat room right now is a WMA employee

2007-10-15 13:12:03.0 karma: Shai, tell us more about your famed email.

2007-10-15 13:12:17.0 Shai Steinberger: well....since you asked so nicely

2007-10-15 13:12:23.0 Shai Steinberger: it was a funny thing really

2007-10-15 13:12:28.0 Shai Steinberger: ppl send these emails out all the time

2007-10-15 13:12:34.0 Shai Steinberger: and i usually find them obnoxious

2007-10-15 13:12:52.0 Shai Steinberger: ppl send out these long emails to the whole company, thanking their boss, their friends, their mentor

2007-10-15 13:13:01.0 Nicole LaPorte: Yeah, what anecdote or description of someone got the biggest reaction, good or bad?

2007-10-15 13:13:10.0 Shai Steinberger: and really - if you want to thank someone - you should just go over to taht ONE PERSON - and thaink them

2007-10-15 13:13:24.0 Shai Steinberger: hmmmmm....one anecdote

2007-10-15 13:13:25.0 Shai Steinberger: there are so many good ones

2007-10-15 13:13:39.0 olivia: we want a juicy one!

2007-10-15 13:13:51.0 Shai Steinberger: I probably shouldn't though - i have to be discreet

2007-10-15 13:14:01.0 Shai Steinberger: I signed a confidentiality agreement when I left WMA....too bad

2007-10-15 13:14:07.0 olivia: just a teaser then

2007-10-15 13:14:14.0 Shai Steinberger: i wish I could tell you

2007-10-15 13:14:33.0 Shai Steinberger: suffice it to say, almost every single person at the company found it hysterical and emailed me as much

2007-10-15 13:14:35.0 Nicole LaPorte: Have you inspired any other mass agency emails that you know of?

2007-10-15 13:14:40.0 Shai Steinberger: but there were one or two who were NOT PLEASED

2007-10-15 13:14:45.0 Shai Steinberger: I sure hope not

2007-10-15 13:14:59.0 olivia: anyone coming out ot the woood work since your new found fame shai?

2007-10-15 13:15:10.0 Shai Steinberger: I actually was concerend - I didn't want to start a new trend of assistants doing that - b/c that would really be disruptive of the Hollywood flow

2007-10-15 13:15:32.0 Shai Steinberger: coming out of the woodwork...explain

2007-10-15 13:15:53.0 Shai Steinberger: pls

2007-10-15 13:16:21.0 Nicole LaPorte: I think I asked you this on the phone, but I was pretty stunned -- about how many emails a day did you get at WMA? Or how many does your typical agent receive?

2007-10-15 13:16:27.0 olivia: someone you haven't heard from in a while

2007-10-15 13:16:31.0 Teepee: hmmmm....just read the email....don't see what the big deal is.

2007-10-15 13:16:49.0 Shai Steinberger: hahah - join the club

2007-10-15 13:17:01.0 Teepee: :)

2007-10-15 13:17:02.0 Shai Steinberger: I was genuinely shocked at how much press it got

2007-10-15 13:17:03.0 Shai Steinberger: BUT

2007-10-15 13:17:13.0 Shai Steinberger: I think Gina Piccalo got it right

2007-10-15 13:17:18.0 Shai Steinberger: the agencies are VERY secretive

2007-10-15 13:17:22.0 Teepee: so do you have another job lined up?

2007-10-15 13:17:27.0 Shai Steinberger: it's ALL ABOUT BEING BEHIND THE SCENES

2007-10-15 13:17:37.0 Shai Steinberger: YOU ARE NEVER SUPPOSED TO DRAW ATTENTION TO YOURSELF

2007-10-15 13:17:49.0 Shai Steinberger: (ONE OF THE REASONS I KNEW I'D BE A TERRIBLE AGENT :-))

2007-10-15 13:17:56.0 olivia: oh is that the rule in hollywood now?

2007-10-15 13:18:02.0 Shai Steinberger: so that email revealed a lot , considering....

