Transcript: Leslie Yeo | Dec 06, 1998

(Rhythmic string and wind music plays)

In animation, a word in pink slides by against a gray background as hands paint strokes using paintbrushes, play a piano, and touch as in a ballet performance.

The title of the show reads “Dialogue.”

The title of the episode pops up against an image of Richard Ouzounian and a guest sitting at a table in a bar: “Leslie Yeo. Actor, Author.”

Then, Richard appears facing the screen. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short side-parted blond hair. He's wearing rounded glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

He says WELCOME TO
DIALOGUE.
I'M RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
YOU ALL REMEMBER SHEHARZAAD,
THE SEXY AND CHARMING LADY
WHO TOLD THE
ONE THOUSAND
AND ONE ARABIAN NIGHTS.
WELL, YOU'RE ABOUT TO MEET
SOMEONE WHO ISN'T A SEXY LADY,
BUT IS VERY CHARMING
AND HAS TOLD US ABOUT
A THOUSAND AND ONE FIRST
NIGHTS IN THE THEATRE.

He shows a book titled “A thousand and one first nights.” The cover features an old black and white picture of a city street.

Richard continues THIS DIALOGUE IS
WITH LESLIE YEO.

Leslie is in his late seventies, clean-shaven and balding. He’s wearing rounded glasses, and a red sweater over a white shirt.

Richard continues LESLIE, THE TITLE,
THOUSAND
AND ONE FIRST NIGHTS,
IT ISN'T AN EXAGGERATION,
REALLY, MUCH, IS IT?

Leslie says NO, IT ISN'T.
I TELL YOU WHY I CHOSE
IT, AS A MATTER OF FACT.
I THOUGHT, YOU SEE, IF
SOMEONE WAS BROWSING
AT THE AIRPORT AROUND
THE W.H. SMITH BOOKSTORE
AND THEY SAW
A THOUSAND
AND ONE FIRST NIGHTS,
THEY WOULD THINK OF
THE ARABIAN NIGHTS AND THINK
IT WAS A DIRTY BOOK
AND THEN THEY'D BUY IT.

[laughing]

Richard says WELL, IT'S NOT A DIRTY BOOK
EXCEPT FOR SOME DIRTY
BACKSTAGING, WHICH
WE'LL GET ONTO LATER.

Leslie says YES.

Richard says YOU STARTED OUT A HUGE
FAMILY IN ENGLAND.
WHAT DO YOU THINK FINALLY
DROVE TOWARD THE THEATRE?

A caption appears on screen. It reads “Leslie Yeo. Actor, Author.”

Leslie says I THINK IT WAS PERHAPS
THE FACT THAT I WAS IN
THE ADVERTISING BUSINESS,
WHICH WAS A MAD,
MAD BUSINESS TO BE IN,
WHEN I WAS YOUNG, VERY,
VERY HECTIC, AND I THOUGHT
THERE CAN'T BE ANYTHING
MORE HECTIC THAN THIS, AND
I FOUND THAT THERE WAS.
IT'S JUST THAT I NEEDED A
RELIEF FROM THAT ADVERTISING
BUSINESS AND I WENT ON
AN ADVERTISING COURSE,
AND YOU COULD TAKE A
SEPARATE COURSE FOR NOTHING,
AND IT HAPPENED
TO BE DRAMA.
THIS WAS AT... OH,
WHAT WAS IT CALLED?
IT'S BECOME A FAMOUS PLACE
NOW AND I CAN'T REMEMBER
THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL, AND I
WENT TO NIGHT SCHOOL THERE
AND I TOOK THE DRAMA COURSE
AND THEN I BECAME MORE KEEN
ON DRAMA THAN I
DID ON ADVERTISING.
THAT'S REALLY WHAT
STARTED IT OFF.

Richard says IT'S AMAZING.
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
BACK IN THE 1930s.

Leslie says OH, YEAH.

Richard says WE THINK OF ADVERTISING
AS THE 1950s AND
THE MAN IN THE
GREY FLANNEL SUIT.
WHAT WAS ADVERTISING LIKE
IN ENGLAND IN THE '30s?

Leslie says WELL, IT WAS, I'LL TELL
YOU, IT WAS A MAD GAME,
AND PARTICULARLY THE
ADVERTISING AGENCY GAME
WHICH WAS
TREMENDOUSLY HECTIC.
HIGH PRESSURE.
AND I WAS ONLY IN MY 20's
AND EVERYBODY WAS YOUNG.
YOU EARNED BIG
SALARIES IN THOSE DAYS.
WHY I EVER LEFT THAT TO GO
INTO THEATRE I DON'T KNOW.
BUT IT WAS HECTIC.
IT WAS CLOSE TO
FLEET STREET.
YOU GOT MIXED UP
IN FLEET STREET,
THAT WONDERFUL
ROMANTIC SOUNDING NAME,
AND YOU GOT TO
KNOW NEWSPAPER PEOPLE.
IT WAS A TREMENDOUSLY
EXCITING LIFE,
BUT I REALLY GAVE IT UP BECAUSE
I THOUGHT THE WAR IS COMING.
I MIGHT BE OUT OF
THINGS FOR A LONG TIME.
I WANT TO COME BACK TO
SOMETHING I REALLY WANT
TO DO, AND I THOUGHT I'D
BETTER GET SOME PROFESSIONAL
EXPERIENCE IN BEFORE
I GET CALLED UP.
THAT'S REALLY WHAT PUT ME INTO
THE THEATRE BEFORE THE WAR.

Richard says AND THEN ONE OF YOUR EARLY
EXPERIENCES IN THE THEATRE,
IT'S WONDERFUL, YOU PLAYED A
VERY DIFFICULT PART THAT HAD
A VERY TRICKY SCENE, AND
I REMEMBER THE HEAD OF
THE COMPANY SAYING TO YOU, IF
YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH DOING
THIS PART FOR A WHOLE WEEK
AND NOBODY LAUGHS AT YOU...

Leslie says THEN YOU'VE GOT THE
JOB, YES, THAT'S TRUE.

Richard says WHAT WAS SO TRICKY ABOUT
DOING THAT SCENE, THAT PART?
DO YOU WANT TO
TELL US ABOUT THAT?

