• A popular low-brow comedy series in Great Britain was the Carry On series of films. Between 1958 and 1992, 31 movies were made in the series, beginning with Carry On Sergeant and ending with Carry On Columbus. Carry On creators and creative team Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas were sometimes asked what project they were working on — they always replied, “Same film, different title.”
• When Carol Burnett was growing up, she worked part-time at a movie theater that broadcast the sound of the movie into the area she staffed. She never saw the movie Ivanhoe, but she did hear it more than a hundred times. Decades afterward, she could still repeat verbatim long passages from the movie.
• At one time, Whoopi Goldberg, Academy Award-winning actress of Ghost, worked at a mortuary, where she applied makeup to corpses and dressed their hair. According to Ms. Goldberg, this was “great work” because she was “tired of working on living people who all wanted to look like Farrah Fawcett.”
• According to Michael Moore, the director of Roger and Me, once a year factory workers in Flint, Michigan, dress up in white shirts (instead of their usual blue shirts) as a visual reminder that the bosses “are no better than anyone else.”
• As a comic filmmaker, Jacques Tati carefully observed people. On a street one day, he looked at three people arguing about how much a cabbage cost. When his companion asked what he was doing, he replied, “Working.”
- During a long-distance telephone call, choreographer Agnes de Mille told her soldier husband, Walter Prude, that she was pregnant: “We’re having a baby!” He managed to say, “Good God, are you sure!” before they were disconnected — telephone service during World War II was not as good as it is today. Twenty-five minutes later, they were reconnected, and Agnes asked, “Are you all right? Have you something to drink?” Walter replied, “A bottle of Scotch. I’m well along in it.”
- Before they were married, Fred and Joanne Rogers (TV’s Mister Rogers and his significant other) went to many dances and parties, and they once won a bottle of champagne for their costumes when they went as Raggedy Ann and Andy. Because they were teetotalers, they did not drink it, but instead went around pouring it at various tables for their friends.
- A few months after African-American contralto Marian Anderson had been prevented from singing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., because of her race, Pierre Monteux and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra were scheduled to perform there. Doris, Pierre’s wife, arrived, along with Fifi, their pet dog. Unfortunately, three stern-looking men stopped Doris, telling her that under no circumstances could she enter Constitution Hall with “that dog.” A friend of Doris, Hilda Davis, told the stern-looking men, “Without a doubt we cannot enter because the dog, as you call her, is BLACK.” As Ms. Davis and the stern-looking men argued, Doris and Fifi made their way into Constitution Hall, where they enjoyed the concert.
- Marion Dane Bauer, author of the 1987 Newbery Honor Book titled On My Honor, has trained herself to be observant of behavior, including animal behavior. For example, she watched Popcorn, her pet dog, looking at snow. Popcorn first looked outside the kitchen window and watched snow falling. Then Popcorn looked down the hallway and through the dining-room glass doors and watched snow falling. Then Popcorn looked up at the ceiling. Clearly, Popcorn was wondering why white stuff was falling in front of the house and in back of the house but not in the house.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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