Movie Album shares “How Stars are Made” (1942)

Movie Album, Vol. 1, No. 4 was published in December of 1942 to feature Hollywood’s newest, brightest faces and tell the public a little bit about them. Also included in the issue is a feature called “How Stars are Made,” which gives the reader a peak into the daily routines of young stars-to-be studying under Hollywood drama coach Sophie Rosenstein.

STEP 1: Exercise… and eat cookies.
Rosenstein’s actresses would do stretches while enjoying a “mid-morning cookie snack” to limber up for their later classes. They would also conduct breathing exercises and walk along chalk lines to develop diaphragm control and graceful walks.

Actresses in training work on their posture (From my collection)
Actresses in training work on their posture (From my collection)

STEP 2: Use your props
Chalk lines weren’t the only tricks used to teach graceful, glamorous movement. Students would walk with books on their heads, recite lengthy passages while holding lit candles for controlled breating (the object being not to blow the candle out), act out scenes with water dripping from their fingers to discourage them from touching their faces while speaking, and would walk with newspapers stuffed under their arms to encourage good posture.

STEP 3: Go to class
Daily classes included dictation, watching scenes on film to learn the “dos and don’ts,” learning how to stage a convincing fake fight, and miming.

Young actresses learn to stage a convincing on-screen fight in one of their drama classes (From my collection)
Young actresses learn to stage a convincing on-screen fight in one of their drama classes (From my collection)

STEP 4: Put yourself to the test
Record your rehearsals and exercises, watching ’em at the end of the day for a healthy dose of self-critique.

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