Leslie says THE PLAY WAS CALLED, WHEN
IRISH - IT WAS THE FIRST THING
I EVER DID AND I
PLAYED IT FOR NOTHING.
I WAS TOLD THAT THIS MAN WAS
VERY HARD UP AND THIS WAS
HOW I COULD GET IN IF I
OFFERED TO WORK FOR VERY LITTLE.
I WENT DOWN AND I SAID,
I WILL WORK FOR YOU
FOR NOTHING IF YOU GIVE
ME A DECENT ENOUGH PART.
IT HAS TO BE A
GOOD PART.
HE SAID, I LIKE
YOUR CHEEK.
HE SAID NEXT WEEK
WE START REHEARSING
WHEN IRISH EYES
ARE SMILING.
IT'S A MELODRAMA.
HE SAID, AT ONE POINT
YOU HAVE TO COME ON,
IN RIDING CLOTHES, CARRYING
A SIX-WEEK-OLD BABY,
ILLEGITIMATE BABY,
HOME TO MOTHER.
IF YOU CAN PLAY THAT
SCENE FOR A WHOLE WEEK
WITHOUT GETTING A LAUGH,
I'LL TAKE YOU ON,
AND THAT'S HOW I STARTED.

Richard says BUT YOU KNOW
THE OLD THING IS,
TRY TO THINK OF EXCEPT A
RHINOCEROS AND THE FIRST
THING THAT COMES TO YOUR
MIND IS A RHINOCEROS.
IF ALL YOU'RE
WORRIED ABOUT IS,
HOW DO I STOP THEM
FROM LAUGHING,
AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE A WORLD
OF THEATRE EXPERIENCE,
WHAT DID YOU DO?

Leslie says I DON'T KNOW WHY
THEY DIDN'T LAUGH.
THEY MUST JUST HAVE
BELIEVED ME, I SUPPOSE.
THE THING IS, OF
COURSE, I'VE BEEN
TRYING TO GET
LAUGHS EVER SINCE.
I'VE PLAYED MOSTLY COMEDY
OR I ENJOY PLAYING COMEDY.

Richard says WELL, IT'S INTERESTING.
YOU TALK LATER ON ABOUT YOU
FINALLY WRITE A PLAY
AND YOU STAR
IN IT YOURSELF.

Leslie says OH, YES.

Richard says NEVER A MAN TO DO
THINGS BY HALVES,
AND YOU SAY ON
OPENING NIGHT,
YOU GET TO THE
FIRST BIG LAUGH,
THE LINE YOU THINK IS
GOING TO GET A HUGE LAUGH,
AND IT JUST DIES AND YOU
KIND OF SLUMBLE ALONG
AND THEN ABOUT HALF
A PAGE LATER,
YOU HAD A LINE THAT
WASN'T EVEN SUPPOSED
TO BE FUNNY, AND IT
BRINGS DOWN THE HOUSE.

Leslie says I KNOW.

Richard says WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT?

Leslie says WELL, I LEARNED THAT
YOU CAN WORK VERY HARD
IN CONSTRUCTING A LINE AS A
WRITER WHICH YOU THINK IS
FUNNY AND IT TURNS OUT NOT
TO BE FUNNY, AND THEREFORE,
IT IS TERRIBLY DIFFICULT
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE WRITING
COMEDY TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING
TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH AND WHAT
ISN'T AND, OF COURSE, AS
YOU KNOW WELL ENOUGH,
THE TIMING IS
SO IMPORTANT.
YOU CAN WRITE A LINE
WITH TWO LAUGHS,
ONE IN THE MIDDLE
AND ONE AT THE END.
COWARD WAS A
MASTER AT THIS.
YOU'D HAVE TO KILL THAT
LAUGH IN THE MIDDLE BECAUSE
YOU WANT TWICE AS BIG
A LAUGH AT THE END.
YOU DON'T WANT THE LITTLE
ONE IN THE MIDDLE.
SO THE DIFFICULTY WITH
WRITING IS KNOWING WHICH
IS GOING TO GET A LAUGH
AND WHICH YOU CAN DELAY
TO GET A BIGGER
LAUGH AT THE END.
THEN UP COMES A LINE THAT
YOU DON'T THINK IS FUNNY
AT ALL AND THEY
FALL ABOUT.
SO, IT'S VERY DIFFICULT.

Richard says IT'S A MUG'S GAME
SOMETIMES, YEAH.
YOU MENTIONED WORLD
WAR II CAME ALONG.

Leslie says YES.

Richard says WHAT DID THAT DO YOUR
THEATRE CAREER AND
THE THEATRE WORLD IN
GENERAL IN ENGLAND?

Leslie says I'LL TELL YOU WHAT IT DID FOR
THE THEATRE WORLD IN GENERAL.
THIS IS WHEN WEEKLY REP
FIRST BECAME A BIG...

Richard says YOU BETTER EXPLAIN BECAUSE
WE KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS
HAVING GROWN UP IN THE THEATRE,
BUT WHAT WAS WEEKLY REP?

Leslie says OH, WELL, WEEKLY REP MEANS
THAT YOU DO A PLAY EVERY WEEK.
YOU FINISH YOUR PLAY
ON THE SATURDAY NIGHT.
YOU OPEN A NEW ONE ON MONDAY
AND YOU DO THAT WEEK AFTER
WEEK, USUALLY FOR
40 WEEKS OUT OF 52.

Richard says SO YOU DO LIKE 40
DIFFERENT PLAYS IN A YEAR.

Leslie says THAT'S RIGHT.
THAT'S RIGHT.

Richard says YOU KNOW, THERE'S A WONDERFUL
DESCRIPTION IN THE BOOK.
YOU TALK ABOUT
WHAT IT WAS LIKE,
HOW MONDAY YOU LEARNED THIS
ACT AND STAGED THIS ONE.
TUESDAY YOU DID THIS AND
YOU'D WANT TO GO AND SIT AT
THE BAR AT THE PUB, YOU COULD
MEMORIZE A PAGE OF DIALOGUE,
DRINK HALF A PINT AND
PLAY A GAME OF DARTS.

Leslie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Richard says AND THEN YOU SAID,
BUT THE REST OF TIME
YOU HAD TO LIVE
LIKE A MONK.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN OUT OF
THAT KIND OF DOING IT,
YOU KNOW, BY THE BOOK,
DAY BY DAY BY DAY?

