Summer Reading: Where’s My Award?0
Where’s My Award? How to Get Baby Barf Out of a Red Carpet & Other Tales from a Working Mom in Hollywood
…No one goes to Hollywood to settle down and have a family. No one except for me.
In Hollywood, breeding is something that can’t be done without the nanny, the cleaner, the PA, the reality TV crew, and ubiquitous entourage in attendance. Public breeding is best left to the Hollywood upper classes; by that I mean the Bel-Air billionaires, and I’m certainly not one of them.
I may not have been able to afford the super posh hospital with secret celebrity paparazzi-proof entrances, but when I gave birth, my “nether regions” had an audience. I gave birth in a teaching hospital spread-eagle with no mood lighting. I didn’t have the PA and the personal chef, but I did have my cell phone close by because I was working up to the last minute.
The publicity machine didn’t stop because my baby was ready for his first big close-up. I did my own hair and makeup, wore standard hospital issue gown, and my husband, Rob, was the official photographer.
Rob works in medical administration, so I was fortunate that I had great care at Kaiser Permanente. Every time I arrived for a checkup, the nursing staff told me I was glowing and beautiful and how great I looked “for my age”.
Everyone was giving me crazy attention. Wow, I should get knocked up more often, I thought, putting it down to my colorful personality and endless supply of pregnancy and doctor jokes. But the big AMA stamp on my bright red medical folder, which I thought meant American Medical Association, was actually the abbreviation for “Advanced Maternal Age.” Oh….
But that’s okay. I knew I’d gotten this family thing in under the wire. Marriage, my husband, and kid all came to me just before the house lights went up—on the last page of the last act just before the writer was about to write “ The End.”
The good news is that we did it the old-fashioned way. We had sex. With each other. It worked! No pins, no needles, surrogates, support groups, no doctors ’til now. I was forty. A defining age. Other people were having mid- life crises; I was seeing my dreams come true. My other Hollywood dream. Not the one with the red carpet, the flashing lightbulbs, and the top billing that makes every teenage insecurity disappear (only to be replaced by a million other ones). The one where I have a family. Not a sitcom family, but my own real-life family.
But I worked for it. I waited for it. And I got it. I’ve heard a lot of girl- friends make dumb excuses for why they’re single. My favorite is: “Men don’t like successful women.” Really? Guys don’t like women who can pay for their own “stuff”? Hmmm, news to me.
More than just having the family, I’m able to help support it with my successful boutique PR and marketing business. I’m one of the lucky ones in this town. I was delayed to the game of motherhood because for years I was chasing another dream entirely.
I haven’t always been a trophy wife, mother of one, and successful Hollywood publicist. For ten years I was a touring stand-up comic and comedy writer, sometimes sharing billing with the daily dinner special. Nothing like seeing your name in lights: “Prime Rib Entree $12, Comedy with Margot Black $8.” Second billing to beef, it does make a girl feel special.
I’m one of the Hollywood middle classes you never hear or think about, and why should you? I’m part of the faceless, flip-flop-wearing middle class who make up 90% of the population of this town. You don’t know us, but without our dedicated masses, there’d be no show business to show.
We are the “little people” you’ll never read about in People magazine, but we’re doing some heavy Hollywood lifting. We are the eyelash extension experts, set decorators, carpenters, caterers, editors, therapists, Pilates instructors, teachers, drivers, sushi makers, dog walkers, grips, designers, personal assistants, boutique owners, red carpet cleaners, and publicists (that’s me).
We are the dedicated craftspeople servicing the fame and fortune you read about on the many celebrity gossip websites or in Us Weekly. We are the creatures behind the Oz curtain.
By Margot Black
Comedian, PR visionary, trophy wife, mom and now author, Margot Black is the driving force behind Hollywood-based boutique agency Black Ink PR & Marketing and the working mom creator of the acclaimed comedy memoir, Where’s My Award? A story-teller with more than 15 years experience in entertainment, hospitality, lifestyle and fashion PR, she works across online, print, television and radio to make PR and marketing dreams come true. Find out more at: MargotBlack.com