(Dissecting the prank phone call)
If you’re making prank phone calls without creating a character then you should already know what you want to say before you place the call. Otherwise, you can create a character and just wing it. You should know a lot about your character because you’ll want to throw personality into the call. Don’t be afraid to make up character attributes during the call, this can be really fun. Regardless of using a character or not, you should have notes to aid you until you get really good at prank calling.
A prank call has to have a beneficial comedy/time ratio to be successful in my opinion. A forty second prank call should be direct but humorous. Prank calls over three minutes can afford to build up to an outrageous ending. It helps if the content of the prank call originates from a story. There must be a topic that holds the interest of your audience and the mark you’re calling. Use your notes to stay on track toward a goal. The mark shouldn’t feel alienated; bring them into your predicament. Make them feel comfortable in dealing with you; unless your goal is to be abrasive. Just because you’re initializing the prank call doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. If a mark starts mouthing off to you, use it to manipulate the call toward a goal. Don’t lose control of the call. If you feel you may be losing control or you don’t know how to respond to something; have an “out” prepared. An “out” is an event that happens to disrupt communication but maintains the call. Loud noises or crashing sounds followed by cursing and screaming “Hold On!” into the microphone works well. Regardless of how the call may be progressing, an “out” can allow you to recover from disastrous dialog. Use that time to compose yourself and overlook your notes.
-Jeremy Edward Dion