Leslie says WELL, I'LL TELL
YOU, AS AN ACTOR,
WHAT DID I LEARN
AS AN ACTOR?
YOU LEARN WHAT TO DO AND
YOU LEARN WHAT NOT TO DO.
YOU WATCHED OTHER PEOPLE.
YOU SAID TO YOURSELF, IF
I WERE PLAYING THAT PART,
I WOULDN'T DO THAT.
AND PROBABLY THEY'RE SAYING
THE SAME THING ABOUT YOU.
SO YOU GOT INTO BAD HABITS
AND YOU GOT INTO GOOD HABITS.
YOU LEARNED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT
ABOUT CHARACTERIZATION.
YOU WERE PLAYING AN
IRISHMAN ONE WEEK,
AND A SCOTSMAN THE NEXT,
AND AN OLD MAN THE NEXT.
THEY USED TO LOVE IT WHEN A
YOUNG CHARACTER BECAME ONE
WITH A BEARD AND WOBBLED
ABOUT WITH AN OLD VOICE
AND PLAYED AN OLD MAN.
LITTLE TEENAGE GIRLS WHO
WERE THE BIGGEST FANS
IN THOSE DAYS, THEY
USED TO GO MAD.
BUT YOU LEARNT A LOT.

Richard says I'LL PLAY DEVIL'S
ADVOCATE FOR MINUTE.

Leslie says YEAH.

Richard says SOME PEOPLE WOULD SAY THAT
THAT ENCOURAGED A VERY
SUPERFICIAL AND SURFACE
APPROACH TO ACTING BECAUSE
WHEN LEE STRASBERG CAME TO
AMERICA IN THE '50s AND THE
WHOLE THING WAS, WE MUST GET
INTO THE CHARACTER AND DO
THE METHOD, AND IT BECAME -
REHEARSALS GOT LONGER AND
LONGER AND LONGER AS PEOPLE
DECIDED WHAT THEY WOULD DO.
DO YOU THINK THINGS GOT
BETTER BECAUSE OF THAT OR WAS
THAT WEEKLY REP AN EVEN MORE
VALUABLE WAY OF WORKING?

Leslie says TO ME, AND I'M ON
DIFFICULT GROUND HERE.

Richard says NO, SPEAK YOUR MIND.

Leslie says I'M ON DIFFICULT GROUND.
TO ME, I'M DISAPPOINTED
WITH WHERE THE THEATRE
IS RIGHT NOW COMPARED
WITH WHERE IT USED TO BE,
AND I REALLY THINK IT
IS BECAUSE THERE ARE NO
TRAINING GROUNDS LIKE THE
OLD REPERTORY SYSTEM.
NUMBER TWO, ACTORS DO NOT
TRAIN FOR THE THEATRE ANYMORE.
THEY'RE ALL MAD
ABOUT TELEVISION.
THEY'RE MAD ABOUT FILM, AND THE
TECHNIQUE'S TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
THEY'LL GO TO SCHOOL
TO LEARN HOW TO ACT
IN FRONT OF A CAMERA.

Richard says RIGHT, RIGHT.

Leslie says THEY WON'T LEARN HOW TO ACT
IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE
AND IT'S VERY DIFFERENT.
THEY MAKE A NAME IN
TELEVISION OR FILM AND THEY
GO ONTO THE STAGE AND THEY
WONDER WHY THEY DON'T
REALLY COME ACROSS.
IT'S EXACTLY THE
SAME IN REVERSE.
I WAS BROUGHT UP
IN THE THEATRE.
I FOUND ADAPTING TO
TELEVISION INCREDIBLY
DIFFICULT BECAUSE I'M
PLAYING TO AN AUDIENCE
THAT'S MILES AND MILES AWAY
IN A THOUSAND-SEAT THEATRE.
IN TELEVISION
OR IN FILM,
YOU'RE PLAYING TO THE
CAMERA THAT'S HERE.

Richard says BUT IS IT JUST THE SIZE,
BECAUSE SOMETIMES IN THEATRE
YOU CAN PLAY TO A
REALLY SMALL THEATRE,
OR IS IT A
MATTER OF FOCUS?
LIKE WHEN YOU PLAY
IN THE THEATRE,
I'VE NEVER THOUGHT
OF ASKING THIS,
BUT ARE YOU PLAYING TO THE
AUDIENCE OR DO YOU FIND ONE
PERSON AND ARE YOU
PLAYING TO THEM?

Leslie says TO ME, I KEEP ONE EAR
ON THE STAGE AND ONE EAR
ON THE AUDIENCE, AND
ONE EYE ON THE STAGE
AND ONE EYE ON
THE AUDIENCE.
NOW YOUR METHOD ACTORS ARE
GOING TO HORRIFIED TO HEAR THIS.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says BUT IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE,
BECAUSE YOUR PERFORMANCE
IS DIFFERENT EVERY NIGHT.
IF THE AUDIENCE ISN'T WITH
YOU, YOU PUT ON THE SPEED.
IF THEY ARE WITH YOU,
YOU CAN SLOW IT DOWN
AND PLAY WITH THEM
A LITTLE MORE.
YOU GET LAUGHS IN
DIFFERENT LINES.
YOU HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO
KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH IT.
AMAZING NUMBER OF ACTORS
TODAY BECAUSE THEY
REALLY DON'T - THEY
DESPISE COMEDY A BIT,
WHICH IS STILL THE MOST
DIFFICULT THING TO PLAY.
THEY DON'T KNOW HOW
TO HANDLE THE TIMING.
IF AN AUDIENCE IS
DIFFERENT ONE NIGHT,
SOME HOW OR OTHER, THEY'RE
NOT AS GOOD AT THAT
AS THEY USED TO BE.
I KNOW I'M SOUNDING
LIKE AN OLD MAN HERE.

Richard says NO, NO, BUT WHEN YOU
THEN DO TELEVISION,
AS YOU SAID, WHEN
YOU'RE DOING THE STAGE,
YOU'VE GOT ONE EYE
ON THE AUDIENCE,
ONE EAR ON THE AUDIENCE,
BUT WHERE DO YOU HAVE
YOUR EYE AND EAR WHEN
YOU'RE DOING TV OR FILM?