2007-10-15 13:18:11.0 Shai Steinberger: for agents, definitely

2007-10-15 13:18:13.0 Teepee: it takes a special breed to be an Agent.

2007-10-15 13:18:22.0 Shai Steinberger: it's all about putting your client into the spotlight

2007-10-15 13:18:32.0 Shai Steinberger: not yourself

2007-10-15 13:18:54.0 Shai Steinberger: I think what's why Ovitz was so powerful in his heydey

2007-10-15 13:19:09.0 Shai Steinberger: i've read the books on him - he was a real private / secretive operator

2007-10-15 13:19:20.0 Shai Steinberger: no one ever knew what he was up to, what trick was up his slave

2007-10-15 13:19:42.0 Shai Steinberger: he would take random flights just to confuse people, so if somebody saw him in the airport, they wouldn't know where he was going

2007-10-15 13:19:49.0 Nicole LaPorte: Have you gotten any other work opportunities through Facebook?

2007-10-15 13:19:54.0 karma: slave...is that a Freudian slip?

2007-10-15 13:20:06.0 Shai Steinberger: hahahahahh

2007-10-15 13:20:08.0 Shai Steinberger: probably!

2007-10-15 13:20:09.0 Shai Steinberger: good call

2007-10-15 13:20:23.0 Shai Steinberger: only the tv pilot....so far

2007-10-15 13:20:27.0 vp19: In what ways has being an agent changed from the Golden Age, when the likes of Myron Selznick worked for stars like Carole Lombard? Is it significantly different with the end of the studio system?

2007-10-15 13:20:50.0 Shai Steinberger: i'm not well-versed enough in agency-history for that

2007-10-15 13:21:33.0 olivia: what about the present..do you see the agency world changing much in the near future?

2007-10-15 13:21:54.0 Nicole LaPorte: Wouldn't you say though, that today agents work more as teams? As you said, behind the scenes, the client first, etc. Agents are less personalities today. Certainly there's no Sue Mengers around.

2007-10-15 13:22:03.0 Shai Steinberger: actually, I have a lot of thoughts about that ;-)

2007-10-15 13:22:04.0 Shai Steinberger: YES

2007-10-15 13:22:10.0 Shai Steinberger: ok - lets talk about teams for a seconds

2007-10-15 13:22:36.0 Shai Steinberger: there 1:1 agent:client relationship is fast dissapearing

2007-10-15 13:22:46.0 Shai Steinberger: of course, there is always the POINT AGENT

2007-10-15 13:23:00.0 Shai Steinberger: that's the one who really communicates with the client most frequently, and directly

2007-10-15 13:23:24.0 Shai Steinberger: but most clients these days, especially the big ones, have teams of 4-5 agents working for them

2007-10-15 13:23:44.0 Shai Steinberger: it fosters teamwork, comraderie, sharing in client-commissions,

2007-10-15 13:23:55.0 Shai Steinberger: (theoretically at least)

2007-10-15 13:24:01.0 Shai Steinberger: there are still some old-timers though

2007-10-15 13:24:05.0 olivia: but do the clients like working with 4-5 agents??

2007-10-15 13:24:26.0 Nicole LaPorte: Shai, you can keep writing in the box even after it ends; I think that's why your stuff is coming in fragments. (Took me a while to figure that out.)

2007-10-15 13:24:31.0 Shai Steinberger: I would say yes

2007-10-15 13:24:36.0 karma: how do important clients contact their agents...email, phone, text?

2007-10-15 13:24:49.0 Shai Steinberger: it makes them feel more serviced, they have more eyes looking at projects for them, more brains thinking of their behalf

2007-10-15 13:24:54.0 Shai Steinberger: phone - almost always

2007-10-15 13:25:02.0 Shai Steinberger: but email is pretty popular these days too

2007-10-15 13:25:11.0 vp19: When an executive makes a controversial remark, such the recent Warners flareup over female leads in films, how do agents handle clients who may have deals with that company?

