Some one who a very good friend if his Chad Calek is recently fighting his own illness. I have meet Chad at more than one event. I have got to knew and he is good guy. Now this Chad own words on eveything:
Day 17 of my recovery… and I’m feeling STRONG today.
Strong enough to say some things that I probably should have said a long, long time ago. But again… time is a beautiful thing to bide, and clarity is a beautiful thing to have.
With that being said, I’ve spent all morning reading up on many people’s comments about someone that we all know I’ve had a very close relationship with over the years.
Of course I’m talking about Ryan Buell.
Let me start by making some things VERY clear.
1.) I am NOT Ryan Buell. I am Chad Calek. And the difference between both of those men is astronomical. This is not a slam or a “diss” against Ryan, as I’m certain that he would tell you the same.
2.) Ryan’s “sickness” is completely UNRELATED to mine. Anyone who says anything different is absolutely lying. I nearly died because I’ve lived a life in which I simply did not take care of myself. But I am NOT dying. I am LIVING. I am VERY close to a full recovery. I will absolutely come back stronger than I ever have in my life. Think I’m fucking around? Come spend five minutes with me and take a look into my eyes, and you tell me what the monster’s glare has to say.
3.) I know EXACTLY what is going on with Ryan, and trust me when I tell you that NOBODY else knows the full story. But I also know that there are some truths that only he can tell you… or it will be the the literal death of him. When he is ready, and I truly pray he will be one day, I’m going to give him the opportunity to be accountable for his action, as that will be price of his redemption.
It’s also important to understand that in the last few years, I’ve seen and spoken to Ryan face to face all of two times, while texting with him a total of five times, in which those texts were extremely limited.
Have I been angry with Ryan? Have I cursed Ryan’s name countless times? Absolutely… and I’m certain on the heels of those moments, he’s done the same against me.
Have I also told Ryan to his face that he needs to get his shit together? Absolutely.
Have I told him that he has to take care of his fans or it will be the death of everything he’s built? Absolutely.
Did I feel completely abandoned when my 50/50 partner on AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER left me in the cold on the delivery of thousands of DVD’s, while not some much as posting a single post on the AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER Facebook page to talk to fans as to why the overall process was so difficult?
Yes... I felt abandoned. I felt angry.
But I never put a SINGLE negative post out there against Ryan. I took the shit everyone had to say, promised them we would deliver, no matter how long it took, and kept moving forward WITHOUT half of the equation that was supposed to be there to help.
And that commitment exists today. This will be the 14th time I've posted that if for any reason, if you have not received your DVD, PLEASE email us at email@example.com, as we ship to every address when get an order from. Having said that, there are COUNTLESS reasons why some orders do not show up. Reasons that I was completely unaware of. Reasons such as an old address being associated with your order. People moving. USPS delivering the DVD to the wrong door. The orders being lost in the mail (which is far more common that you could ever imagine) and yes, especially during the early days of our first ever attempt and building a distro company, it's quite possible that we could have missed a handful of orders. Also, this week, now that I've been cleared to work from home, we will begin shipping orders that came in during my hospital stint. Please hang tight with us over the next few days.
Now that that's been addressed... moving on.
When it comes to Ryan, the question I've received over and over again… is why didn’t I put a negative post out against him? I’ve been asked that question by everyone, from my family, to my closest friends, to my business partners.
The answer is long and complex, but today I’m strong enough to give you the full answer.
A lot has been made online about the “collapse” of PRS.
In many ways… it has collapsed. But in one very singular way, as long as Ryan Buell has a heartbeat, it will never fully collapse. If we’re being honest… Ryan is P.R.S. He always has been. He always will be. For better, or as of late, for worse.
When I first met Ryan Buell, I was working for Steven Spielberg on my own show called RISING, while he was working on a show, that after several name changes (Out There, Paranormal U.) would eventually become Paranormal State.
