Ralphís Manuscript - Page 8

Published Manuscript

We are entertaining the idea of publishing a first edition of Ralph's manuscript in book form.  This would be a hard bound limited print first edition with the complete manuscript (around 100 pages) and pictures.  At this time we are trying to gauge interest.  If you think you would be interested in a copy of this book, should we publish it,   Draft pages will be posted here so you can get an idea of what it contains.


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Posted - July 1, 2004

[Monroe] "I was sitting in my dressing room today, when Alabam poked his head in to say ĎHií and walked off singing "Come, all ye Faithful." I laughed, so strange to hear a Christmas carol here in the desert. Then I wondered if there was something significant in his singing that particular song. If he was trying to tell me something. But it brought back to me the memory of one Christmas eve after I first knew Joe. He was in San Francisco and I had to go to the studioís Christmas party Ė it was a must Ė I kept thinking that I wanted to be up there with Joe. When I got away, I went back home feeling awfully blue. I opened the door, and there was a tiny Christmas tree with a big card, "Merry Christmas, Marilyn", and Joe grinning from ear to ear. I was so happy I cried."

Walking down the 9th floor hall, I bumped into Alabam (Davis) and Lewis Smith carrying a tremendous bottle of vodka. They asked me in for a drink, but when I asked for a raincheck as I was seeing her, they asked "Give her our love Ė sheís one hell of a dame."

I wish I didnít always have to wonder whatís behind the simplest thing Ė just take it for its surface value. I do believe, though, that Clarkís group is beginning to feel warmer toward me. Frank goes out of his way to pass the time of day with me.

BELLS ARE RINGING is playing at a drive-in theatre in Reno, and I told Paula I was going, Iíd never been to a drive-in, and felt it would be exciting to see BELLS there. She had never been to one, either, and had not seen BELLS. Marilyn heard about our venture, and wanted to join us. "I used to sneak out to drive-ins by myself. Itís a completely different way of seeing a movie. Youíre alone, yet surrounded by throngs of people. Iíll never forget the first time I saw me in one. Itís something like the great big pie in the sky." So, the three of us slipped away from everybody, drove there early. Paula was very festive and demanded we get popcorn and cokes. Not just a little, but a barrel of popcorn and gallons of Cokes. Marilyn was absolutely mesmerized by the picture. She didnít take her eyes from the screen one second. I think that I have never seen such concentration. I later found that she was always that way at a movie. Taking everything in, analyzing it Ė the whys and wherefores Ė and would mention months later something she found special, good or bad, and trying to figure out the reason for the (decision).

She made only one comment while the picture was showing, and that was at my entrance, "Aaah, nice", with a sympathetic laugh. That reaction was the same that I had gotten from the matinee audience, the first time on Broadway that I went into the part. And, usually, every performance after that.

We stopped at a Mexican place, and then she discussed the picture in some detail. "Judy did some incredible things. I wish I could figure out where it all came from. That energy, never over-stated, but overpowering. The wonderful combination of naivete and complete knowledge. Itís the best thing Iíve ever seen Dean (Martin) do. You know, he could really be something special. Vincent was too involved in his sticht. One could see that the tinsey picture on the far right wall had to be exactly so. Much more important than the actors. And, you, Raffe, have a quality that I think Iíve never seen. You should play Lennie in OF MICE AND MEN. Oh, thatís an idea. Letís do the scene for Lee - Lennie and the girl Ė when we get back."

MISFITS Ė Thinking Body

1:30 the phone rang. "Raffe, itís Marilyn. I hope I didnít wake you." "No, Iím reading." "I canít sleep. I feel terrible." "Iíll be right in." "Thanks. What were you reading?" " A book called THE THINKING BODY." "By Mabel Elsworth Todd?" "Yeah, how did you know?" "When I was studying with Michael Checkhov, one day I said to myself I really want to become an actress. Not just a starlet, not a dilatante, but a real honest-to-goodness actress. I told him this, and asked him what other things should I do. He told me to study. To read. To do scenes. To see Lotte Goslar, and work in her mime classes, so as to be able to express through the body, the inner feelings to get through to an audience. And, to try to find a book called THE THINKING BODY. I found it in a second-hand bookstore Ė itíd been out of print for some time. I read it, and didnít understand one word. I told him. He said read it again, and again. I read it the second time, and it started to make some kind of sense. I remember getting terribly excited when I got the basic exercise under my belt, so to speak. I kept working on it, and from that, the walk that I developed emerged. I am deeply grateful to Mabel Elsworth Todd. Havenít you noticed the book around? I take it with me whenever I go anywhere. Just to know that it is with me Ė that I can open it, and find something new. But how do you happen to have it here in Reno, of all places?"

Manuscript property of the estate of Ralph L. Roberts. Do not copy without permission.