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The way we were: writers on air

Writers and performers recall their first broadcasting experiences

By Ian Irvine   June 2010

In his memoir “Palimpsest,” Gore Vidal recalls beginning his career in television in 1954, with his play Dark Possession, written for CBS. At that time, plays were broadcast live.

For actors on live television, normal stage fright was exaggerated by the knowledge that 20m people would be watching them and that should they forget their lines, learned in less than a week, there would be no more television work. There were many terrible stories… I watched one ethereal blonde girl, in the course of a tender love scene, soundlessly vomit on her swain.

Dark Possession went smoothly until the…

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