Adam Bock is a good listener

By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 19, 2008

This professional listener has worked as a receptionist himself, including when he interned at Trinity Rep during the years Richard Jenkins was in charge (1990-94). As a public relations assistant, he was frequently tapped to fill in for the permanent receptionist.

"I realized how many different languages you speak when you're a receptionist," he says. "You speak one way to the person on the phone you know, one way to the person you want to hang up with, one with someone you don't know, one with your boss, and then also with people walking in the door."

That's a crucial concern for any playwright, who after all is working with styles and modes of interactions as much as with words.

"So I'm always manipulating language," Bock says. "I'm always listening. I heard one time, these kids went: 'Nuh-uh.' 'Uh-huh.' 'Nuh-uh.' 'Uh-huh.' 'Nuh-uh.' 'Uh-huh.' 'No way — really?' That's what makes me laugh, that stuff. To hear those sounds."


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