Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Can Hear You Googlers: Rolling Calls in Hollywood

I've noticed a lot of google traffic lately over "Rolling Calls."  I reviewed the play Assistance where it is a large part of the staging of the show because the assistants handle a high volume of calls for their crazy big time boss.

I thought for fun, dear random Googler, I would answer your query:  What do we mean by rolling calls in Hollywood?

This Nun might be rolling calls. You don't know.
Well, when you are a Hollywood assistant it's your job to keep your boss hopping and conversing without a moment of rest.  As they are bathing, working out in the gym or even on the toilet they might decide to "roll calls."  You prioritize the calls on their callsheet (who's called in and is looking for them) and you start dialing and feeding them call after call after call until they cannot take it anymore or their girlfriend shows up for dinner or a flight attendant forcibly removes the phone from their hands.

I was always instructed to stay on the call and I would be responsible for everything learned during every call in case the boss wasn't really listening or if he promised to do something.  It was assumed I would follow up and execute whatever task came out of the call.  Occasionally if the call went into really personal territory (let's face it in Hollywood I never knew if I was at a business meeting or on a date because as far as I can tell those are the same things) I was told to get off the line.

In Assistance, that office had multiple assistants, so one assistant would line up a pending call while the boss was still talking on the first call.  The second assistant would feed the waiting caller to the first assistant who was working the phone with the boss. It's a delicate balance.  You can't have an important muckety-muck hold for too long waiting for your important muckety-muck.  It's a skill and an art.  When done well it is beautiful to behold. 

I hope I have answered your question dear Googler.

Maybe I will do more of these if you keep googling wonderful questions that I have an answer for...And always feel free to email Mildly Bitter with your queries.

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