At the time, we were both battling with producers, while not truly knowing the fate of what we had created, as 99 percent of all “shows” never make it past the pilot stage. I was 31 years old and had spent seven years working in the entertainment business as a director, in which he was truly just a kid that some very clever producers had sunk their teeth into, realizing he was a “polarizing” figure.
The first time we spoke was after he had watched TERROR NORMAL, which was a documentary I made eight years ago, in which myself and my skeptical friends went to Waverly Hills and locked ourselves in that nightmare of a building for eight days.
Ry and one of his assistants called me to ask me if I would be interested in attending his then “Univ-Con” paranormal conference, which Ryan, at the age of 24, in a matter of three years time, had already built "Univ-Con" into the nation’s largest paranormal conference. That alone impressed me enough to take the call.
What I found on the phone was VERY much a “kid”, in all ways. His enthusiasm for his conference was second to none, while his overall enthusiasm for everything he wanted to accomplish in the field was unmatched. It was very clear to me that Ryan was a “dreamer”.
I like “dreamers”.
They make shit happen. They take risks. They are not afraid to fail.
But what I could see at that time, is that he didn’t have a clue how this industry works. He’s letting it rip, moving and dodging the sharks of this business off of pure instinct and charisma.
I remember having a conversation with Joey, in which I said, “If I plug into this kid, this industry is going to feel it. Right now, he’s bringing a knife to a gun fight. And somehow, he’s still alive and moving forward.”
Because I’ve been around many successful people in this business, and because I’ve had my own success, what I knew is that Ry had no idea what was coming, should he actually find his own way to the stars.
Have any of you ever asked yourself what it must be like to be truly famous on any level?
I can tell you that for a person who HAS the tools to handle it, it’s a mind fuck of galactic proportions. And for a person who doesn’t have the tools to handle it, if they don’t gain those tools real quick, it can be a death sentence.
You can sets your clock and place bets of the events that are sure to follow once “success” puts her hands around your neck.
Every person you’ve ever known “loosely” in your past will contact you in record time, in which they will speak to you as though you were the best of friends.
The vast majority of the people you know will secretly harbor jealousy… although they would deny it to the death.
Life’s rewards become candy on a table. Anything you could possibly imagine becomes readily available to those who simply want to say, “I know him. I fuck him. I give him free drugs,” etc.
And when the vultures and lemmings descend, the only retreat is your home, in which you can easily become a slave to silence.
And when it comes to “work”, when success hits, the scumbags of this industry move in like a pack of fucking wolves, ready to eat every last ounce of flesh, only to figure out how they crunch the bones up when they are done, because after all… there’s blood in those too.
But there is a flipside.
If you have the tools, fame and success can also be beautiful.
You receive love from people you don’t even know… that don’t even know you.
You receive the opportunity to create positivity amongst the masses, which as a natural born storyteller, I believe this to be a divine gift from God.
You also have the power to completely change people’s lives by giving opportunity when you see it is deserved.
You have the chance to lead by example (if you so choose) and be a role model for children, which is also a divine gift.
And yes, it’s possible to achieve wealth.
And yes, I know that money doesn’t equal happiness. But again, if you have the tools, it equals FREEDOM. And if FREEDOM isn’t happiness… I don’t know what is.
When I first met Ryan, he has absolutely ZERO tools to handle anything, other than a burning desire to take on the world.
So after Ryan and I’s first conversation about my appearance at “Univ-Con”, I tried to attend the is conference, only to get the “nix” from Amblin at the last second, as my contract was extremely tight, in which I couldn’t do a thing without their permission. But since they were paying me to sit still, I was “ok” with that in the beginning.
Ryan and I only spoke one other time in the next year, in which he was extremely proud that Paranormal State was “greenlit” to actually “make it” into all of your homes, and onto your television screens. But at the same time, he was also frustrated with many aspects of what I already knew were going to come his way.
We talked for a few hours, in wish I wished him the best.