Leslie says RIGHT UP THERE.
RIGHT UP THERE.
REALLY, IT TOOK ME TEN
YEARS TO LEARN ABOUT
OUR FRIEND THE CAMERA AND I
REALLY THINK IT'S ONLY
THE LAST 12 MONTHS THAT I'VE
DONE A COUPLE OF SCENES
THAT I'VE ENJOYED
SEEING MYSELF.
ALL THE OTHERS I'VE
ABSOLUTELY HATED AND I COULD
BEAR TO SEE MYSELF
BECAUSE I THOUGHT,
YOUR EYES GIVE YOU
AWAY IN TELEVISION.
IN THE THEATRE, THEY
DON'T, BECAUSE YOU'RE
TOO FAR AWAY FROM THEM.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says SO YOU REALLY MUST
THINK WHAT YOU SAY
ON TELEVISION AND FILM.
ON THE STAGE, YOU CAN GET
AWAY WITH THINKING
OF SOMETHING ELSE IF YOU'VE
BEEN PLAYING A LONG TIME.

Richard says DO YOU THINK THE FACT THAT
A LOT OF THE BIG TELEVISION
STARS TODAY CAME FROM STAND-UP
COMEDY WHERE THEY'RE USED
TO AUDIENCES, YOU KNOW, LIKE
JERRY SEINFELD AND ELLEN
DEGENERES, AND TIM ALLEN,
AND ALL THOSE PEOPLE,
THE FACT THAT THE LIVE
THEATRE EXPERIENCE HAS PAID OFF,
EVEN THOUGH IT'S STAND-UP
COMEDY RATHER THAN THEATRE?

Leslie says I'M CERTAIN IT HAS.
I'M ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE
IT HAS TO THE COMEDIANS,
BECAUSE YOU NEED AN
AUDIENCE TO HAVE TOLD YOU -
BECAUSE I KNOW THEY
PLAY TO AUDIENCES,
SEINFELD MUST HAVE PLAYED
TO A LIVE AUDIENCE.
SO I KNOW THEY WOULD
GET THAT EXPERIENCE.
I'M ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE
HE MUST HAVE HAD A STAGE
BACKGROUND, COMEDY
PARTICULARLY.
I TOOK EVERY OPPORTUNITY.
I LOVED THE MUSIC HALLS.
I DID A SPELL ON
THE MUSIC HALLS,
THE HAPPIEST TIME
IN MY LIFE REALLY.
AND DURING THE WAR,
WHENEVER I HAD A CHANCE,
I'D JUMP UP ON A MESS TABLE
AND I'D DO A LITTLE BIT
OF ENTERTAINING, USUALLY
PRETTY NEAR THE BONE,
BUT THEY WERE ALL MEN.
[laughing]
THE GIRLS HADN'T GOT INTO
THE AIR FORCE AT THAT TIME.

Richard says YOU MENTIONED THAT IT WORKS
WELL FOR THE COMEDIANS
TO GO INTO TELEVISION.

Leslie says YEAH.

Richard says BUT DOES THE OPPOSITE
HAPPEN TOO SOMETIMES,
THE DRAMATIC STARS FROM
BROADWAY GET A DRAMATIC SERIES
AND THEY DON'T OFTEN
MAKE THE JUMP AS EASILY.

Leslie says NO, THEY DON'T.
I REMEMBER SOME OF THOSE
OLD PLAYHOUSE 90s,
WHEN YOU'D GET
LUTHER ADLER,
SOME OF THE REAL
OLD OVER-ACTORS,
BUT AS LONG AS THEY
WERE ALL OVER-ACTING,
IT DIDN'T MATTER.
THEY WERE ALL ON
THE SAME LEVEL.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says BUT IF YOU'VE JUST GOT A
LUTHER ADLER AND THEN
A FEW METHOD ACTORS, IT WOULD
BE DISASTROUS BECAUSE
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE
TWO WAS TOO GREAT.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says SO AS LONG AS EVERYBODY'S
ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH
AND DOING THE SAME
THING, I THINK IT WORKS.

Richard says NOW, WE'VE GONE A LITTLE
BIT AWAY FROM THE STRAIGHT
LINE OF YOUR LIFE, BUT
THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED, BECAUSE
YOUR LIFE HASN'T ALWAYS
HAD A STRAIGHT LINE THERE.

Leslie says RIGHT, RIGHT.

Richard says WHEN YOU WERE OUT AND DOING
THE WEEKLY REP IN ENGLAND,
SOMETHING FINALLY MADE YOU
DECIDE THAT YOU WANTED
TO GET OFF THAT PARTICULAR
CAROUSAL AND TRY SOMETHING
DIFFERENT WITH THE ACTING,
MAYBE GO SOMEWHERE
DIFFERENT, DO
SOMEWHERE DIFFERENT.
DO YOU RECALL A DEFINING
MOMENT THAT MADE IT HAPPEN?

Leslie says I THINK IT WAS PURELY
ACCIDENTAL ACTUALLY BECAUSE
I WAS ASKED TO JOIN A
REPERTORIAN COMPANY
THAT WAS GOING
TO NEWFOUNDLAND,
AND I WENT ON
THIS COMPANY.
AT THAT TIME I HAD
NO IDEAS OF BEING
IN MANAGEMENT
MYSELF AT ALL.
FOR SOME REASON, I HAVE
SOME KNOWLEDGE OF FINANCIAL
MATTERS WHICH I'M AFRAID MOST
OF MY ACTOR FRIENDS DON'T.
AND THIS ENTERPRISE LOST
MONEY WHEN I WENT TO
NEWFOUNDLAND, AND I
SUDDENLY THOUGHT, YOU KNOW,
I GOT HOLD OF
THE FIGURES.
I THOUGHT, IF I'D BEEN
RUNNING THIS COMPANY,
I WOULD HAVE
MADE SOME MONEY,
AND I THINK THAT WAS
THE THING THAT MADE ME
DETERMINED THAT I WANTED
TO BE AN ACTOR-MANAGER.
I WAS STILL DOING
A PLAY A WEEK.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says AND IT ENTIRELY
STEMS FROM THAT.
AND BECAUSE WE MADE MONEY
AND IT WAS A SUCCESS,
AND BECAUSE I ALSO
HAD TO DIRECT HALF
THE SHOWS, PLAY IN HALF
AND DIRECT HALF THE SHOWS,
AND I GOT INTERESTED
IN DIRECTING.

