ITS A HARD WEEK FOR ACTORS. ~ Christmas Business Is Always Poor and the Pay is Half.

December 21, 1908

Christmas Business Is Always Poor
and the Pay is Half.

To one class of people, at least, Christmas lacks the cheer and good feeling which most persons believe prevails everywhere in Christendom. To this class of people Christmas comes as a hardship.

It is the actor folk who are thus affected. Always has Christmas week and Christmas day been the bane of an actor's existence. In the first place theatergoers are wont to stay at home and business at the theaters is very poor.

In view of this fact managers of theatrical companies universally make it a provision of the actor's contract that salaries are to be cut in half during that week. Some companies lay off altogether. Herein lies the saddest part of it all. In the majority of cases the company has traveled west from New York, the Mecca of all actors, and after several weeks' run has made the Middle West at any rate. This is too far distant for the actors to return home, and those that are laid off get themselves to the nearest large city to spend the lack of Christmas cheer.

Even this early before Christmas week the theatrical business is falling off materially and the box office receipts give an accurate tally of the number of days before Christmas week proper. Such being the case many of the companies which have been barnstorming or doing the kerosene circuit, as one night stands in small towns are called, has disbanded for two weeks, and many actors are flocking to Kansas City. The registers at the smaller and cheaper hotels show that Kansas City is a favorite waiting place for these unfortunate actor folk who must spend their Christmas away from home, and without occupation.