At that time, I was having my own battles with my show, which had nothing to do with me personally, but none the less, after working for a year on a truly futuristic ghost hunting show, my boss, My. Spielberg, was leaving Paramount and Yahoo! and was taking all his goodies with him, which included RISING, which meant legal battles were immenent, which I ultimately knew would be the death of RISING, as Spielberg’s focus was going to be his feature films… not his internet based reality show on ghost hunting.
With that in mind, while sitting under my contract for another six months, I began working on AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER, as all roads for me, no matter what, led there.
In the meantime, Ryan’s PARANORMAL STATE debuted on A&E.
Up to that point, all anyone had ever seen in regard to “ghost hunting” was a tag-team of Warwick plumbers that were fumbling and fucking around with “ghosts” in the most endearing way. Jay and Grant were using the tools they had to bring this field forward, and we ALL had tuned in… even me. And we didn’t care if they made mistakes. We didn’t care if they didn’t even understand the gadgets they were using. We didn’t care, period. They were going after it… in a huge way.
And it worked. And because they were the first to get there, the public assumed this was the only way.
That is what Ry was up against. THE ONLY WAY.
The debut of PARANORMAL STATE reached 2.2 million people and scissor-kicked GHOST HUNTERS square in the nuts, as if to say… “Knock. Knock. You aren’t the only game in town, fellas.”
The public LOVED it, while the paranormal field HATED PARANORMAL STATE. To be honest, I was completely fucking confused by PARANORMAL STATE.
I read all the comments as well.
“It's all demonic. What a joke.”
“You can’t use religion to ghost hunt.”
“What do kids know about the paranormal? This is ridiculous.”
And like I said… I didn’t get PARANORMAL STATE at all.
Then I finally watched an episode in which Ryan, a hardened “Catholic”, rowed a boat out into the water with Eilfie, a Pagan, who began some whack ass ritual, in which she was calling on the arch angels.
Right then. Right there. I got it.
This kid, Ryan, does not give one fuck about preconceived ideals of ANYTHING on planet earth. Dude is swinging for the fences, and he’s willing to risk it all, even if it means going down in flames.
I liked it.
I loved it.
I got it.
So I went back to fight my battles and simply became a fan.
Then I read the official announcement on Myspace that PARANORMAL STATE was greenlit for a second season, in which I thought, “Wow… he’s winning. Unreal.”
Shortly after reading that announcement, I got a phone call from Ryan, in which I’ll never forget what he said to me. “Chad, if you’re able, I want you to come on the show. I don’t care if people love it or hate it… I just care that they watch it. It’s changing a lot of things for those who give it a chance.”
As a filmmaker, I’ve always felt the same way about my work. I don’t want EVERYONE to love my films. I want you to care, either way. There’s not much difference between love and hate, as both are passionate responses, which is all I’ve ever strived for.
As it turned out, Ryan saw it the same way.
At that time, RISING unexpectedly took up the option on my contract, in which I was again being paid to sit still… which at this point, was a death sentence to me. I couldn’t do anything but collect checks and plot out a film that I couldn’t make.
At the same time, while I was excited by the opportunity to be on PARANORMAL STATE, I was NOT a religious man, in which I told Ryan if this were going to work, I would NOT be taking part in anything religious, but I would be willing to try one episode. He agreed, never pushed me and said, “Let’s do it.”
After two weeks of begging my bosses to let me now appear on PARANORMAL STATE, I was finally able to convince them that it would be a good thing for RISING should it ever be released. They agreed, but only if I wore the RISING logo on my jacket… which I did. If you watch the “Good vs. Evil” or the “UFO Ranch” episodes, you can clearly see the logo on my back several times.
After all of this, before Season 2 even started, I had to go to New York on business, in which Ry happened to be there as well, in which at the end of evening, we met for dinner, in which a very long conversation about PARANORMAL STATE had occurred. A conversation that I was floored by, in which Ryan asked me how much I was being paid to Executive Produce RISING. I explained to him that when you get close to somebody like Spielberg, you’re not going to make peanuts. It is what it is. The guy is a legend and anyone working with him is going to be properly compensated.
Ryan went on to explain what they were all getting paid, how they were getting paid and that he truly felt he was being taken advantage of, as the show was making millions.
