An "Uncle Tom's Cabin" company was starting to parade in a small New England town when a big gander, from a farmyard near at hand waddled to the middle of the street and began to hiss.
One of the double-in-brass actors turned toward the fowl and angrily exclaimed:
"Don't be so dern quick to jump at conclusions. Wait till you see the show."—K.A. Bisbee
When William H. Crane was younger and less discreet he had a vaunting ambition to play Hamlet. So with his first profits he organized his own company and he went to an inland western town to give vent to his ambition and "try it on."
When he came back to New York a group of friends noticed that the actor appeared to be much downcast.
"What's the matter, Crane? Didn't they appreciate it?" asked one of his friends.
"They didn't seem to," laconically answered the actor.
"Well, didn't they give any encouragement? Didn't they ask you to come before the curtain?" persisted the friend.
"Ask me?" answered Crane. "Man, they dared me!"
Manager: "We play Hamlet tonight, laddie, do we not?"
Associate: "Yes, Mr. Montgomery."
Manager: "Then I must borrow the sum of two-pence!"
Manager: "I have four days' growth upon my chin. One cannot play Hamlet in a beard!"
Associate: "Um—well—we'll put on Macbeth!"
He: "But what reason have you for refusing to marry me?"
She: "Papa objects. He says you are an actor."
He: "Give my regards to the old boy and tell him I'm sorry he isn't a newspaper critic."
The hero of the play, after putting up a stiff fight with the villain, had died to slow music.
The audience insisted on his coming before the curtain.
He refused to appear.
But the audience still insisted.
Then the manager, a gentleman with a strong accent, came to the front.
"Ladies an' gintlemen," he said, "the carpse thanks ye kindly, but he says he's dead, an' he's goin to stay dead."
Mrs. Minnie Maddern Fiske, the actress, was having her hair dressed by a young woman at her home. The actress was very tired and quiet, but a chance remark from the dresser made her open her eyes and sit up.
"I should have went on the stage," said the young woman complacently.
"But," returned Mrs. Fiske, "look at me—think how I have had to work and study to gain what success I have, and win such fame as is now mine!"
"Oh, yes," replied the young woman calmly; "but then I have talent."
Orlando Day, a fourth-rate actor in London, was once called, in a sudden emergency, to supply the place of Allen Ainsworth at the Criterion Theatre for a single night.
The call filled him with joy. Here was a chance to show the public how great a histrionic genius had remained unknown for lack of an opportunity. But his joy was suddenly dampened by the dreadful thought that, as the play was already in the midst of its run, none of the dramatic critics might be there to watch his triumph.
A bright thought struck him. He would announce the event. Rushing to a telegraph office, he sent to one of the leading critics the following telegram: "Orlando Day presents Allen Ainsworth's part tonight at the Criterion."
Then it occurred to him, "Why not tell them all?" So he repeated the message to a dozen or more important persons.
At a late hour of the same day, in the Garrick Club, a lounging gentleman produced one of the telegrams, and read it to a group of friends. A chorus of exclamations followed the reading: "Why, I got precisely the same message!" "And so did I." "And I, too." "Who is Orlando Day?" "What beastly cheek!" "Did the ass fancy that one would pay any attention to his wire?"
J. M. Barrie, the famous author and playwright, who was present, was the only one who said nothing.
"Didn't he wire you too?" asked one of the group.
"But of course you didn't answer."
"Oh, but it was only polite to send an answer after he had taken the trouble to wire me. So, of course, I answered him."
"You did! What did you say?"
"Oh, I just telegraphed him: 'Thanks for timely warning.'"
Twinkle, twinkle, lovely star!
How I wonder if you are
When at home the tender age
You appear when on the stage. —Mary A. Fairchild.
Recipe for an actor:
To one slice of ham add assortment of roles.
Steep the head in mash notes till it swells,
Garnish with onions, tomatoes and beets,
Or with eggs—from afar—in the shells.—Life.
Recipe for an ingenue:
A pound and three-quarters of kitten,
Three ounces of flounces and sighs;
Add wiggles and giggles and gurgles,
And ringlets and dimples and eyes.—Life.
The tragedian had just signed a contract to tour South Africa. He told a friend of it at the club. The friend shook his head dismally.
"The ostrich," he explained in a pitying tone, "lays an egg weighing anywhere from two to four pounds."