Rule #4 – Brand Your G.S.P.O.T.
“A lady in the street, but a freak in the bed.” – Ludacris
When I was at Harvard, I really wanted to fuck an art history major named Samantha Freeman. She was an absolute smoke-show and although she was chock-fulla-nuts, I was willing to overlook the crazy on behalf of her curious mind and sexual voracity. Problem was, I wasn’t the only hunter with my eyes on the prize. My chief competition came from a third-generation legacy on the crew team, Miles Van Kampen (MVK) who may very well have been the Winkelvoss Twins’ creepy Neanderthal uncle. Under normal circumstances, I would not have even considered an inbred blue-blood goon like MVK to be competition in my quest to disrobe Miss Freeman, but despite his underwhelming mental acuity and complete lack of social dexterity, the guy did have one thing going for him – a gigantic cock. His nickname was “Tripod” and by all accounts he was hiding a Harley kickstand under his Girbauds. It stood to reason that a budding nymphomaniac like Samantha Freeman would be drawn to such a prodigious member and, although I was packing a pretty powerful weapon, myself, I still needed a competitive sexual advantage that emphasized precision over girth.
Enter the G-Spot.
A female friend of mine put it out on the street that I knew exactly how to locate and manipulate the mythical erogenous zone and word of my accomplishments soon reached young Ms. Freeman. At a bar one night in Cambridge, I described to Samantha in great detail the techniques I used for working the G and ensuring otherworldly orgasmic intensity for my sexual partners.
“Some girls sing, some girls cry” I told her. “It doesn’t matter whether the climax lasts thirty seconds or thirty minutes, it’s always a beautiful form of self-expression.”
Although my methodology wasn’t even close to being academically sound, I was the only guy around with a thesis on the subject and therefore the only expert. For the rest of spring semester, Samantha and I tested that thesis extensively, while MVK was left holding his (monstrous) extension.
The moment I founded Miller Gold, we began conducting yearly brand valuations for our clients. I wanted to quantify the value of each client’s brand beyond simply box office receipts and previous salary figures. Specifically, I wanted data that no one else had relating to character, street cred, and on-set intangibles. I wanted to show how my people could enhance the experience and extend the enjoyment of making movies, which is why we began studying the Client G.S.P.O.T.
G.S.P.O.T. stands for Gold Stats, Street Volume, Promised Land, (the Big)“O”, and Titillation Factor. Over the years we found that our GSPOT was so effective for maximizing each clients’ earning potential that I had my assistant, Lloyd secretly set up a G.S.P.O.T. analysis for me as well. And if you think that financial autonomy, attractive children, and the view from my Italian infinity pool are things you might be interested in you should start hunting for your own G.S.P.O.T.
Gold Stats. The equations we used to mine for paydirt below the surface of Hollywood laziness were inspired by the movie, Moneyball, which examines how the Oakland A’s changed the game of baseball by implementing advanced statistics for performance instead of simply relaying on homeruns, batting average, and the subjective sex appeal of a given prospects’ girlfriend. My favorite MONEYBALL statistic is “WARP”, Wins Above Replacement Player, which tracks job-specific reliability and value. In Hollywood terms, WARP allows you to look at Kevin James’ career and statistically diagnose if he brings actual value to a film or whether his movies would perform just as well with a coked-out gorilla playing Paul Blart.
WARP also measures the “little things” baseball players do to help the team like running bases and hiding steroids. WARP was one of the first statistics I adapted in order to show that my girls and guys were winners even when they were playing supporting roles instead of headlining. Just because Rob Schneider can’t carry a movie that doesn’t mean he can’t build buzz for a picture by sexually harassing female journalists at an overseas press junket.
Our WARP values were tabulated by analyzing the following:
• Set Stability Algorithm Is my client a calming influence on set, resulting in fewer rehab stints and trips to the abortion clinic for the rest of the cast and crew?
• Dirt Coefficient – In the event that our clients are not stabilizing influences, do they at least feed the rumor mill in order to ensure that TMZ has the inside scoop when Christian Bale goes postal on a cinematographer?
• Second Date Rate – How often were our clients rehired by directors, producers, and studios? Didn’t matter if their performances warranted the rebooking or if they happened to come across photos of an executive producer soliciting a transgender prostitute in the alley behind Astroburger. Our stats were all about product over process.
