My name is Dorothy Devereaux. I am one of very few people of color in the new industry of America known as the “movie business”. Do I take pride in my position? You better believe it. I work with one of the most well known inventors and industry pioneers in the country; T. Ashkenazy. He is responsible for creating “moving pictures” by using a machine that captures people’s movements on a film. It’s amazing! It is like watching a play, but the actors are not really there. As a former stage-show producer for some of the biggest acts that Harlem, and really, all of New York, has ever seen, I had tons of experience with creating fantastic productions – naturally he hired me. I will admit, it was a long-shot for me to apply for the job, but it was an even bigger risk for him to take me on. The only color that truly matters to the Barron is green and I am grateful for that. Plus, it is not that he wants to be wealthy for money’s sake. He just wants to feed and clothe his precious little girl. It makes me respect him even more.
Every day I go to whatever location we film at and work with the Baron on his projects. Today we film at Atlantic City – a wonderful getaway for the affluent of the East Coast. I enter stage left after I push the camera onstage. The Barron thanks his talent, the Great Houdini and then reprimands America’s current (and annoying) obsession, Miss Evelyn Nesbit. She has a tendency to look directly at the camera. She does not understand that she must not do that! It ruins the illusion. However, she is not an actress so what can we expect? When the Barron sends everyone to take a break I show him the schedule for the day and then head further upstage. While he speaks to Atlantic City visitors I look at the script and fix the camera for the next round of filming. After I am finished looking at the script I put it down and work on the camera. I fiddle with the front, back, side, and even the bottom of the camera. It is a very complex machine. When we finish filming both of us fiddle with the camera some more. He takes a look at potential scripts and I give him my opinion. Then I exit, with camera in hand, to let him have a moment with one of his fans.
Working with him is truly an amazing experience.