The Fourth Wall

Posted by: Julia

The Fourth Wall - 05/10/01 09:19 PM

While we're all over here anyway...

I ran into something in The Fourth Wall that left me floundering. The fine for missing a performance was given as 20 000 dollars. How does that relate to the salary the actress would be getting? I don't have a feel for this at all, so I don't know just how much of a punishment it is in relation to the salary increase obtained by agreeing to this clause.

Another comment on reading the books in the order I managed to buy them rather than the order written - I knew from the start that certain people were probably innocent, because I'd met them in later books. So that took some of the suspense out of it for me. On the other hand, the things that happened to these people had more emotional impact, because I already knew and liked them.
Posted by: Jon

Re: The Fourth Wall - 05/10/01 09:55 PM

I've read and reread The Fourth Wall with great pleasure. The people and their surroundings feel very real and inviting (despite the awful things that happen) to me.

It also has a number of what I'd call "side paths" that aren't strictly necessary for the plot but add color and versimilitude. And a lot of them have the feel of incidents that the author must have experienced in theater circles and wanted to put into the book. (I'm not asking for verification, just reporting my own reactions). Like:

- The regional theater director who knows how to make the most of contact with a visiting playwright (and takes all her notes on direction).

- The girls who act by forming their mouths into O's.

- The trendy regional directors who are endlessly "creative" as long as they can subvert everything the author cared about.

- The incomprehension of an onlooker faced with the conversation of two opera-lovers.

- Going to a friend's dreadful off-Broadway production and trying to think of something to say afterward.

- Giving a deserving and underappreciated actor a chance, and then seeing her turn into a demanding diva.

And so much more, especially in the rehearsal and casting sequences. I love this book.
Posted by: Julia

Re: The Fourth Wall - 05/10/01 10:45 PM

What Jon said.

I wasn't joking about wanting to get the books in hardback. They're books I know I will read and re-read, and I'd prefer to have them in a format that will take the wear and tear. I love The Fourth Wall for the sense of being there, the little details that make these people come alive. It doesn't matter that I know who the killer is, I can still enjoy the book.
Posted by: Barbara

Re: The Fourth Wall - 05/11/01 10:45 AM

Ah, thank you, Jon. My personal favorite "side path" is the one about the theater gremlins that sprinkle nails on the stage floor. That one I know to be true.

Julia, while I was writing the book, I read in the newspaper of an actor who'd been fined $20,000 for missing a performance in a Broadway show. I just used that figure without looking into it any further.