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Your Car, The Mobile Office

As a PA, you’ll spend 95% of your time between two places – your desk and your car.

I try to keep my desk as clean as possible. My car is a different story. Until very recently, my car was a danger zone. Receipts, fast food bags, empty water bottles (don’t tell the Green PA) littered the floor of my car. My gym clothes, crew lists, and a trove of used Google map printouts lay strewn in all the corners of my Toyota. Then – on Friday – my boss sent me to pick up Joe Buck the EP from a tech scout.

When I got there, Joe Buck pulls me aside and asks, “Is there room in your car for [the Director]?”

Gulp…

This pretty much sums up the look on my face

I raced back to my car and threw everything – EVERYTHING – in the trunk (including the directions, forcing me to find my way back to the office by memory). As the Oscar-winning director got into the front seat of my car, he said, “I hope nobody sees me. They’re gonna think I’m on crack.”

Thanks a lot, dude, but this is my office you’re talking about.

Two Training Day references in two weeks.
"You in the office, baby."

Since then, I’ve tried to keep my car as clean as I keep my desk. It makes sense. Since Friday, I’ve limited my car clutter to the following:

  1. Crew list
  2. Phone charger

Everything else just gets in the way.

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5 Responses

  1. I once had a producer tell me he’d need therapy if he kept his car as messy as mine was (the take-out bags were threatening to crawl over the back of my seat and attack me). I told him if he ever got into a locations guy’s car that wasn’t a mess, it was a strong indication that the guy was taking long liesurely lunches instead of doing his job.

    Another time, years ago, I was under the gun to find a particular location and when I walked into it, I knew I’d finally found the place. I called the office and the Powers-That-Be all jumped into a van and flew right out to look at it. After a round of backslapping, most of them got into the van to head back to the office but the UPM stayed with me to work out some details. When we were done, I realized I was going to have to drive him back in my car — a teeny-tiny little Honda CRX. This would have been fine except the UPM was over 6’5″ and 400lbs. He managed to shoehorn himself in, but the car settled onto the wheels on his side and wouldn’t move without scraping the tread off the tires. We ended up hanging out while the office sent the van back for him.

    D’oh!

  2. My car was once broken into a few days before a once-in-a-hundred-year storm. Unable to seal the rear window, I ended up with a two inch puddle in the foot well in front of the back seat.

    It was in this situation that I was asked to ferry the UPM and EP back and forth from a set that was forty miles away.

    I did not shine that day.

  3. I drive a Smart Car, which seems to be a source of much amusement for every HoD, actor and director who’s ever been taxied around inside it. Including one ridiculously tall actor on a high-profile tv show who spent most of a 20-minute ride bumping his head against the roof. The second AD was rolling around when he saw this guy peeling himself out of my car.

  4. One time I had to give Joe Buck the EP a ride to the airport, in my small two seater truck. It was clean, just not a huge black SUV. He took one look at it and opted to get production to spring for a cab.

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