Tag: Anecdote

Alberto Giacometti Breaks Leg, Sartre quote

One evening, more than twenty years ago, Giacometti was hit by a car while crossing the Place d’Italie. Though his leg was twisted, his first feeling, in the state of lucid swoon into which he had fallen, was a kind of joy: “Something has happened to me at last!” I know his radicalism: he expected the worst. The life he so loved and which he would not have changed for any othe was knocked out of joint, perhaps shattered, by the stupid violence of the chance: “So,” he thought to himself, “I wasn’t meant to be a sculptor, nor even to live. I wasn’t meant for anything.” What thrilled him was the menacing order of causes that was suddenly unmasked and the act of staring with the petrifying gaze of a cataclysm at the lights of the city, at human beings, at his own body lying flat in the mud: for a sculptor, the mineral world is never far away. I admire that will to welcome everything. If one likes surprises, one must like them to that degree, one must like even the rare flashes which reveal to devotees that the earth is not meant for them.

The Words
Jean-Paul Sartre

Ken Tynan – Theater Aficionado Anecdote

At the last dress rehearsal, a straight run prior to the first preview, I noticed a figure sitting to the rear of the stalls with a notepad. It was Ken Tynan. Afterwards I went up to greet him and found him mopping his eyes with a handkerchief. He couldn’t have paid me a more sincere compliment because what made Ken cry in the theatre was not the sadness of the subject matter but the skill with which it was realised. Provided it matched his standard of ‘High Definition Performance’, he could be brought to tears not only by a tragedy but by a farce, by a solo comedian, by a team of acrobats. They were not easy tears to induce, but it was this genuineness of emotion that had made him such an exceptional critic, and as I was beginning to learn (and rather to my surprise) such a loyal friend.

Stage Blood: Five tempestuous years in the early life of the National Theatre
Michael Blakemore

Highly recommended book

The Power is in the Stretch

Hunter was skeptical that the music world was ready to be introduced to a new fortysomething rapper. He encouraged Floyd to stop looking for quick fixes and instead find a steady job in which he could develop some lasting skills. He tried to use a sports metaphor to get the idea to sink in.

“Every time you come up to the plate, you try to hit a home run,” Hunter said. “But sometimes, you just need to make sure you can get to first base, you know what I’m saying?”

Given Floyd’s people skills, Hunter suggested he find a service job, perhaps working at FedEx or UPS. He tried to encourage Floyd to believe that something good would happen if he just stuck to the plan—any plan—to make an honest living. Hunter was a Christian, and he recalled a church sermon about Jesus healing a man whose hand had withered. Before the Lord performed the miracle, he asked the man to take some initiative and stretch out his hand.

“It’s in the stretch,” Hunter told him. “That’s where the power is.”

His Name Is George Floyd
Robert Samuels, Toluse Olorunnipa

Rita Hayworth – Anecdote

I visited publicist Tom Miller in Mexico on the set of “The Wrath of God,” Rita Hayworth’s last completed movie, I assume the one on which Mr. Langella had the brief affair with her (not his only affair on the film). One evening we had a nightcap with Rita. (Rita’s idea of a nightcap was a vodka and tonic to which she kept adding vodka to keep the glass filled and flavored. Tom decided thought she was drinking to give herself an excuse for not remembering, for already, as he saw in retrospect, there were signs of encroaching Alzheimer’s.)

Tom staged some of the last glamor shots taken of her , but they were never used because MGM threw the film away. (It wasn’t all that great, but what Ralph Nelson film ever was? But it wasn’t all that bad either. And what with her and Mitchum in their latter years and Frank Langella playing Rita’s son (!), it really deserves a decent video release.)

One night in Mexico City Tom dined out with Rita, and when they got back to her hotel,they discovered the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars being presented in one of the meeting halls. Rita was tuned on. “Let’s go!” Rita said. Tom replied, “Rita, we don’t have an invitation!” She looked at him and said, “But I am Rita Hayworth!” Tom said, “So you are.” He spoke to an attendant at the door, who ran up the MC, who announced to the crowd the presence of a surprise guest. She went up on the stage to a standing ovation. I wish someone would discover footage of that moment.