Despite concerns that our methodology wasn’t robust enough for academic acceptance, I assured our people that our stats just needed to be sexier than everyone else around us and, while our numbers weren’t exactly “baby smooth”, we were still a landing strip in a town full of seventies’ porn bush.
Street Volume is a measure of how often, how loudly, and how casually your name comes up when you’re not around. The best way to raise your Street Volume score is to become an “est”. Jen Aniston wasn’t just sexy, she was the sexiest. Sacha Baron Cohen was the funniest, Bill Gates was the richest (I’m workin’ on that), Amanda Bynes was the craziest.
I didn’t give a shit about “well-rounded” because in my business only the extremes get talked about. Jay-Z and Beyonce were the busiest, Renee Zellweger was the saddest, and Allen Iverson was chastised for being the laziest (“Practice?”) but at least he stayed in the conversation. My job as an agent was to convert each client strength into an “est” so I that could sell each person as a premium product. I can always make more money with the smartest, stupidest, purist, or sluttiest than I can with a Renaissance man.
Promised Land. Are there certain environments in which your particular set of skills will warrant more cash?
Stephon Marbury never seemed to fit the NBA mold. He was too introspective, too much of a dreamer. His personality clashed with his coaches, most of whom didn’t want their point guard discussing his own greatness during twenty-second timeouts. I was drawn to Steph the moment I saw him slow-rolling his solid gold Benz through the streets of Minneapolis in 1996. He was bumping Wu Tang with the top down. It was December. The wind chill was twelve below. I was in town to go ice fishing with the Coen Brothers as they wrapped up post-production on FARGO, but I ended up spending most of my time with the eccentric Timberwolves rookie from Coney Island.
We stayed friends as Marbury bounced around the league for the next decade, never quite living up to his prodigious potential. Steph grew depressed, blaming himself for underperforming his abilities, but I knew better. The problem was his environment.
“Steph, go to China” I said over lunch at the Union Square Shake Shack the summer after his last NBA season.
“I don’t know, Ari. Boston wants me back.”
“For the veterans minimum. Do you really want to spend another year sitting on the bench between Big Baby and Sheldon Williams?”
“Nah, man. Those dudes are always quoting MADEA and Big Baby smells like Forever 21.”
“Go to China. It’s tailor-made for your talents. I spent a week there on the set of Crouching Tiger. The Chinese people take a much more philosophical approach to life. And they also love black dudes with facial ink.”
“Alright, Ari. If you say so, I’ll do it.”
In China, Steph flourished both on the court and off of it, where the public embraced his thoughtfulness, spirituality, and weird catch-phrase, “Love is Love”. Furthermore, Steph’s Chinese coaches were more than happy to let him share his big picture thoughts with the rest of his teammates, most of whom didn’t understand any English.
As I write this, Marbury has won two Chinese Basketball Association titles, sales of his Starbury shoes have never been higher, he is viewed by the Chinese as a Buddha-esque spiritual figure and the “love is love” motto is chanted awkwardly in arenas throughout the mainland. As a lifelong basketball fan I’ll tell you that I’ve never seen anything like it and, to be honest, the whole spiritual angle creeps me out like one of Clare Danes’s Homeland sex scenes, but as I said before, Marbury is a different type of cat. Or maybe he’s a panda.
Naturally, after Steph was named MVP of the CBA finals, NBA teams started blowing up his phone with offers to return to the states. When Steph turned them all down, some General Managers complained that he had lost his competitive fire and that he didn’t have the guts to compete on the world’s biggest stage. Morons. China has the biggest population in the world and Stephon Marbury is worshipped there as a spiritual basketball deity. The only American in China more popular than Steph is Colonel Sanders.
The Big “0”. Business, like boxing, can be infuriatingly subjective, and the only way to ensure that your star stays bright is to keep your “0” by staying undefeated like my man, Rocky Marciano (49-0). Some fights will be easy, while there will inevitably opponents who will make like my wife and refuse to go down. The key is that when you find yourself on the business end of some left hooks, you cannot, under any circumstances, let the judges see your pain. Stick out your tongue, fire off a few uppercuts, and take back control of the narrative. Just because you take a beating that doesn’t mean your “0” has to go.
Ari Gold clients did not get fired. They occasionally starred in projects that underperformed critically or financially but under no circumstances would I permit the birth of a narrative suggesting my products did not perform at a satisfactory level. It was well known around town that any directors stupid enough to try and break my streak would be banished from Hollywood, destined to live out the rest of their days directing middle school productions of “Annie” in their shithole hometowns. Occasionally, however, a brazen upstart or overseas import would work up the courage to defy my Golden rule and for that, they would be punished in spectacular fashion.
