Some of the reasons advanced by applicants for positions with Motion Picture stock companies to prove their availability are odd, to say the least.
At least three companies received a letter from a man who wrote that he was well fitted to play “sad parts” as his own life had been passed in the deepest gloom, and he knew he could “act pathetic” to order. Just to prove his point he gave three pages of generous size to his many woes. He didn’t get a job.
Another letter writer was anxious to get with a “film troupe” because his life ambition was to be a cowboy, and he was convinced that the cowboy in the pictures had the better time of it, since the night riding and contact with cows was avoided.
Unique was the writer who confessed that he liked to see his own photographs, the inference being that he wanted to see himself on the screen; while another argued his fitness for romantic rôles because his feminine friends all applauded his love-making.
A jockey whose license had been taken away frankly confessed that he could keep his horse in any position the director decided, and could show others how to do the same; and a carpenter wanted to help build the scenery in the intervals of his acting, and draw double salary.
One dramatic actor actually obtained a position because he had been a hospital steward before he had gone upon the stage, and his knowledge could be utilized.
But the lady who offered as a bonus to tell the sad story of her life, and act it in the pictures, was turned down, as was the army private who created a sensation last summer by escaping from the U. S. Hospital for the Insane, at Washington, and marrying a girl he had been engaged to. He was released on court order, and pending this action he applied for a steady position, with his own romance as his first appearance.
A small Brooklyn boy wanted to act because he had read many stories about Indians, and another youngster urged that be possessed a sweet soprano voice that would aid in the effectiveness of church scenes.
A girl who had posed for a series of calendar picitures thought that qualified her for the moving sort, and another suggested that she was well known in her home town, and her engagement would assist in building up trade among its 5,000 inhabitants. Not many applicants realize that acting ability is essential, and are surprised to learn that this is the first requisite.
(from The Motion Picture Story Magazine, october 1911)