Richard says WELL, THERE'S ALSO
AN INTERESTING THING.
IN THE VERY FIRST
CHAPTER OF THE BOOK
YOU START, NOT QUITE IN
THE PRESENT BUT BACK
ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO
WHEN YOU WERE IN VANCOUVER,
WORKING AT THE
VANCOUVER PLAYHOUSE,
AND YOU MENTION CHRISTOPHER
NEWTON AT A PARTY SAYING,
WELL, I'M GOING TO DO
HARVEY, AND YOU SAY,
YOU CAN'T DO HARVEY
UNTIL I'M HERE,
AND HE TOOK OUT A MATCHBOOK
COVER AND YOU HAD TO SIGN IT
AND PROMISE IT, AND
I THOUGHT, WELL,
THAT'S AN AMAZING STORY, BUT
WHAT'S THAT DOING THERE?
AND THEN, WHEN YOU'RE IN
ENGLAND STILL DEBATING
WHETHER OR NOT TO GO AWAY,
THE REPERTORY COMPANY
YOU'RE IN DOES HARVEY.
YOU ASSUME YOU'RE
GOING TO PLAY THE LEAD,
AND THE CAST LIST GOES
UP ON ONE BLACK SATURDAY,
I THINK YOU CALL IT.

Leslie says YES, THAT'S RIGHT.

Richard says AND YOU'RE NOT
PLAYING ELWOOD DOWD.

Leslie says YEAH.

Richard says SO, I WONDER IF PART OF THE
SEEDS WAS PLANTED THERE,
THAT YOU THOUGHT, NOBODY'S
EVER GOING TO TAKE THAT KIND
OF PART AWAY
FROM ME AGAIN.

Leslie says YES, THAT IS
ANOTHER POINT.
THERE IS A THIRD ONE.
THERE IS A THIRD ONE.
THAT IS A POINT, BUT IF
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN COMPANY,
YOU CAN PLAY THE PARTS
YOU WANT TO PLAY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says AND YOU CAN PUT ON THE
PLAYS YOU WANT TO PLAY.
AND THE THIRD REASON WAS
THAT ON THE FIRST TRIP
TO NEWFOUNDLAND, I FELL IN
LOVE WITH ONE OF THE LADIES
IN THE COMPANY, WHO WAS
ALREADY MARRIED, AND I THOUGHT
THERE'S NO WAY SHE'S EVER
GOING TO MARRY ME UNLESS
I GET HER OUT
OF THE COUNTRY.
SO THAT WAS A
THIRD REASON...

They both laugh.

Richard says SO, MONEY, SEX,
AND POWER.

Leslie says THAT'S RIGHT.

Richard says WHICH FREUD SAYS
DRIVES EVERYTHING.

Leslie says ABSOLUTELY.

Richard says WHAT I WANT TO QUESTION IS,
THE GENTLEMAN WHO FORMED
THE FIRST COMPANY THAT BROUGHT
YOU OVER TO NEWFOUNDLAND,
WHAT MADE A BRITISH
ACTOR-MANAGER DECIDE
TO GO TO NEWFOUNDLAND
AND RUN WEEKLY REP?

Leslie says BECAUSE THERE WAS A VERY
RICH PERSON IN NEWFOUNDLAND
WHO OWNED THE BIG
DEPARTMENT STORE.
HE HAD A DAUGHTER
WHO WAS TRAINING
TO BE AN ACTRESS
AT RADA IN LONDON.
WHILE SHE WAS TRAINING
TO BE AN ACTRESS,
SHE MET AND FELL IN LOVE
WITH AND MARRIED A DIRECTOR,
AND AT THAT TIME YOU
COULDN'T TAKE MONEY
OUT OF ENGLAND AT ALL.
SO, THE RICH MERCHANT
DECIDED HE WANTED TO BRING
HIS DAUGHTER TO NEWFOUNDLAND
TO SHOW HER OFF AND HE SAID
TO HIS SON-IN-LAW,
HIS NEW SON-IN-LAW,
FORM A REP COMPANY,
BRING THEM OVER HERE,
AND I WILL PICK
UP THE TAB.

Richard says AH-HA.

Leslie says THAT'S HOW ALL THAT STARTED.

Richard says SO THAT'S WHAT
HAPPENED, BUT AGAIN,
YOU FINALLY DECIDED
TO GO ON YOUR OWN.

Leslie says BECAUSE HE HAD A
MARVELOUS COMPANY
AND WE DID SUPER
BUSINESS.
I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY
THEY DIDN'T MAKE A LOT
OF MONEY UNTIL I GOT HOLD OF
THE FIGURES AND GOT MY
OLD ADDING MACHINE
GOING AND I THOUGHT,
I WOULD HAVE MADE MONEY.
AND SO, HE SAID HE
WOULD NEVER COME BACK.
THE OLD MAN, I MAY SAY, LOST
A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY
IN 1947, 1,000 dollars A WEEK,
THAT WAS A LOT OF MONEY.

Richard says RIGHT.
YOU ALSO STUMBLED ON AN
AMAZING CULTURAL REVELATION
WHICH I KIND OF JUMPED UP
AND CHEERED WHEN I READ IT
BECAUSE I'VE OFTEN FELT THIS
IS THAT YOU NOTICED THAT
THE PLAYS DURING THE SEASON
THAT DID THE BEST WERE
THE AMERICAN PLAYS, AND YOU
COMMENT THAT EVEN THOUGH
A LOT OF CANADA MAY HAVE
HERITAGE ROOTS IN ENGLAND
AND MAY STILL DRINK TEA
AND HONOUR THE QUEEN,
CULTURALLY IT'S CLOSER
TO THE LAND SOUTH OF
THE BORDER, AND THAT'S THE
ACE YOU DECIDED TO PLAY.
AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS VERY
ASTUTE ON YOUR PART WAY
BACK IN THE LATE '40s,
EARLY '50s.

Leslie says YES, EARLY '50s, YEAH.
WELL I COULDN'T UNDERSTAND
WITH THEIR LIST.
THE FIRST THING THAT
BOTHERED ME WITH THE LIST
OF PLAYS THAT WE DID WITH
THAT FIRST COMPANY WAS,
WHY DID THIS PLAY DO
BETTER THAN THAT ONE?
AND IT FINALLY CAME DOWN TO
THE FACT THAT THE AMERICAN PLAYS
WERE THE ONES THAT DREW
BECAUSE I SUPPOSE THE
PEOPLE FROM NEWFOUNDLAND -
WHICH IS VERY ISOLATED -
IF THEY WANTED TO SEE
ANY THEATRE AT ALL,
THEY USED TO
FLY TO BROADWAY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says AND A LOT OF THEM DID.
SO THEY WERE FAMILIAR
WITH THE AMERICAN PLAYS.
THEY WEREN'T FAMILIAR
WITH THE ENGLISH PLAYS.