Verner Volstedt was both brazen and foreign. He was also an incompetent German fuck-tard with a putenschnitzel lodged permanently up his ass. Yet somehow Verner was tapped by John Ellis and Dana Gordon to direct a nine-figure blockbuster called Smokejumpers, starring none other than my bell cow, Vincent Chase. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Verner hated Vince. Not because Vince wasn’t talented, mind you, but because Vince had already broken through as a mainstream star thanks to the international success of Aquaman. The insecure Kraut fuck was intimidated by Vince’s celebrity.
Verner knew that he couldn’t get rid of Vince without cause, so he tried to put my boy in a position to fail. He made Vince do more than seventy takes of the same scene over the course of eight hours, berating my guy in front of the entire cast and crew after each attempt. Had I been on set at the time, Verner Volstedt would have gotten the Shawshank treatment and ended up needing to borrow Stephen Hawking’s rig just to direct the nurses to empty his bedpan. Vince, however, took the high road and tried to reason with Vollstedt, which only seemed to infuriate the bastard even more until finally he blew his lid and tried to fire my boy in the middle of the fucking workday.
Five hours later, Vollstadt and I were both at the studio pleading our case to Dana and John.
“I’m saddled with an actor that can’t do the job.” Verner was trying to play it cool. “I’ve got calls into Leo. He and I worked together on a commercial in Austria.”
“He’s in Boston right now shooting Shutter Island.” My cool was genuine.
“I’ve got calls into other actors as well.”
“Shit!” Verner was primed for a toddler-worthy tantrum. I just needed to coax it out of him.
“I’ve got a call into Pete Berg. He loved the script.” I then turned to Dana. “Sign off on him (Berg), tell the Kraut to get his passport and get the fuck out.”
Verner blew up, spit flying from his mouth as spewed bilingual insults and stormed out of the room. It was a glorious eruption, but that is not to say there wasn’t collateral damage. The unrest prompted the Chairman of the studio to look into some numbers at which point he realized that Smokejumpers was running behind schedule and over-budget. Instead of picking between Vince and Verner, he chose to shut down the entire project.
Had I allowed Vince to get sacked in Big Bear, we could have sent out a press release stating that he had walked off the movie. He also could have banked some of the guaranteed money that I had negotiated into his contract. However, the long-term damage to his reputation, namely the loss of his objectively undefeated record, would have crippled his career trajectory. As it turned out, SMOKEJUMPERS was the last big film Verner Vollstedt was ever allowed to direct. Vincent Chase, on the other hand was given his next big movie role on the strength his performance in the unfinished SMOKEJUMPERS footage.
Titillation Factor – In 2014, Hollywood was rocked by a celebrity naked picture hacking scandal, commonly known as the “Fappening”. Some nerdy perverts hacked into Apple’s “cloud”, stole all the celebrity dick and tit pics, and then uploaded them to spank banks on the deep web. The list of affected celebrities read like a who’s who of the A-List, many of who had gone to great lengths to keep their goods off-screen and offline. It was an appalling, criminal breach of personal privacy and the affected celebrities were rightfully outraged (as were their boyfriends and girlfriends who had to kiss their long-distance celebrity sexting sessions goodbye). Once the smoke of outrage cleared, however, one couldn’t help but notice the positive impact the Fappening had on the star power of the naked celebs involved. From a branding perspective, it was a perfect leak because it confirmed for America that their sweethearts had naughty streaks. As my man, Ludacris, pointed out a few years back, men want a girl who is a “lady in the street but a freak in the bed”. The Fappening showed that several of Hollywood’s most consummate professionals had not lost their youthful wild side.
Titillation isn’t about putting out a slutty vibe like X-tina, Ray-J, or the cadaver formally known as Mylie Cyrus. Titillation is about tickling the imagination, planting a sexual seed that grows in the minds of the public but never manifests itself in your work (you hear me, Meg Ryan?). It’s about spontaneity, excitement, and energy, and it contributes to the legend of your G.S.P.O.T.
From THE GOLD STANDARD: Rules to Rule By, by Ari GoldCopyright 2015 Home Box Office, Inc, Courtesy of Hachette Books