The Mailroom by David Rensin
Hollywood History from the Bottom Up

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It’s like a plot from a Hollywood potboiler: start out in the mailroom, end up a mogul. But for many, it happens to be true. Some of the biggest names in entertainment—including David Geffen, Barry Diller, and Michael Ovitz— started their dazzling careers in the lowly 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. A vibrant tapestry of dreams, desire, and exploitation, The Mailroom is not only an engrossing read but a crash course, taught by the experts, on how to succeed in Hollywood.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About David Rensin

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David Rensin is the coauthor of show business legend Bernie Brillstein's widely lauded memoir, Where Did I Go Right, as well as Olympian Louis Zamperini's World War II survival saga, Devil At My Heels and composer/performer Yanni's memoir, Yanni: In Words. Rensin also co-wrote Tim Allen's #1 bestseller Don't Stand Too Close To a Naked Man and Allen's follow-up bestseller, I'm Not Really Here. He has co-written bestsellers with Chris Rock, Jeff Foxworthy, and Garry Shandling, and co-authored a groundbreaking humorous sociology of men named Bob, called The Bob Book. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Ballantine Books. 464 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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One agent is characterized as “a prick of pricks,” another as “a pompous prick and petty despot.” A thought for another: “May he rot in hell.” Mailroom alumni include Wally Amos, David Geffen, Barry Diller, and The Great Ovitz, often confused with The Great Oz.

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Publishers Weekly

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Rensin (coauthor, Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man) captures the ambition, manipulative plotting and hustler mentality of a few Hollywood mailroom employees in this series of raunchy, realistic interviews with some top agents who started out in the mailroom.

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That punch line echoes as 100-plus talent agents (including now Hollywood biggies Barry Diller and David Geffen) recount degradations endured at the start of their careers, including being forced to deliver a stool sample and getting ordered to come to work despite the stomach flu.

Mar 31 2003 | Read Full Review of The Mailroom: Hollywood Histo...


Reading this juicy oral history is a lot like going to work in the mailroom of William Morris, CAA, or any of the other talent agencies whose veterans speak here with exceeding frankness about their experiences in the entertainment industry's trenches.

Jan 24 2003 | Read Full Review of The Mailroom: Hollywood Histo...

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