A Do or a Don't: Headsets -- The new trend in phone headsets helps Hollywood call the shots

Some entertainment execs are saving their necks these days by wearing telephone headsets. One of the first was Ricky Strauss, TriStar’s director of creative advertising, who was teased mercilessly by colleagues for wearing his phone everywhere. ”People think I’m working a switchboard,” says Strauss. ”But those who don’t use them are hunched.”

Creative Artists Agency superagent Mike Ovitz has been wearing an ultralight, $100 headset for a while, and other CAA toppers are following suit. ”It’s SOP (standard operating procedure) here,” says an industry insider. ”You don’t develop a crick in your neck while rolling calls (making a succession of calls).”

But some honchos shun the trend. And producer-mogul Merv Griffin uses his sparingly. ”I only wear one when I’m trying to impersonate Madonna,” he says, referring to the headset microphone the Material Girl has used in live performance. But does Madonna wear one at home? ”Hell no,” says her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, ”but her publicist does.”