A “ghost” from the past

I don’t know if there’s life after politics, but I do know that there was life BEFORE politics.

Prior to the 1980s I was an actor, dancer, singer, director, and choreographer (and theatre instructor) – almost entirely stage. I abandoned those efforts in favor of making a sustainable living. However, my memories are long and deep. The sad part of live theatre is that it is retained only in our memories. Film lives on for posterity.

Today my daughter stumbled upon a movie I did in 1977 – Hot Tomorrows. Hot Tomorrows is a delightful tongue-in-cheek treatise on death. Watch the finale below and have a ball. It’s done in Busby Berkeley style. Hot Tomorrows was directed by Martin Brest who went on to direct Beverly Hills Cop, Meet Joe Black and the Golden Globe winning, Scent of a Woman, amongst many others in his illustrious career.

In the Hot Tomorrows finale I am amongst the dancers in “42nd Street.” I’m on camera right (yes, you read that correctly – wink, wink). I’m the fourth dancer from the top of the line. As to the rest, not a clue; and it moves too fast and there are too many of us.

In the still, I’m on the very far right. Believe me, this is the only time you’ll find me there.

Our make-up (though hard to tell here) was sunken eyes and our long fingernails were in black to match the black and white cinematography of decades gone by.

The opening sequence has us dancing with lit cigarettes hanging from our mouths. Although I’m now a lung cancer survivor (thanks to cigarettes), it doesn’t diminish my ability to enjoy this, perhaps even more now than at the time it was filmed. After all, the “Grim Reaper” will take us all in due course. Perhaps he will WINK AT US when that time comes.

  6 comments for “A “ghost” from the past

  1. Kathy
    August 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Wonderful, Kaye! How about choregraphing something for a City Council meeting. Duane, how about some of those great dancers?

  2. Marisa
    August 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

    That was totally cool, Kaye! “Humorous Morbidity”. The filming of it reminded me of Young Frankenstein but Martin Brest is sooo good (Meet Joe Black is one of my favorite movies). I looked up Hot Tomorrows on IMDb and not only was Ray Sharkey in it (gone way way too soon, that guy), Herve Villechaize (also gone now unfortunately), Danny Elfman (Oingo Boingo and later all the soundtracks for Beetlejuice and others) and ORSON WELLES did a voiceover for the film. WOW. It’s just amazing the paths our lives take…Thank you for sharing this!

  3. August 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Thanks,everybody. Now I just have to figure out a way to get the entire film. It was through American Film Institute (AFI) and screened in film festivals from L.A. to New York. I only had the opportunity to screen it once until my daughter found the clip of the finale online. I would so like to have it to pass down as part of my family legacy.

  4. Alana
    August 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    I was a dancer in this and got another dancer on board as well, mainly through Lloyd Gordon, the choreographer. He’s the one dancing in tails for the solo, but only from the back, not the front. Really fine work he did there.

    When I met Marty Brest, he wanted me to be the girl on the White Hand of Death. I had no idea what he meant. For the shoot, they gave me a special silver sequin cap to wear. Unfortunately, the boom broke during shooting and they had to make do with the camera on a dolly. So the effect of this hand floating in space was lost. In the group dance, I’m on the right, third from center.

    We did this gratis because I’d been told Marty was a very talented, upcoming film director. About two years later, I was on tour and read that this young director had just done the movie “Going in Style.”

    Glad to see this clip. My friend, the blonde dancing in front, unfortunately passed away a few years ago. So maybe her kids might like to see this.

  5. August 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Alana, glad to see you found this. Thanks for your contribution. A lot of time has passed since we filmed this. I hope you provided the link to your friend’s daughter — or any of the many dancers with whom you may still have contact.

  6. Ann Kibbey
    August 22, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Amazing! I had no idea that you did this!

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