Friday, November 18, 2016

Mae West: Free-Wheeling Gait

In September 1934, MAE WEST sat down for a series of "Me and My Past" talks with the United Press syndicated reporter Leicester Wagner.  We will post excerpts from Chapter #4 in several installments.  This is Chapter 4, excerpt d-d.
• • "Me and My Past" by Mae West • •
• • As Told to Leicester Wagner, United Press Staff Correspondent • •
• • My "free-wheeling" gait • •    
• • And so my "free-wheeling" gait was born. I strutted on the stage, the next night, saying nothing, just walking. And the audience forgot the comedians.
• • I still walk like that. After all, you have to walk to get places even back from some places and my walk certainly has helped me get places.
• • Between the time I made my professional bow with the Hal Clarendon company and was strutting my way along Broadway's road to fame, my mother saw to it that I was well prepared for what was to come.
• • Taught by Tutors • •
• • Although I could not go to regular school sessions, I was tutored by private teachers in formal learning. But It was the informal learning that really counted.
• • I had shown my mother I had dramatic qualities as an actress. She believed I should dance. I did, under the expert tutelage of Ned Wayburn.
• • Ready for Broadway • •    . . .
• • This has been excerpt d-d.  The next post will be e-e — —  the continuation of Chapter #4.
• • NOTE: This is the 4th chapter of Mae West's life story as told to Leicester Wagner, United Press.  This syndicated series was reprinted in American newspapers during September 1934.
• • On Tuesday, 18 November 1913 • •
• • Mae West had devised original material for herself and Beverly, an 18-minute routine booked as "Mae West and Sister" and sometimes "Mae West and Beverly."
• • Biographers explained this as Mae's attempt to develop a new routine to help her sister break into vaudeville.  Was it?  Or did it have to do with Matilda breaking up the relationship between Mae and Guido Deiro? 
• • Variety wrote: "admired for her persistency" • •
• • On Tuesday, 18 November 1913, Variety gave her a scathing review: "Mae West in big time vaudeville may only be admired for her persistency in believing she is a big time act and trying to make vaudeville accept her as such. ..."  Awww.
• • On Wednesday, 18 November 1936 • •
• • It was a busy time for the screen queen when "Go West Young Man" was released on Wednesday, 18 November 1936 in the USA.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Incidentally, Mae West has started a new style in formal attire that may be taken up by the entire film colony. And, then again, may not. Anyhow, the lady went to a formal dinner the other evening wearing black crepe de chine pajamas, a white polo coat trimmed with white fox, and a pink taffeta beret.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "Women have more power now." 
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West.
• • "1929 — — What a Year" by J. A. Morris. Bootleg gin, making whoopee and the Wall St. crash, Al Capone, Mae West and Babe Ruth crooners, the talkies and rumble-seat cars, Hemingway, Jimmy Walker and John Barrymore — all come to life in wonderfully entertaining stories of a momentous year in American history. 75 photos.  . . .
• • Source: Item in Columbia Daily Spectator; published on Monday, 18 November 1957
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3577th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a
magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material
focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1913

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