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The Diary of Gladys Marie Smith

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I think that I may marry Owen.  I want to, mother still doesn't know I think that if she found out she would never let me see him again.  She thinks that it might ruin my career.
Mr. Grifith is taking some of  us to California for the entire summer to shoot movies during the winter, its warm there now.  I'm going!  and so is Owen.  It will be so romantic...
I've never been there, I can't wait!

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Things are going well.
I'm quickly learning the in's and outs of the movie business, it's very different from the stage you know. All the different lighting and make up and trying to tell someone something just with your eyes... it's all really amazing stuff.
Mr. Griffith has moved us out to California to shot during the winter, on account of the good weather down here. It's beautiful, I've never seen anything like it, open feilds meadows flowers everywhere, it's a small piece of heaven.
We film a movie a week, sometimes two! it's hard work but it's fun too, so far this year I've made about 20 movies and the year isn't half done.
I've met someone here, he works for biograph too, an actor, his name is Owen Moore. I think that I might even love him... I'm too young for that, right? Maybe not, he's older. He's 22 and I'm 17, but we love each other. I haven't told mama yet she would be too upset, she wouldn't want me to give up my career when it's just starting.
Anyways it will all sort it's self out in the end, if it's meant to be it will work out.
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Hello everyone!

I've been so busy working in the motion pictures! I make about one film a week with Mr. Griffith, I play many different types of roles, heroines, indians, small bits, comedy, drama...
The movies have been paying good money too, I've even got some work for my sister Lottie. Mother is still traveling with Jack in some touring shows, but soon we should have enough money to stay together in one place all the time!

I've even got my picture on a postcard in the entrance hall for the studio...
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Today I went to the Biograph Studios to get a job.
I met with a man named David Wark Griffith, he is a director and wants to use me as an extra in his next movie!
I asked about the pay, he said it was five dollars a week, I mentioned that perhaps I should get ten dollars considering that I was a Belasco actress. He agreed.
He said that I was too fat and too short, but that he could still use me. So I begin work tomorrow on a motion picture.
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The money...
All the money I saved to send home...
The money is gone.

I came home last week, stupidly imagining my family prosperous with all the money I had sent home and I find that they can bearly make ends meet.
I'm so mad, yet somehow I feel as though I let them down, I didn't try hard enough...

Mother suggested that I try to find work in the moving pictures, it the only acting job in the city in the summer.
But I am a Broadway actress, no I am a BELASCO actress, I can't lower my dignity and work for the moving pictures!
But it is my only choice and I've heard you can make ten dollars a week, and I would get to stay at home, no traveling.
I'm going to the Biograph studios tomorrow to see what kind of work I could get, but I'm sure that I won't like it.

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Forgive me for being absent for such a long time, being on the road is exhausting and I just can't seem to find anytime for anything.
We only have two more weeks of the tour and then, then we will be home! I can't wait! A summer without any work, a summer where I can just relax!
I've been sending home every penny I make, so maybe we'll get to rent a bigger apartment, in a better neighborhood.
Things are certainly looking up!
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The show has been running for a few months now, soon we will take it out on the road. I hate traveling, especially with a play. But maybe it will be different now with a real show.
Mr. Belasco has promised me a raise when we go out on the road, I'll be making $25 a week, finally my family will have money!
I've been having the old dream again, the dream where I walk out on stage and I open my mouth, and nothing comes out. It's horrible, I was so afraid that my voice wouldn't work last night, it was terrifing. I don't know what would happen if I couldn't work.
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I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

I get the day off from performances to celebrate with family, the problem is my mother and sister and brother are somewhere in a traveling show and I'm alone in New York for Christmas. Fortunatly I was invited to have dinner with my friend and cast Mate Blanche Yurka and her family, so I am not completely alone.

I hope you are all fortunate enough to have your family around you for the Holidays.

Love,
Mary

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It's happened! I've finally met and auditioned for Mr. Belasco! I can't believe it! And he's given me a job! I'm going to play Betty Warren in "The Warren's of Virgina" on Broadway!
Mr. Belasco thinks that Gladys Smith sounds too plain, he wants to change my name, I agree with him, I never liked Gladys. We ran through some old family names and came up with Pickford, and I told him how I always wanted my name to be Marie, Mr. Belasco suggested Mary.
I am now Mary Pickford.
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I've been trying to get in to met Broadway producers, Especially Mr. Belasco, but I'm having a lot of trouble getting in. I've written to r. Belasco many times, I send him a different picture of myself everytime. I've also have waited by the back door of the theater to meet him, no luck.
I dream that one day I'll see him, and I'l faint from hunger and exhustion, and he'll take me back to his office and then he'll learn it was all just an act and hire me right away! It's more likely to happen that way then getting in to see him, it the most diffucult thing in the world I think.
Getting myself out of the buisness is sounding better and better everyday.
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