2007-10-15 13:25:15.0 Shai Steinberger: if it's serious - it's definitely phone - and if it's REALLY serious, it's in person

2007-10-15 13:25:53.0 Shai Steinberger: hmmmm....vp19 - i have not been in that situation ever, so I don't know....but I would guess that the client would have their agent put in a call

2007-10-15 13:25:55.0 Shai Steinberger: HYPOTHETICALLY

2007-10-15 13:26:02.0 karma: Is communicating by email considered a lesser position than phone?

2007-10-15 13:26:23.0 Shai Steinberger: definitely not - sometimes it might even be more intimate

2007-10-15 13:26:43.0 Shai Steinberger: b/c then the assistant is not on the phone (the assistant is ALWAYS lurking on the phone, he's just muted - and clients know that)

2007-10-15 13:26:54.0 Shai Steinberger: email is arguably MORE confidential than the phone

2007-10-15 13:26:57.0 James Schneider: back to the clients/agents thread: do agents feel threatened or happy when clients dig up or sniff out leads for themselves?

2007-10-15 13:27:23.0 Shai Steinberger: hmmmmm

2007-10-15 13:27:32.0 Shai Steinberger: I've seen it go both ways - excellent question

2007-10-15 13:27:46.0 Shai Steinberger: if it's something smart the client digs up, the agent is usually pleased

2007-10-15 13:27:59.0 Shai Steinberger: but i've seen clients come up with retarded ideas, much to the dismay of their agents

2007-10-15 13:28:19.0 James Schneider: with my (now former) agent, it was always a source of tension.

2007-10-15 13:28:31.0 karma: What is the minimum time in which an agent should respond to a client's email? And, does that time change depending on whether the client is important/profitable?

2007-10-15 13:29:06.0 Shai Steinberger: It really depends

2007-10-15 13:29:19.0 Shai Steinberger: a high-level client DEFINITELY gets his calls and emails returned RIGHT AWAY

2007-10-15 13:29:25.0 Shai Steinberger: I saw that EVERY SINGLE DAY

2007-10-15 13:29:45.0 Nicole LaPorte: Do agents text message with clients, or just each other?

2007-10-15 13:29:50.0 Shai Steinberger: there is a very obvious prioritization of clients, according to prestige, stature, and of course, money

2007-10-15 13:29:59.0 Shai Steinberger: nope - no texting

2007-10-15 13:30:02.0 James Schneider: curious now about what were/are some creative stall tactics? ;)

2007-10-15 13:30:03.0 Shai Steinberger: I NEVER saw that

2007-10-15 13:30:40.0 Nicole LaPorte: How can agents keep up with all their emails though? Don't they get thousands each day?

2007-10-15 13:30:43.0 Shai Steinberger: creative stall tactics?

2007-10-15 13:30:47.0 Shai Steinberger: yup

2007-10-15 13:31:08.0 Shai Steinberger: they ignore anyone that's low-level until later in the day or that night and then go through it all more carefully

2007-10-15 13:31:20.0 karma: So, if I'm a client, and I want to know where I stand in my agent's esteem.. what are the signs I should look for?

2007-10-15 13:31:35.0 James Schneider: well, yeah, if an agent wants to get back to a client, but, well, it's not a priority, but doesn't want to pis them off.

2007-10-15 13:31:40.0 Shai Steinberger: but some agents are VERY on top of their email situation and reply to each one as it comes in. that is very hard to sustain though, b/c as soon as an agent goes into a meeting - you fall behind

2007-10-15 13:32:01.0 Shai Steinberger: Karma - depends on the agent

2007-10-15 13:32:14.0 Shai Steinberger: they're all different

2007-10-15 13:32:18.0 James Schneider: doesn't the asst do much of the emailing for the agent anyway?

