New and completely updated edition Hilarious and addictive, this chronicle of a small-town girl's stint as a celebrity nanny reveals what really happens in the diaper trenches of Hollywood. When Oregon native Suzanne Hansen becomes a live-in nanny to the children of Hollywood uber-agent Michael Ovitz, she thinks she's found the job of her dreams. But Hansen's behind-the-scenes access soon gets her much more than she bargained for: working twenty-four hours a day, juggling the shifting demands of the Hollywood elite, and struggling to comprehend wealth unimaginable to most Americans, not to mention dealing with the expected tantrums and the unexpected tense-and intense-atmosphere in the house where she lives with her employers. When the thankless drudgery takes its toll and Hansen finally quits, her boss threatens to blackball her from ever nannying in Hollywood again. Discouraged but determined, Hansen manages to land gigs with Debra Winger and then Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman. Attentive, welcoming parents with a relaxed attitude toward celebrity-looks like Hansen's fallen into a real-life happy ending.
"Misadventures in nannyhood" is how Hansen, an Oregon teen who'd trained at the Northwest Nannies Institute, characterizes her amusing account of several years as live-in drudge to the stars. Readers of James B. Stewart's Disney War are already acquainted with her first employer, Michael Ovitz, then still the superagent commander of the CAA talent agency, and parent, with his wife, of three children. Hansen isn't a flippant writer; she doesn't try to score easy shots; and she cites her own inexperience and shyness, but it becomes increasingly clear through her account (backed up by the diary she kept) that the portraits drawn by other writers-of a cold, shrewd, controlling man-are accurate. Still, there was glamour, which at first made up for the grueling 24/7 workload and a curious chintziness. However, Hansen lasted just a year. She later found work with the charming Debra Winger and left only because it became clear that the doting Winger didn't really need a full-time nanny. Her next and last nanny job was with the wonderful and thoughtful Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito and their three kids. Hardly backstabbing, this entertaining book possesses a sincerity other nannying tomes lack. Agent, Sharlene Martin. (On sale Dec. 27) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Three Rivers Press
December 26, 2005
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Excerpt from You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again by Suzanne Hansen
If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money. Abigail Van Buren
When my boss told me that we were all going to Hawaii for Thanksgiving vacation, I tried not to panic. I was nineteen years old, and my vacation experience up to that point pretty much consisted of ten-hour trips in my family's cramped station wagon to visit my cousins in Canada. You'd think I would have been turning cartwheels down Sunset Boulevard. But as enticing as an all-expenses-paid stay at a posh Hawaiian beachfront resort would sound to most people, I was realistic enough after almost a year of nannying for one of the most powerful families in Hollywood to know that I'd be on duty for 192 hours straight. I had counted.
One hundred and ninety-two straight hours of running after three children under the age of seven, of sharing quarters a lot more cramped than the ten-thousand-square-foot home we normally occupied, where the air was already tense. Of no room to escape the kids or their parents for one minute.
This "vacation" sounded worse every time I thought about it. Good thing I didn't know about the other five kids.
The night after I was informed of our upcoming adventure, I decided to be more positive. Come on, Suzy! You could never afford to travel to Hawaii on your own. This is a great opportunity to soak up some paradise. I tried not to think about our previous -vacations." Surely this would have a whole different, relaxed, tropical vibe. I called my friend and fellow nanny Mandie to tell her my news. She listened intently while I borrowed scenes from postcards and spun my perfect vision of the eight-day trip.
I'll be basking on white-sugar beaches, with cute cabana boys constantly serving me fruity drinks in coconut halves. After I distribute the beach toys and reapply sunscreen on the kids, I'll soak up the Polynesian splendor. Just think, hula performances under torch-lit palms . . . leis draped around me . . . luaus . . . lanais . . . In my dream-dappled mind, there would be grandparents, aunts, and uncles to lavish attention on the kids. The gentle spirit of the island would permeate our hearts and inner harmony would reign.
But then Mandie started laughing so hard that I was actually afraid she'd lost control of her bladder.
We both knew it was far more likely that the actual scenario would be similar to what a mutual nanny friend of ours had just undergone. Her employer, a well-known baseball player, had brought her along to the famous Pebble Beach golf course, where he was playing in a huge charity golf tournament. The event was star-studded, and she couldn't wait to rub elbows with some celebrities. But when the other baseball players wives realized someone had brought a nanny, they all dumped their kids in her suite and headed off to the tournament unencumbered. She spent three days in a hotel room with nine count -em, nine kids. She never saw one moment of golf, beach, or sunshine.