I was in awe of what he told me. When I say that cast was getting screwed over… I mean it was big boy, porn star, gang-bang fucked.
The secondary cast members were either working for free… or getting $100 per episode, which each episode takes three days to film. We also filmed 12 hours a day, which meant they secondary cast members were making less than $3 per hour.
While Ryan was making more, for a lead of a successful show… it wasn’t even in the BALLPARK of what he should have been making. And the worst part about it was, he had told me that he had NO representation. NO agent. NO manager. NO attorney. And he didn’t get one because he had a “motherly” relationship with the Executive Producer that serviced him the contract that I would later read… which in my opinion, was the single worst contract I have ever seen in my 15 years in the entertainment business. And my early history is in the entertainment field is in the music business, which is legendary for bad contracts.
I've seen it all. And without question, this was the worst I had ever seen.
I just sat there thinking… “Motherly relationship, eh? Ry… you fell for the oldest trick in this business.”
The “I LOVE YOU” card had been pulled and wielded successfully.
Fast forward to my first day on set, in which I had a breakfast with the cast while Ryan was in a producer’s meeting, in which immediately, they all began pouring their guts out, telling me how screwed over they were. Six people sleeping in a single hotel room, while working in downtown Pittsburgh on $20 a day for food, which wouldn’t even cover three meals, etc.
I left and immediately called my manager and said, “Is this even legal?”
And let’s be VERY clear what I’m talking about when I say “paid”.
Nobody wanted to be paid for paranormal investigating.
Nobody expected to be paid for paranormal investigating.
This was also NOT a stand alone documentary that people willingly enter into, knowing that a profit may never be made, and that there engagement in the film is purely voluntary.
This was about a REOCCURRING cable network TV show that was making a ton of money off the voice, likeness and image of those on the show, which created a REOCCURRING “brand” that was PARANORMAL STATE. This “brand” was being sold to commercial buyers for MILLIONS of dollars every week, as Ry sat handcuffed by a contract that a “motherly” figure handed him.
I was pissed. It was injustice. I had seen this before… but never this bad.
So I filmed my first episode, which was Good vs. Evil. I was then asked back to film two more episodes, in which I wasn’t paid for any of them.
I could smell their breath as they grinned.
I literally heard an on-set associate producer laughingly say, “We got Spielberg’s boy working for free.”
What they didn’t know, is that I had already decided I was going to flip this entire show on its head and pile drive these producers into the ground for the shit they were pulling. What they thought was a petty ghost hunter, was actually a loose cannon, as I didn’t need Paranormal State for ANYTHING. So one way or another, they were going to stop fucking people over.
All I needed was for them to need me.
So I filmed.
Then after filming, the first Season 2 trailer appeared, and amidst all the scenes they cut, they used my face and my voice as the catch line for the entire Season. “There something down here, bro.”
Then they used “Good vs. Evil” as the Season 2 opener.
I smiled and thought, “Thank you… time to go to work.”
I met with Ryan again and said, “It’s time you get some representation. Until you do… you are truly screwed. I’ll help you. But when you get my team behind you, you had better fight with everything you have.”
I could see in Ryan’s eyes that he had been waiting for this.
And I followed through. Within a few weeks, Ryan had my agent, my manager and one of the most powerful attorneys on planet earth.
Because Ryan and I would often talk about our plans on set, the audio guys started hearing bits and pieces of our conversations, which SCARED THE LIVING SHIT out of those producers. It scared them to the point that when we would shut our mics off to talk, the audio guys would literally take off sprinting to find us, to tell us that the Executive Producers had ordered us to keep them on at all times.
You want to ensure Ryan Buell won’t do something you want? Order him to do something. I didn’t have to tell him what walk to walk now.
Shortly after, another old trick was applied, in which they started telling us that PARANORMAL STATE was going to be cancelled after Season 2.
I told Ryan straight up. “That’s bullshit. It’s a scare tactic. I guarantee you this series is going to run as long as you want to make it. We can see the ratings just like they can. Don’t believe the hype.”
