How MAE WEST honed her craft in amateur vaudeville by mastering mugging and plugging is the focus of this next excerpt. But first let us wish all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving! And thank you for joining us today.
• • "Mae West's First Audiences Were Church Socials" • •
• • John C. Moffitt Tells the Story of Mae West • •
• • Mugging and Plugging • •
• • John C. Moffitt observed: It is comforting to know that pugilistic Jack West, although he was howled down at most of the family conferences, did succeed in having some effect on his celebrated daughter.
• • John C. Moffitt wrote: But these music conferences had to be worked in when Jack West's wife wasn't occupied with her darling. And she was occupied most of the ime. Imperceptibly, Mae's mother began to discipline her in a strange, characteristic way. She still let her run wild at home and in the neighborhood. She still let her scream and pout and have her own way. But when little Mae did an imitation that did not go over so good, her French mother talked to her like a Dutch uncle.
• • John C. Moffitt pointed out: When she "snapped a gag" and it "laid there," mother was all scorn. Mae was to be a great actress like Eva Tanguay, wasn't she? When Eva pulled a gag, it got over. What was the matter with Mae?
• • John C. Moffitt added: Five-year-old Mae began to learn how to make faces like the comedians did. That is called MUGGING. She learned to pause and let the audience wait for the "pay-off." That is called PLUGGING.
• • John C. Moffitt explained: Mugging and plugging. That was the discipline of her childhood. She never had to pick up her things. but if she let a joke "lie there," she knew she was in disgrace with mamma.
• • Lawn Socials • •
• • John C. Moffitt clarified: Mrs. West was a Jewess [sic] but there were a lot of Catholics in Brooklyn and, during the summer months, the Catholics had a weakness for lawn socials. Lawn socials are well-attended by folks who are . . .
• • This is Part 3. The article will continue tomorrow.
• • Source: The Straits Times (Singapore); published on Sunday, 25 November 1934.
• • On Sunday, 27 November 1932 in Hollywood • •
• • Jon Tuska, writing about "She Done Him Wrong," notes that production commenced on Sunday, 27 November 1932, and concluded in December of that year. Fast work!
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Paramount this week signed Harold Hurley to a new contract as associate producer and
exercised another option on Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I did not change my way of life. I harmed no one. I had a philosophy, an idea of how to live fully and in my way. I believed in it as fully and as strongly as I believed in being an American."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Motion Picture Herald mentioned Mae West.
• • Rotsky Stages Cycle Parade on "Goin' to Town" in Montreal • •
• • Day ahead of opening, George Rotsky, Montreal Palace Theatre secured the cooperation of local bicycle club for a "Goin' to Town" cycle parade, boys with title cards on handlebars covering downtown sections of city. Specially printed folders with picture plug and listing of horses were distributed at the Montreal Jockey Club, theatre presented trophy to winner of special race, thus gaining additional publicity on sports page.
• • Hat shop tied in by featuring Mae West chapeaux and devoting window to display with scene stills. For his front, George used huge cut-outs of Mae atop his marquee and at either side of entrance.
• • Source: Item in Motion Picture Herald; published on Saturday, 6 July 1935
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank
you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this
past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3058th blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • circa 1908 • •
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