MAE WEST gave an interview to the Evening Star on Sunday, 6 March 1921. This extensive feature was printed on the theatre page and reveals that Mae had distinct views about succeeding in show business when she was 27 years old.
• • "Mae West and Advice" • •
• • Mae West says she never would have amounted to anything on the stage if she had ever taken any kind friend's advice. This comedienne is a firm believer in doing things in "your own way." She justifies her position with illustrious examples.
• • "Suppose George M. Cohan had accepted all the suggestions made to him in the old days by stage directors and friends," she says. "Would he have been so successful?"
• • "Mr. Cohan is a genius," it was suggested.
• • "He surely is!" assented Miss West. But she added that if Mr. Cohan had followed the advice of every stage director when he was a young man, he would not have developed that marvelous personality and talent of his as he has, or be what he is today.
• • "Merely to do things in the same way that they have been done before," she continued, "bow, smile, wave the hand, and speak with studied intonation just as thousands of other people do have done on the stage for years is not going to get you anywhere in specialty work, musical comedy, or vaudeville."
• • "Of course, when people come to you with suggestions that you modify your acting or certain things in it so as to conform more strictly to stage conventions and ethics, they may mean kindly. In fact, they are probably prompted to come to you with this advice because they have the kindest feelings towards you. But in reality they are your deadly enemies and are likely to be destroyers of your chances of success."
• • "I think that little eccentricities of walk or speech or facial expression or gesture and manner — — even such a little thing as a Cohanesque shoulder stoop or a drawing down of the corners of the mouth, if original and natural — — all ought to be treasured as most precious possessions if the comedian wants to make a hit in eccentric characterization."
• • Miss West said a lot more wonderful things, but life is short and art is long.
• • Source: Article in The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.); published on Sunday, 6 March 1921.
• • On Wednesday, 30 March 1927 • •
• • By Wednesday, 30 March 1927, twelve male jurors had been selected for Mae West's "Sex" trial set for Jefferson Market Court on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. Mae hired four attorneys to represent her. Her defense team was headed by Harold Spielberg, Herman "Beansie" Rosenthal's former associate. Trial coverage appeared in the N.Y. Herald Tribune, The N.Y. Times, Variety, and elsewhere.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West was voted by the Seaman's Institute as their favorite actress.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "She who laughs lasts."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The London Review of Books mentioned Mae West.
• • "Nobody’s perfect" • •
• • London resident Vanessa Coode wrote: While I was an undergraduate, the University Film Society showed a series of Mae West films. I think I went to all of them and in the process noticed that, while the women in the audience got all the jokes (as far as I could tell), the men got about half — — that is, they did not get the ones about men. . . .
• • Source: Item in The London Review of Books; posted on Thursday, 30 March 2000
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •
• • Thank
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• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3145th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in vaudeville in 1921 • •
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