CAN’T STOP NOW!
After the Morecambe fiasco I was sitting outside Paula’s office; waiting to do my accounts. Often the studios would pay me direct and I would settle up with Paula later, but with the bigger jobs, payment would be sent to Paula and then she would have to find time, in her non-stop schedule, to pay me.
I was also going to give her a run down of what had happened with the Pickles, and discuss my future. I thought it was time she knew that I didn’t consider this to be a job for life, and I should start to wind down preparatory to starting a family. It was becoming clear to me that one had to develop a carapace to protect one from the slings and arrows and I didn’t think I could do it. Jamie’s rejection had been enough for one lifetime; the cake wasn’t worth the candle.
Rehearsing what I was going to say I noticed a youngish man waiting. He didn’t look like either a model or an actor and when Paula herself ushered him in, I was even more curious. At last the secretary popped her head round the door and asked me to go in. To my surprise the mystery man was still there, sitting alongside Paula.
‘Pat dear, I want you to meet Mr X of X nylons.’
This was Paula at her most charming. Mr X stood up and we shook hands. It appeared that Mr X was starting an advertising campaign, had observed me in the waiting room and decided he wanted to use me for his ads. I nearly laughed out loud. I had always had a thing about my skinny legs which tended to be a bit knock kneed. The fashion then, was for more muscular, curvy legs and mine didn’t cut the mustard.
One of my modelling friends had recently been on the town with a party which included the ‘leg’endary star Marlene Dietrich – her legs were insured for thousands of pounds and according to my friend, the precious pins were encased in the palest, sheerest nylons which blended seamlessly with the colour of her high heeled shoes. The result was her legs seemed to go on for ever. This seemed like a good idea to me and I was trying it out this very day.
The result was a contract – Mr X was happy, Paula was happy and I decide to carry on for a while longer. Fortunately Paula had already worked out my cheque so I didn’t need to hang around and my future plans were put on hold for now. When I spoke to Paula that evening there were lots of bookings and Paula said it was time to get a photo in Spotlight. Spotlight was founded in 1927 and has since become world-famous for its casting directories. It was expensive but as William said it was another ‘speculate to accumulate’ instance.
At the age of 78 Marlene was still performing on stage, although a shadow of her former self. Sadly she fell, broke a leg and was bedridden in Paris, for the last twelve years of her life. Her legs were no longer insured.