Location Scouting and the Telephone

Our Location

The title of this post may seem strange, but then, no one has ever accused me of being normal.  Tomorrow is location scouting, a trip to the private home where we are hoping to shoot the bulk of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?   We’ve seen pictures, the place is absolutely beautiful.  Ten thousand square feet on twelve private acres in Connecticut.  Exactly the kind of home my successful filmmaker protagonist and his wife would live in.  It can also double as the upscale bed and breakfast that is a key to the film.

I found the place when the family who owns it answered an ad that I placed on Craigslist.  I got a number of responses, but theirs was not only the first, but by far the best.  Right look, proximity to our home base, pricing.  We even get a production assistant out of the deal.  Pretty much perfect.  I was in contact with the lady of the house through emails.

Now, she did send me her husband’s cell phone number so I could call to discuss the rental rate and to plan a visit.  I have not called the number.  This is going to sound incredibly weird, but I assure you, I am not joking.  I have a problem with telephone conversations.  They make me very uncomfortable.  It’s a strange neurosis I’ve had since I was a child.  I just don’t like talking on the phone.  Even to people I know.  It’s harder with strangers, harder to make a call than to answer one.

I hate to make calls because I always worry that I’m bothering the person I’m calling.  I don’t know what they’re doing, if they’re busy.  I don’t like being intrusive and I always feel that I will be.  Answering the phone is okay if it’s someone I know.  With strangers it’s more difficult.  It’s a crippling thing to deal with and makes certain things much harder to accomplish.  For example, when I was doing stand up, I had trouble getting myself booked because of the necessity of calling booking agents.  Many times.  Bookers rarely answer their phones, so you have to call, leave messages and call again.  And again.  And again.  You get the picture.  I hated doing it and found it mentally exhausting.

Through therapy and self-exploration, I have gotten over many of my little issues, but this one lingers.  I’ve had a few successes recently. I bought a car last week and while at the dealership I had to call my bank and my insurance company.  I was on the spot.  The salesman was sitting right there, what could I say?  Normally, I have to go through routines to make a call.  I have to be in an area where I can move around and hold something in my hand, usually a pen.  I know, that’s completely insane.  What can I say?  That’s me.

I’m trying to finally get over this because if I am going to succeed as a filmmaker, I’m going to have to be able to make phone calls.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this past Thursday, I worked on the script with my co-star and co-producer (who is now a co-writer).  We ending up talking on Skype but to set it up I had to call her.  Major victory for me.  Seriously.

The next win was supposed to be calling the family who owns the home we want to shoot in.  I bailed.  I emailed them.  I did, however, bounce back.  When I got their response and they invited us to come tomorrow, I had to contact another of my co-producers.  I called him without hesitation and we are set for tomorrow.  Another victory.  I’ve got to keep this up.  I have another great opportunity with which my phone call phobia is interfering.

I answered an ad from a writer/actor who is looking for a comedy writer to punch up the dialogue in his scripts.  For pay.  His work is influenced by Woody Allen, Albert Brooks and Larry David.  The kind of stuff I can write in my sleep.  He sent me links to trailers for a couple of his films.  Impressive stuff and there is no question I can write for him.

I emailed him back and he has been trying to call me for three days.  I can’t bring myself to answer the phone.  I told him when I responded to the ad that I have problems with phone calls.  The problem is we do have to speak to one another to set this up.  I have to get over this.  I have my feature screenplay SOUL MATE.  It’s a great story.  This guy could play the lead.  He’s the first person I’ve seen that I would feel comfortable having play the part.  It’s based on me, but I’m too old.

He is anxious to work with me, ready to go.  He has a short he wants me to work on and he’s interested in my feature.  He has many contacts and is willing to share them.  I’m so frustrated because it’s a great opportunity that could advance my career.  I have  to get over this stupid problem.

I was going to try to call him back today.  He called me twice.  But I can’t.  Maybe I’ll try tomorrow.  Better if he calls me, I think I can answer now.  But I don’t think he will.  Why do things have to be so difficult?  I mean, the things that normal people find hard are easy for me, but the basic everyday activities that other people take for granted are nearly impossible for me.  It sucks.

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