News | Book excerpt
HomeEntertainmentBook excerpt

Book excerpt



We could obtain an affiliate fee from something you buy from this text.

In his new memoir, “What do we have here?: Pictures of a life” (Knoff), Veteran actor Billy Dee Williams — whose roles have ranged from romantic to a dashing “Star Wars” hero — writes about an early expertise on the stage.

Read an excerpt beneath, and Don’t miss Ben Mankiewicz’s interview with Billy Dee Williams “CBS News Sunday Morning” twenty fifth February!

“What do we have here?” by billy dee williams

Would you want to listen to? audible A 30 day free trial is accessible now.

I used to be virtually eight years outdated, and I used to be precisely the place the universe wished me. Somehow I knew it, I knew it in my bones, and it allowed me to maneuver ahead with calm and confidence in a state of affairs that might usually have been nerve-wracking for a kid.

My mother and I had been in a rehearsal studio in midtown Manhattan. During the subway journey throughout town I assured her I wasn’t nervous. I used to be auditioning for a job in a Broadway musical Firebrand of Florence, An operetta with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, e book by Edwin Justus Meyer and staging by John Murray Anderson. All had been veterans of their fields. The manufacturing starred Weil’s spouse, Lotte Lenya.

“You’ll do effective, Sonny,” my mom stated.

“I do know, mother,” I stated, squeezing her hand and returning her reassuring eyes with my smile. “Don’t fear.”

Producer Max Gordon was in cost. He was my mom’s boss. At the start of World War II, my mom took a job as an elevator operator on the Lyceum Theater on forty fifth Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. She had studied opera singing at school and dreamed of performing on the Metropolitan Opera House, however to this point, this was the closest she would get to the stage.

The Lyceum was one of the vital glamorous locations on Broadway, and my mom liked working there. Once her abilities as a stenographer and typist had been found, she was promoted to a secretarial place, which introduced her into contact with Gordon.

One day Gordon informed her a couple of new Broadway present he was producing, Firebrand of Florence. He talked about that he was in search of a cute little boy to play the position of Paige in his new manufacturing.

My mom instantly talked about me. They stated, convey him in. let’s take a look at him.

For the audition, she dressed me in my finest garments, my Little Lord Fauntleroy costume—bow tie, jacket, shorts, excessive socks and polished sneakers—and took me to the theater downtown. My efforts embrace director John Murray Anderson, playwright George S. Kaufman and choreographer Kathryn Littlefield. All had been veterans of the theater world. I had no concept.

He sat within the entrance row. John requested me to stroll throughout the stage.

I adopted his directions completely, strolling slowly however purposefully, wanting in direction of the viewers.

“Very nicely,” stated John.

“Can I do it once more?” I requested


I ran again to the stage and repeated my steps, this time smiling whereas strolling. When John stated it was nice and thanked me for coming in, I began crying. He checked out my mom, questioning what had occurred. She turned to me and tried to determine why I used to be upset.

“I wish to do it another time,” I stated.

Still, I knew I had a greater sense.

Later, John requested if I might sing. I rapidly stated, “Yes!”

I obtained the job – and ever since I stated it, I’ve been crying about moving into present enterprise.

My mom was very proud. Many years later, she wrote me a letter through which she recalled “seeing stardom” in my smile that day. I nonetheless have that letter. However, what I at all times keep in mind is the loving hug I acquired from him after the audition. Making my mom completely satisfied meant all the things to me, and that by no means modified. The work I’ve finished over the past eight a long time has change into extra complicated than strolling on stage, however my inspiration stays the identical. Do good work. Make mother proud. Entertain the viewers.

“What do we have now right here?” From © 2024 by Billy Dee Williams. Alfred A., a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Excerpted with permission from Knopf. All rights reserved. No a part of this excerpt could also be reproduced or reprinted with out permission in writing from the writer.

Get the e book right here:

“What do we have here?” by billy dee williams

purchase domestically

for extra info:

Source link

Vardan Patterson
Vardan Patterson
My name is Vardan Patterson I live in Ghaziabad, India I am a B.SC graduate in Network Technology, UEM Engineer and as a hobby I created this website. I also have a youtube channel where you can watch facts videos. If you want to connect with me you can use our website’s contact us page or you can connect with me on my Instagram by clicking here or you can send me an email at Thank you for your visit on my website


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read