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                                                   The Actors' Actor

On March 16, 1963 the publication of the short story "John Barton Rosedale, Actors' Actor." The New Yorker. The Hat on the Bed. (also included in the forthcoming New York Stories).

" ... I didn't believe then and I don't believe now that you can be taught how to act. The tricks, yes. But not what has to come from down here and up here. The old ticker and the old gray matter, that's the combination. Plus the dedication, the pride, the love of the whole stinking God damn racket, regardless of the cheap sons of bitches that run things today."

Mr. Rosedale, age sixty-seven, was a very successful actor - in his day, but now, with no work for several years, he spends his afternoons playing bridge at his New York club.

A new member, Norman Bahs,  " ... a bright-eyed, tooth-flashing, fat little man in a blue serge suit, white shirt, and plain blue silk tie with a Windsor knot... " offers Mr. Rosedale a part in the new play he's producing. The "actor's actor", who could use the work and the money, still has his great talent, but also his great pride.

   "Roughly, what sort of money were you thinking of offering me."
   "Seven-fifty. I know it'd be no use trying to get you for less."
   "You never said a truer word. Do you realize that what you're offering me is less than a hundred dollars a performance?"
   "Well, I could go to eight."
   "My dear fellow, you can go to hell."

There's a good solid analysis of this short story in Steven Goldleaf's John O'Hara - The Short Fiction, pages 93-95.

Mr. Rosedale lives where John O'Hara once lived - at the London Terrace apartments on Twenty-Third Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. Right near where I used to live - at the London Towne House on the corner of Ninth and 22nd.

On March 16, 1877 Sidney Tate from the 1949 novel A Rage to Live was born in New York.

Sidney was a well-bred, wealthy young man who married Grace Caldwell Tate and lived with her as a gentleman farmer at her family's place in Fort Penn (Harrisburg), Pa. until his tragic death at age forty in 1917.

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