Celebrity Estate Management is a unique lifestyle. It’s a choice to work crazy hours for creative people who invent and re-imagine more interesting versions of the world around us. There’s a ying and yang between EMs and Celebrities; we’re mission-focused organization junkies rooted in reality and they’re spontaneous, carefree spirits who exist in a world of make-believe. We balance each other out.
We are, as needed, their gatekeepers, ambassadors, contract negotiators, interior designers, construction managers, tech gurus, brokers, handymen, and hand-holders. We’re expected to have all of the answers and all of the resources needed to get our jobs done. We have extensive lists of numbers in our little black books; vendor numbers, tail numbers, VIN numbers, studio numbers, opening box office numbers, and of course, the accountant’s number. We make it happen. The answer is always yes, and we do not wait in line.
Being a CEM is a 30 / 70 benefit / burden ratio. If you can cut it though, the benefits are great. I’ve seen priceless private art collections, tried on one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, attended intimate concerts with iconic talent, and enjoyed sushi and champagne in my Academy Award-nominated bosses’ private 50-seat screening room on Oscar night. I’ve worked in locations frequented by the .001%, driven priceless rare cars (my favorite was a 1972 Ferrari Daytona Berlinetta), and had a 160ft Feadship and crew all to myself on a return leg from the Seychelles. All during a day’s work.
That list goes on, but it was hard-earned, and it’s not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams. We are on-call 24/7/365. And call, they do. We get calls at 4 am from frantic 3rd wives on yachts in the Mediterranean wondering if sofa fabric has come in, who then giggle at the fact that they forgot what time zone they were in. The phone rings again at 5 when the Mr. can’t find his driver outside his hotel in Dubai, and then at 6 when the housekeeper forgets the alarm code when she comes to clean and at 7 when the contractors arrive on site and need answers… And so the day begins.
I’ve worked 27 hours straight coordinating a 12-hour party that ended with breakfast, flown a personal item from LA to Paris, only to drop it with the PA at the airport and fly back, and slept in a flooding basement to keep drying and resetting the moisture sensor so the family wouldn’t be interrupted by an alarm in the middle of the night. I have storage in 3 states & know exactly what I need to fit into the 6 plastic bins that fit in the back of my SUV in case I need to spend a week in an empty apartment until my things arrive. I have pre-packed suitcases based on weather, resources based on time zones, and get-togethers based on layovers.
At the end of the day, you’ll likely find me feet up on a sofa, beer in hand, watching mindless TV while planning for the next day. (My show of the moment is F1 Drive to Survive on Netflix.) There are times when I think life seems to be passing by quickly, and then I’ll think to myself: anything less would be complete boredom for me.