Party Hostessing with Joan Crawford

crawford-torchsong“A superb hostess who’s been giving great parties for years plays a role she knows by heart. But a nervous or inexperienced one can benefit by some rehearsing. I don’t mean rehearsing the salad dressing but rehearsing herself. I know a charming woman who was always tongue-tied at her own parties although she was perfectly at ease in other people’s houses. So a hundred times she practiced walking around her living room chatting with imaginary guests. Finding the right thing to say to each one. Introducing strangers with just the right phrase to interest them in one another. She practiced moving gracefully, going to the door to greet newcomers, offering canapés. And now she thoroughly enjoys going to her own parties…

Rehearse your dress, too. Whether you’re having only six for dinner or fifty for cocktails, wear a lovely gown.”

Joan Crawford, My Way of Life, Simon and Schuster, 1971.