Vaudeville Vignettes: A Rule is a Rule!

Photo courtesy of Library of Congress
Photo courtesy of Library of Congress

A Rule is a Rule!
by Madame Sinclair

For some who work in theater, working with performers can be compared to working with cats. Whether a catty performer or simply getting them in one place, gathering performers is truly like herding cats. In “A Complete Illustrated Course of Instruction How To Enter Vaudeville,” author Frederic La Delle cites some of the signs posted by managers in dressing rooms to the performers. Some of the rules come from a different time period, but others are still good guidelines for performers.

  •  No intoxicating liquors of any like allowed on stage or in dressing rooms.
  •  Don’t complain about your position in the show. We had good reasons for putting you there.
  •  As we cater to ladies and children, no vulgarity or any description will be permitted.
  •  Under no circumstance may you use the following words in your act: Damn, Hell, God or any other profane language. If you are at all in doubt in regard to this, consult the stage manager.
  • Don’t tell us what you did at Keith’s in New York. Do it here.

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