Richard says LESLIE, THE OTHER THING
WHICH ABSOLUTELY FILLED ME
WITH AWE WHEN I READ ABOUT
IT IS THAT WHEN YOU DECIDED
TO HAVE THIS THEATRE
COMPANY ON YOUR OWN
IN NEWFOUNDLAND, YOU DIDN'T
COME OVER TO NEWFOUNDLAND
AGAIN UNTIL YOU CAME
OVER TO START REHEARSALS.
YOU PLANNED EVERYTHING,
ALL THE WEEKS OF PLAYS.
YOU CAST THEM.
YOU HAD ALL THE COSTUMES
FITTED AND SHIPPED IN ENGLAND.
YOU HAD EVERYTHING READY
AND YOU JUST CAME OVER.
NOW, WAS THAT YOUTH,
BRAVADO, INSANITY,
OR ALL THREE?

Leslie says NO, ACTUALLY IT
WAS ORGANIZATION.
I FIND IF YOU'RE
A DIRECTOR,
YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE
AN ORGANIZED PERSON.
I SPENT THREE
YEARS DOING IT.
WE NOT ONLY HAD TO CHOOSE
THE PLAYS AND THE SEQUENCE
THAT WE WERE GOING
TO PLAY THEM IN,
BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT ONE
ACTOR PLAY FIVE LEADS
IN A ROW AND HAVING
A HEART ATTACK.
WE ALSO HAD TO
COSTUME THEM.
WE HAD TO ORDER ALL
COSTUMES FOR 26 PLAYS.
AND THERE WERE PROBABLY
SEVEN OR EIGHT COSTUME PLAYS
IN THE FIRST SEASON, AND
I WENT TO THE COSTUME
DESIGNERS, GAVE THEM THE
MEASUREMENTS OF EVERYBODY,
THE COSTUME RENTERS, AND HE
PACKED 14 HAMPERS OF COSTUMES
AND WE TOOK THEM FOR SIX
MONTHS AND THEY WERE
ALREADY ON THE RACKS WHEN WE
GOT TO THE PARTICULAR PLAY.
THEY'D BEEN PROBABLY HANGING
THERE FOR THREE MONTHS.

Richard says IN FACT, YOU SAID ONE OF
THE THINGS YOU HAD TO WATCH
OUT FOR IS YOU WERE COMING
FROM ENGLAND WHERE THERE
WAS STILL RATIONING IN
EFFECT AND THEN YOU GOT TO
NEWFOUNDLAND WHERE EVERYBODY
WAS POURING OPEN ALL THEIR
GENEROSITY AND YOU HAD TO GO
AND FINALLY STOP THE ACTORS
FROM EATING SO MUCH AT
OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES.

Leslie says ABSOLUTELY.
THEY WERE ALL
PUTTING ON WEIGHT.

Richard says I KNOW.
AGAIN, I KNEW YOU HAD
SET UP A COMPANY BUT
I HAD NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT
WHEN THIS WAS GOING ON
WAS THE CURRENCY
RESTRICTIONS.
YOU COULDN'T BRING MUCH
MONEY OUT OF ENGLAND.

Leslie says ACTUALLY WE SUCCEEDED
LEGALLY IN TRANSFERRING
CAPITAL FROM ENGLAND.
I HAD A TERRIBLE TIME WITH
THE BRITISH TREASURY.
I WAS SUMMONED TO THE
BRITISH TREASURY WHEN IT WAS
IN THE PAPER THAT THERE
WAS THIS COMPANY
GOING TO NEWFOUNDLAND.
THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY
FURIOUS WITH ME.
HOW DARE YOU TAKE A
COMPANY TO CANADA.
I SAID, WELL, I THOUGHT
YOU WANTED SOME DOLLARS.
THEY SAID, YES, BUT WE'RE
NOT PREPARED TO LOSE ANY,
AND IF YOU LOSE MONEY, YOU
WON'T BE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER
ANY MONEY FROM
ENGLAND AT ALL.
SO WHAT I DID WAS, I PAID
FOR EVERYTHING IN STERLING
THAT I POSSIBLY
COULD BEFORE WE LEFT.
SO THE ONLY THING I HAD TO
PAY FOR IN NEWFOUNDLAND WERE
THE SALARIES AND THE RENT ON
THE THEATRE AND THE PUBLICITY.
EVEN SOME OF THE ACTORS
AGREED TO TAKE HALF
THEIR SALARY IN ENGLAND
SENT TO THEIR WIVES,
SO THIS ALL
SAVED US DOLLARS.
THE MONEY YOU PAID
OUT WAS IN STERLING
AND WE EARNED IT
BACK IN DOLLARS,
AND OF COURSE LEFT
IT IN NEWFOUNDLAND.
AFTER TWO OR THREE YEARS,
THE FARES ALONE,
WHICH WAS OUR BIGGEST
ITEM, THE SHIPPING FARES,
WE EARNED THEM BACK IN
DOLLARS AND WE LEFT
THE DOLLARS IN CANADA.
SO THE NEXT TIME WE BUILT
UP A LITTLE BIT OF CAPITAL.

Richard says THERE'S ALSO A STORY THAT
I ADMIRE TREMENDOUSLY.
THAT AT ONE POINT, I BELIEVE
IT WAS IN THE FIRST SEASON,
THINGS WERE A LITTLE DICEY.

Leslie says OH, YEAH.

Richard says AND ONE MEMBER OF THE
COMPANY TRIED TO GRAB
CONTROL AWAY FROM YOU.

Leslie says YES.

Richard says AND CLAIMED TO FIRE
YOU AND EVERYTHING,
AND YOU HAD THE MOST
INCREDIBLE WAY OUT OF IT.
DO YOU RECALL
WHAT YOU DID?

