How to Be a High-Powered Literary Agent, by a Crazy Person

Hamilton Nolan · 11/28/11 03:31PM

Earlier today, our office receptionist got a call from a secretive man demanding my phone number, though he wouldn't say why. (She thought he sounded angry, though perhaps he was just excited.) He settled for my email address, and sent the following message:

Today On Martha: Puppy Yoga

Seth Abramovitch · 01/27/09 09:11PM

· So Martha's pissed at Gawker, but as far as we know she still loves Defamer and wants us on her show just as soon as her schedule allows. Meanwhile: Puppy Beagle Yoga! ZOMG!

Hey, Ari: Hope You're Enjoying That Power-Breakfast Bagel!

Seth Abramovitch · 11/19/08 04:45PM

Behold the splendor that is Mark "The Cobrasnake" Hunter, splayed in nothing but skivvies and white loafers across the fabled Endeavor conference table. (40-foot long Corian, white laminated glass, stainless steel, hand-carved by an ancient order of Unicorn Panda craftsmen—you know the one.)And how did the ubiquitous hipster documentarian penetrate the inner sanctum of Hollywood's Wormhole to the White House™? We're not entirely sure, but we know partner Tom Strickler signed off on it, and even answered some interview questions left for him on a whiteboard. (Cobrasnake: "What is the best advice you can offer someone starting in the mail room at Endeavor?" Strickler: "Work work work work work work.") There's also some great shots of life behind the scenes at the Hollywood power-brokerage—everything from 189-line telephones to bedraggled assistants to Strickler and his team of hardworking baby-devourers themselves. Ari Emanuel, however, is nowhere to be found. Nice work, Cobrasnake! Now put some pants on. More photos:

'Top Hollywood Agent' Really A Small-Time Accused Brad Pitt Penis-Mocker

Hamilton Nolan · 11/06/08 12:41PM

Some dude in Hollywood named Todd Shemarya is getting sued by his ex-assistant, who claims that he sexually harassed her and was a big racist and walked around naked at work and several other unsavory things. The original story noted that Shemarya's firm " bills itself as the "number one" talent agency in the world" that claims to represent a slew of A-List stars like Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Naturally this snowballed, and yesterday Page Six called Shemarya "A TOP Hollywood talent agent - whose roster includes Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Aniston and Matthew McConaughey." But one brave writer at Variety had the balls to point out: Todd Shemarya is nobody:

20 Rahm Emanuel Fun Facts For A New, Ari-Friendly White House

Seth Abramovitch · 11/05/08 05:03PM

With news that Rep. Rahm Emanuel—fourth-ranking Democrat and brother to Endeavor head and sporadic HuffPo grump Ari Emanuel—is mulling President-elect Barack Obama's offer to be his chief of staff, we thought we'd help you cram with this list of some essential and less-essential Rahm knowledge: 1. Their father is an Israel-born pediatrician, their mother a former X-ray technician, a onetime rock club owner, and a civil rights activist. She would take her sons along on the demonstrations if they were peaceful. 2. They grew up poor, leaving one apartment because it was rat-infested, and another because neighbors complained that the three Emanuel boys were too rambunctious. 3. He lost half of his right middle finger after a meat-slicer accident while working at Arby's as a teenager. It happened on prom night, and led to a bone and blood infection that nearly took his life. His fever went as high as 106.4. Rahm is the inspiration for Bradley Whitford's character Josh Lyman on The West Wing. 5. He was encouraged to take ballet lessons as a boy, and he excelled at it so much, he eventually won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet. He turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College. 6. He worked on Paul Simon's 1984 Senate bid. 7. He volunteered in Israel during the Gulf War, and was assigned to rust-proof breaks at an army base. 8. The same year, he convinced Bill Clinton to put off campaigning in New Hampshire to raise funds instead. It was a strategy credited with winning Clinton the election. 9. He acted as a senior advisor in the Clinton regime from 1993 to 1998, but was demoted one year after Clinton took office. After the '96 election, he planned on quitting, but Clinton gave him George Stephanopoulos's post as senior advisor for policy and strategy. 10. During his 1992 run for Congress, Edward Moskal, president of the Polish American Congress, called him a "millionaire carpetbagger who knows nothing [about] our heritage." He also falsely claimed that Rahm was a dual Israeli citizen and fought in their army. 11. He was named DCCC chairman in 2005, and butted heads with DNC chair Howard Dean over Dean's "50-state" strategy—in one heated exchange, Rahm even lobbed an F-bomb and stormed out of the room. 12. Torn over who to support in a Presidential bid between longtime friend Hillary and home-state senator Barack, Rahm said, "I'm hiding under the desk. I'm very far under the desk, and I'm bringing my paper and my phone." 13. He practices Orthodox Judaism with his wife, Amy Rule, and their three children, Zacharias, Ilana, and Leah. 14. He's a triathlete. 15. His name means "high" in Hebrew. 16. He doesn't recommend that colleagues appear on The Colbert Report, though he himself has appeared numerous times on The Daily Show. 17. His date of birth is November 29th, 1959. 18. He has photos of sunsets in his office and David Gray on his iPod. 19. He's quick with a zinger. Example: On the Clinton Days: "Back then, stimulus and package had a whole different meaning." "I've spent more alone time with Bill than Hillary." On Fred Thompson: "He had an interesting take on No Child Left Behind. He married one." 20. His nickname is Rahmbo. Even his mother uses it.

