Note: This blog contains some things rather difficult to take – the way fans can change from adoration to anger. Unfortunately, this is also a part of stardom few consider. Nothing here is meant to reflect negatively on those involved. Names have been changed and information has been left out.
…continued from the previous blog…
|Julie with Jim Nabors|
Julie seemed to be in a very good mood. I think she enjoyed working with Eydie Gorme and Jim Nabors. She was also dressed beautifully in a cream-colored hooped skirt with pink camilias all over. She looked adorable with a wiglet of curls on her head.
Sadly, I was not in the mood to admire her. After listening to Patty and Marsha all day, I was in a different state of mind. Still, Vivian and I were the only two out of the five of us who clapped during the performance.
Kelly, Patty and Marsha had their heads together, whispering about something when suddenly, the fan club president, Marsha, said, “Look up!” We did, and directly above us, there was a microphone hanging down from the ceiling. It was there to catch audience reaction--applause and laughter--but we were aware that if the studio people wanted to, any conversation might be listened to.
Meanwhile, onstage Julie and Eydie kidded each other along. I couldn’t help remembering the Julie of that morning with her hair all blown off her forehead by the wind machine. Now she sat on the lounge seat in her hooped skirt with Woody. His legs were under part of her skirt, and both of them were kicking their feet back and forth like a couple of kids.
“Maybe she thinks these are the best seats,” I suggested to the girls, not wanting to stay angry at her.
“Yes, she does,” said Patty. “She always puts Blake over here when he comes. She
thinks this is the best place. That just shows how strange her mind works.”
I have to admit that our seats were excellent. While we were sitting stage right, no cameras ever got in our way. In fact, I had never watched Julie from a better spot. I didn’t want to be accused of snooping, so I tried not to stare when she wasn’t performing. It was sad that our group looked so glum. All Vivian could say was how she wanted to move to the other side; she wanted to get away from all of us.
Now, in a stage whisper, Julie said, “I’ll go home tonight in the Chevrolet with….”
“How dumb can she get,” said Patty. “Boy, is she weird. We’re sitting right here and she says that out loud.”
Looking back, I think the girls--Patty, Kelly and Marsha--had followed Julie home the night before. Poor Julie, she must have been frightened of what they might do after being put out.
Meanwhile, Julie was trying to act sweet and sing with Eydie Gorme and Jim Nabors, but even as I enjoyed the show, I didn’t feel pleased to be where we were. I felt controlled, and Patty was continuing to grumble about Julie and say unkind things about her. Kelly had gone out for a while and when she returned there was a lot of whispering going on, no doubt plans for later.
In the midst of all this, I was acutely aware that Julie was not herself. To those who didn’t know her, I’m sure she appeared quite normal, but after all the hours I’d spent with her, I could see that something was wrong. She was saying things and doing things that she would never have done in public ordinarily. It felt quite strange to see her this way. Doubtless, she was nervous about the situation. But during the entire scene, which took quite a while, she never left the stage once.
The studio audience on this night was the best audience I had seen during the time I attended the show and the performers received a warm response to everything they did. There was a lot of dancing onstage too. Jim Nabors, who was courting Julie in this Southern scene, sang a song to her and danced around so funny we all laughed. That is, all but Patty and the fan club president.
Then, in the midst of it all, Eydie Gorme sang her hit song, “Didn’t We.” It was great! And she did it in one take. The audience roared! After she finished, the producers and all of the crew came out on stage to shake hands with her. She’s a great professional; just natural, friendly and so funny. She constantly broke down laughing during the scene with Julie, Jim and Rich. She’s the sort of lady you’d like to be your neighbor.
When Julie and Jim Nabors sang “Only Make Believe” from Show Boat, it was so beautiful, I cried. Because of Jim Nabor’s appearance and sort of gawky Southern manners when he speaks, people don’t expect the beautiful singing voice that comes out of him. I wrote in my diary that night: “Romance lived in the sound of Jim and Julie’s voices.”
