This book contains 250 anecdotes about various creative activities. A sample: Corey Ford’s writings were widely plagiarized—especially his short humorous piece “How to Guess Your Age.” Whenever this happened, Mr. Ford would sue, winning every case. He once said about his lawsuits, “I find this a much easier way to make a living than by writing.” More
This book contains 250 anecdotes and stories, especially about the arts, including dance. For example: 1) Fern Helsher worked as a press agent for Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers. As a former newspaper woman, she had many contacts and was able to get Mr. Shawn more and better publicity. Once, she went into the newspaper of a major midwestern city with publicity material, and the editor, who was a friend of hers, took her to lunch, where he asked, “What the hell are you representing a bunch of faeries for?” She replied, “They’re not faeries, but let’s not talk about them.” She and the editor gossiped over lunch, and when she left, she gave the editor a package of photos, saying, “If you can do anything with it, fine. If not, OK.” The next day photos of Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers were splashed all over the front page. 2) Dizzy Gillespie played with a trumpet that had an unusual shape. Its bell did not point forward but up—at a 45-degree angel. He says, “The truth is that the shape of my horn is an accident. I could pretend that I went into the basement and thought it up, but it wasn’t that way.” So how did the shape come about? A man accidentally sat on it, and the bell bent. It was 6 January 1953, the birthday of Dizzy’s wife, and he played at the party for her. He liked the sound of the unusually shaped trumpet. He says that “when the bell bent, it made a smaller hole because of the dent. I couldn’t get the right sound, but it was a strange sound that I got from the instrument that night. I played it, and I liked the sound. The sound had been changed, and it could be played softly, very softly, not blarey.” The next day he had the trumpet straightened, but it missed the sound that the trumpet had had. He contacted the Martin Company and had an artist draw a trumpet with a bell at a 45-degree angle and told them, “I want a horn like this.” They told him, “You’re crazy!” Dizzy said, “’OK, I’m crazy, but I want a horn like this.’ They made me a trumpet, and I’ve been playing one like that ever since.” 3) A 1990s TV commercial for a Norwegian life insurance company showed two men meeting, then taking off in a glider. Seconds after they are in the air, two more men arrive—they are the instructors for the first two men.