Theater Talkback: Frank Langella Telling Tales

From the comments section.

Having a Critic Over for Dinner – Pauline Kael Anecdote

But I have a favorite memory of her, from an occasion years earlier. Maria, Lizzie, and I were spending the weekend at the house in Sheffield, Massachusetts, that Janet Malcolm and her husband, Gardner Botsford, had built, and Pauline, who lived nearby, came to dinner, arriving by taxi (she didn’t drive) in her little white sneakers. By the time she left, she had managed to insult every one of us except ten-year-old Lizzie. Gardner had been her long-suffering editor for years, so the bile she directed at him made some kind of sense for someone who resented authority as much as Pauline did (she liked to refer to him as the Ripper). But she’d never met Maria or me. For instance, she said to Maria, “I was in your family’s apartment once. Your father was carrying on, and I remember that your mother was a particularly ugly woman.” This was not only gratuitous, it was nuts, since Laura Tucci was a famous beauty. Pauline’s aggression was so gratuitous that all of us, including Janet’s daughter, Anne, then about sixteen, and even Lizzie, went around for the rest of the weekend remembering more and more disagreeable things she had said. I don’t even think it was deliberate—it was just who and what she was.

Avid Reader
Robert Gottlieb

Henry James Asks for Directions

James and I chanced to arrive at Windsor long after dark. We must have been driven by a strange chauffeur – perhaps Cook was on a holiday; at any rate, having fallen into the lazy habit of trusting to him to know the way, I found myself at a loss to direct his substitute to the King’s Road. While I was hesitating, and peering out into the darkness, James spied an ancient doddering man who had stopped in the rain to gaze at us. “Wait a moment, my dear – I’ll ask him where we are”; and leaning out he signalled to the spectator.

“My good man, if you’ll be good enough to come here, please; a little nearer – so,” and as the old man came up: “My friend, to put it to you in two words, this lady and I have just arrived here from Slough; that is to say, to be more strictly accurate, we have recently passed through Slough on our way here, having actually motored to Windsor from Rye, which was our point of departure; and the darkness having overtaken us, we should be much obliged if you would tell us where we now are in relation, say, to the High Street, which, as you of course know, leads to the Castle, after leaving on the left hand the turn down to the railway station.”

I was not surprised to have this extraordinary appeal met by silence, and a dazed expression on the old wrinkled face at the window; nor to have James go on: “In short” (his invariable prelude to a fresh series of explanatory ramifications), “in short, my good man, what I want to put to you in a word is this: supposing we have already (as I have reason to think we have) driven past the turn down to the railway station (which, in that case, by the way, would probably not have been on our left hand, but on our right), where are we now in relation to . . .

“Oh, please,” I interrupted, feeling myself utterly unable to sit through another parenthesis, “do ask him where the King’s Road is.”

“Ah-? The King’s Road? Just so! Quite right! Can you, as a matter of fact, my good man, tell us where, in relation to our present position, the King’s Road exactly is?”

“Ye’re in it,” said the aged face at the window.

I found this here:
The Writer’s Voice
A Alvarez

The source is:
A Backward Glance
Edith Wharton

Marvin Gaye’s Impromptu Musical Convoy

“You should have been on the rest of the tour,” Big John told me, referring to Marvin’s last cross-country excursion before leaving America behind.

“We drove to Denver and Milwaukee and New York and Chicago—all over,” said Cammon. “Marvin could relax on the bus. It was his method of getting away. One time, I remember, he got on the CB and started talking, telling people that he was Marvin Gaye. When they asked him to prove it, he started singing. Well, they sure-enough believed him then, and soon we were leading a caravan of thirty cars and trucks. This went on for a hundred miles. Finally he had me pull over at a truck stop, and everyone stopped along with us. He broke open a half-dozen bottles of champagne, and we had a beautiful party.

Divided Soul: The Life Of Marvin Gaye
David Ritz