Some of the best actors and actresses of the day are forced into this unfortunate position; indeed, they suffer more than the smaller fry—for each theatre requires only one or two stars in its firmament. Theatrical folk are sometimes inclined to be foolish and refuse to play a small part for small pay, because they think it beneath their dignity, so they prefer to starve
on their mistaken grandeur, which is, alas! nothing more nor less than unhappy pride.
Clara Morris, one of America’s best-known actresses, shows the possible horrors, almost starvation, of an actress’s early years in her delightful volume, Life on the Stage.
She nearly died from want of food, and after years and years of work all over the States made her first appearance as “leading lady” at Daly’s Theatre in New York at a salary of thirty-five dollars a week, starting with only two dollars (eight shillings) in her pocket.
Her first triumph she discussed with her mother and her dog over a supper of bread and cheese. She had attained success—but even then it was months and months, almost years, before she earned enough money either to live in comfort or be warmly clothed.
The beautiful Mary Anderson, in her introduction to the
“I trust this work will help to stem the tide of girls who so blindly rush into a profession of which they are ignorant, for which they are unfitted, and in which dangers unnumbered lurk on all sides. If with Clara Morris’s power and charm so much had to be suffered, what is—what must be—the lot of so[Pg 290] many mediocrities who pass through the same fires to receive no reward in the end?”
Every one who knows the stage, knows what weary suffering is endured daily by would-be actors who are “resting”; and as they grow older that “resting” process comes more 长沙桑拿攻略2018 often, for, as one of the greatest dramatists of the day said to me lately:
“The stage is only for the young and beautiful, they can claim positions and salaries which experience and talent are unable to keep. By the time youth has thoroughly learnt its art it is no longer physically attractive, and is relegated to the shelf.”
“That seems very hard.”
“Ah, but it is true. At the best the theatrical is a poor profession, and ends soon. Believe me, it is only good for handsome young men and lovely girls. When the bloom of youth has gone, good acting does not command the salary given to beautiful inexperience.”
“How cruelly sad!”
“Perhaps—but truth is often sad. When a girl comes to me and says she has had an offer of marriage, but she doesn’t want to give up her Art, I reply:
“‘Marry the man before your Art gives you up.’”
This 长沙桑拿哪里便宜 was severe, but I have often thought over the subject since, and seen how true were the words of that man “who knew.”
Half a century ago only a few favoured professionals were admitted into the sacred circle called Society, and then only on rare occasions, but all that is now changed: actors and actresses are the fashion, and may[Pg 291] be found everywhere and anywhere. Their position is remarkable, and they appear to enjoy society as much as society enjoys them. They are fêted and feasted, the world worships at their feet. In London the position of an actor or actress of talent is a brilliant one socially.
CHAPTER XVI HOW DOES A MAN GET ON THE STAGE?
A Voice Trial—How it is Done—Anxious Faces—Singing into Cimmerian Darkness—A Call to Rehearsal—The Ecstasy of an Engagement—Proof Copy; Private—Arrival of the Principals—Chorus 长沙桑拿洗浴 on the Stage—Rehearsing Twelve Hours a Day for Nine Weeks without Pay.
“HOW does a man get on the stage?” is a question so continually asked that the mode of procedure, at any rate for comic opera, may prove of interest.
After application the would-be actor-singer, if lucky, receives a card, saying there will be a “voice trial” for some forthcoming musical comedy at the theatre on such a date at two o’clock. Managements that have a number of touring companies arrange voice trials regularly once a week, but others organise them only when necessary.
Let us take a case of Special Trial for some new production. There are usually so many persons anxious to procure employment, that three days are devoted to these trials from two till seven o’clock.
Upon receiving a card the would-be artist proceeds to his destination in a state 长沙桑拿服务 of wild excitement and overpowering nervousness at a quarter to two, having[Pg 293] in the greenness of inexperience arranged to meet a friend at three o’clock, expecting by then to be able to tell him he has been engaged.