UTA Riles Some With Its 'Black Boy Chained To Monkey' Lobby Portrait

Seth Abramovitch · 10/15/08 11:00AM

Nikki Finke ran a story yesterday about a controversial portrait hung in UTA's new 4th floor gallery. The project is the brainchild of partner Jeremy Zimmer—whom, she points out, has courted controversy before, back in the days when he'd ignore "the complaints of women...when he used to urinate out the window of UTA's old offices." (Is that an issue? We've never heard a peep out of the smog-test facility guys beneath Defamer HQ.) The photograph in question, "Dayaba Usman With The Monkey Clear, Nigeria 2005" (pictured above), was taken by a South African photographer of some renown, Pieter Hugo. Some staffers were offended, and demanded it come down:

Ridley Scott Heads Back To The Future

Seth Abramovitch · 10/13/08 03:05PM

· Ridley Scott's first sci fi film since Alien and Blade Runner will be The Forever War, a project delayed for decades over book rights. Please God let it not star Russell Crowe. [Variety] · The 24th Mipcom festival was overshadowed by economic tsuris, but reps from the American TV industry are remaining optimistic, saying, "C'mon—Desperate Housewives catfights are universal and depression-proof. Am I wrong?" [Variety] After the jump: Which agent kissed off WMA, taking her highish-profile client list to UTA?· Rachel Getting Married and Religulous's healthy performance at the box office—to say nothing of Kirk Cameron's fireman-wife-God love triangle movie Fireproof—mark a new Golden Age for specialty cinema. Hooray for Specialtywood! [Variety] · After two weeks of ratings declines, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters have plateaued. [THR] · Theresa Peters—-the agent of James McAvoy, Kirsten Dunst, Mandy Moore, Joshua Jackson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan—left WMA, and joined UTA as a partner, adding a couple of semi-heavy-hitters to its recent gets of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus and Seth Green. [THR]

Achieve Your Dream Of Picking Up Some Asshole's Dog's Dry Cleaning Via The UTA Job List Blog

Seth Abramovitch · 10/07/08 06:32PM

For many just starting out in Hollywood, the journey begins somewhat inauspiciously at the UTA job list: It's a precious catalog of the latest assistant openings, hand-lettered on babyskin parchment scrolls, sealed in scarlet wax pressed in the agency's pregnancy-test-reminiscent logo, and handed off at twilight between cloaked agency footmen on foggy stretches of Pico Blvd. But you're in luck, because now it's also a blog! Let's see what the assistant-needy are looking for today:

Sorry, He'll Have to Return

cityfile · 09/17/08 12:53PM

If your agent at William Morris isn't returning your calls today, don't be too concerned. It's "volunteer day" at the agency, which means the next season of Entourage may very well feature of scene of Ari Gold feeding homeless people in South Central. [Deadline Hollywood]

Seth Abramovitch · 08/26/08 01:30PM

Whooop! Whooop! CAA Kitchen Fire! Just when you had been lulled into a false sense of Death Star culinary confidence—positive that no incendiary Chinese appetizers would again engulf the TV lit department in thick clouds of cabbage-and-pork-scented smoke—comes this CAA! Kitchen! Fire! Deathtrap! Exclusive! "Subject: CAA can't cook! they set fire to their kitchen and got evacuated!" We ask that you remain calm at this time, until we get a full headcount (just the agents, obviously—not assistants); commuters in the Century City area, meanwhile, are instructed to keep as far away from the scene as possible, regardless of how enticing those wafting, mouth-watering gusts of BBQ baby meat might be. [Defamer]

E! Host Giuliana Rancic Sues WMA For Daring to Employ Other Clients

Kyle Buchanan · 08/05/08 06:00PM

There are certain universal truths about Hollywood agents: namely, that they never pick up your phone calls, deal with you mostly through their assistants, and always seem to be finding work for people who aren't you. Sadly, E! bobblehead Giuliana Rancic (who we last saw announcing the death of "Brad Redfro" while dressed in a somber tube top) has failed to grasp that last tenet — in fact, she's suing her agents at William Morris for having the audacity to focus on anyone but her. Says Page Six:

Warners Buys 'Drink, Play, F@&k' On Strength Of Title Alone

Seth Abramovitch · 08/05/08 02:10PM

· Warner Bros. purchased the rights to the upcoming book Drink, Play, F@#K, a parody of chick-lit bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, in which a man "goes on a bender in Ireland, takes a gambling jaunt to Las Vegas and a embarks on a sex-tourism trip to Thailand." The hope is to launch a new guy-friendly franchise, with a sequel—Puke, Broke, AIDS—already in the works. [THR]
· Incomprehensible-pirate-trilogy-directing genius Gore Verbinski has signed a three-year deal with Universal, where his adaptation of the videogame Bioshock is currently in development. [Variety]
· Mark Ruffalo, last of the great Ruffalos that once covered the majestic American plains, will direct Sympathy for Delicious, about "a paralyzed DJ struggling to survive in his wheelchair on the streets of L.A." We think we can picture it: Sort of Wheels meets Glitter. [Variety]
· Aging tween idol Amanda Bynes has shaken free of CAA's deathlock embrace, disappointed that the best material they've brought her in the past six months is a script for She's The Man 2: Basic Training and an opportunity to parody the Nikki Blonsky airport beatdown on Mad TV. [THR]
·CBS is hoping to develop a series based on the book Confessions of a Contractor, but producers keep pushing up the pilot finish date and demanding more money if they expect the wiring to meet city standards. (Honk!) [Variety]