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Newspaper Page Text
THROWING THE SPOTLIGHT "ON A BEAUTIFUL
NIGHT" WITH :
BY JANE WHITAKER.
A night with the amateurs.
No not before thecurtain. Some
of us have sat out""in front and
thought it was all great fun. But be
hindwell, sometimes that is differ
ent. Many of the amateurs are just
stage-struck. Some of them serious
ly want to follow the profession and
must go on amateur nights to show
what talent they have and what
Some of them are human derelicts
who earn their money enough to
buy a bed and. fill their stomachs for
another day. This class shows up
night af fer night, month after month,
nd some of them can count the
They never bother dressing in the
atrical style. You have seen them
with sweaters, not all of them clean.
You have heard them sing without
any voice to speak of. You have
watched their grim, faces because
they do not bother smiling any more.
And after they go off, when you
are through hooting and cat-calling,
and the rest, some manager will say:
"Lord, but you're a crumb! Why
don't you smile?"
But don't be sorry you laughed, be
cause that is the object of the per
formance to give the audience a
No one works harder toward this
end than the manager of the house.
This "back-of-the-scenes" house is
fairly good to the amateurs. It pays
the performers $1 a night and car
fare. Some of the houses pay 85
cents and carfare; some of them pay
75 cents and no carfare.
Most of them double the price of
admission; some of them give three
performances, some two, some one
but the amount the performer gets is
the same regardless of how many
times he or she must endure the
A blond girl, who is striving to get
on the professional list, is going to
sing a song. Her name is Hazel. The
manager goes before the curtain and
"Miss Hazelnut, sister to Witch
hazel, will now sing something new."
Hazel has been on the amateur
stage before. She has lost some of
her timidity, but tonight she is angry,
fehe stands there while the audience
hoots and she just glares at them.
Suddenly there is a lull and a quaver
of a voice springs from somewhere
in Hazel's throat, but the cat-calls
have recommenced and her jaws snap
"Come on off," the manager bawls.
"I won't," she flares back. "I came
here to sing and I'm going to. The
audience soon realizes that she is
good for the night right in the center
of the stage unless they grow quiet.
So they let her sing. Then they give
her "a hand." She had spunk. But
she really had a bad temper.
A woman of at least forty, wrinkled
and much made up, is next intro- .
"The next performer," the man
ager bawls, "will sing a song that is
not quite as old as she is."
And the forty-year-old amateur
starts to sing "The Holy City."
That's all she does starts. Maybe,
though, she finishes, but no one
knows that but herself.
The next performer is an old man,
and, because of his age, a certain re
spect is shown him. But the manager
doesn't want to inject pathos it
must be horse comedy.
"Hey, -you," l says to one of the
nervous ten or twelve behind the
scene. "Walk out on that stage and '
when you get in the middle pretend
you find a piece of money. Pick up
something. Make believe you are bit
ing it to see if it is good, then throw;
it down. and. walk off." v