From the Desk of…

Oct 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: Columns

You have to wonder about cinema’s underclass, those helpful servant and offscreen plot-assistants who toil tirelessly for the heroes; often they’re not only unsung, but actively frustrated, by the hero, though we never hear a word about it. The movies are knee-deep with supporting characters whose presence just raises more questions than it answers.

Here, we’ve scored some exclusive documentation from some of movie’s most put-upon bit players, who are probably questioning some of their career choices.

Box office rep, Phantom of the Opera

“Yes, good afternoon, madam, happy to serve you and your husband, whose patronage we value greatly. We’re staging Hannibal this fall, would you like tickets?”

“I’m so sorry, we’re no longer doing Hannibal due to a change of management, but the Paris Opera would be happy to offer you tickets to Il Muto! It’s starring Carlotta, and is sure to be a smash hit.

“My apologies, this is the Paris Opera – we’ve just had notice of a casting change for the Countess effective immediately; the new lead is going to be Christine Daae, a newcomer, so that will be a lovely discovery for our patrons!”

“Dear madam, please excuse the interruption, but due to some set-construction, staffing, and lighting issues at last night’s performance, we’ll be shutting the theatre for a few days. Of course we’ll be happy to redeem your tickets in the next week or so, to see either Carlotta or Miss Daae in Il Muto!”

“Yes, hello, this is the Paris Opera house again, I’m so sorry to trouble you, but Il Muto and the rest of our fall repertoire has actually been scrapped in favor of a new opera, Don Juan Triumphant, by a debut composer! What a thrill for you, our theatregoers, and I hope you’d like to keep your tickets? Opening night is sure to be delightful!”

“Madam, this is the Paris Opera calling, hoping none of the police action or chandelier casualties at last night’s show has changed your mind about supporting next year’s season? Please give us a call back at your earliest convenience.”

Rohan’s Prime Minister of Hairdressing, The Lord of the Rings

My Lady Eowyn,

I write you this note with all the respect and deference Your Highness deserves, but I have just had another undermaid leave Rohan forever and risk the vast plains alone rather than attempt to detangle Your Highness’s hair. Of course, Your Highness is welcome to stand outside in our punishing winds as many hours a day as she chooses. However, may I remind you that for all its well-known glory and renown, our incomparable city is not infinite, and there is a limited supply of young ladies that can be brought into Your Highness’s service, as most of them lack the upper-arm strength for the position. I ask for your patience as we begin the search for a replacement. I am forever your humble servant, etc.

My Lord Eomer,

Please permit me to address you, with humility and appreciation for Your Lordship’s greatness. Your squire is our kingdom’s most loyal, and I know he would give his life for Your Lordship. However, I did not know how to answer when last I spoke with him about Your Lordship’s personal care. Perhaps, not only for his sake but for your own, Your Lordship might consider cutting his hair so that his helm may be placed more quickly, and the source of wounds to the head and chest be discovered more quickly without sorting through Your Lordship’s lengthy tresses. I am not tactician, but I know Your Lordship’s squire fears for your life, and for his ability to find suitable shampoo in the field of battle. I am forever your humble servant, etc.

My Lord Legolas,

Please allow me to offer myself most anxiously and enthusiastically to your service, or the service of any of your people. Yours sincerely.

Lestat’s assistant, The Queen of the Damned

To Whom it May Concern:

I would like to apply for the position of personal assistant to the lead singer of your band.

I am experienced in the role, having been personal assistant to The Vampire Lestat until his recent decision to retire from the business. In general, my duties included household management, groupie wrangling, and providing meals, not that the latter two were at all related, because of course the vampire thing was just a gimmick I completely support but is obviously not a real aspect of his life at all. Well-honed skills I have include finding remote and private locations as sanctuaries for my clients, and ability to cram a remarkable amount of cargo, often two five-and-a-half foot black plastic duffel bags at a time, into even the smallest vehicles.

I am currently seeking a position that would allow me to make use of some of these skills in a combination different from that of my last employer, who was very fiscally generous but who often overstepped professional boundaries. I understand the life of a musician, and I will be the best possible assistant – I routinely go above and beyond my job description – but I expect the same sort of respect for privacy from my employer as I give in return. Live and let live, is my motto, and I have recently come to mean that in a completely non-metaphorical way.

That said, this looks like an ideal position for my talents, and the position sounds extremely exciting.I especially look forward to the many travel opportunities this position would provide, as I would love an expedient reason to leave the country unobtrusively.

Financially, my salary is flexible, though I would like the opportunity to set up and contribute to an employer-funded 401k program, as I have started to place an increasing amount of importance on my financial future; I know no one lives forever, but just in case.

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.