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Carpe Temporus Punctum

“Boldness has genius, power, and magic to it. Begin it now.” – Goethe

In Charlie Chaplin’s autobiography, he recalls his first, and unscheduled, step onto the stage: “I remember standing in the wings (offstage) when mother’s voice cracked and went to a whisper. The audience began to laugh, sing falsetto, and to make catcalls. The noise increased until mother was obliged to walk off the stage. When she came into the wings, she was very upset and argued with the stage manager who, having seen me perform before mother’s friends, said something about letting me go on in her place.

“In the turmoil I remember his leading me by the hand, and after a few explanatory words to the audience, leaving me on the stage alone, before the glare of footlights, faces and smoke. I started to sing, accompanied by the orchestra which fiddled about until it found my key. Halfway through, a shower of money poured onto the stage. Immediately, I stopped to announce that I would pick up the money first and sing afterward. This caused much laughter. Repeating the chorus, in all innocence, I imitated mother’s voice cracking. I was surprised at the impact; there was laughter and cheers, then more money throwing. Then my mother came onto the stage to carry me off. Her presence evoked tremendous applause. That night was my first appearance on the stage, and my mother’s last.”

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