Within a month, we got the word that PARANORMAL STATE was picked up for Season 3.
Over the course of that year, I saw Ryan go from being a scarred kid who was wildly swinging at anyone trying to put their hands on him… to a calm, cold and calculating man who now walked with a swagger.
He was angry. He should have been. And the time for A&E to face Ryan’s wrath was firmly upon their head.
By Season 3, they had “partially” taken care of Ryan financially, in which they also begrudgingly took care of me financially, making me the second highest paid cast member on the show. But they didn’t take care of the rest of the cast… which left me extremely pissed off. In fact, many of the cast members they wanted to replace, in which the A&E executives voiced this almost DAILY.
This is a fact. I know this. I heard those conversations, because at that point, they all knew that Ryan and I had the same representation, although slightly different interests. So rather than try to fight with me, they thought the "pull me to the side approach" may work. Countless times I heard how several different cast members needed to be "history".
Knowing that Ryan would NEVER give up his security blanket, I kept telling the producers the same thing.
"This isn't my show. You're talking to the wrong guy. If you think I can force him to do anything... you're truly insane."
Ryan also knew from Day 1, because I was very clear with him, that AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER was my end game. I would help him. He would help me. And together, we would make magic happen.
It really was a perfect partnership at that time. Two guys that didn’t need each other… but we both wanted to work with each other, as the fruits of our labor were undeniable.
So why did A&E refuse to fully taking care of everyone?
Part of that was because they never had to, as in the early seasons, the only contracts that were ever served, was to Chip, myself and Ryan. With no contracts in play for anyone else, they had no legal obligations to pay the cast anything, which again, is about as messed up as it gets, since they were selling their face and likeness to the world for millions. Lead or not, the cast of P.S. was a part of that brand, and they knew if they had Ryan, they had the cast.
I didn't like that setup. I didn't support it. But I also thought to myself... "baby steps."
I didn’t have to tell Ryan that time was on our side. He’s a smart guy. Almost too clever for his own good. He knew what I knew without saying it. We were going to find the most intense cases we’ve ever found, in which we were going to attack this show like animals on fire, and when it keeps getting picked up, we’re going to chisel away until we OWN this show and everything about it. From top to bottom. Nothing short of a complete and absolute takeover would suffice.
Nobody would ever get fucked over again.
There would be no producers pushing us to say “everything” is paranormal.
The belittling of us and the attempts to split us up would end, once and for all.
By the time Season 4 rolled around, we got wiser with our moves and began using the same tricks against A&E. Since we knew we they were listening to our conversations, we made up all kinds of shit to scare them.
We talked about quitting.
We talked about going to another network.
We proclaimed this was in fact our last season.
Those words ring terror to execs when you’re a part of a machine that’s producing millions and millions of dollars.
Enough fear to finally give Ryan what he wanted the most.
Absolute and total control for one episode... in which he handed me the director’s keys for the Darkness Falls episode.
We were told, “Go ahead. Do your thing. Give us a 22 minute episode.”
I remember Ryan and I laughing on the way to the West Virginia State Penn, as we discussed the fact that they wanted us to fail miserably.
I told Ryan then, “Ry… if we fail, who cares. We shouldn’t have even got this far pushing these people around. We go all out. We pray the ghosts wake up and fight. We make our episode the way we want to make it and we swing with all we have to get it to air. This is that moment. Every fucking ounce of physical and political collateral that we have… we bring those guns to the fight.”
Ryan sat there quiet, as he always does before delivering a deep thought.
“They really want us to fail… don’t they. That’s why we haven’t even had a meeting with the A&E execs about this episode,” he said.
I said, “Ry… they want us to fail.”
He didn’t say much after.
We showed up. We went to work and shot an hour long episode, in which the EP’s on set quickly figured out we were shooting way too much footage for it to be 22 minutes.
An hour long episode on Paranormal State was said to be the bench mark for what is deemed to be a “special” episode.
