Silent Film Stars

Edith Johnson

Edith Johnson (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“It has become almost impossible for young women without previous theatrical experience to secure engagements in motion picture productions. Long lists of experienced theatrical people are waiting for engagements and there is little opportunity for the amateurs to gain a livelihood via motion picture acting. And some of these girls would be sadly disillusioned, too, should they engage in the art. When your screen favorite appears in the cozy theatre and the orchestra plays and there is applause, the girls may be pardoned for longing to become film favorites like the others. This is just one to the situation, however. The other side is not so attractive. There is the hard toil which every movie actress must undergo. Frequently, work starts at 7 a.m. and does not finish until late at night. There are no bright lights, no applause in the actual work of movie acting. Instead, there is the sometimes gloomy studio, suffocatingly hot under the glass roof in the summertime, often unbearable cold in the big barn-like structure in the wintertime; there is the director who does not hesitate to reprimand; there are the scenes to be rehearsed time and time again until one is exhausted; there are the hazards which are necessary to undergo in order provide the thrills longed for by the audiences and there is the uncertainty for weeks or maybe months whether or not your part as ‘gone over.’ To all ‘movie-struck girls,’ I would say, ‘Don’t!'” — Edith Johnson in 1915

 

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