We passed on Dial-a-Hunk, Dial-a-Nerd and the various "party" lines, but Outtakes couldn't resist calling the 976-number that supposedly lists "jobs in the entertainment industry." (Westside telephone poles are plastered with advertisements for it.)
The recorded message offered us a choice of "entertainment industry jobs," "unlisted apartments on the Westside" and male or female roles in film, modeling or TV. The listings ranged from receptionist in an ad agency to options on screenplays to roles in rock videos and non-union films.
But when we called about a couple of jobs, no one at the various companies had placed an ad with the phone line or had even heard of the service. All the jobs we checked on had been advertised in Drama-Logue, Daily Variety or, most often, the Hollywood Reporter.
Mark Shipper, who operates the line, described it as "basically a clearing house for this information." He said that he has a small staff of people who go through the trade papers, but "about 50% of the jobs are exclusive to us. People could find the rest if they got up at 5 a.m. to get the trades. By the end of year, we expect it will all be exclusive. Our goal is to give people who call some hope and maybe a laugh, but mostly a jolt of energy--because they need it if they're working at a job they don't like."