2007-10-15 13:32:32.0 Shai Steinberger: most agents will never make their client wait more than a day - its just common courtesy

2007-10-15 13:32:41.0 Shai Steinberger: NO - that is VERY rare

2007-10-15 13:32:45.0 Nicole LaPorte: Is it taboo to use your Blackberry in meetings?

2007-10-15 13:32:51.0 Shai Steinberger: only at the highest levels does that happen

2007-10-15 13:33:09.0 Shai Steinberger: JS - like, I beleive - Harvey Weinstein is one such person

2007-10-15 13:33:20.0 Shai Steinberger: his assistant sends out his emails - but that is TRULY RARE

2007-10-15 13:33:25.0 Shai Steinberger: (but dont' quote me on that)

2007-10-15 13:33:30.0 Shai Steinberger: NL - it looks bad but ppl do it

2007-10-15 13:33:34.0 James Schneider: no prob!

2007-10-15 13:33:45.0 Administrator2: Are there any current power-players who shun the latest technology? Or is that impossible in this day and age?

2007-10-15 13:33:52.0 Shai Steinberger: YES

2007-10-15 13:34:16.0 Shai Steinberger: which is obviously absurd

2007-10-15 13:34:27.0 Shai Steinberger: it's such easy technology to adopt

2007-10-15 13:34:37.0 Shai Steinberger: AND SO USEFUL - ESPECIALLY FOR AGENCIES

2007-10-15 13:34:48.0 James Schneider: but it probly helps to keep things straight to print em out ( for the agent)

2007-10-15 13:35:41.0 Shai Steinberger: you find out a role opens up - like, let's say, Nicole Kidman falls out of the lead of a major film - if just ONE person gets this highly time-sensitive info, he can IMMEDIATELY email the entire Motion Picture departmetn and let EVERYONE know and everyone can start thinking of a replacement, and pitching their clients

2007-10-15 13:35:51.0 Nicole LaPorte: I'd think it'd be hard to be a power player in Hollywood and not be digitized somehow. You simply have to be on top of information that's coming or going. That doesn't mean you have to own every single gadget, but certainly email and cell phone are required possessions.

2007-10-15 13:36:09.0 Shai Steinberger: CELL PHONE - without question

2007-10-15 13:36:24.0 Shai Steinberger: I think some old-timers, I KKNOW, some old-timers dont' use blackberries

2007-10-15 13:36:36.0 Shai Steinberger: (not even so old - some of them are in their 40's-50's)

2007-10-15 13:36:47.0 karma: What is the etiquette regarding gadgets ringing during meetings? Who is allowed to ring?

2007-10-15 13:36:56.0 Shai Steinberger: very rude

2007-10-15 13:37:03.0 Shai Steinberger: totally unaccpetable

2007-10-15 13:37:08.0 Shai Steinberger: b/c everyone has one

2007-10-15 13:37:22.0 James Schneider: but people have to take calls sometimes, right?

2007-10-15 13:37:32.0 karma: how about at meals?

2007-10-15 13:37:44.0 Shai Steinberger: so - it's a little presumptuous for someone to let their cell-phone ring or their blackberry buzz - as if their business is more important than everyone else's

2007-10-15 13:37:52.0 Shai Steinberger: meals - rude too

2007-10-15 13:37:53.0 Shai Steinberger: totally

2007-10-15 13:38:06.0 Shai Steinberger: not during meetings or meals - UNLESS

2007-10-15 13:38:15.0 Shai Steinberger: like Nicole said in her article yesterday -

2007-10-15 13:38:43.0 Shai Steinberger: a person can whip out their blackberry if its' SPECIFICALLY REGARDING SOMETHING THAT IS BEING DISCUSSED

2007-10-15 13:38:58.0 Teepee: when did you send out that email? Article said in August

2007-10-15 13:39:46.0 Shai Steinberger: for example: an agent is at lunch and pitches a young, lesser-known client to a studio-exec - and the studio exec says it's an interesting idea - the agent might take out his blackberry and email his assistant immediately: "Send Joe Shmo's materials to STacey Snider IMMEDIATELY"

2007-10-15 13:39:54.0 Shai Steinberger: hypothetically, of course

2007-10-15 13:40:10.0 Shai Steinberger: yup

2007-10-15 13:40:14.0 Shai Steinberger: Aug. 17th

2007-10-15 13:40:19.0 Shai Steinberger: but who's counting

2007-10-15 13:40:39.0 James Schneider: do you have an asst?

