vvatima (vvatima) wrote in more_shatner,

More from Shatner's Stratford days.

As I wrote in my other post with the pictures, I thought I'd post some interesting stories about the young Shatner from a book I'm reading about the early days of the Canadian Repertory Company in Stratford.  (The book is called Life Before Stratford: The Memoirs of Amelia Hall.)

The first story is about how Shatner initially joined Stratford in the first place --- he started at Stratford in time for the 1952-53 season.  Amelia writes about how she selected him for the job:

While Dora and I had been going quietly mad in the office those first two weeks, we had had a visit from a Montreal actor.  I had never worked with him, but I knew of his work in Montreal.  After twenty minutes I asked him if he would mind returning in an hour, when I would be free to continue the interview.  After he had left I looked at Dora.


She laughed.

I continued, "Since your impression is the same as mine, I'll take him for a walk when he comes back and set him straight."

He came back, and we walked along Sussex Street.  I asked him, "Since you came to Ottawa for the purpose of asking me for a job, why did you behave in the office as if you had come to ask me for a date?"

"Bruce told me that was the way to get around you."

"Bruce must have been pulling your leg.  It's not very flattering to me to suggest that I am so desperate for male attention that I have to pay a man a salary to receive it!"

He agreed.

"And furthermore, I don't care much what you and I feel about one another as a man and a woman, just so long as you do your work well.  Now, I don't think you are a character actor, and since you'll probably play only young men, I won't be able to put you on stage every week.  I can give you a job if you can do some work in the office when you aren't acting.  Can you?"

He could.  And that was how young William Shatner came to the CRT, as actor and promotion assistant.

I thought it was hilarious that for his first job interview for Stratford, Shatner thought it would be a good idea to hit on his interviewer!!

Another story - this one is about Shatner's experiences while playing Richard, the orphan servant, in the play, "The Lady's Not for Burning" -- Shatner and the author get a little drunk before one performance, and he has an interesting incident after another:

I remember getting back to the theatre from Government House, just in time to get our "slap" on to do the Friday-night performance wondering if the liquor would damage our work, severely disapproving any contact with the bottle before a performance, and being so blissful I didn't give a hoot; standing in the Green Room, Bill Shatner and I giggled as I had not giggled since I was eight.  The performance went off beautifully.  Or so it seemed to us.  We were all fire and air.  Our other elements we gave to baser life!


One night Bill Shatner was in a plight after the performance.  He had asked two girls out on the same night!  There were two exits from the Green Room, each leading into the auditorium, one at each side of the stage.  At both exits waited a girl!  Bill was a tiny bit plump then, but Lynn Wilson and others managed to push him to freedom out of the Green Room lavatory window.

Hope you like the stories!

Tags: amusing anecdotes
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