gladys hall’s journalism, auden’s reading list and planning a 4th (or is it 7th) career….


we’re driving to the Valley (the bit over Laurel Canyon) today as on Thursdays we work for a photographer (did we tell you that before?) – it’s a lovely thing to do – we re-touch pictures (adjusting contrast, exposure, tints and so forth – yes, a New Skill), and “consult” on blog posts and other social media ‘feeds’ and build a database for marketing ‘blasts’ and be nice and helpful in a general way.

it’s the beginning of what we hope is a 4th (or is 7th?) career (we have had Other Lives) to run alongside the Lady Novelist and photographer life.

you see we’ve Noticed that a lot of Smart People in Hollywood (and elsewhere – but this is where we live, right now) might need some careful (and always kind) help with the new fangled world of how to present oneself on the Interweb (we have done this Ad Hoc from time to time but never, as the Americans say ‘formalized it’ – which means, get-paid-for-it).

all this reading in the Academy of Motion Picture Library got us thinking about Gladys Hall.


you see gladys hall was really the world’s first social media consultant.

we can explain…….

in the 1920s and 30s, famous movie stars were owned by the Studio System who controlled their image, love life and creation-of-a-persona (right down to the eyebrow shape and one’s Name).

but then the Movie Stars would take tea with gladys hall who wrote for ALL (and we mean all – there were a Lot in those days) the Syndicated Press (sometimes dismissed as the Fan Magazines but make no mistake, they were as powerful as People Magazine in their day).

a subtle manipulation of image would take place – breasts (metaphorically) bared, divorces explained, the adoption notices of children smoothly released to the adoring fans, weight loss encouraged, new wardrobes applauded, Transatlantic Travel tips dispensed.

if you watch the emergence of a storyline it’s clear that gladys hall was helping Certain Stars.

Now back to today (we’ll give you a moment to pull focus and go into colo(u)r – welcome back).

MBA types write Long Reports about “Direct To Consumer” to encourage WOM – word of mouth – and you can find Hefty Binders all over town with documents ‘explaining’ this – perhaps not as clearly as one would like as in –

“since the destruction of traditional  distribution networks controlling syndication and the shorter viewing window rights assigned to properties bought and sold there is an opportunity for Talent Owners to go communicate directly with multiple audiences on various platforms using the mechanism of electronic commerce – ‘ecommerce’ and digital payments systems like PayPal and build their own platform.”


what it really means is this:

Movie Stars can go straight to their audience today (but they still need a modern gladys hall to carefully tease out the message and protect one’s private life without seeming to do so).

the interweb is about community – sharing – approving – discussing – adoring certain things – not liking others (and some pretty tough criticism that one needs to be careful to look the other way if one is Very Sensitive) – but one needs to have one’s own place-on-the-interweb from which to start (not a ‘feed’ that populates someone else’s ‘aggregator’ when they’ll put suspiciously low rent advertising next to one’s very expensive image ;-) It Happens. *sighs*

anyway – we’re still Developing this idea.

thoughts most welcomed.

one always appreciates guidance…..and something else to do while one’s Literary Agent in Manhattan (such a lovely phrase) is reading one’s 3rd book.

for example – Mr. Auden taught creative writing while He was waiting for his Literary Agent to sell His books – and Auden’s Reading List helped many people discover a deeper meaning behind not only the great works of literature but also themselves.

audenso there you go.

a post about a future career (or at least getting paid for something one has done for free a lot ;-) and gladys hall mixed with auden and an exposition of how MBA types explain away the destructive force of the interweb laying waste to the middle man.

where else could you get such a melange?


have a beautiful day darlings – the sun is already rising in the sky over here on This Coast.

in the archives at the Academy of Motion Pictures with a pencil and a #moleskine notebook


a ravishing day and most soothing day.


partly because we purchased this divine candle from R. Ashwell which is one of those that she uses at her lovely-house-in-TX

so – back to our Day –

the Doctor was Superb!

we like her Very Much.

