Watching Gary Busey and his crazy antics on Celebrity Apprentice got me thinking about my own run-in with Gary several years ago when I was the assistant to a low budget movie producer. The job was one I was very excited to get, but it quickly became clear that it wasn’t going to be easy.
“How long do you think this one will last?” I overheard one of my co-workers whisper on my first day.
“Two weeks tops,” was the response.
Turns out my new boss was very difficult (to put it nicely), and I was already his sixth assistant that year. Despite this I was determined to make the job work, and after three months I had dealt with more than my share of workplace craziness. Things were about to get even crazier though thanks to Mr. Gary Busey.
“Guess who we just cast?” my boss asked me one day about his latest straight-to-video opus. “Gary Busey! And he’s coming in today for a meeting!”
There was no missing Gary’s arrival that day because things suddenly got very loud. I hurried downstairs to bring Gary up to meet my boss, and was lucky enough to sit in on the meeting.
It was bizarre to say the least.
Gary not only reminded my Jewish boss many times over that nothing was possible without our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, but he also shared with us a bevy of his highly unique self-penned sayings like:
“You know what ‘DOUBT’ stands for? It stands for ‘Debate On Understanding Bewildersome Thoughts.”
“You know what ‘FAILING’ stands for? It stands for ‘Finding An Important Lesson, Inviting Needed Growth.”
The meeting, as you can imagine, went way long, and only ended after Gary serenaded us with an a capella version of Buddy Holly’s “Maybe Baby.”
A week or so later Gary was due to arrive on-set at four p.m. to shoot his first scene. Four or five hours before then the phone rang in my office.
“MICHAEL?” Gary bellowed on the other end of the line. “IT’S GARY BUSEY!”
“Hi Gary,” I replied. “How are you?”
“I NEED MY PAGES, MICHAEL! I AM AN ACTOR AND I MUST PREPARE! I CAN’T WORK WITHOUT THE PAGES!”
The pages Gary referred to were pages of the script that had his lines for that day’s scene. It was my understanding that the production office had already faxed them over, but Gary was adamant that they hadn’t arrived, so I told him I would fax them again.
A few minutes later I was preparing to fax over the pages when Gary’s agent called.
“I just got off the phone with Gary and he tells me he hasn’t received the pages,” she said.
“Yes, I know. I’m faxing them over right now.”
“Are they big print? Gary needs them to be big print.”
“Yes. Eighteen point at least.”
I tossed the pages I had printed in the trash and reprinted the pages in big print. The three page scene now ran thirteen pages. I stood over the fax machine a long time as I waited to make sure all thirteen pages went through. Once they did I dropped the pages into the trash and returned to my desk. The phone rang twenty minutes later.
“MICHAEL. GARY BUSEY! WHAT IS GOING ON? I NEED THE PAGES AND -”
“I just faxed them, Mr. Busey.”
“WELL, I DON’T HAVE THEM.”
“I’ll send them again right away.”
I fished the thirteen pages out of the trash and once again stood over the fax machine for a good ten minutes to make sure they went through okay.
The phone rang yet again.
“THIS IS RIDICULOUS, MICHAEL! I AM NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO WORK TODAY! TELL YOUR BOSS -”
“Are you sure your fax machine is working properly?”
“MY MACHINE IS FINE!”
I was baffled. And very stressed. After a long beat of thought:
“Does it have paper in it?”
“OF COURSE IT HAS PAPER IN IT! WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM, SOME KIND OF…”
Suddenly there was silence on the line.
“OH CRAP. NEVER MIND.”
The line went dead.
Gary made it to set that day, and despite all of the drama it wasn’t long before my boss was skipping back from the editing bay boasting about what an amazing job Gary had done.
So good on ya, Gary! I’m rooting for Donald Trump to tell you, “You’re hired!”
this made me giggle. I love this crazy man!I would love to see him and john rich go head to head
Too funny!!! Busey is so funny – such a character.
Hey Mike….by the way….how long DID you last on that job? Inquiring minds want to know!!! ha ha ha
I made it about six months and then could take it no more! In fact it was my last entertainment job before I decided to switch to jobs in more placid (scream-free) areas.
That is such a great story. We are lovign teh apprentice this year, and especially Gary!!
You and Heather have both had awesome and crazy jobs! Wow! I’m also curious about how long you stayed around
Was the movie Quigley??? Because ohhhh mannnn was that movie bad.
No, this one came out a few years after Quigley. But it didn’t exactly win any Academy Awards either.
Sarah R says:
Wow, I’ve heard he’s kind-of crazy, but maybe he’s a little more than “kind-of”. LOL!
I was in my friend’s wedding in August and her cousin looked so much like Gary Busey that we nicknamed him that and had fun pretending we were amongst a celebrity. I even asked him if anyone ever told him he looked like Gary Busey and he replied, “oh yeah. All the time!”
That’s pretty awesome!! I also bug out on the fax machine before realizing it ran out of paper quite ofter :-X
Thought you would get a kick out of this blogger’s post today – considering you are both using Gary Busey illustrations! I can only imagine what he is like in person just from what I see on the Apprenctice! http://barefootfoodie.com/2011/03/31/i-might-need-a-lawyer-preferably-one-who-works-for-coupons-for-back-rubs-and-car-washes/
Haha SmileyGirl I also read both blogs and it’s funny that Gary Busey came up in both places…but considering that Heather and Brittany are friends and business partners I guess it makes sense
hahahaha oh it must have been epic for you. That guy is something else!
I met Gary when I was a bartender at a small bar right off of I-25 (near Magic Mountain). He was shooting a movie and was surrounded by a group of “Yes Sir” fools. I remember thinking that he was one of the saddest most ruddest men I’ve ever met. I guess we can also add “CRAZY” to that list! LOL
OMG, you just described my 20 year career! Crazy business.
Sounds entertaining to say the least.
LOL! This is an AWESOME story!
but Gary is not so much “crazy” as he is “brain damaged”. For real.
That was a great story, Michael! I am routing for
Gary also on the Celebrity Apprentice- he is really a bit
off but it makes me laugh how crazy he is. Thanks for
sharing your funny story!
Wow, so cool that you were an assistant to a film producer. And you did a great job at keeping your patience at bay, I would have been going crazy. Good thing you thought about the paper! LOL.
Already commented on this a Zimbio, but again, I will say that I loved your insight on Busey. I’m reviewing Celebrity Apprentice at my blog and I have to unfortunately say that I doubt Busey will make it to the final.