Once you are done filming, the protocol for that specific episode when it comes to editing, is that the director (me) and lead executive producer (Ryan) would have the guiding hand in the the editorial process. The ONLY people we could be overridden by are the EP’s that are owners of PARANORMAL STATE (which there were two) and the A&E Network, who might as well be GOD in this situation, because with a swipe of a hand, they can make any call they want, and that call will be enforced.
So to “win”, the GOD of our show, who hated Ry and I’s partnership, would have to give us everything we want.
If it sounds next to impossible… that’s because it is. And they started stacking cards against us from the jump.
By the time I got back to Los Angeles, I walked into the editing room to see some absolutely horrible version of Darkness Falls, cut down into 22 minutes. I flipped out, pulled the managing editor and producer into a room, in which I sat there for over an hour, listing scene by scene EXACTLY how the sequence should go.
They told me I was wrong. I didn’t know what I was doing. It could never make an hour long episode. I was drunk on my own power and that was that.
I said, “if I’m wrong, then cut together a 44 minute version, and let’s compare it to the 22 minute version. If the 22 minute version is better… I’ll sign off on this.”
After refusing to let this go, I was told “Ok. We’ll stay here tonight and cut the longer version. Ok? Fair enough?”
I walked out the door, and without EVER cutting a 44 minute version, they sent the 22 minute version to A&E, which Ryan found out about it the following morning.
Needless to say… Ryan was livid. A&E would see shit work and we were done.
There was only one card left to play, and it was a true “hail mary”.
One of the owners of Paranormal State, Gary Auerbach, was what I deemed to be the ONLY possible hope that we had, as Gary had came up similar to me. As a young man he was a director and fought hard to make it in the indie film world. Eventually, like many do, he focused his talents on executive producing and had rapidly become a powerhouse in network reality TV. Gary was also brought into the fold as a third party production company, so he ultimately had nothing to do with the initial contracts serviced to Ryan.
Gary had also already seen the 22 minute version. He had also already seen my work before, so he was familiar with my style.
After Ry and I spoke to Gary, he came to the edit bay to hear me out as to “what” was cut out, why this HAD to be an hour long episode, and the reasons why we truly needed that opportunity to have our work be seen.
After I spoke my case, the editors spoke their cases, in which Gary sat there, listening to everyone.
Once both sides were made, there was a long pause.
After a few moments of deep thought, Gary said, “Cut together the 44 minute version so we can see it.”
It took all the power I had in me not to jump up, plant both my hands on my inner thighs, and yell “Suck it” at these editors.
As a director, you know if you “got the goods” or not when you are done filming. I knew we had the goods. I knew our victory took place right then and there.
For that… I will never speak a bad word about Gary. He listened. He gave us a chance. He also spoke to A&E on our behalf, in which despite the episode being a MASSIVE departure form the normal PS formula, A&E had agreed to air the hour long version, which I cannot stress how big of a “win” this was.
We took over the show. We delivered… and they knew once we had a piece of the pie, we wanted the whole thing.
They tried ways to hold the complete takeover off, as well.
THE GHOST PROPHECIES was one of those ways. That show was NEVER going to series. It was a way to try and “buy me out”. They knew one of Ry and I’s goals was to create a series about my team as well, in which they thought if that kept my busy enough, and if they lined my pockets thick enough, it would slow down the takeover. What they didn’t know, is that a few executive producers now feared Ryan enough, that they would leak us information about things that were being said in private… when we weren’t on the phone.
So I new going into the airing of THE GHOST PROPHECIES that this wasn’t going to ever see the light of day. But that wasn’t going to stop us from making A&E look like shit for trying something so belittling.
And when THE GHOST PROPHECIES came back with higher ratings than the first episode of PARANORMAL STATE that night, A&E had a big issue on their hands.
Now they had to explain to Ryan why a show that he executive produced, which turned out extremely strong ratings, WITHOUT have a single commercial run for it, while going head to head with the first season of THE WALKING DEAD, was going to be killed before it ever happened.
