Friday, March 30, 2012
In its day, the Star Theatre was a popular venue on the corner of Broadway and 13th Street in New York City. It opened in 1861 as Wallack's Theatre and was renamed the Star Theatre in 1882.
The film, sold by American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, was also quite popular with audiences. AMB Picture Catalogue (1902) via IMDB.com describes its creation this way: "To secure this unique picture a Biograph camera was kept constantly at work by specially devised electric apparatus for weeks, during which time exposures were made every four minutes, 8 hours a day." It was stunning feat to watch for early movie audiences, and is still quite impressive today.
Thank you to TigerRocket for uploading it.
Monday, March 26, 2012
And the winner is...
Congratulations, Larisa! I'll email you in just a moment to get a mailing address...
BTW, if you didn't win this week, you will automatically be entered into next week's contest, and the contest for the grand prize e-reader.
Thanks for playing, everybody!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Though the book is chockfull of history, it was apparent from the first page that this was written by no ordinary historian. His name alone might give that away. No, this book was written by an author who not only seems to know everything there is to know about vaudeville, but by an author who loves vaudeville.
It has been my pleasure to get to know Trav S.D. through this excellent book, as well as his popular blog, Travalanche. And it is my absolute pleasure to introduce him to you.
Q: Throughout your career, you’ve worn a lot of hats. Your excellent blog, Travalanche, lists them as actor, author, cartoonist, comedian, critic, director, humorist, journalist, master of ceremonies, performance artist, playwright, producer, publicist, public speaker, songwriter and variety booker. What are you focusing on now?
A: At the moment, "author." I am writing my second book CHAIN OF FOOLS: SILENT COMEDY AND ITS LEGACIES FROM NICKELODEONS TO YOUTUBE, which will be out in September 2012. In the meantime, I've managed to keep up with my blog Travalanche, my newspaper column, and producing vaudeville acts on my Vaudephone web series. There are a couple of plays in development, but they won't be on the boards for many months. So I guess the real answer is "Focus? WHAT focus?" Mostly at the moment, it's the book.
Q: What led you to write NO APPLAUSE, JUST THROW MONEY: THE BOOK THAT MADE VAUDEVILLE FAMOUS (Faber and Faber, 2005)?
A: A very fortunate confluence of events. A book editor had seen some of my vaudeville shows, read an article I'd written in "Reason" magazine and also read a "New Yorker" article in which I was featured. She asked me if I had any ideas for a book, and as it happened I had several! This was the most developed, so we were off to the races.
Q: What was your first experience with vaudeville?
A: I began producing vaudeville shows in 1996.
Q: What makes you so passionate about vaudeville?
A: I suppose ultimately I'm less interested in vaudeville per se than a certain set of old fashioned aesthetics. I like traditional performing arts, I like old fashioned costumes, and I especially like antiquated language, and the nonsensical, crazy kind of comedy that was popular at the beginning of the last century. Comedy is really my first love, and as Joe, Laurie Jr. the Pint Sized Comedian used to say, vaudeville is all about comedy.
Q: Do you consider yourself a vaudevillian?
A: H'm....among other things.
Q: Who are your personal vaudeville inspirations and influences?
A: Oh that's easy....but a long list! Fred Allen, the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Frank Fay, Burns and Allen, Ed Sullivan, Smith & Dale, Weber & Fields, Olsen and Johnson, Clark and McCullough, Joe Cook, etc etc(and some post vaudevillians: Steve Allen, Red Skelton Ernie Kovacs, Steve Martin, Andy Kauffman, David Letterman...) I know I'm leaving a bunch out!
Q: Vaudeville-style shows seem to be enjoying a renaissance. Do you have any theories as to why?
A: I've given it a lot of thought, actually. I think the generation (or two of three even) that came before us turned away from it because it was considered old hat and corny. Because of that, it almost vanished off the face of the earth. Younger people are re-discovering it, almost like buried treasure. Also technology is making an avalanche of video and audio material available that hasn't been seen in decades and decades. It's a very thrilling time.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: On March 27, I'll be taking part in a panel discussion on horror called "Fear Mongers" at Dixon Place in New York. I'm a big fan of Gothic horror, especially the early pre-code films of the major Hollywood studios (early 1930s). So that's the next thing. And of course, my book coming out in September!
