When David Jones has finally decided on the coffee table he wants for his new house, but hardly has the time to order it, he asks Marilyn and it’s done in a jiffy. If Peter has to film all day but his Swedish sports car needs repair, he asks Marilyn if she won’t make the necessary calls, and it’s done.
Mike’s favorite Aunt from Texas is trying to call Mike on the set and can’t get through, she calls Marilyn and before long Mike and his Auntie are chatting away. Out at the front gate, the guard isn’t sure if the young lady who says she’s Micky’s sister really is Coco Dolenz. Marilyn has a look, makes the okay, and Coco can now visit Micky.
Who’s this wonder girl who does more than can be imagined for our four heroes! She’s Marilyn Schlossberg, formally titled as Production Assistant for the Monkees Show, but actually her job’s more of a girl-Friday-Saturday-Sunday, etc. for Davy, Peter, Micky or Mike.
To find out more about Marilyn’s exciting life, we asked her to tell us a little about herself:
What experience did you have before you began working for the Monkees?
I went to Boston University and when I finished there, I went to New York to get a job. I had no previous knowledge of show business and had no desire to get into the entertainment field. I was actually interested in the publishing field. I had lunch with a friend of mine who offered me a job at Channel 13 in New York, which I took. There I worked on the “Play of the Week.”
What exactly is the role of a production assistant?
Somewhat of a coordinator of all the work. You work with the cast, the director, everyone. After my job at Channel 13, I worked for a film company; then I worked for NBC and the production assistant on “Car 54, Where Are You?” Later, I did some casting. I worked on the “Pawnbroker” movie and also on the World’s Fair.
How did you get the job with the Monkees?
I heard about the job opening and I went in to see and they hired me. I joined the staff two months before they began to film the show.
Did you have a part in organizing the Monkee Fan Club?
I helped organize it with the various national fan club presidents. We set up several hundred chapters around the country. On the summer tour we meet with the chapters in the various cities. Some of the fans come in and see the Monkees and we send some to the concerts as guests of the Monkees.
How are they chosen?
We send a letter to each chapter before the tour starts, inviting them to select a given number of their members to meet the boys and then another group to receive tickets. We write to the fan club presidents in all the cities that we visit.
Did you ever dream the Monkees would be as big as they are?
It was hard to imagine anything being that big. I knew it was unique. I also knew Bob Rafaelson from Boston and New York and I knew he was very creative. But it’s very, very hard to imagine anything as big as the Monkees.
How is the Monkee Club different from other fan clubs?
First of all, they meet their fans as they go, from city to city. This, itself is very unusual. Also, the Monkees had a great deal to say in how it was set up. Even now when they’re really busy, they still take time to keep a close contact with the fan club activities.
What are some of the exciting things that have happened to you because of your job?
I’m involved in so many different areas that the boys are involved in, it’s hard to say. I work on the TV show, their recordings, concerts, fan clubs. I spend a great deal of time with them other than business hours.
What are some of the other things you do for them?
If the Monkees need something or want something done on the TV show, they come to me. And I, in turn, would get it set up for them or make requests to have things done.
I take care of their cars (in addition to borrowing them). If they have any problems with them I call the dealers and have the cars repaired—things like putting in tape recorders. I also keep in touch with their families to see if they need anything or if they try to reach the boys.
What part do you have in their recording?
I help set up the schedules and I work very closely with their recording studios. I make sure they keep on schedule, which often means waking them up in the morning by phone.
What was your job on their summer tour?
I was the publicist for the tour. I oversee the New York press conference which was set up in advance through Screen Gems New York offices.
Have there been any problems on tour?
No, the press conference went smoothly. The one in London was excellent. It went very well; and it was the largest press conference that England has ever had.
Occasionally I run into the problem of not being admitted to the hotel. I seem to look several years younger than I am, and have been mistaken as a fan. I carry identification with me at all times.
It’s happened at concerts too, but usually the boys rescue me. But it’s all worth it, because it’s always new and exciting. It’s a job that’s impossible to describe.