excerpt from 'His Eye Is On the Sparrow' pp. 161 (186 words)

excerpt from 'His Eye Is On the Sparrow' pp. 161 (186 words)

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His Eye Is On the Sparrow

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Playing theaters of the type we were working in, performers constantly had trouble getting the stagehands to co-operate. These stagehands are usually relatives or favored pals of the owner. Sure of their jobs, they spit at the actors and paid them little mind. This caused me great trouble in Bessemer, Alabama, the coalmining town. For a number called "When You're Lonesome, Telephone Me," I was wearing a radium dress that showed up luminous when all the lights were put out. On opening night there in Bessemer I instructed the theater's electrician to put out all the lights. "I will wave my fan," I said, "before I begin that number. That will be your signal to switch off the lights." But that evening he left two lights burning, spoiling the whole effect of my radium dress, which didn't light up good when the theater was only half dark. I sure pitched a bitch with that electrician. When he said it was the manager who had messed up the lights-out cue I jumped on that man too. I explained how important the dress that shone in the dark.

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excerpt from 'His Eye Is On the Sparrow' pp. 161 (186 words)


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