Identifying and Avoiding Fake People

There are a lot of them in Hollywood. Don’t become one. Interestingly, one hard and fast rule I’ve found is this: the people who complain endlessly about “all the fake people in Hollywood” tend to be fairly fake themselves. Or just really annoying.

Ugh, I’ve already wasted too much time on this topic, but if you’re new to town and you’re worried you’ll be suckered in by ‘one of those fake LA people’ New Yorkers love complaining about, here are a few warning signs:

  1. People who shamelessly name drop. A lot.
  2. People who say, “_____ is looking at my screenplay”, “_______ is probably going to star”, “We’re planning to get ________ to direct”. Any of those things may one day be true, but some folks assume that if something MIGHT happen, you get instant bragging rights. Stick to the facts, ma’am. Just because you know someone casting Clint Eastwood’s next film doesn’t mean you’re a shoe-in. And just because Johnny Depp drunkenly said he ‘really liked your idea’ at a party doesn’t mean he has endorsed your production. 
  3. People who try to make their uncredited extra gig on that one TV show sound like they had a guest star role and a personal friendship with the lead (thank God for IMDB! Makes it so much easier to fact check. Hot tip: IMDB pro is totally worth the cost. I use it ALL the time.)
  4. Someone who never gave you the time of day BEFORE something awesome happened for you, but who suddenly wants to be your bestie AFTER something great happened for you.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the term ‘fake’ can often be used interchangeably with the term ‘inexperienced’. That ‘fake person’ is overcompensating because on some level they are insecure about where they are at in their career.


Q. “I’m at a party and I’ve determined the person I’m talking to is one of those fake people you warned me about! What now??”

A. Treat them with the same amount of dignity and respect you would anyone else. Just be aware that you don’t want to work with this person. ‘Fake’ people suck because being fake is an awful lot like lying. No one likes being lied to, and you don’t want to work with someone who lies a lot.

Q. “I totally just name-dropped TWICE in one conversation. I think I’m becoming totally fake. Should I commit harakiri, end it all now before it gets worse? What should I do??”

A. Shh, it’s okay. Sometimes the Hollywood rubs off on you. I hate to say it, but I’ve definitely had a few fake moments in my life. The important thing is to call yourself out on it, repent, forgive yourself, and move on.

The bottom line:

Suffering from ‘Hollywood fakeness’ is an ailment I truly believe any person can overcome. Yes, it’s a long road back to the level of us plebes, but once you’re here you’ll finally be able to stop blowing up your own ego and focus on your work.

If you’re 100% real, great! Don’t get suckered. 


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