Wednesday November 22, 2017

Cary Fagan's first job was being a vaudeville movie theatre usher

Cary Fagan is the author of The Old World and Other Stories, a collection of 35 short stories inspired by found photographs.

Cary Fagan is the author of The Old World and Other Stories, a collection of 35 short stories inspired by found photographs. (Josh Levine/House of Anansi Press)

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Cary Fagan, the author of of The Old World and Other Stories, was once a movie theatre usher — and it inspired one of his very first short stories.

"The odd job that I had was as an usher in a movie theatre when I was a teenager in Toronto. Being an usher itself isn't such an odd job, but this theatre had once been a vaudeville house and it felt haunted to me. I remember it had a modern big screen. But when you went behind the screen, you could find the old dressing rooms for the actors with mirrors and old booklets about the shows that had been on. I could just feel the presence of these performers and it was something that has really stayed with me. In fact, one of my very early stories, a terrible story, was called Behind the Giant Shadows and it was about this very theatre."

Cary Fagan's comments have been edited and condensed.