I am in a bit of a happy swirl today as I have received my very first blog award! Isn’t it beautiful! The ‘bunch of beer’ makes me exceedingly happy. Thank you so very much for nominating me Gordon! I am jumping for joy!
Talking of jumping up and down I think I may have mentioned my ‘urban rebound’ class at the gym? Well, the class is quite tough and there is a lot of panting and gasping in the breaks at which point the instructor always makes the same dire jokes about how we could all earn money by manning phone sex lines. This is irksome after the 15th time and the other day I nearly let slip that I actually had once descended into the murky underground world of phone porn.
It was admittedly a few years ago and I needed some instant money to help pay my rent. Oddly enough it was my mother who found the advert in the local paper.
‘Look,’ she said. ‘These people are looking for voice over artists.’
She had her thumb over the bit that specified ‘adult material’ but I got the gist when I called about an interview.
‘Do you mind reading pornographic material into a mike?’
I wasn’t sure but up for another life experience I said I did it all the time.
The address was a scruffy warehouse lot near a new entertainment complex and I had an interview for 4pm.
There was no sign on the door just a series of buttons, which I randomly pressed and eventually a teenager still in school uniform opened up. I was a bit taken aback and shuffled on the doorstep muttering something about the ad in the Evening News.
‘Oh Dad’s upstairs,’ the teenager said brightly and led me through a wide space stuffed full of bits of electrical equipment, old instruments and metal poles hung with stage lights.
Upstairs were three studios and a small office. The ‘dad’ was a pleasant looking, chubby man in his mid forties in a blue and yellow patterned jumper and brown corduroy trousers. I began to wonder if I had the right place.
Another child of about 11 poked his head around the door. ‘Dad..can I have some toast? ‘
‘Alright then but don’t let it burn or the alarm will go off again and we are going to be recording.’
The interview ended up being a distracted chat about his son’s rock band and the fact no one played the old stuff anymore. After a couple of minutes without a glance at my CV he asked me if I had done voice over work before. I said yes. Her handed me a script and a mike.
And I read.
The script was filthy and so badly written it made me cross-eyed.
‘Its not very good,’ admitted the dad-man. ‘I have to write so many and its generally all the same stuff required. It’s hard to make anything original. It really down to you to make it sound convincing.’
And so it was I ended up in a studio one afternoon, reading utter filth to a man who looked like he could have been a presenter on Good Morning TV.
‘That’s jolly good,’ he says, impressed with my ability to moan in several different regional accents. ‘Could you try with a Scottish lilt and go an extra three seconds on the final orgasm? ‘
I recorded three scripts. One, a very basic ‘come hither and put in your credit card details’, one revolving around a couple in a car in a park….you get the drift and then there was the standard dominatrix.
I sipped my tea and did Ms. Whiplash through a couple of times and it was all over.
Back home I sit feeling a bit strange looking at my pile of cash. Mum asks me how it went.
‘It was surreal,’ I say. ‘Easy money,’ but I begin to feel queasy thinking that my voice, no matter how disguised, is out there alone at the end of a phone line ‘helping’ some random man with his ..err.. private life.
By the time I get a call, a week later when the next batch of scripts are ready, I have found a full time job that doesn’t involve heavy breathing and am about to move to the other side of London. The man says he is really sorry to lose me and asks if I know anyone else who might be interested. He says he is desperate to find older Asian women.
In the background I can hear children squabbling.
‘Good luck with that.’ I say and hang up.