Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Waiting for Shirley
It's a real old story, Sal. Neely was a nobody, engaged to Mel and "singing for her supper" so to speak. She has one song in a big show I was the star of. Anyway, she didn't even make it onto my radar, I don't pay attention to upstarts.
So, I'm in my dressing room and I'm bitching out this new, young press agent that my agent had sent over. I remember he was showing me really bad pictures of myself and I was screaming "Lousy, awful, BEAST! What kind of a press agent are you? Just my luck, they send me some green kid fresh out of NYU." Just then, Anne Welles knocks on my door, but I'd never met her before and she was still an errand girl for Lyon Burke's firm, as she had not yet met Lyon or become the Gillian Girl. Here's how the exchange went:
Helen: Who the hell are you?
Anne: I'm, I'm, Anne Welles and..
Helen (interrupting): Look, I'm tired and I'm busy, whadda you want?
Anne: I have some contract for you to sign from Mr. Bellamy.
Helen (looking at novice press agent and pointing finger to the door): You. Out.
Helen (to Anne): Come in. Sit down you're making me nervous. Give me a pen, and not one of those lousy ballpoints.
(Neely singing in background from downstairs rehearsal hall)
Anne: That girl singing, she's very good, isn't she?
(Helen listens intently to Neely's background singing and gets a bad look on her face.)
Helen's manager enters the dressing room
Manager: The kid's song works good, don't you think, Helen?
Helen: The song goes.
Helen: You heard me, the song goes, and the kid with it!
Manager: Oh, come on Helen, Neely O'Hara can't hurt you.
Helen: You bet your ass she can't, because she isn't going to get the chance! (Lighting cigarette): The only hit that comes out of a Helen Lawson show is Helen Lawson, and that's ME, baby, remember?
Manager: She's got a run of the play contract.
Helen: I know all about run of the play contracts!
Manager: Helen, this isn't going to do you any good in the business.
Helen: Nor you, either. Get Bellamy to do it, he's done it before.
Helen (to Anne Welles): You. Go back to the office and tell that son-of-a-bitch Bellamy to get off his butt and earn his oats!
Anne: But Miss Lawson, you haven't signed all the contracts yet.
Helen (tearing up the one copy she'd signed and putting the shreds in Anne's hand): And I don't intend to, not until Bellamy ties a can to that little broad's tail!
Anne leaves almost in tears, and Helen takes a drag off her cigarette with an evil, yet satisfied look on her face. Bellamy conned Neely into quitting the show the next day!
I remember it like it was yesterday! Wow, the power I had then. Sorry, Neely (but only a little).