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The Mailroom

The Mailroom
Your Price: $25.95 CDN
Author: David Rensin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 464
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 0345442350
ISBN-13: 9780345442352

About the Book:

Here's a book for all those languishing in jobs at the bottom of the ladder – The Mailroom: Big Dreams and Raw Ambition in Hollywood's Power Boot Camp. It's like a plot from a Hollywood potboiler: start out in the mailroom, end up a cinema titan. Don't laugh. For dozens of Hollywood's brightest, it happens to be true. Some of the biggest names in entertainment – including David Geffen, Barry Diller, Michael Ovitz, and a host of others – started their dazzling careers as trainees in the mailrooms at high-powered talent agencies. In this fascinating book, veteran Hollywood writer David Rensin travels behind the scenes and through sixty-five years of show business history to tell the real stories of the marvellous careers that began – and in some cases ended – in the mailroom.

Based on more than two hundred interviews, David Rensin unfolds the never-before-told history of an American institution – in the voices of the people who lived it. Through nearly seven decades of glamour and humiliation, lousy pay and incredible perks, killer egos and a kill-or-be-killed ethos, you'll go where the trainees go, learn what they must do to get ahead, and hear the best insider stories from the Hollywood everyone knows about but no one really knows. The kids use their low station in The Mailroom to snoop through company files, open personal letters, meet stars and ingratiate themselves to the higher-ups by kissing ass at every chance.

The Mailroom is a strong metaphor for the corporate world of show business, and for the corporate world in general. The lessons learned at times cross the boundaries of any large business operation. The book reveals why Harvard MBAs have been been known to turn down secure six-digit corporate salaries to start work at a major agency for a few hundred dollars a week and the glamour of the mailroom; what it takes to appease impossible bosses, outsmart the competition, and "agent" the agents; and how a hungry, star-struck kid can become the next Geffen or Diller by sorting mail, eavesdropping on crucial conversations, and trying anything to get noticed.

Full of revealing stories and delicious dish, The Mailroom is not only a non-stop, engrossing read, but a crash course, taught by the experts, on how to succeed in Hollywood through hard work, shrewd manipulation, and a hell of a lot of nerve. The Mailroom is classic Hollywood – a vibrant and complex tapestry of dreams, desire, exploitation, power, and genuine talent. If you want to know who rules Hollywood and how they got their power, if you want to know how to start with nothing and get ahead in any business, this is the book you must read.

What people say:

"Entertaining, instructive, and irresistible ... Readers will feast on plenty of name-dropping ... and hair-raising accounts of backstabbing." — Variety

"Fascinating ... A bracing lesson in the acquisition and exercise of power ... with a big emphasis on the maxim that what doesn't kill you will make you stronger." — Los Angeles Times

"Shameless schmoozing, casting couch know-how, plotting and hustling are all detailed in The Mailroom." — The New York Post

"A riotous history of all the Hollywood movers and players who came into the industry through the mailrooms of the big talent agencies." — The Globe and Mail

"As the maven of the mailroom, David Rensin puts forth an often-hilarious glimpse of life at the bottom." — Peter Bart, film journalist

About the Author:

David Rensin is the New York Times bestselling author or coauthor of several books, including The Mailroom. He has served as collaborator with many celebrities, including musician/composer Yanni, war hero Louis Zamperini, and comedians Tim Allen, Garry Shandling, Chris Rock, and Jeff Foxworthy.