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Mae West Was a GENIUS Copywriter & Actress (On & Off Stage)
One of my FAVORITE Mae West Strategies, that she Used, to PACK Theaters where she was preforming in a Play goes as follows....
She Wrote to a Cities local PERSON IN CHARGE of PUBLIC MORALS.
Invited them to Lunch.
Respectfully Requested they TAKE A LOOK at the Script for the play She wanted to Perform in their city.
To Get Their Changes.
The Play She Read to The "Morals Censer" was BORING. Not very good.
#1 - Ms West Got their PERMISSION.
#2 - Got their Written OK.
#3 - Got the "Morals Censer" to write to the Theater owner. Chief of Police. Local
Church leaders. And Anyone Else who had CLOSED her show in other cities.
#4 - Even got some of them together for lunch - to show them her Play. (She
Did Not SHARE That she had bought the rights to that Play.)
HER Play when the SCREAMING STARTED...
RIOT POLICE showed up.
She pulled out her Written PERMITS.
And When The Police, Church Leaders and The Temperance League And ALL of the others RAN to the "Morals Censer."
The Censer would ask, "Is She Performing the Play She Showed us at Lunch?"
"YES - BUT...."
Censer - "Word for Word? She hasn't Added Anything?"
"NO - BUT..."
Censer - "Then go away. Stop wasting my time."
WHAT The Censer DID NOT know is that Mae West Started doing skits in Brothels at age 16.
SMART as she was - She Figured out a way to Earn Money without Doing The Prostitution Gig.
Little by little - Ms West Got Better and Better at Changing the meaning of Almost
Any Line of Dialogue to something Flirty and even BLUE.
With Edgar Bergen and His Puppet Charlie McCarthy -
COMMENTS Like the following got Mae West Banned from Radio by NBC for 10 years!
But Also Made Her RICH.
MAE WEST - “I thought we were going to have a nice long talk Tuesday night at
my apartment. Where did you go when the doorbell rang?”
CHARLIE McCARTHY - “Well, I tried to hide in your coat closet, but two guys kicked me out,”
P.S. - Mae West Rewrote her Dialogue in her First Movie.
Bought the rights to novels and plays. Turned them into movies.
WROTE entire movies with W.C. Fields and others.
P.P.S. - Producer/Director Harold Ramos said he and Rodney Dangerfield stayed
up all night before his big scene. Rodney Rewrote all his Movie Dialogue for
After that Rodney wrote or Co-wrote every movie he was in.
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