Crowded House

A Separate Peace

The airwaves reverberate when Madeleine Homan and John Hickok get on their phones. Madeleine, a career and personal coach for creative people, was once an actor, so she can project her voice. John, an actor, director and professor, has the same ability. Considering they sit 10 feet from one another in their Dobbs Ferry, New York, home offices, they could get on each other's nerves. But they don't even hear each other.

At one time, Homan says, when she was on the phone with clients and Hickok was negotiating a screenplay deal, her clients could hear him. "It was hard to convince them I wasn't listening to him or that he wasn't in some way monitoring our phone conversation."

One solution to the problem was to get a cordless headset. When Hickok's voice is booming, Homan dons the headset and moves into the hallway. Another is communication. "If I'm going to be on a conference call or being interviewed for television, for example, I tell John and he makes himself scarce." Resonant voices aside, Homan and Hickok have an extraordinary ability to tune each other out, so much so that it's not unusual for them to ask each other at dinner "So how was your day?"

Contact Sources

Carter & Carter Enterprises, 720 Turkey Oak Ln., Naples, FL 34108, (800) 566-6155

The Communicators, (800) 324-9044,

John Hickok, (914) 693-5474

Levy & Associates, (202) 364-6456,

WindStar Wildlife Institute, (301) 834-9238,

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