Monday, January 14, 2013

Dream 04 "The Silver King" (Mary Pickford, 1900)

Mary Pickford was still Gladys Smith, just seven years old, when she dreamed she was on stage at the Princess Theatre. At first, there was nothing unusual about that night’s performance. She remembered all of her lines; the audience laughed and drew quiet in all the right places. She was happy and proud.

But then came the scene at the end of the first act, the scene when Denver discovers that he may have killed Ware, and from her spot standing in the wings, Gladys could see that the corpse on stage wasn’t Ware at all – it was her father. She knew it was him – knew it even though she hadn’t seen his face in years – and she was panicked.  He lay there, limp, and she wanted to rush out into the bright lights and save him, to somehow breathe the life back into him. But she couldn’t move. She stood there, bolted in place, and watched him, dead in front of all those people.

But when she wiped away her tears, she realized that his eyes were open; he was looking right at her and he was smiling. With her heart bursting in her chest, she rushed out to him, out onto the stage, to the roar of a thunderous applause.


Learn about Mary Pickford here
Explore more Toronto Dreams Project postcards here.

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