I respond to this job ad (“Drivers wanted… will train...”) armed with my Class 1 driver’s license and my friendly smile and demeanor. There are a lot of applicants competing for just a few openings, but I’m convinced I’m the right one for the job.
I’m fit, trim, wholesome, handsome, and I am very well spoken. I’m applying to be a driver, not a tour guide. Only one other gentlemen seems like serious competition and we quickly become friends, hitting it off as we wait our turns outside H.R. and its selection process. Ted is my new pal and he tells me he’s already in show business as an actor, having recently appeared on Airwolf.
He was also a centerfold in Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmopolitan magazine. Most of the other applicants are overweight, battle scarred, and semi-retired–no other centerfolds in this group, I’m sure of that. These guys are has-beens!
There are multiple openings as World Wide is increasing its staff for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season.
Sure enough, all goes well! I’m selected for training to operate this specialized vehicle otherwise known as a Glamour Tram.
Ted, my actor/ model friend is also selected and is assigned to the same training class with four other male applicants, all a bit older.
We all become friends immediately and hope to pass training and work together for a long time to come. All that’s required is that we master the biggest people mover in the world, and do so with a smile. The older selectees have much more open-road experience than myself as far as cross country driving is concerned. They are real truckers, whereas my Opie Taylor looks fit the part of an ice cream truck driver rather than a cross country hauler.
I received my commercial license driving heavy equipment for the Southern California Gas Company. I left that job for a break in show business. Few if any job offers for the movie industry appear in newspaper employment sections, but The Santa Monica Evening Outlook alerted me to this prize. Once training is completed successfully, I will then be able to become a full-fledged, Hollywood Teamster.
Of all the new hires, only Ted has worked on shows. The other gentlemen are bus drivers or hauled freight. Ted is well-versed and explains how this new job opens up a plethora of opportunities. The Glamour Tram is an entry level position, for sure, but it potentially leads to a much richer and fulfilling future in show business.
Ted has an entertainment background. Myself, having grown up at MGM, and could write a book on all I have seen already, about a decade worth of studio stuff!
Teamsters Local # 399 is how Hollywood rolls….
Training commences…stay tuned…
Written and lived by Donnie Norden…page 2