For more about Trav S.D., please check out his blog, Travalanche and YouTube channel, Vaudephone.
Photo of Trav S.D. courtesy of Evan Fairbanks.
Friday, March 23, 2012
You might win a signed copy of THE BELLY DANCER if you come over and leave a comment :)
I hope it delights you, too.
Thank you to jenthesuperone for posting!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I came across a few copies from 1907 and 1908, and was struck by the story the advertisements tell about this wild and wonderful moment in entertainment history.
Here are just a few:
Monday, March 19, 2012
So, let's see...
I'll plug the numbers into the Random.org random number generator ... and voila!
Number 255 on the ultra-official Master Contest Entry spreadsheet belongs to...
Congratulations, Dana! I'll send you an email in just a moment to get your mailing address.
If you didn't win this week, don't despair! Everyone is automatically entered into next week's contest. And don't forget that you can earn additional entries by doing the things listed on the Contest page.
Thanks for playing!
Friday, March 16, 2012
I'm sure there's a larger meaning or message layered in the subtext somewhere, but does it matter? It's a dancing pig! Some days that's all I need to be amused.
Hope it amuses you, too.
Thank you to :monox: for posting the film.
MUSIC ALERT: There is some. Proceed accordingly.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
My first discovery in that search was “The Myrtle Reed Cookbook,” published posthumously by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in 1916, which pulls together the author's earlier cookbooks. Books with such charmingly simple and straightforward names as “What to Have for Breakfast,” “How to Cook Meat and Poultry,” and “One Thousand Salads.”
I have been working my way through the book, and one section in particular that caught my attention was one devoted to pancakes. This is Myrtle Reed’s introduction to that topic:
“The edible varieties of pancakes are readily distinguished from the poisonous growths. The harmless ones are healthful and nutritious and grow in private kitchens. The dark, soggy, leaden varieties are usually to be found in restaurants, but have been known to flourish in private kitchens also.”
She goes on to explain the perfect consistency for a batter and the type of pan that should be used (“[a] soapstone griddle is best, but an iron one will do, and many a savory pancake has come from a humble frying-pan”).
She concludes with this cautionary note:
“Batter enough for one pancake should be dipped from the bowl with a cup or large spoon, as adding uncooked batter to that on the griddle even an instant after it has begun to cook will work disaster to the pancake—and the hapless mortal who eats it.”
I found Ms. Reeds’ recipes to be such a delight that it was her version of Sweet Pancakes that I was imagining when they’re mentioned in my new novel, DANCING AT THE CHANCE.
And last Sunday, after mail-ordering some orange-flower water, I set out to make them myself.
From the Myrtle Reed Cookbook
Mix two tablespoons of flour with a few drops of orange-flower water and a few grains of salt. Add the yolks of four eggs, well-beaten, and the whites of two. Fry by tablespoonfuls in butter, turning once, and sprinkling with sugar. Or, spread with Jelly, roll up, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
The recipe yielded 13 pancakes, and I can’t say they resembled anything that I have come to expect of pancakes. I would describe them as thick, small crepes. Also, the amount of orange-flower water was not nearly enough to be detected. Still, the pancakes were good and they went quickly. I had a few with just the powdered sugar, sort of like a French Quarter beignet. And before my husband could even sample them, my picky-eater 3-year-old daughter smeared them with grape jelly and finished them off.
If anyone else gives them a try, I'd love to hear how they turned out for you.
Bye for now!
Monday, March 12, 2012
And plugged the numbers into Random.org's True Random Number Generator....
And the winner of THE BELLY DANCER gift pack is....
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
And if that isn't enough to entice you, you'll find a sneak peek excerpt of DANCING AT THE CHANCE in the back. Whoo-hoo!
Look for THE BELLY DANCER at booksellers nationwide, as well as any online retailer.
Oh, would you like some links? Sure, we've got links :)
Monday, March 5, 2012
Wanna find out how you can collect entries for the weekly prizes and the grand prize? Visit www.DeAnnaCameron.com and follow the Publication Celebration Contest link.
*Yes, there are some boring rules & restrictions. Check out the contest details to see which two $99-value models are being offered.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Here's the link:
P.S. When you're on the page, don't forget to add the book to your "to-read" pile :)
Friday, March 2, 2012
Thanks to atqui for posting!
MUSIC ALERT: Hit the "mute" button if you prefer no sound.