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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesPeck's Sunshine - Accidents And Incidents At Theatres
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Peck's Sunshine - Accidents And Incidents At Theatres Post by :MrsWebb Category :Long Stories Author :George W. Peck Date :May 2012 Read :1623

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Peck's Sunshine - Accidents And Incidents At Theatres

Sometimes our heart bleeds for actors and actresses, when we think what they have to go through with. The other night at Watertown, N. Y., Miss Ada Gray was playing "Camille," and in the dying scene, where she breathes her last, to slow music, an accident occurred which broke her all up. She was surrounded by sorrowing friends, who were trying to do everything to make it pleasant for her, when the bed on which she was dying,--an impromptu sort of a bed got up by the stage carpenter,--tipped partly over, and the dying woman rolled over on the stage, tipped over a wash-stand filled with tumblers and bottles of medicine, and raised a deuce of a row. It would have been all right, and she could have propped the bed up and proceeded with her dying, had not the actress got rattled.

Most actresses get lost entirely when anything occurs that is not in the play, and Miss Gray was the scaredest female that ever lived. She thought it was a judgment on her for playing a dying character, and thought the whole theatre had been struck by lightning, and was going to fall down. To save herself was her first thought, so she grabbed her night-dress,--which was embroidered up and down the front, and had point lace on the yoke of the sleeves,--in both hands and started for the orchestra, the wildest corpse that ever lived.

The leader of the orchestra caught her, but not being an undertaker he did not undertake to hold her, and she fell over the bass viol and run one foot through the snare drum, and grasping the fiddle for a life-preserver she jumped into the raging scenery-back of the stage which represented a sea.

They had to pull her out with boat-hooks, and it was half an hour before she could be induced to go to bed again and proceed with her dying.

Actresses are often annoyed at the remarks made by foolish fellows in the audience. A remark by a person in the audience always causes people to laugh, whether the speaker says anything smart or not.

Recently, in the play of "Cinderella at School," a girl came out with a sheet over her, as a ghost, to frighten a young fellow who was "mashed" on her. He looked at the ghost for a moment, and kept on lighting his cigarette, when a galloot up in the gallery said, so everybody could hear it, "He don't scare worth a damn!" and the audience went fairly wild, while the pretty girl stood there and blushed as though her heart would break.

Such things are wrong.

Probably one of the meanest tricks that was ever, played was played on Mary Anderson. It will be remembered that in the play of "Ingomar," Parthenia and the barbarian have several love scenes, where they lop on each other and hug some--that is, not too much hugging, but just hugging enough. Ingomar wears a huge fur garment, made of lion's skin, or something. One day he noticed that the moths were getting into it, and he told his servant to see about the moths, and drive them out. The servant got some insect powder and blowed the hair of the garment full of it, and scrubbed the inside of it with benzine.

Ingomar put it on just before he went on the stage, and thought it didn't smell just right, but he had no time to inquire into it. He had not got fairly in his position, before Parthenia came out on a hop, skip and jump, and threw herself all over him. She got one lung full of insect powder, and the other full of benzine, and as she said, "Wilt always love me, Ingomar?" she dropped her head over his shoulder, and said in an aside, "For the love of heaven, what have you been drinking?" and then sneezed a couple times.

Ingomar held her up the best he could, considering that his nose was full of insect powder, and he answered:

"I wilt ": and then he said to her quietly:

"Damfino what it is that smells so!"

They went on with the play between sneezes, and when the curtain went down she told Ingomar to go out and shake himself, which he did.

It was noticed in the next act that Ingomar had a linen duster on, and Mary snoze no more.

There was another mean trick played on a comedian a short time ago. In one of the plays he comes into a room as a tramp, and asks for something to drink. There is nothing to drink, and he asks if he may drink the kerosene in the lamp, which is on the table unlighted. The lamp has been filled with beer, and when he is told that he can slake his thirst at the lamp, he unscrews the top, takes out the wick, and drinks the contents. Everybody laughs, and the idea is a good one.

At Chicago, recently, some friend took out the beer and filled the lamp with a liquid of the same color, but the most sickish tasting stuff that ever was. The comedian drank about three swallows of the neatsfoot oil before he got onto the joke, and then he flew around like a dog that had been poisoned, and went off the stage saying something like "Noo Yoick."

He has agreed to kill the fellow that loaded that lamp for him.

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