I was with Ryan when he got the world that THE GHOST PROPHECIES was going no where.
At that moment… I saw a change in Ryan.
Up to that point, we fought with our work, and it was about what we viewed as “justice”.
I could see that “justice” was no longer the goal. He was being toyed with. Still. No matter what. Accomplishments meant nothing.
The goal I saw in Ryan’s eyes was now “revenge”.
And it started with a seed… that would soon become a tree.
Part of that tree was the filming of AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER, as Ryan now become as obsessed with it as I did. He wanted to help me. He believed in me. He could see how I had helped him. But I also was very aware that the biggest sword he had to swing, would be a feature that he was a part of making WITHOUT A&E’s involvement.
This scared A&E into trying to buy the rights to AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER, in which we were both immoveable. That was NEVER going to happen.
The day the first trailer to AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER aired, within minutes Ryan received phone calls from A&E execs telling him how excited they were for him, in which they started tweeting the link to the trailer NONSTOP. But we were wise enough to know that it wasn’t out of excitement. It was because A&E wanted to make it appear like they had some involvement, all the while knowing that it was a loose cannon, in which the trigger was ours to pull at any time, as the one "loophole" in Ry's contacts was that it didn't cover feature films.
At that point, the total takeover was going to happen, or Ryan was gone. Period. And he threw down that gauntlet and took it further than I could have ever dreamed.
He had a goal… and heaven help you if you got between him and that goal.
By Season 5, he was the Executive Producer of every episode, in which his first line of business was CLEANING HOUSE, as the vast majority of crew, producers and executive producers were fired immediately.
Ryan had always made his own choices. He’s the most stubborn human being I know. Sure, I would discuss things with me, but we also had MANY fights about the right or wrong move, in which no matter what… the final decision on Ryan Buell’s actions, belong to nobody but Ryan Buell.
But I could see that the sleeping monster in Ryan and been awoken.
The cold, calculating man that Ryan had grown into, was now become the weapon of his own vengeance… and it applied to all things in his life.
But I also saw that Ryan was physically looking worse and worse as time went by. As somebody who’s pushed his body to the limit before, I could tell something was really wrong.
And the more and more “sick” Ryan became, the more and more angry Ryan became. I could see it. Like a car crash in slow motion.
Power, fame, money and control and are all wonderful things… if you are built to handle them.
There were brief moments where I would see “Ryan”.
I would see the guy that quickly became my best friend. The guy that had such a burning passion for those he loved. Such a burning passion for his dreams.
But that contract that he was given by his “motherly” figured had scarred him. It's something he referenced to me often. Ryan wasn’t trying to get paid at all in the beginning. Ryan was a kid, trying to fight for his dreams. And when he got to the end of the line, he realized what many of us realize who travel this road.
And it’s a simple fact of life.
If someone is in your life ONLY when the money is flowing… they do not love you.
Everyone in Ryan’s life at that time was on his payroll. Everyone. Across the board.
At 24, he created something by which the world had never seen before, put food on the table for no less that 40 families, and when his life started to collapse… 99 percent of those people where ghosts (no pun intended).
Despite all efforts, at the end of the day, he was still a piece of meat, in which A&E was dining on him daily.
A lot of has been said as to "why" Ryan eventually left the show.
I know why Ryan left the show. I had the singular conversation with him before he wrote that blog.
Ryan left the show because he was physically and mentally beaten down. And you can only keep up the battle we were fighting if you have the strength of 10 men.
Eventually… he didn’t have the strength.
And like a breath to the palm, or smoke in the clouds… he walked, and it was over.
When you leave something behind like what he created, there is no easy landing.
There was a path Ryan had to choose. And he chose it. That path, I will let him tell all of you when he is ready, as no matter what he’s done… he’s a human being that is suffering.
But he’s also a human being that has to make amends. He has to fix his life. He has to take care of those who took care of him for many years. He has to find that reason in life to get it all back.
I’ve never spoke out against Ryan… and I never will.
