Estate Staff

Hollywood’s Best Supporting Role

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Celebrity Estate Management is a lifestyle… and it’s not English Manor Houses and ladies maids. It’s a choice to work crazy hours for creative people who invent and re-imagine more interesting versions of our reality. It’s a good balance; We’re control freaks and organization junkies and they’re spontaneous, carefree spirits. Being a CEM is a 30-70 split of benefit over burden,  but if you can cut it, the benefits are great. I’ve had breakfast in Manhattan and dinner in LA , with a quick stop of the private jet in Kentucky to pick up coworkers and lunch on the way. I’ve seen priceless private art collections, tried on one of a kind pieces of jewelry, and enjoyed sushi and champagne with my Academy Award-nominated bosses on Oscar night. I’ve worked in unimaginable grandeur, driven cars I had no business even sitting in (just last week I was in the driver’s seat of a million dollar 1972 Ferrari Daytona Berlinetta), and had a 160ft Feadship and crew all to myself on  a return leg from the Seychelles. AND I’ve had tea with Steven Spielberg, which really should probably have been first on my list. 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 to turn off the alarm when she comes to clean and at 7 when the contractors arrive on site and need answers. And so the day begins… We are, as needed, social secretaries, contract negotiators, gardeners, chefs, adult babysitter, tech wizards, ambassadors, 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, opening box office numbers, studio numbers, and of course, the accountant’s number. We make it happen. The answer is always yes, and we do not wait in line.

Via this network blog, we’ll be sharing our resources, our wisdom, our mistakes, and adventures in an effort to connect our community. Occasionally, we’ll be getting together to chat, learn from each other and enjoy a great bottle of wine (or three). As we grow in members and interest, we’ll be organizing intensive workshops on key skills and issues that will make you a better estate management professional. We hope you’ll participate and help craft a network that WORKS.

 

Kimberly Varney

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