Hello and welcome to The Read. This week's episode is coming in a little late. I was on set. Sunday through Tuesday, doing night shoots for short film. I'll talk more about that later in the episode. But the result was. I plan to record my episode Wednesday night, fell asleep at six and slept for 14 hours straight. So here it is Thursday night and I'm finally getting to this.

That said I'm excited for this week sponsor, a company that I use myself. It's a payroll company.

I use it to pay myself and my assistant James and other people.

And speaking of James, after I do the read, we're going to have my assistant James on to do a guest read. It's our first guest on The Read excited for that. Hopefully, first of many.

The Read does have a lot of listeners who like me also work out here in the entertainment business in Los Angeles. And for those of you who don't know. One of the things that a lot of people in the entertainment business do is they have, what's called an artist's loan out corporation. Which is a corporation they own that they pay themselves through that lends their "artist's services" out to the studios that would otherwise directly pay for their services. It's essentially a way to save money on taxes and deduct expenses that otherwise would be nondeductible.

Any small business can use this sponsor. But Hollywood people tend to really overpay for stuff like this. So, if you are one of these Hollywood listeners, listen up because this is a way to save a good chunk of money.

Let's get it started with today's read:


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Gusto plans start at just $46 a month. And if you sign up for Gusto at, you will get a $100 visa gift card when you run your first payroll. So sign up, pay yourself once then cancel and you'll actually make $54. They're guessing you'll keep using Gusto because it's so easy and affordable. I think you might keep using it too. But you don't have to.

Either way, there's no catch. You will make money if you sign up and pay yourself. Join the economy of now with Gusto. Go to right now. That's V A N dot L I N K slash G U S T O.

I've personally been using Gusto for almost four years now. I used to pay an accountant about $200 a month to do this exact same service for me and as a result, I've saved thousands of dollars a year by using Gusto.

I even used it recently on a short film that I produced. I processed all of the crew and cast payrolls through Gusto. And was also able to automate the adding of all of them to my workers' compensation insurance. People generally recommend you use a specialty payroll processor like Entertainment Partners when you're doing something like shooting a short film or making a television series.

The problem for me was twofold. One Entertainment Partners isn't cheap. It's certainly not Gusto cheap and we were on a shoestring budget for this short film. The second problem for me was well since being purchased in 2019 by TPG Capital, the same hedge fund that owns a majority stake in talent agency, CAA, Entertainment Partners is now a massive data gathering siphon for CAA and TPG Capital to find out what everyone in Hollywood's salary is on any project that uses entertainment partners for payroll.

I can't very well support that even if it is just my own personal conspiracy theory. Think about it though. Why would they want to buy a payroll company? It doesn't seem like something with huge margins. My guess is they are after that data. But do you know, who's not after that data, at least not today?


All right. So I was going to have my assistant James here in studio to record this guest read and do a little back and forth with me. But unfortunately for scheduling reasons, we weren't able to make that happen. So I texted him what I wanted. This is what he sent in. I think he slightly misunderstood the assignment, but it's close enough.

Here, ladies and gentlemen is my assistant James doing a guest read on the read.

Hello everyone and welcome to The Read. Uh, my name is James Trevor. I am the guest reader for this episode. Um, and yeah, I was originally supposed to do this with Van himself, but he just kind of kept pushing the record and eventually at a certain point just canceled and texted me the copy for this read and just told me to do it on my own.

So, uh, yes. Uh, the, uh, company for this week's episode is Van Brand. It's a company I'm very familiar with. It's the company that I work for. Um, but yeah, let's, let's get to the actual copy here. Um, so lets see.

From its exclusive offering of the writing, producing, and directing services of Van Robichaux, to planning events like Bug Con, to its skunkworks division Van Labs, developers of the texting service Van Brand is a company like none other. As an employee, I love working for Van Brand. Does my job as head of research and development involve more manual labor than I expected? What good job doesn't. Um, yeah. By the way, that was, that was all in the copy. You know, I would prefer maybe a little bit less manual labor if we're being honest. But, um, yeah, let's get back to the read here. Um, so let's see. If you're looking for a short-term employer, a long-term boss, or to hire a professional screen and television writer, producer, consider Van Brand. For more information about Van Brand, email [email protected] to send your questions and messages straight to me and I will figure, have to figure out how to deal with them, uh, or use the form at to send them directly to my phone.

Um, and that's the end of the copy. Uh, so Great. It sounds like, um, basically, uh, now anyone who wants to can text me at any time of day or night, and I'll just have to answer that, and that'll just kind of become part of my life now. Um, so I mean, the good news is I, I I plan on, uh, you know, billing for those hours.

So, um, Basically, if you, if you want me to get more overtime just reach out to me at And I guess that about covers it from me. Um, but I guess the last thing I want to say is, van, you do have my permission to use this, recording to generate artificial intelligence, version of my voice.

Uh, so yeah, I just wanted to make that clear, uh, in this recording cuz you never know with Van. Anyways, yeah, thanks so much for having me. And uh, yeah, I guess I will. Uh, have to hear from some of you soon talk to you later.

So I think he thought that was going to be the whole episode and not just a portion of it, but either way he did a terrific job.

Except his voice was sort of cutting in and out during that part where he gave me permission to generate AI versions of him. But nevertheless, that was James Trevor, I'm Van Robichaux and this has been The Read.

Creators and Guests

Van Robichaux
Van Robichaux
Screenwriter | Founder of Van Labs | Minion Wrangler at Illumination | Prexy of Production for BugTV+ | Host of The Read
James Trevor
James Trevor
Assistant to Van Robichaux. Head of research and development, Van Labs.
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