Ralph’s Manuscript - Page 9

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 - August 2, 2004

[Marilyn] "Alice Hermes, the great speech teacher in New York – her husband hurt himself skiing. They consulted all kinds of doctors and chiropractors and osteopaths, and nothing seemed to help. Alice asked me about massages and we started, and they seemed to help, but then I had to go out of town in a show. One of Alice’s assistants, Andre Bernard, said he would like to try a technique on Mike. Andre and a wonderful woman, Barbara Clark, held classes at the Tony Mannino School of the Theatre, based on THE THINKING BODY. In no time at all, Mike’s injury cleared up. When I got back to town, and found that Mike’s injury had cleared up, I wanted to investigate this. I enrolled in the class, and think it’s on of the most valuable experiences of my life. When we return to New York, I want to go work with them. As I said, how excited I was to learn about the psoas muscle controlling the pelvic girdle, and about the thighbone connecting with the hipbone in the hip socket well toward the center of the body. You know, from pictures of skeletons, and the Halloween cutouts, I always was under the impression the thighbone and the hipbone met at the outside of the body. Learning this gave me a wonderful sense of mastery - on several levels. As I said, the walk. And a childish delight in thinking I knew something that wasn’t common knowledge, outside the medical people. Once, I was doing a scene with Charlie Chaplin, Jr., for Actors Lab and I decided to use this new facet. He stopped dead in his tracks. Marilyn, what on earth! That’s wonderful – so titillating. I told him that I knew something about the Todd method, and then I made a bet with him that I knew something about the body he didn’t. He said the thighbone connected on the outside of the hip. I took out the book and showed him the detailed sketch of the skeleton. It is childish, but you’d be surprised at the number and stature of people through the years I’ve won bets from, with this bit of information. She giggled, and sighed. By this time, she was beginning to become drowsy. "Studying Todd helped me tremendously to grasp what Lotte Goslar taught in her classes. I always work with Lotte when I begin a new picture. Do you know her? "No." "Remind me sometime to get you two together." Marilyn then fell deeply asleep. I finished the massage, fastened her bra, covered her, and slipped out of the room.

Paula and I were standing, looking into the room at the ranch house where they were filming the scene of Marilyn and Eli dancing. Eli was putting his all into the scene – one might almost say he was getting carried away with it all. Suddenly Paula grabbed my arm, whispered, "What on earth is he doing?" I looked again, and wondered why she was so upset – it seemed a little heightened, but he was supposed to be drunk. After "cut", Huston wanted another take. Then Marilyn walked over to us. "Did you see what he’s doing?" Paula replied, "You must say something to John." I asked what was going on. Marilyn answered, "He’s leading me in such a manner that his face is always toward the camera. Doesn’t he know that nobody is going to look at his face, if I’m jiggling my rear?" From that moment on, there was a definite coolness noticeable in her attitude towards Eli.

Massage. "I can’t put it out of my mind. I don’t know if he was doing it intentionally. I wish I could have said something to him about it. I know I can never feel the same about him. I’ve loved him like a brother, and I shouldn’t let something like this come between us. I feel betrayed. It’s the same feeling I used to have as a child, when I would start liking someone in one of the foster home, and then they would do something to show they were looking out after "number one". I think I am loyal to my friends – to an extreme. I expect my friends to be loyal to me – (giggle) to an extreme."

The next night. "I’ve let the Eli incident grow all out of proportion. It’s brought back so many memories – I’ve especially been thinking about Natasha Lytess. She brought so much into my life – a way of thinking, studying, even living. Mother, sister, friend, teacher. Family. When Max Reinhart’s estate was being auctioned, it was through her and her friendship and adoration of him that I went. He and Michael Checkhov were the first true masters I encountered. I got a few pieces of furniture and his collection of books. I had to pay on the installment plan – I sure wasn’t making money at Fox. A University wanted the collection for a Reinhart room. Natasha felt that his son should have them. I later found that she was playing politics, and I felt betrayed by her, and that was that."


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