Repost of an article I wrote last year using a picture prompt.
Vaudeville Act, Destined for Dump, Saved by Descendant of Jerry Mahoney.
The demise of Vaudeville began soon after the debut of the Feckless Five, as they appeared in their first performance pose in the below archival print.
Lenny (top right)
Miriam (bottom left)
Felice (bottom right)
Feckless Five Back Story
The Feckless Five specialized in stand-up performance posing, which bored audiences, yet delighted photographers. Despite their unpopularity, the Feckless Five were trailblazers in Vaudeville, as stand-up portrait posing was a precursor to stand-up comedy.
Since stand-up performance posing never caught on, the Feckless Five were never seated at the best tables in restaurants; instead, they sat in the back by the bathroom. The singers, dancers, and ventriloquists got the best tables, even the ventriloquist dummies.
Each of the Feckless Five had a unique characteristic:
Sad Sid was always down in the dumps because his chair abutted the bathroom door. He never had time to eat since he had to let patrons in and out of the bathroom. However, they did leave pretty good tips.
Loser Lenny always had a “sour lemon lip” look on his face. Apparently, he was weaned on citrus fruit and had been fermenting since.
What the? Willie was perpetually surprised, which frankly surprised him.
Moping Miriam carried the weight of the world and the failure of the Feckless Five on her shoulders. She never liked sitting by the bathroom and always voiced her disgust when the maître d led them to the back while ignoring her protests, which both infuriated and depressed her.
Frivolous Felice didn’t care much about anything. She always sat at the table smiling while Sid, Lenny, and Miriam bickered about not being able to read the menu because of the poor lighting. The fluorescent sign that hung above the restroom door was never bright enough, either was Willie. He couldn’t tell the difference between a table and a booth unless there was a phone involved.
If only the Feckless Five bickered on stage instead of posing, they might have gotten top billing and sat at the best tables in the front next to the ventriloquist dummies.
Due to the efforts of Jerry Mahoney’s great, great, really great grandson, Kenny Kindling Mahoney, the famous portrait pose, as seen above, currently hangs in the Vaudeville Museum in the back room by the bathroom.
I found this picture on the Internet and began writing stream of consciously.
Jump-starting your writing from a picture or word is a great way to get going on a writing romp.
I don’t know where my head was when I wrote this on Sunday, August 20, 2009. I can only imagine. I was unemployed at the time. The job situation appeared scarier than usual. In fact, someone should write a horror film about looking for a job in this economy – Jobs from the Crypt or Jobless Bloody Monday.
Have you ever written something using a picture prompt?