Over the course of my career, or more properly careers, I have had many jobs. I have been hopping around looking for job nirvana and it came late. I tried my hand at teaching but found that I disliked the formality involved. You stand in front of staring eyes evaluating your every word. I liked the students who were near my age and apparently they liked me. It became a social opportunity and not a step in a forward direction.
I lasted for a while and became a professor but it seemed like a stuffy title and way too dignified. Times were achangin’ as they said way back when. I got out in time to restart my life and to turn things in a new direction. Haven’t you ever wanted to do that? Oddly enough, the next job was in an art gallery in Hollywood. The clientele included Bruce Springsteen, Jack Nicholson, and loads of other celebrities. The most fun were the songwriting team of Stoller and Leiber who wrote hits in the fifties like Poison Ivy and Splish Splash. There are so many that someone made a musical, Smokey Joe’s Café, about the songs that runs in small theaters are over the country from time to time. I wrote press releases, showed and sold art, and mounted exhibits that would knock people dead. Steve Martin was my friend and a great collector. The economy crashed just as I was getting used to this kind of fun and I had to move on.
I landed in a dermatology office and learned how to repair the skin on the face with proprietary creams. I did accounting, organized the office, billed clients, and took inventory. Decades later I still go to the famous dermatologist who is world famous for his techniques. I love learning new things on the job and hated leaving when my former boss, the art gallery owner, married a billionaire and invited me to join the household as manager of the eight-person staff. I planned parties and spent loads of money on entertaining famous music world guests like Yoyo Ma and Jimmy Galway, who became my friend. I got to follow the Los Angeles Philharmonic to Paris along with other supporters like the billionaire and his wife. How lucky can you get? Talk about job perks!
When the couple divorced, my idealized world fell apart and once again I was on the job market, a few gray hairs later. Meanwhile I was giving stories about stars to the National Enquirer like the time I met Cher in Neiman Marcus. We were looking at the same skirt and Cher remarked about the high price. “Maybe Madonna can afford it” she quipped. I just laughed. Now it was time to get serious and I went into public relations because I think of myself as a writer. I still do freelance work today. The agency specialized in hospitality and I got to enjoy free stays and meals in all sorts of fabulous places. Believe it or not, I didn’t stay as much as I loved the work. You would find me at a hair restoration clinic next in Beverly Hills. More celebrities like Anthony Hopkins, my personal favorite, and another medical environment. Baseball legend Steve Garvey became my friend. I found candidates for the hair procedure so we could film it for the company’s ads. Now my perk was free shampoo. I stayed a long time before entering the investment business first as a stockbroker, then a manager, and finally an insurance agent. I ended up founding my own business which still exists. I can have lunch at the Beverly Hills hotel nearby and watch the celebs that sun themselves by the pool. The hotel is the home of the famed Polo Lounge where Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis dine. More stars than the Milky Way.
Yes, it has been a checkered career but I enjoyed the people and the places each and every time. Living in California means constant exposure to TV and film people. They are part of your life. I am glad that I made a career out of it.