Paramount Studios - Story by Bruce Fisher

The following anecdote was shared from a Facebook post by Bruce Fisher

"This isn't low budget. This is Paramount," she said, glancing over my resume.
I was dressed in my only suit. Mervyn’s, hundred bucks. "Yes, absolutely," I said, "I certainly know that."

"These little slasher movies you worked on are fine, but... so how do you know Bruce Williams?"

"He's a friend of my uncle's," I said. "I spoke to him just once on the phone."

"Uh huh, ok. Dear John and Ferris Bueller are hiring PA's. My secretary will give you their extensions. You can call them now. Use the phone in the front office."

Ruth Carpenter was the head of Studio operations at Paramount. I had a hangover but I was keeping it together. I called the number for the Ferris Bueller production office but the Producer said they weren’t hiring. I was glad. He sounded like a dick.

I called Dear John and spoke to Hal Cooper’s assistant, Maureen. Cooper was a legend. Gilligan's Island, I Spy, That Girl, The guy was a master of four-camera film.

"Are you on the lot?" Maureen asked.

"Yes I'm in Ruth Carpenter's office."

"Oh Ruth is Fabulous! Love Ruth!"

"Yes she's a very nice lady."

"Well why don't you come on over and we’ll chat. We’re in the Clara Bow building, Second floor, suite 201. Do you think you can find it ok?"

"Yes I think so. I'll be right over. Thank you Maureen," I said.

"Oh call me Mo, everyone calls me Mo."

The Paramount lot was like a little city, People on bikes and golf carts, Kids going to school as bells ring with stage doors opening, revealing mini kingdoms with costumed actors smoking cigarettes, discussing contracts and Craft service versus the commissary, the smell of saw dust from the carpentry shop where little worlds are built.

I stopped in front of the studio gym and decided to peek inside. There was just one guy in there bench pressing.

"Hey buddy!" The guy yells, "Can you give me a spot?"

"Sure" I said, taking off my Mervyn's Jacket and loosening my paisley tie.

"I want two good reps," he said.

"You want a lift off?"

"Yeah but just lob it off, don't drop it on me."

The dude pushes two good reps with 308. He jumps off the bench and starts shadow boxing. I realize it’s Mickey Rourke.

"You look like Seamus McDonagh, The Irish fighter. You a boxer?"

"No I'm not," I said.

"I've gotten back into it. You an actor?"

"Aren't we all," I said.

"Fuck an A damn fuckin right! Now I will transmit to you the special powers."

He was super hyper. He pressed his hand firmly at the center of my chest and closed his eyes.

"There. You will now succeed at your interview. You’re on your way to an interview, Right?"

"Yes but how did you know that?"

"Because I’m Mickey fucking Rourke That’s how! I also know you’re a little hung over, which is promising. I’ve done my best work hungover."

"Well I’d better go Mr. Rourke."

We shook hands. I grabbed my Mervyn’s jacket and headed to the door.

"What’s you’re name?"

"Bruce. Bruce Fisher."

"Well thanks for the spot Fisher"

As I walked out he yells, "Hey Fisher!"


"If you see McDonagh, tell him I'm gonna kick his ass!"

"Ok! I'll do that!"

WTF? Is he joking? I don't know McDonagh.

Outside, the lot was a sea of focus and joyful anticipation, like how you felt when you were on the way to your favorite pub at quitin’ time.

The air was different at the studio than in other parts of LA, as if surrounded by an energy field created by a ferocious and protective Mother, who wanted nothing more than for her children to play and wonder and take risks, for them to find their sweet and powerful souls is everything to her but she knows how easily they get discouraged and sad, for we are such sensitive children after all.

I walked through New York street where countless city scenes were filmed, where Gene Kelly sang in the Rain and where Jack Nicholson first told Faye Dunaway that her husband was murdered, then by the Star Trek stage where Spock’s blood ran both red and green, and through a parking lot that was once the set of Bonanza, where to this day Hoss and Little Joe are spotted on horseback, tipping their hats in their kind and gentle way, then vanishing into ether, and next to it an unbelievably huge painting of a sparsely clouded blue sky, set over a water tank used in ocean shots, like the Red Sea, parting long enough for God’s children to escape the merciless evil of this tragedy and be delivered once and for all time into the arms of mercy and love.

"Excuse me. Are you ok? Do you need help?"

A distinguished gentleman, early seventies, was standing before me holding a briefcase. He looked like a white-haired "Who" From Dr. Seuss.

I stared at him for what seemed like hours before I answered.

"Yes thank you, I'm fine. Just lost in thought. One of these days I'll have to stop daydreaming."

"Haha! Yes I know what you mean. Are you looking for something?"

"Yes. The Clara Bow building."

"Go through the parking lot. The first building on your left after you pass the Roddenberry Building is Clara Bow."

"Thank you."

I found Clara Bow and walked up to 201. Mo looked up from her desk.

"My guess is you're Bruce."

"Yes that's me, hello."

"Just take a seat, Hal should be here any minute, oh and here he is now."

"Hal this is Bruce Fisher. He's...'Our new production assistant!'"

Hal said. "We met out at the Bonanza parking lot. It’s good to meet a fellow day dreamer."

Walking back across the lot I passed the gym as Mickey Rourke was leaving.

"You look happy, Fisher. I knew you’d get it."

"I did. The special powers thing you did for me worked!"

"Maybe," Mickey said. "But I’m pretty sure it was the hangover."