My director showed me the first draft of the Phone Whore screenplay this week. Since I know nothing about exterior shots and zooms and cuts, we decided that the best way to adapt the original script is to have him get in and make the breaks and add the action, and then I look over it to make sure that we haven't lost what it is that I want the whole thing to say.
Checks and balances. Thank god they're there, because I already called him out on one key thing. At a certain point he had my character on a call and checking email at the same time. I did a double-take when I read that, I very consciously and carefully re-read that particular passage, to make sure I hadn't mistaken how he had laid the scene out. Nope. He had me on a call, and reacting to something on the laptop. My hackles went up, and I had to breathe slow, so that when my director and I talked 10 minutes later, I could tell him this in the middle of my few other script comments:
I don't work that way.
I don't multitask when I'm on a call.
In Phone Whore the play, when I "take a call" on stage, for the duration of that call, I direct my attention over the audience, up to the top of a wall or the EXIT sign at the back of the theater. I am not doing that because I don't know where to look, but because when I'm on a call, that's what I actually do. I go to a green screen in my mind, against which I spin the porno that I am creating for the caller. I don't know what other PSOs do, but that's how I work. I watch that scene, watch my words create it even while I am following it.
It may not look like I am doing anything, and I understood, from the director's point of view, that it is kinda boring for film, but I told him to find some other way to add visual interest and action and dynamism, because the way he wrote it was wrong. Wherever I am sitting or lying, whatever my position, creating the story or encounter is the only thing that I am ever doing while I'm on a call.
Yes, I learned that from experience. I have tried doing phone sex while clicking briefly through Facebook, putting away dishes, even once while getting my pussy fingered, and the result was always the same: I was distracted and I'm sure the call quality suffered. I tried that maybe three times, at the beginning, and now I definitely don't do my calls that way.
More than almost anything else, I resent the implicit stereotype. You know the one I'm talking about. It's in every movie or music video or TV show that references phone sex, the idea that phone sex is easy to do, easy enough to do that you can do it while checking email, while cooking, while holding an iron in one hand and a baby in another. That it doesn't require any particular focus. That it's just a bunch of moaning and groaning and you don't need anything special to do it, not only that, but you can do it while doing anything else.
But you can't. Well, I can't. I have more pride in my work than that. Or maybe I'm just shitty at multitasking. Maybe a bit of both
So I told my director. I told him the only things I might do while on call would be
a) utterly mindless actions that
b) don't make any noise and
c) would be done quickly,
d) in order to prevent a fire alarm or some other loud noise from going off.
Like turning down the heat on a pot of soup or setting my cell phone on silence. That's it. I'm not mixing cookies or even sorting socks, and I'm certainly not checking my email. I'm paying attention. If I'm not, then that porno in my head is going to get weird and wobbly and stupid really quick, and that's not what my clients are paying me for.