Entertainment news for September 12, 1997 | EW.com

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Entertainment news for September 12, 1997

Celebrity personal assistants made headlines this week

In Hollywood, you’re no one unless you’re a player — or an assistant to one. Given that, the Learning Annex offers a semi-regular seminar in New York and L.A. called ”Become a Celebrity Personal Assistant.” Some skinny picked up at an L.A. workshop: The average assistant is female, 38, earns $42,600 a year, and works 10 hours a day, often seven days a week. Pagers are de rigueur — Kim Basinger’s PA, Rena Haskins, was beeped twice during the three-hour class. And sometimes the duties can be questionable. ”Some assistants have been asked to secure prostitutes and roll joints,” cautions course moderator Rita Tateel, chief adviser to the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants. Still, there are perks. When Basinger took ill, Haskins got to be Alec Baldwin’s date at the Ghosts of Mississippi premiere. And Fernando Cubillas, Edward James Olmos’ assistant, played opposite the actor in Selena. How do you become a celebrity assistant? The pros suggest getting to know stars by taking an entry-level job at a talent agency, management company, or PR firm. Another avenue: Call celebrity assistants to see if they need…an assistant.