I wrote a 10-minute play about phone sex.
Surprise -- I am not an expert on phone sex. Until a few years ago, I had no idea there was such a thing. Somebody had to describe the details of what the heck phone sex is and how it works.
How this play came to be is probably more interesting than the play itself. Here’s what happened, I swear:
I signed up for a playwriting class offered by Grosse Pointe Theatre. Our instructor, Mary Lou, is a woman who has written many short and long plays and has oodles of community theater experience -- writing, producing, directing and working in every other possible capacity: stage manager, prop person, set decorator, costumes, make up, scenery and more. She’s done everything, she
said, EXCEPT act.
Grosse Pointe Theatre is celebrating its 65th anniversary, so the playwriting class was designed to get a bunch of budding playwrights off their duffs to start writing plays around the “anniversary” theme.
I had an idea for a play that involved a woman working in a phone bank making those annoying calls we all hate:
“Seniors. Statistics show that 70 percent of homes occupied by people over age 60 are broken into every month. Our home security system. . .” yada yada yada.
Or, “This call is about your credit card. There is nothing wrong with your account, but we’re offering a one-time chance to borrow . . .” Yada yada.
The group met on a Saturday morning and we kicked around some ideas, including my phone bank idea. “I should make it a phone sex bank,” I said, as an aside, just to be amusing.
“I like that,” said Mary Lou, with a smile.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked it too. The phone sex woman could be a college student who is working just to earn some extra money. She might be married to a man who wants her to quit because it makes him uncomfortable and he might get grumpy about it. “What would my mother say, if
she knew what you did?” he could say. This couple could be about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
There’s the anniversary theme. You see where this is going.
The stumbling block was . .. . I don’t know anything about phone sex.
Google it, I thought. That’s my answer to everything perplexing.
I found some verrrrrry interesting Web sites. Some were informative. Some were downright pornographic. One was written by a legitimate reporter who was writing a story about phone sex.
I clicked around and found out how phone sex people get paid, how much calls cost, how the cost is computed and (gasp) what these women say.
I wrote my play, which by the way is really tame, compared to what I discovered in my research.
Then I began to think: What if I get hit by a truck tomorrow. What if somebody thinks it wasn’t an accident and might have been murder? Or suicide? What if the investigation into these possibilities included hacking into my computer to see what emails I’ve sent and received and what Web sites I visited in the weeks before the “accident?”
Geeze, I thought. They’re going to think I’m some kind of pervert.
So I deleted the history of all the stuff I’ve done on my computer. It took me a while to figure out how to do that. My tendency is to click on stuff, then see what happens next. But I finally did it.
No deed, good or bad, goes unpunished.
New problem: I screwed up my computer so badly, I had to call Comcast to help me figure out how to put everything back the way it was.
The play was read by two actors for the group last Saturday. I will revise it and submit it for consideration for an April reading at a meeting of Grosse Pointe Theatre. With any luck, I'll get to see it performed for an audience.