I'm glad that this week's sketch is to be about Alice Joyce for it seems to me that the peple who have been in pictures since away back in the beginning are wonderfully interesting. They not only made good in those days, but they are doing it now, too, when conditions and requirements are so very different.
Alice Joyce is even more beautiful off the screen than she is on it. She has a beautiful complexion, and her dark eyes and hair are very lovely. But somehow, you think less of them than you do of her graciousness and charm. She is so perfectly poised, so self-possessed, that she puts you at your ease at once, and yet she is not one of those people who stand back and wait for you to talk; she is so interesting, so entertaining, that conversation with her is the easiest thing in the world.
She is interesting to watch when she is working, not only because she takes her work so seriously, but also because she concentrates so completely on it. She may be sitting just off the set, laughing and chatting with you when the director calls her. She has a curious little way of finishing what she is doing, no matter what that is, before she goes on to something else. And so she'll finish what she is saying before she goes on the set and begins to work.
Then her attention is given to the director as completely as it was to you a moment before. I believe that the roof could fall and she would hardly notice it. Of course, that is one of the reasons why she has remained a star, at the top of her profession, when others who began when she did dropped back; she devoted herself so completely to her work and spent so much time and study on developing her talents that she advanced with the profession.
I saw her working on a scene in which she was to advance toward a mirror, and the camera, was to to catch both her and her reflection in the glass. It was rather a hard shot to get, and the director was most anxious that it should be right. It meant that Miss Joyce not only had to be sure of walking in just a certain path across the room, but that she had to go through the action written into her part as she did it.
She listened as attentively as a child while she was told what to do. SHe didn't offer any suggestions, didn't comment on the scene, didn't say a word, but just listened to what he told her. You couldn't fail to see that her whole mind was focussed on the director's words.
Then she rehearsed the scene, twice. And then the cameraman shot it. There was really no need of taking it twice, so far as she was concerned; she did exactly the right thing, simply because she had grasped the director's idea so completely before she worked.
As nearly everyone knows, she was a telephone girl before she went into pictures. She was known as "The Kalem Girl," before movie actresses' names were made known--I remember how Dorothy and I used to go to her pictures, and how interested we were in her. SHe has been with Vitagraph for years now--and it's squite characteristic of her that she has remained with the same company so long; she's not the type of person who jumps from one thing to another.
She is the wife of James Regan, Junior, and has a beautiful time outside of working hours--in them, too, for that matter! You see her at concerts, new plays, dances, and when you talk with her you find that she knows musicians and writers and people who are doing things in other lines than her own. And she talks about them so interestingly that you feel that you know them, too.