Even with all the beauty and excitement, I felt sad. Though I wasn’t sure what the true story of our being put out was, I wondered if I would ever again be able to look at this beautiful woman with the lovely voice as the friend I had pictured her to be only a few hours earlier.
Rich Little came onstage made-up and dressed to look like Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. “I’ve been waiting to play this role all week!” he said.
Julie was supposed to play a harp with Jim Nabors standing so close, his nose was practically through the strings. In the end of the scene, Eydie was to marry Jim Nabors, and Julie was to marry Rich Little as Clark Gable. When it came time for Eydie to say her line, “She’s in love with Rhett the
broke up. She laughed so hard, the tears rolled down her cheeks. In fact, she
was laughing so hard, she could hardly stand up. Then, she ran to get a Kleenex
to keep her mascara from running. She was hilarious. The director didn’t call
“cut” when this happened, so, we, the audience, laughed with her. Butler
For the in-between breaks, Julie sat on our side of the stage, and Eydie sat on the other side. This was going to be their position for the next number, a duet. Julie sang the first line, “On a clear day,” and Eydie sang, “Rise and look around you,” followed by Julie singing, “And you’ll see who you are.” After that, Eydie broke up laughing again, and went on to try to imitate Julie singing up the scale. The audience laughed and clapped through the entire song.
Eydie has fun whatever she is doing, and I had fun watching her. I think Julie enjoyed the fun. Whenever Alice Ghostly is around on the set, Julie has more fun too. What they say in their scenes together seems natural, yet it comes out so funny and quick, that I can’t tell what is ad-lib and what is scripted. There was a lot of ad-libbing this night, but I don’t think they got it on tape. On the
number, Julie goofed and Eydie got her by saying something like,
“Hale (hell), what happened?” in a southern accent. Then, she said, “blank blank you!”
After the main part of the Southern scene, the men set a large box about four feet tall onstage. It was placed approximately eight feet from where we were sitting. Someone made a remark about the box, and at that point we all knew Julie was going to be on top of it.
“My God,” if she doesn’t want to see us, why did she put us here?” asked one of the girls.
“They blocked the show today. She knew she would be up here, so she must have wanted to give us the best seats.” I said in her defense.
Tony Charmoli rehearsed the next number in Julie’s place for the camera, and the audience applauded. Julie’s comment about that was, “That’s the best you’re going to see it.” Now it was her turn to practice the dance. She practiced and ran, jumping until two men swung her onto the box. Then she had to run right to the edge of the stage in front of us and turn. She didn’t look at us (of course, she might fall) and went on with the dance. Later viewing a DVD of the show, I realized that at this point, she was running off camera.)
The dance was adorable with minstrel show music. Julie wore her hooped skirt dress for it, and the chorus boys got a lot of laughs for their moves. As I recall, Julie got applause even when the applause sign wasn’t on. At the end, Jim and Eydie joined in the dance. Eydie just seems to have a feeling about her work and does it easy as making pie. Julie was smiling hard. She looked so sweet and happy, but I couldn’t help having negative thoughts and feelings. Though I hadn’t wanted to believe anything negative against Julie, I felt hurt and Patty’s constant comments were getting to me.
My mind when back to the morning. If Julie was so against us, why, I asked myself, had she that very morning, said to the director about the few of us sitting in the audience, “Can’t they applaud? It would help if they would applaud.” But the director had said ‘no.’ Didn’t she want an audience? I was sure she did! Now red-headed Patty said,
“Who would believe our word against hers? Look how innocent and truthful she looks. No one would believe us. But don’t let that sweet face fool you, kid.” That was pretty bitter stuff from a sixteen year-old girl.
Now Julie and the others did the dance once more for the camera. This time, as she ran to the edge of the stage facing us, she did look at us, but I didn’t like what I saw in her eyes. Still, how would I look if I were dancing up there and had to face a bunch of glum girls who were angry with me?
Jim Nabors came out into the audience to talk to someone he knew, then he left. Eydie was also finished and said, ‘goodnight.’
It was time for a break.
….to be continued…
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Note: All photos here are for entertainment purposes only