In 1920 I took my first acting gig. Later I would be able to take roles The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca among others but this, this was my first foray into the theatrical arts. What follows is my movie diary from that time.
Today wasn’t so bad. Landed my first starring role in a drama or a thriller or some sort of fake documentary or something. There was no script or nothing, just a set of directions. That was fine, you know, because I was playing a baby.
Oh and as a side note the director, John Watson, (who insisted on being called Doctor) was quite the ladies man, if you know what I mean, except when his wife was on the set.
I asked the director this morning about the lack of light and sound equipment. He mumbled something about an ideology or catholic church or something before sneaking off to the broom closet with the assistant director.
They spent eight hours today filming me holding a stuffed rat. Stupid Watson wasn’t even here half the time.
We’ve spent the last nine days filming the same scene over and over again: Me holding and rubbing the rat. I’ll admit that I’ve grown attached to the little guy. I’ve even given him a name, Burrhus.
I think the director saw me talking to Burrhus. I’ve been sitting here eight hours a day, filming the same scene, I mean I gotta do something to keep me sane, right? I don’t think the mic picked up the sound anyway.
The director gave everybody the day off today so that he could “prepare mentally” for the next scene, of course the mental preparation required him spending time behind closed doors with two of the interns and the assistant director. At once.
I snuck Burrhuss off the set and took with me to a bar down the street. I kept him hidden in my coat. I didn’t want anyone to think I was queer or nothing.
Today started off like all the other days, just me sitting there waiting for the assistant director to give me Burrhuss and just when she does WHACK! some guy with a snow white beard hit this steel bar with a hammer just inches from the back of my head. At first I thought that Watson must have seen me talking to Burrhuss, and that this was some sort of punishment but this went on all day.
I walked on set ready to quit and but the director reassured me that we had maybe a day or two left. He also mentioned that we would no longer be filming with the stuffed rat. This left me both relieved and a little sad.
The rest of the day went the same as last: they hand me a furry animal of some sort and then the steel bar and hammer, all day long. I was glad when it was over. I still miss Burrhus, though.
I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Coming in I saw a woman wearing a mink coat and I almost went screaming in terror. I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to work in a circus again.
The day started out as any other me, sitting there on the table . It was all quiet and everybody was just watching like they were waiting for something happen. Then, Watson calls over to his assistant and she starts walking toward me with this box. She opens it up and it’s Burrhus, it isn’t just one though, it’s like a dozen or something. Like they went to the store and bought up all the stuffed white rats. Something came over me and left. I won’t say it was polite or nothing cause I ran screaming off the set, like a Kraut in the War. As I was leaving I heard applause, like they was congratulating each other on a job well done.
I got my check in the mail a few weeks later, with a letter saying that they wanted to film a another movie but I said I’d think about it. But I knew that I didn’t really want to go back.