1 April 2014
The Vaudeville Star
Vaudeville was a cheap form of escape for the struggling families going through the Great Depression. Vaudeville was a variety of acts from comedians to singers to dancing families and one would hardly see the same show twice. The Great Depression was a struggle to the people in the audience, and to the performers who had to work just as hard as any of the workers in the streets.
Sophie Tucker overcame the struggle of the vaudeville lifestyle by moving away from her family in a small town to New York, moving past her self-consciousness, and painting herself black to be able to perform.
Tucker knew she had to move way ...view middle of the document...
There was no way Tucker could get to vaudeville by staying in her small town, so she had to move to New York, where her chances were far greater.
Another struggle that Tucker had to overcame is her self-consciousness. She overcame this by getting lost in her music and later buying extravagant clothing. What cause Tucker to be self-conscious is she was one hundred pounds at age thirteen, so she felt fat. When her sister would perform, some audience would ask for the “fat girl” to come out and sing. “I would jump up from the piano stool, forgetting all about my size, and work to get all the laughs I could get,” Tucker once said (Orgill 3). Once she heard the music or audience calling for her she knew she could perform and not worry about her size (Jewish Woman's Archives).
Another way Tucker overcame her self-conscious was by hiding behind her clothes. When she earned enough money, Tucker bought the most extravagant and expensive gowns possible (Contemporary Musicians). Tucker had to be comfortable with herself before she could be comfortable on stage in front of other people, because in show business, confidence is key. Once she got the key, she could open the door to vaudeville.
When Tucker was first starting at vaudeville, she had to paint herself black to be able to perform. She overcame this by when her suitcase was shipped to the wrong place and performing as herself and showing people she didn't need to change, she could hold her own. Tucker didn't feel...