she took us off the nasty calcium supplements and told us to eat more food that contained calcium instead (new medical studies apparently) and gave us a Helpful Sheet (we only spotted collard greens and cottage cheese and orange juice before we felt a little Faint but We Shall Persevere).

it was So Hot here yesterday that everyone stayed indoors but we felt very Mad Dogs and English(wo)men and Took a Walk (also suggested by the Doctor which was a lovely thing). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

we happened to be in Santa Monica and it looked a Lot Like Greece. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthen after some Work Tasks (yes, we believe we have Located an Attorney – we’ll let you know later this week) we went to The Library at the Academy of Motion Pictures (as opposed to ones that stay Very Still). 


we adore a cloister. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and a Romanesque or Spanish Arch from 1927 (shockingly this building was originally a Water Treatment Plant – isn’t that Astonishing that one would build such a glorious edifice for h20?).

now we cannot show you pictures from Inside the Library because Only-Pencils-and-Notebooks-are-Allowed (everything else goes in an old school metal locker downstairs by the vast oversize Gloria Swanson poster)

but here are our notebooks with the Pencil Markings.

oh! we had the Loveliest time. 

we held the original Press Book from 1931 for Dorothy Arzner‘s film “Working Girls” and saw all the articles that were written by the Press Team and Free Lance (they wrote it as two separate words in those days) with Gaps in Them (so a local theatre and the newspapers nearby could insert opening date and theatre address) but basically have a fully written Feature about the movie Ready To Go – they called this Re-Vamping!

love it.

we’re going to use that now.

did we ever tell you we used to do this (and might do it again, shortly *lookstocamera*) – here’s one we wrote for The Devil Wears Prada when we did some work for 20th Century Fox. Fun!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and here are our notes from studying Items from the Gladys Hall Collection.

we are a Tiny bit obsessed by Gladys Hall.

and we squealed (silently) when holding her Date Books from the 1930s *shivers*

we Expected to see “tea with Joan (Crawford)” on a date in June but the Pages Were Blank.

mystified as to why they made them into the Collection we scanned through the blank pages until we got to written ones – oh! the Date Book was her notes of articles published, paid or Carried Over.

imagine writing “Luise Rainer” or “Clark Gable” – Photoplay – PAID. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and then we held her Letters in our hands *sighs* and copied out some Lines.

isn’t it astonishing to see someone’s Home Address from the Past on a letter?

it seems that the house at 1807 Benedict Canyon is still the original house from 1928 and was once lived in by not only Gladys Hall (and her portrait photographer husband Russell Ball) but by the Hollywood writer Dorothy Calhoun and has not been bought or sold since the 1970s so either somebody glorious still lives there (or the descendants of someone Movie-Related) – maybe we’ll Write to them and ask them if we can Interview them.

and also some materials pertaining to the membership (and home addresses – thrilling) of the Hollywood Women’s Press Club in 1952 (Ms. Hall was a founding member along with Louella Parsons in 1928)- does it still exist? We can’t find any record of it for Today…….apart from the Golden Apple Awards (praising co-operative Stars – they used to do Sour Apple notices too – you can Imagine what That was for).

one of these members was Nora Laing – as you can see she Wrote for the World from her home in Hollywood – we found an Audio recording of her talking about belief – isn’t this Extraordinary to hear someone speak from the Past? Especially with an accent of England-Empire-via-South-Africa? Brought tears to our eyes.



the Other treasures in her collection were the Short Stories submitted to the Smart Set (we almost used this title when we started a Magazine at University with Ms. Gabrielle Morris – in the end we both settled on the Aesthete – *blush* – we were Very Young.)

oh, darlings *sighs*

it was a glorious afternoon.

now when we were at the Library, one has to Declare one’s Intentions to enter the archives (or, more correctly, Request materials from the man at desk 2 with a stunning handlebar moustache) and one is given a pencil (of course) and a Piece of card in order to do so.

we chewed the pencil a while (sorry, William) and thought about it and then wrote (carefully and neatly)

not sure yet – possibly research for a novel about 1930s Hollywood.


wouldn’t That be delicious?

well – we are Here.