Leslie says YES, I DO.
IN ORDER TO SAVE MONEY,
WE WERE DOING 26 PLAYS.
I WENT AROUND TO ALL THE
MANAGEMENTS I'D WORKED FOR
IN ENGLAND AND I BORROWED
SETS OF SCRIPTS SO I DIDN'T
HAVE TO BUY ANY
SCRIPTS AT ALL.
AND I HAD 26
SETS OF SCRIPTS.
AND WHEN THIS THING HAPPENED,
AND IT WAS A PARTNER WHO -
OR IT WAS A SORT OF SPONSOR
WHO HAD ORGANIZED THIS,
AND HE CAME IN
AND FIRED ME.
I SAID, YOU CAN'T FIRE
ME, IT'S MY COMPANY.
HE SAID, THAT'S NOT
WHAT A LAWYER WOULD SAY.
I WENT STRAIGHT AROUND TO
THE OFFICE AND WE HAD DONE...
SAY WE'D DONE 15 PLAYS.
THERE WERE 11 PLAYS,
SETS OF SCRIPTS.
I TOOK 11 SETS OF SCRIPTS,
PUT THEM IN THE CAR,
DROVE THEM TO A
FRIEND'S HOUSE,
PUT THEM IN THE
BASEMENT AND SAID, NOW,
I'VE NEVER BEEN
HERE TODAY.

Richard says BUT THEN HE
CAME UP AND SAID,
I'M GOING TO HAVE YOU
ARRESTED FOR THEFT.

Leslie says FOR THEFT.

Richard says AND YOU SAID?

Leslie says I SAID, EVEN IN
NEWFOUNDLAND YOU CAN'T BE
ARRESTED FOR STEALING
YOUR OWN PROPERTY.
THOSE SCRIPTS ARE MINE.
THEY'RE NOTHING TO
DO WITH YOU AT ALL.
I BORROWED THEM
FROM FRIENDS.
WE DIDN'T EVEN
PAY FOR THEM.
THEY'RE MINE AND THEY
HAD NOTHING TO REHEARSE,
SO HE HAD TO GET ON THE
PLANE AND GO BACK, NOT ME.

Richard says SO YOU WON THAT ONE.

Leslie says YUP.

Richard says OVERALL, HOW WOULD YOU
CHARACTERIZE THE SEASONS
YOU SPENT THERE?
WOULD YOU SAY
THEY WERE HAPPY?
PROSPEROUS?

Leslie says THERE'S NO
QUESTION ABOUT IT,
WE ENDED UP MAKING
100 PERCENT ON OUR
ORIGINAL INVESTMENT
THE FIRST SEASON.
IT WAS A STRUGGLE
AT THE BEGINNING.
THEN IT PICKED UP.
THEY WERE ALL USED TO
LIVING IN CLOSE CONFINEMENT
AND WORKING HARD.
OF COURSE THEY WERE
HAVING TREMENDOUS FUN.
THEY WERE EATING WELL.
AND, YOU KNOW, PARTIES
AFTER THE SHOW EVERY NIGHT.

Richard says RIGHT, IT WAS NEWFOUNDLAND.

Leslie says OH, YEAH, IT WAS
NEWFOUNDLAND, YES.
NO, IT WAS DEFINITELY...
IT WAS A STRUGGLE
THE FIRST YEAR, BUT
AS WE WENT ON,
THE ONLY BIG
DISAPPOINTMENT WE HAD WAS,
WE DECIDED TO TOUR THE
SMALLER TOWNS OF ONTARIO
IN ABOUT OUR FIFTH YEAR.
THERE WE LOST MONEY.
NOBODY HAD EVER
HEARD OF US.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says WHY SHOULD THEY
HAVE HEARD OF US?
THEY DIDN'T WANT TO COME AND
SEE ANYBODY; IN FACT THEY
SAID, YOU CAN'T BE ANY GOOD
OTHERWISE YOU WOULDN'T BE HERE.

Richard says THERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT
CHANGE OVER THE YEARS
AND SOME STAY THE SAME.
YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR FIGHT
WITH THE SORT OF SPONSOR
AND IT ECHOES KIND OF THE
TROUBLE THAT PEOPLE
HAVE NOWADAYS WITH
BOARDS OF DIRECTORS.
AND THE OTHER THING THAT
HAPPENS IS THE PRESS,
AND THE PRESS KIND OF
BECAME THE RASPBERRY SEED
IN YOUR WISDOM TOOTH IN
THE LAST SEASON.
WHY DO YOU THINK
THAT HAPPENED?

Leslie says I'LL TELL YOU
WHY IT HAPPENED.
THE CRITIC ON THE
NEWSPAPER WAS ORIGINALLY
AN ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER OF
OURS, THE VERY FIRST YEAR.
I MEAN, THE
LOWEST OF THE LOW.

Richard says RIGHT, RIGHT.

Leslie says SHE BECAME THE CRITIC
AFTER ABOUT THE SECOND YEAR
AND SHE WAS REVIEWING
US VERY, VERY WELL.
THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, SHE
SUDDENLY TOOK AGAINST US
AND SHE STARTED GIVING
US BAD REVIEWS.
NOW, SOME OF THEM SHOULD
HAVE BEEN BAD REVIEWS.
I'M NOT PRETENDING
THEY SHOULDN'T.
WE DID A TERRIBLE
PLAY CALLED
DRAGNET,
TRYING TO GET THE TELEVISION
AUDIENCE AWAY FROM THE...

Richard says OH, JUST THE
FACTS, MA'AM.
JUST THE FACTS, YES.

Leslie says YEAH, IT WAS TERRIBLE,
BUT SHE LIKE THAT.
SO THIS IS THE
EXTRAORDINARY THING,
BUT SHE DIDN'T
LIKE
ANASTASIA,
AND SHE HATED
ANNE OF
GREEN GABLES, THE PLAY,
NOT THE MUSICAL.

Richard says OH.

Leslie says AND SO I FINALLY
WENT TO THE NEWSPAPER,
WHICH IS A FATAL THING
TO DO, AND I SAID,
WE DON'T WANT
ANY MORE REVIEWS.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
WELL, FROM THEN ON,
A NEWSPAPER ALWAYS
HAS THE LAST WORD.
THEY HAD LETTERS WRITTEN
TO THE NEWSPAPER WHICH
WERE NEVER WRITTEN BY
PATRONS, I CAN TELL YOU.
BECAUSE EVENTUALLY,
OF COURSE,
THE PATRONS' LETTERS
STARTED APPEARING,
BUT THAT WAS
SOMETIME AFTERWARDS.
SO THERE WAS A NASTY LITTLE
PERIOD IN THE MIDDLE
THERE WHICH WAS
VERY DISAPPOINTING.
IT HAD SOME OF THE COMPANY
IN TEARS BECAUSE THEY
WERE REALLY NASTY COMMENTS.

