in Articles, Experiences

The Newsstand

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I drove past a newsstand in Studio City today. It wasn’t the first time – far from it.

That’s because the Laurel Canyon News used to be where I started my work day at my first job in Los Angeles.

I wasn’t hawking papers there – I was picking them up for the small PR agency that had given me my first job out of college.

Each morning, I’d stop there on my way to work to pick up a giant stack of newspapers, trades, and magazines that held the fate of the agency in their ink-stained pages.

I’d take the papers back to our “glamorous” office above a Subway sandwich shop, dump them on a table in the conference room, and be joined by a couple junior publicists.

We’d spend the next hour scouring them to find any mentions of our clients, which were mostly TV shows, producers, B-list celebrities, and a pre-teen Kirsten Dunst.

When we found a “hit,” we’d cut the article out of the paper and tape it on to another sheet of paper – a quite literal cut and paste.

Then I’d fax the clips to our various clients, and assume my position at the reception desk where I’d spend the rest of my day awkwardly answering the phones and greeting visitors.

I thought about all of this when I drove past that newsstand today. Then I thought about how this entire story makes me seem 100 years old.

But I’m only 41.

And it’s been less than 20 years since I did that.

Time flies. Things change.

But somewhere in the Valley today there’s probably a 22-year-old kid who spends his days working for a PR agency. I wonder what his mornings are like?

I bet they’re completely different – and totally the same.

I hope he writes about them in 20 years.

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