2007-10-15 13:40:54.0 Shai Steinberger: haha

2007-10-15 13:40:55.0 Shai Steinberger: no

2007-10-15 13:40:59.0 Shai Steinberger: i don't even have money!!!

2007-10-15 13:41:06.0 Shai Steinberger: i'm slowly starving to death

2007-10-15 13:41:13.0 Shai Steinberger: i have to sell my tv show and book SOON

2007-10-15 13:41:20.0 Shai Steinberger: before I move back in with my parents

2007-10-15 13:41:23.0 James Schneider: hows that going?

2007-10-15 13:41:27.0 Shai Steinberger: awesome

2007-10-15 13:41:41.0 Shai Steinberger: im working with incredibly smart funny guys on a new pilot

2007-10-15 13:41:45.0 Shai Steinberger: the book - is mine

2007-10-15 13:41:55.0 James Schneider: cool

2007-10-15 13:42:02.0 Shai Steinberger: i'm hoping it will be "The Devil Wears Prada" of Hollywood

2007-10-15 13:42:03.0 Nicole LaPorte: Are either one about the agency biz?

2007-10-15 13:42:12.0 Nicole LaPorte: ah. I guess so.

2007-10-15 13:42:14.0 Shai Steinberger: yes - the book

2007-10-15 13:42:41.0 Shai Steinberger: the book is going to be a work of fiction about a Jewish kid with an Ivy League education who works for two major talent-agencies in Hollywood

2007-10-15 13:43:03.0 Shai Steinberger: i don't know where I came up with that or where it came from

2007-10-15 13:43:08.0 Nicole LaPorte: Based on a friend of your's, huh?

2007-10-15 13:43:14.0 Shai Steinberger: exactly

2007-10-15 13:43:19.0 James Schneider: lots of research ahead i bet

2007-10-15 13:43:26.0 Shai Steinberger: tons

2007-10-15 13:43:31.0 Shai Steinberger: i don't know where to begin

2007-10-15 13:43:32.0 pug: fish out of water

2007-10-15 13:43:59.0 Shai Steinberger: i should be honest: i am an ENORMOUS fan of both the book and the film "Devil Wears Prada"

2007-10-15 13:44:22.0 James Schneider: what other sort of writing have you liked to do up til now?

2007-10-15 13:44:48.0 Shai Steinberger: in fact, when Nicole spoke about me emailing studio heads congratulating them about films - I had emailed Carla Hacken and Elizabeth GAbler on "TDWP" telling them how absolutely awesome I thought it was

2007-10-15 13:44:56.0 Shai Steinberger: it was a flawless movie

2007-10-15 13:44:59.0 Shai Steinberger: I much prefer reading books to scripts

2007-10-15 13:45:02.0 Shai Steinberger: reading scripts sucks, watching movies is awesome

2007-10-15 13:45:51.0 James Schneider: i presume you had already had an email relationship with those execs prior to sending them your congrats?

2007-10-15 13:46:01.0 Shai Steinberger: NOPE

2007-10-15 13:46:11.0 James Schneider: Cold?

2007-10-15 13:46:24.0 Shai Steinberger: it was an outrageous move. presumptous. and completely unorthodox. And like Nicole said, I was breaking the code. totally.

2007-10-15 13:46:29.0 Shai Steinberger: but they both replied

2007-10-15 13:46:49.0 Shai Steinberger: and thanked me for my email - I guess they liked it

2007-10-15 13:47:00.0 Shai Steinberger: it was the only time I did that

2007-10-15 13:47:18.0 James Schneider: how did you get their emails ?