He’s wronged me. He’s hurt me. He’s left me in tears.
But Chad Calek is a loyal friend. Chad Calek gives a fuck. And if anyone has a problem with that, don’t write to me. Un-friend my page. Or come pay me a visit and say what you have to say to my face.
I don’t know what Ryan’s fate will be. But I pray for Ryan. I pray he finds peace and comes back as the man I once knew. The kid that could take a knife to a gun fight… and make swiss cheese out of the enemy.
The kid who made entire careers for countless individuals.
The kid that “polarized” you for nearly 90 weeks, as you tuned into see what he was going to do next.
The kid that walked into broken households, only to leave them with “hope” in their hearts.
And now, we see the “The Collapse of PRS”.
“Rome” to the paranormal field.
A fire in the master’s house was set, and once blood was on the doorstep… many hands lit the match.
Ryan’s never been good about hiding his problems if you spend time with him.
Nothing was a secret to anyone close to the situation.
To say anything else, is an absolute lie.
I know. I was there. I know who fucks who. I know who does what drugs. I know who screwed their way onto the television screen. I know who fakes shit. I know who doesn’t. I know who looked the other way. I know who blamed others, while never looking in the mirror.
I know it all.
I was there.
And I was smart enough to never bet my life or future on the actions of another man, as at the end of the day, for all his comparisons to super heroes and romantic dreams of world domination… I’m older than Ryan. And with age comes a bit of wisdom. Fantasy is fantasy.
And Ryan Buell is not a superhero.
Ryan Buell is just a man.
One that’s suffering… and it’s a long road back.
But it starts with him. He has to make the choice.
Until then… I pray for Ryan.
And I will always have love in my heart for the Ryan I know. The Ryan that talked me into doing whatever was necessary to help my mother. The Ryan who dreams big and makes it happen.
The last thing I will share is a very personal story between Ryan and I. Just before filming the Jersey Devil episode, we bounced to New York for our day off, which was a ritual of ours that we loved. We would spend the day eating at nice restaurants, taking carriage rides and going sightseeing constantly. Ry loved New York. He often fantasized about living there. We would often joke that we were on a "date" together, because I truly loved spending time with Ry. He was my friend. He was my partner. I understood Ryan. It was the definition of a "bromance", which many people joked about. While taking a carriage ride, we took a picture together, in which we laughed our asses off because we looked like a "couple" in the photos. We both quickly realized this would be the ultimate lighthearted joke to play with our fans, so we tweeted the pic... and twitter went crazy.
"Are they a couple?"
"Is Chad dating Ryan?"
"I knew it!"
We read them all, laughing our asses off.
At the time, Ry had not "come out" yet, which he clearly knew I was straight as an arrow, which is what made the joke so funny to us. I remember this because this was Ryan being Ryan. We didn't talk business. We didn't stress over work. We just had a good time.
But the business talk would return. We were up talking for a long time that night about what we had accomplished and what was next. After hours of hanging out, we decided we were going to bounce to Times Square to see what was up. Once we made our way down there, it was about 4 a.m., and it was completely dead.
Nobody was around.
He walked up to the pavement and laid down below the lights where the "apple" drops every year. He just laid down, in the middle of Times Square, starring up at the stars.
It was such an unexpected move, that I couldn't think of anything else to do but join him, so I hopped down next to him, on my back, and starred up at the stars as well.
Probably five minutes passed... and he didn't say a word. I finally looked over at him and just stared.
He closed his eyes, and with a slight grin said, ".... two kings".
I almost started crying. I knew what he was telling me. In his own way, he was telling me he loved me. He respected me. And together... we could do anything.
That's the Ryan I fell in love with.
And I haven't seen or spoken to that Ryan in a very, very long time.
And I miss him.
Every single day of my life I miss him.
That is why despite his decisions, I cannot and will not attack my friend. Because I have no choice but to hope and pray that the day will come where the Ryan I know saves and fixes his life, and comes knocking on my door.
And if that happens... two kings will take another carriage ride.