Richard says BUT THAT WASN'T ENOUGH TO
SOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE END.

Leslie says NO.
NO, WE WENT BACK,
DID ONE MORE YEAR.
I SAID, NO, WE'RE GOING
TO GO OUT IN STYLE.
WE WENT BACK AND DID ONE
MORE YEAR AND WE NEVER HAD
A LOSING YEAR IN THE
WHOLE SIX YEARS.

Richard says I CAN'T THINK OF MANY
THEATRES THAT EVER SAID THAT.

Leslie says NO?

Richard says NOW, LET ME
DO A WHAT IF.
LET'S SAY YOU WERE AS YOUNG
NOW AS YOU WERE BACK THEN
IN THE 1950s.
WOULD YOU OR COULD YOU START
A COMPANY AGAIN THE SAME WAY
OR HAVE THINGS CHANGED SO MUCH
THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE?

Leslie says NO, I THINK IT WOULD
BE IMPOSSIBLE TODAY.
EVERYTHING IS MUCH,
MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE.
ACTORS IN THOSE DAYS...
FOR INSTANCE,
AN ACTOR WORKING IN REP
IN ENGLAND WAS GETTING
ABOUT 10 pounds A WEEK,
WHICH WAS 28 dollars.
WE PAID THEM 30 dollars
AND FULL BOARD.
SO THIS WAS 30 dollars
POCKET MONEY.

Richard says RIGHT.

Leslie says THIS WAS IN THE 1950s.
AND AT THAT TIME, I THINK,
THE CRT IN OTTAWA WAS PAYING
ABOUT 40 dollars, BUT THEY
HAD TO KEEP THEMSELVES.
YOU WOULD NEVER GET
ACTORS AWAY FROM ENGLAND.
THEY WERE DYING TO
GET OUT OF ENGLAND.
THEY WERE ON WARTIME
RATIONING.
THERE WAS NO
TELEVISION.
NOW, YOU WOULDN'T GET AN ACTOR
TO LEAVE ENGLAND FOR A YEAR.
HE'D BE AFRAID OF
LOSING TELEVISION.
THE SAME HERE, YOU CAN'T GET
ACTORS TO GO OUT OF TORONTO
FOR A YEAR BECAUSE THERE'S A
LOT OF TELEVISION ACTIVITY HERE.
I DON'T KNOW THAT YOU
WOULD GET PEOPLE TO PAY FOR
26 SEATS IN ADVANCE WHEN THEY
WERE VERY CHEAP IN THOSE DAYS.

Richard says AND AS WELL, THERE WASN'T
AS MUCH TV THEN EITHER, RIGHT?

Leslie says WE JUST HAPPENED TO
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME.
ANOTHER YEAR AND I THINK IT
WOULD HAVE BEEN TOO LATE.

Richard says I WANT TO JUST GO OFF WITH
LETTING OUR VIEWERS HEAR
A LITTLE BIT OF YOUR OWN
PROSE FROM YOU YOURSELF
IF YOU DON'T MIND.
THIS IS A SECTION I LOVE
VERY MUCH BECAUSE
IT'S ABOUT WHAT IT'S
LIKE TO BE AN ACTOR,
AND I THINK THIS IS
STILL TRUE TODAY.

He hands Leslie a copy of his book.

Leslie takes it and says YES, OKAY.
YES, THIS BIT, YEAH.
I USUALLY READ THIS JUST
TO SHOW PEOPLE IT ISN'T
JUST A LITTLE COLLECTION
FUNNY ANECDOTES.

He reads from the book
AT THE ROOT OF A GLORIOUS
UNCERTAINTY THAT
IS AN ACTOR'S LIFE SITS
ITS RICHEST SOURCE
OF NOURISHMENT,
THE TELEPHONE.
THE SOUND OF ITS RING CAN BE
THE JINGLE OF THE JACKPOT
OR THE CLANG OF THE
DISASTER BELL AT LLOYD'S,
DEPENDING UPON WHETHER
OR NOT YOU GOT THE PART.
EACH TIME YOU PUT A
FINGER ON THE DIAL,
YOU TAKE A SPIN ON
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE.
THE TELEPHONE CAN BRING YOU
FIVE YEARS IN A SOAP OPERA
OR FIVE LINES IN
A RADIO DRAMA.
IT CAN TELL YOU THAT
HOLLYWOOD JUST BECKONED
OR THAT THE STRAW HAT PLAYERS
JUST PASSED YOU BY.
IT IS A PIPELINE TO THAT
LITTLE POOL OF HOPE
THAT NEVER QUITE RUNS DRY.
FOR JUST WHEN
ALL SEEMS LOST,
SOMEONE WILL CALL AND PRIME
THE PUMP WITH AN OFFER
THAT CAN SEND YOU OFF ON AN
EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER RIDE.
THERE WILL BE PEAKS AND
VALLEYS ALONG THE WAY
AND FAME OR OBLIVION AT
THE END OF THE RAINBOW.
BUT EVEN IF IT TURNS
OUT TO BE LATTER,
THERE WILL BE OTHER CALLS,
OTHER HIGHS AND OTHER LOWS,
FOR AN ACTOR'S JOURNEY
NEVER LINGERS LONG ON
LEVEL GROUND, AND THAT BEATS
WORKING IN A BANK ANY DAY.

[chuckles]

Richard says LESLIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR YOUR BOOK AND YOUR
CAREER, BUT THIS ONLY
TAKES US A SHORT DISTANCE.
I WANT THE SECOND VOLUME TO
COME OUT AND I WANT TO TALK
TO YOU ABOUT IT
WHEN IT DOES.

Leslie says OKAY.

Richard says THANK YOU.

Leslie says THANK YOU.

Richard faces the screen and says
FOR
DIALOGUE, I'M
RICHARD OUZOUNIAN.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.

Music plays as the end slate reads “Special thanks to Centro Grill and Wine Bar. Dialogue.”

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1998, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Leslie Yeo