2007-10-15 13:47:22.0 Shai Steinberger: not sure what got into me. I took a lot of risks that most assistants never do

2007-10-15 13:47:30.0 Nicole LaPorte: Did it help you forge a relationship with them? Inspire a lunch invitation?

2007-10-15 13:47:43.0 Shai Steinberger: if my book gets published (fingers crossed, hope hope) I will reveal some truly juicy stories of my crazy and unorthdox behavior

2007-10-15 13:48:06.0 Shai Steinberger: NL - you mean Elizabeth and Carla?

2007-10-15 13:48:17.0 Nicole LaPorte: yes

2007-10-15 13:48:30.0 Shai Steinberger: nope. just a some passionate love-letters.

2007-10-15 13:48:34.0 karma: What are an assistant's characteristics that lead to their success, i.e.becoming an agent?

2007-10-15 13:48:40.0 Nicole LaPorte: much better than lunch.

2007-10-15 13:48:44.0 Shai Steinberger: honestly?

2007-10-15 13:48:48.0 Shai Steinberger: of course

2007-10-15 13:48:59.0 Shai Steinberger: karma - i'll be blunt

2007-10-15 13:49:08.0 Shai Steinberger: YOU MUST BE A BITCH

2007-10-15 13:49:09.0 Shai Steinberger: competely and totally

2007-10-15 13:49:40.0 Shai Steinberger: that's why Prad was such a good book - it illustrated that in order for Anne Hathway's character to really, truly, do her job well - she had to drink the Cool-Aid

2007-10-15 13:49:55.0 Shai Steinberger: and that happened right after her awesome conversation with Stanley Tucci - GREAT SCENE - very real

2007-10-15 13:50:32.0 Shai Steinberger: your cell phone is always on, and you are always on call - like a doctor, but far less prestigious, and far less intelligent

2007-10-15 13:50:43.0 Shai Steinberger: weekends, nights - ALL THE TIME

2007-10-15 13:51:14.0 Nicole LaPorte: What was the weirdest or most inconvenient or odd place or situation you were in when you got a call from your boss?

2007-10-15 13:51:29.0 Shai Steinberger: you are ALWAYS on call - and the assistants who want it the most get to the finish line. It's not the smartest. It's not the "best" whatever that means. IT's the people who are TRULY obseqious and servile

2007-10-15 13:51:31.0 Shai Steinberger: which makes sense -b/c that is good preparation for being an agent

2007-10-15 13:52:00.0 Shai Steinberger: that's easy

2007-10-15 13:52:57.0 Shai Steinberger: I was wiht my parnets on vacation - and my boss called me- and that was weird - b/c I was away, and with my folks, and I didn't feel like I he was in charge of me, I was on vacation with my family - I felt liberated. But I had to remind myself that I was still his assistant even though I was on vacation

2007-10-15 13:53:32.0 Shai Steinberger: apologies for all these horrible spellings

2007-10-15 13:53:52.0 Nicole LaPorte: Yikes. That is very Devil Wears Prada -- the scene where she's having dinner with her dad.

2007-10-15 13:53:54.0 Shai Steinberger: I'm just trying to keep up with the questions

2007-10-15 13:54:02.0 Shai Steinberger: YES

2007-10-15 13:54:13.0 Shai Steinberger: NL - that book & movie were PRICELESS

2007-10-15 13:54:18.0 Shai Steinberger: so accurate

2007-10-15 13:54:40.0 Shai Steinberger: and it's SO weird when you're with your parents b/c they completely cannot relate

2007-10-15 13:54:42.0 Shai Steinberger: its totally foreign to them

2007-10-15 13:54:44.0 karma: spellings...brings me to a question: how literate regarding spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc. does an email between client & agent need to be?

