When does the ghost walk?

There was a phrase common in the business until recent times – “ When does the ghost walk?” – meaning, “When do we get paid?” The origin may go back to Shakespeare’s time. In his early days Master Will did a bit of everything at The Globe  – he wrote the scripts, played small parts and worked in the Front of House looking after the takings. One of the parts he played was the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father. After he had appeared in Act One, Scene One he would go round to the front of the theatre, collect the takings, return backstage and distribute the money to the actors. They were not paid until the ghost had walked. This story cannot be authenticated, but actors may well have used the expression for nearly 400 years.