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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't Act, Dammit!

In the 50s and 60s, Ethel Merman was one of the greatest Broadway stars. After a performance of the 1966 revival of Annie Get Your Gun, she summoned Jerry Orbach, one of the supporting actors, to her dressing room. She was upset. "What were you doing during my speech in the boat scene," she demanded. "Nothing, Miss Merman," Jerry said, baffled. "Yes, you were; you were doing something," she insisted, "I saw it out of the corner of my eye."- "I was only reacting to your speech," he replied, "I acted."- "Look," she snapped, "you don't act when I talk. Don't you ever react to my lines, I don't react to yours, okay?"

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