I just ran across an interview I did in 2008 with Norm Goldman (bookpleasures.com). He covered a lot of valuable territory so I have decided to reprint parts of the interview here on the blog every Wednesday for the next month.
Hope you find it enjoyable and informative.
I understand that for the past ten years you have been the personal assistant to Louise L. Hay. How did you get the job? What does a typical day look like for you, from waking to turning in at night, and how does it compare to a conventional 9 to 5 job?
Believe it or not, Miss Hay put an ad in her local newspaper and I answered it! It was fate really. The ad was in the wrong edition of the paper. Miss Hay was moving to southern part of San Diego and the ad was supposed to be in the southern edition, but it was in the northern edition by mistake and I read it.
I kid you not, my cover letter to her said, I can deal with divas, call me – and she did! No day is typical. I can tell you, now that I’ve been with her for almost ten years [will be 13 this November], I do have a bit of a routine, but it can change at any moment.
Since she is a public speaker, some days our focus is on getting her ready for that. She was recently on Oprah, for example. So it was getting her to the private jet, making sure there’s a car at the other end of the trip to pick her up, making sure the Oprah people knew her schedule, etc. On other days, we may just spend most of the day reading grant proposals from people seeking funds from her charity, The Hay Foundation. I oversee that foundation and we love hearing from people who are doing great work in the world, and we look at how we can assist them with their vision. (www.hayfoundation.org).
What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?
I guess the biggest challenge I had was wondering what my peers in the industry would think about my writing about what is sometimes considered a “secret society”. I truly wanted to show assistants in a positive light.
The entire culture of celebrity and their assistants is often approached as when in which it is a very mysterious relationship. I know that mystery is part of entertainment, but I just feel the time is right for one of us to step out of the shadows and tell the truth. By the way, I love my job and I have a strong bond with the other celebrity personal assistants I know. We love what we do. We are of service to people who are providing a service out there in the universe. Whether it be to a UNICEF ambassador, an athlete, a political figure, and, yes, to entertainers, we feel honored to make their lives a little less stressful so they can do what they do.
It is said that writers should write what they know. Were there any elements of the book that forced you to step out of your comfort zone, and if so, how did you approach this part of the writing?
I hate to toot my own horn, but I had no problem with writing about this subject at all! I’ve been wanting to find a way to share what had worked for me and many other celebrity personal assistants and there just appeared a moment in time when I felt the time was now.