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A Ghost's Ghosts

A Ghost’s Ghosts

When I was a very, very young man I found myself living in Greenwich Village.  I had lost my parents, had no money, and craved family more than anything. I wanted to be in the theatre.  But times were tough. I knocked on many doors but found it impossible to break into a world that fascinated me since I was a little boy.

I loved living in Greenwich village. I was surrounded by artists. These artists were as poor as I was and they became my family.

I found myself today wandering the streets of Greenwich Village.  Things have changed.  New York University has bought up so many of the old apartments that once were crammed full of starving artists.  But as much as it has changed, it has stayed the same.

It was a difficult time, but I believe living amongst these talented painters, sculptures, writers, I began to understand the human psyche.  And I realized I was much more complex than I had ever imagined.

I had ghosts.  Indeed.

I finally found my way into the world of the theatre.  I had every job imaginable!  From actor to stage manager to director.

But Hollywood called.

Today I want to relish times gone by.  Today I want to sit in a cafe, read a real live newspaper, enjoy a glass of wine, and wait for the sun to go down– because tonight I will go to yet another performance on Broadway.

I am enjoying this day a bit anxiously awaiting for my new book, “From the Grave: The Prayer” to debut.  I hope you all like it!

And my dear daughter has her own book coming out this Halloween season.  Hers is entitled “FearMaker: Family Matters!”  She has acknowledged me in such a sweet way.  You must read her lovely little tale of terror.  I guess it’s in the blood.

Ghosts indeed.  Fears absolutely. Insecurities, yes, yes, yes!  I hate all these things.  I did think all this would pass when I passed away.  But I drink my red wine  and I feel my ghosts.  A ghost’s ghosts.

And I reflect.

Last night I went to see The Mountaintop–a wonderful new play by Katori Hall.  What a talent she is!

Sameul L Jackson and Angela Bassett are spectacular.

But,  I hovered in the Bernard B. Jacob Theatre stunned.  You see, I was here year ago.  When Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the titular vampire, opened on Broadway in 1927. I was there…in this very theatre. The theatre has since been renamed.

But what I remember is that a famed critic for a major New York newspaper fainted during the first performance.  The play had to be halted until he was revived in the lobby.  It became a big hit, and I never forgot the play, the star, or the poor critic who fainted and gave me inspiration for the films I had yet to make.

Here is to you Mr. Lugosi.  Without you I would never have made the films I made, created the gimmicks I did, or written the novel I have just penned From the Grave!

WC

2 Comments

  1. Patrick Power says:

    I love going into a theater before the play, and imagining the many shows that have been performed there, wondering what actors played on that stage, pondering how many went on to fame, and who went on to a less glamorous life. I think of all the hours of rehearsals, the fitting of the costumes, the make up trials, the techies rigging and timing the lighting, the writer and director huddling over the script late at night, trying to find just the right lines and moves for each performer. A theater holds more history than is seen on the stage, and it is a beautiful container for a myriad of memories.

  2. Tom Misnik says:

    Other than enjoying a Broadway show ( or in my case musical ) I always think of the history and those who “strode the boards”.

    When I saw Frost/Nixon, I too thought of Lugosi.

    Seeing “Damn Yankees” at the City Center was not only a delight from the performances of Cheyenne Jackson and Sean Hayes. But also your dear friend Vincent Price was the Duke of Buckingham in Richard III there. My dear friend who attended listening to me carryon like a school girl about being in the same place that another one of your stars, Sid Caesar performed “Your Show of Shows” at.

    However, when I go down 44th Street and pass the Hudson Theatre I know that two of my personal icons performed there ,but at different times.

    Ernie Kovacs did his television show from there and also Boris Karloff in “Arsenic and Old Lace”

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