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Stage Confidences   By: (1849-1925)

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[Illustration: Clara Morris (1883) ]

STAGE CONFIDENCES

TALKS ABOUT PLAYERS AND PLAY ACTING

BY

CLARA MORRIS

AUTHOR OF

"LIFE ON THE STAGE," "THE PASTEBOARD CROWN," ETC.

ILLUSTRATED

LONDON CHARLES H. KELLY

1902

To

MARY ANDERSON

"THE FAIR THE CHASTE THE UNEXPRESSIVE SHE"

GREETING

To those dear girls who honour me with their liking and their confidences, greetings first, then a statement and a proposition.

Now I have the advantage over you of years, but you have the advantage over me of numbers. You can ask more questions in an hour than I can answer in a week. You can fly into a hundred "tiffs" of angry disappointment with me while I am struggling to utter the soft answer that turneth away the wrath of one.

Now, you eager, impatient young damsels, your name is Legion, and your addresses are scattered freely between the two oceans. Some of you are grave, some gay, some well off, some very poor, some wise, some very, very foolish, yet you are all moved by the same desire, you all ask, very nearly, the same questions. No actress can answer all the girls who write to her, no more can I, and that disturbs me, because I like girls and I hate to disappoint them.

But now for my proposition. Why not become a lovely composite girl, my friend, Miss Hope Legion, and let me try to speak to her my word of warning, of advice, of remonstrance? If she doubts, let me prove my assertions by incident, and if she grows vexed, let me try to win her to laughter with the absurdities, that are so funny in their telling, though so painful in their happening.

Clara Morris.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. A WORD OF WARNING II. THE STAGE AND REAL LIFE III. IN CONNECTION WITH "DIVORCE" AND DALY'S IV. "MISS MULTON" AT THE UNION SQUARE V. THE "NEW MAGDALEN" AT THE UNION SQUARE VI. "ODETTE" IN THE WEST. A CHILD'S FIRST PLAY VII. A CASE OF "TRYING IT ON A DOG" VIII. THE CAT IN "CAMILLE" IX. "ALIXE." THE TRAGEDY OF THE GOOSE GREASE X. J.E. OWENS'S "WANDERING BOYS." "A HOLE IN THE WALL" INCIDENT XI. STAGE CHILDREN. MY "LITTLE BREECHES" IN "MISS MULTON" XII. THE STAGE AS AN OCCUPATION FOR WOMEN XIII. THE BANE OF THE YOUNG ACTRESS'S LIFE XIV. THE MASHER, AND WHY HE EXISTS XV. SOCIAL CONDITIONS BEHIND THE SCENES XVI. THE ACTRESS AND RELIGION XVII. A DAILY UNPLEASANTNESS XVIII. A BELATED WEDDING XIX. SALVINI AS MAN AND ACTOR XX. FRANK SEN: A CIRCUS EPISODE XXI. STAGE FORFEITS AND THEIR HUMOUR XXII. POOR SEMANTHA

ILLUSTRATIONS

CLARA MORRIS (1883) CLARA MORRIS IN "L' ARTICLE 47" CHARLES MATTHEWS CLARA MORRIS IN "ALIXE" CLARA MORRIS AS "MISS MULTON" CLARA MORRIS AS "ODETTE" MRS. GILBERT, AUGUSTIN DALY, JAMES LEWIS, AND LOUIS JAMES JOHN E. OWENS "LITTLE BREECHES" CLARA MORRIS AS "JANE EYRE" CLARA MORRIS IN "THE SPHINX" CLARA MORRIS IN "EVADNE" CLARA MORRIS AS "CAMILLE" TOMMASO SALVINI W.J. LE MOYNE CLARA MORRIS BEFORE COMING TO DALY'S THEATRE IN 1870

CHAPTER I

A WORD OF WARNING

Every actress of prominence receives letters from young girls and women who wish to go on the stage, and I have my share. These letters are of all kinds. Some are extravagant, some enthusiastic, some foolish, and a few unutterably pathetic; but however their writers may differ otherwise, there is one positive conviction they unconsciously share, and there is one question they each and every one put to me: so it is that question that must be first answered, and that conviction that must be shaken.

The question is, "What chance has a girl in private life of getting on the stage?" and to reply at once with brutal truthfulness and straight to the point, I must say, "Almost none."

But to answer her instant "Why?" I must first shake that positive conviction each writer has, that she is the only one that burns with the high ambition to be an actress, who hopes and fears, and secretly studies Juliet... Continue reading book >>




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