I answered a lot of phone calls at my Los Angeles internship at Dark Horse Entertainment. Often this also involved taking messages for people who wanted to speak to my boss Chris. If, for some reason a person were to call wanting to speak to his boss, Dark Horse Comics President Mike Richardson, I would transfer them to Chris and he would take care of it personally.
Even though we were a small independent production office, 90 percent of the phone calls we received were people looking for some kind of job. Even people who you would assume already had a job, people whose names you would recognize, called on a somewhat regular basis looking for work and trying to sell their latest projects. If someone called specifically to do so, regardless of who they were, the appropriate action was to take a message and have Chris or Mike call them back at their convenience.
On one day a particularly eventful phone call came in. I put down whatever I was doing at the time (most like an AIM conversation or reading through back issues of Hellboy) and answered the phone in my typical friendly fashion:
“Hello, Dark Horse Entertainment.”
“Yes… I need to speak to Mike.”
The voice sounded strangely familiar, and it took only a second to recognize it. Holy Crap. Mark Hamill was on the phone!
You’re probably wondering how I knew it was Mark Hamill. First of all, I’ve seen every episode of ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ and could recognize his voice instantly. Also, he sounded like someone who used to be incredibly attractive, famous and popular (as opposed to someone who currently is.) Who else could it be but Mark Hamill?
After a few seconds of silent awe, I realized that both Mike and Chris were in the middle of a meeting. I would have to take a message. This seems like a simple task, but in my world it’s always the things like this that end up with disastrous results.
“I’m very sorry, sir. Mike is in a meeting right now. May I take a message?”
“No. I need to speak to him now. This is Mark Hamill.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Hamill. I’ll have to take a message. Mike is unavailable.”
It was at this point I realized how much it must suck to be Mark Hamill. At one time he probably could have gotten a private audience with The Pope, and now some college intern is making him leave a message. Once again I reasserted my dominance, only further upsetting the guy. After asking a fourth time to leave a message, Mark Hamill shouted an expletive and hung up on me. I laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and went back to killing time in a more entertaining way. About an hour later Chris walked up to my deck and asked if anyone had called while they were in the meeting.
Yeah, Luke Skywalker called and he was pissed.