6 September 2019

Published September 4, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

THE PERFECT IDIOT’S PROFESSION

            Twelve-year-old Kathy burst into the bedroom. “Hey, Lazy-Bones, time for breakf—.” She choked on a scream.

            Tommy’s body hung by a noose from a rafter.

***

            Kathy picked at her eggs. “I miss Tommy.”

            Mother ignored the reference to her departed son. “Get ready for school.”

            Kathy shuddered. “No!”       

            “Traumatized.” Father sighed. “I fear Kathy’s destined to become a recluse. I’ll hire a tutor.”

***

            Years later, nineteen-year-old Katharine announced to the dismay of her father. “I’m going to be an actress.”

            Dr. Hepburn scowled at his headstrong daughter. “You don’t get anywhere in theater unless you sleep with the director.”

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98 comments on “6 September 2019

    • Dear Tanille,

      My aunt told me sometime back that she had wanted to pursue an acting career but my grandfather put his foot down. Apparently, I had a great aunt to made her way into silent films by way of the casting couch. So the answer is yes, it was more than a rumor.
      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • While it was traumatic for the child, her doctor father was old fashioned and not knowledgable of the modern medical treatments of the time. It seems he didn’t think much of doctors who treated the mind. How sad. Fortunately, Katherine was also stubborn about her chosen profession. I wonder if he ever accepted her choice. A good, well-written story based on historical fact, Rochelle. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      In Katherine’s case, I think she stubbornly refused to go back to school. I’m not sure her father had much of a choice. According to accounts and an interview I saw with Kate herself, little was ever said of Tom’s suicide. In fact, she clung to the story that it was a tragic accident. I don’t know that her father accepted her career choice, but who’d want to lock horns with Kate Hepburn? Thank you. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Trent,

      All I did was quote her with the idiot comment. She was outspoken, wasn’t she? Even in a late in life interview when she was asked about her brother’s death, she insisted it was a tragic accident and quickly passed on to the next subject. She was one of my all time favorite actors. Thanks for commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I did know you were quoting her and that your opinion of her was much higher. She was remarkable and one of my favorites as well.

        If she still felt that way in late life, I understand why she didn’t mention it in her autobiography.

        Liked by 1 person

  • I never knew that. What a horrifying discovery. Perhaps the emotion her brother’s death stirred is part of what made her able to convey so many emotions on the stage and screen. One of my all-time favorite performers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      Perhaps a latent tendency from the event. From what I gather from a later interview and the biography which included an interview with her younger brother, the incident was neatly swept under the rug. She was one of my favorites together. Put her together with Spencer Tracy and just plain wow. 😉 Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Susan,

      It pays to dig. Definitely based on fact. Although when asked about it in an interview late in life, she glossed over it saying it was an accident. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • OVERLY busy weeks coming up here so I can totally relate! Yeah, I don’t know much about how she managed, and if she did have to allow things she would have preferred not to, because that was the way “it was done”, then I would not hold it against her. And if she found a way to manage a very exploitative world in a way that did not include the couch … then all the power to her. I don’t think she NEEDED – on talent and merit values – to sleep with anyone to get anything! Magnificent indeed. It’s whether or not the world she worked in created impossible situations for her, that I don’t know. And perhaps we never really will.
        She. was. a. goddess.
        Na’ama

        Like

  • Dear Birthday Girl,

    We learn to cope with horrible situations in our lives in whatever manner we can. Katharine became one of the best in a profession she chose. Why she called it that was certainly a stab in a very particular direction…

    As always, you rock these!

    Shalom and lotsa birthday luv,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Here I am four days later, replying to your sweet comment. Thank you for the birthday wishes. It was a very good day. 😉 As for Katherine, I suspect she would’ve succeeded in any profession with her outspoken candor. Thank you and thank you. 😀

      Shalom and lotsa hugs,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I have a feeling this actress did not sleep with any directors. I liked how you told this story, Rochelle, and trying to see where you got it from this prompt. That’s the fun thing about prompts.

    And for an acting family, our third generation spent her first day in class at Rutgers U yesterday.

    Liked by 2 people

  • I read a Hepburn biography years ago but don’t remember that her brother killed himself. It put me in mind of the movie “Stage Door” she made where her character wanted to be an actress but didn’t achieve the emotion until another wannabe but failed actress killed herself.
    In a land of so much gloss, she remained real.
    Well done, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

      • YEah! Went to pay rent and found out that if we renew lease, we’ll have to pay gas/heat which we have no control over and which is set such that our apt is in the upper 80’s in dead of winter. They’re going to split the entire building cost by apt… and there are only 2 with residents (us, and a Puerto Rican fam on 2) Sooooo, We applied for an apartment today. Prayers raising we’re accepted… it’s a townhome (our first choice!), and we have two on the back burner that we can apply to if we’re not accepted…but, ohhh, we want the townhouse sooo bad. Gee, but application fees are expensive these days!

        Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Dee Snidely W(T)F,

    Who do you have to sleep with to make it in the writing business? That’s what I want to know. I’m pretty good at sleeping. I usually nod off as soon as my head touches the pillow.

    Words from the wallow,
    Piggy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Piggy,

      I’m not sure with whom you’d sleep to get anywhere in the writing business. Hopefully not with the fishes. Perhaps you could get a job as a mattress tester. If memory serves it worked for Li’l Abner. As for me, I can nod off pretty quickly, too.

      Shalom from my invisible box to your wallow,

      Dee Snidely W(T)F

      Like

    • Dear Subroto,

      Who knows? Later interviews indicate she suppressed the memory as much as possible. When asked about the incident she claimed, as her father had, that it was a tragic accident. Then she quickly went onto the next subject. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Andrea,

      Sadly there was too much truth to the casting couch. My grandfather made a similar statement to my aunt who wanted to pursue acting. Apparently I had a great aunt who was a silent film actress who did sleep her way in.
      The Hepburn family, Katherine included, claimed the suicide was a tragic accident. It wasn’t widely publicized.
      Thank you for the read and the comment. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’m sorry I missed sending you a greeting on your birthday, Rochelle. Happy Belated Birthday.! I depend on Facebook and they didn’t send out a message to me for some reason. I’m sure you had a great day as you have a close family and many friends. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

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