2007-10-15 13:54:55.0 Shai Steinberger: zero

2007-10-15 13:54:56.0 Shai Steinberger: nill

2007-10-15 13:54:56.0 Shai Steinberger: nothing

2007-10-15 13:55:32.0 Shai Steinberger: nobody spell checks. it's VERY casual.

2007-10-15 13:55:55.0 Nicole LaPorte: Misspelling things makes you look busy and therefore important, to some degree anyway, right?

2007-10-15 13:56:05.0 Shai Steinberger: hahaha

2007-10-15 13:56:26.0 Shai Steinberger: there is a lot of little tricks that people do which make them seem busy & important - they crack me up

2007-10-15 13:56:27.0 Shai Steinberger: a few examples:

2007-10-15 13:56:51.0 Shai Steinberger: 1) yes...good idea.....i'll call you later....

2007-10-15 13:57:10.0 Shai Steinberger: it's the dotted line routine - makes seen INCREDIBLY busy but totally on it

2007-10-15 13:57:17.0 karma: what is the style? Does an email start with Hi Tom, or no greeting, or what?

2007-10-15 13:57:38.0 Nicole LaPorte: I have an important email question. What is the sequel to "LOL"? It seems so old. There must be something new.

2007-10-15 13:57:51.0 Shai Steinberger: 2) this is just hilarious - male agents signing their emails xoxoxoxo (at least I think that's funny) - and making believe that there is enormous affection there

2007-10-15 13:57:52.0 Shai Steinberger: haha

2007-10-15 13:58:01.0 Shai Steinberger: NL - do you watch "Califronication"?

2007-10-15 13:58:12.0 Shai Steinberger: Duchovny talks about that

2007-10-15 13:58:27.0 Nicole LaPorte: Does he come up with a new term?

2007-10-15 13:58:49.0 Nicole LaPorte: Maybe I'll watch now. I'd been resisting.

2007-10-15 13:59:27.0 Administrator2: Chatters, we'll need to wrap up in a few minutes...so send any last questions for Nicole and Shai now.

2007-10-15 13:59:36.0 Shai Steinberger: no - he bemoans the end of the English language - that it's all be lost and replaced by a new digital lingo with cell phones, texts, blackberries, im'ing

2007-10-15 14:00:00.0 Shai Steinberger: btw - I have a website coming soon where you can always reach me: www.theshaishow.com

2007-10-15 14:00:05.0 karma: Nicole, your article was hilarious.

2007-10-15 14:00:23.0 Nicole LaPorte: Oh. I don't care about that. I just need to keep up with my teenage nieces.

2007-10-15 14:00:26.0 James Schneider: definitely

2007-10-15 14:00:37.0 Nicole LaPorte: thank you, karma.

2007-10-15 14:00:40.0 James Schneider: the article, not the nieces

2007-10-15 14:00:50.0 vp19: Shai, speaking of Ivy League, in getting an agent job, how important is it to go to the "right" college these days?

2007-10-15 14:00:54.0 Nicole LaPorte: I would hope!

2007-10-15 14:01:02.0 Shai Steinberger: NL - was the illustrations in the LA Times supposed to be Matsuhisa?

2007-10-15 14:01:30.0 Shai Steinberger: vp - ZERO. nothing. nada. zip. it's all about WHO you know. WHO your daddy plays golf wiith.

2007-10-15 14:01:34.0 Nicole LaPorte: good question.. not sure. very likely, as that's such an industry hot spot.

2007-10-15 14:01:36.0 Shai Steinberger: ivy league is the exception to the rule

2007-10-15 14:02:35.0 Administrator2: We'll wrap up now; thank you for coming, and thank you, Nicole and Shai! If you missed any of today's chat, you can find the transcript at http://www.latimes.com/features/magazine

2007-10-15 14:02:49.0 Administrator2: It'll be posted there later today.

2007-10-15 14:02:51.0 Shai Steinberger: thanks all

2007-10-15 14:03:06.0 Nicole LaPorte: Thank you!

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