Professionals- that is, actors by profession.
A big crowd slowly gathers,
And stretches across the street;
The pit door opens sharply,
And I hear the trampling feet;
And the quiet pro.'s pass onward
To the stage-door up the court.
Sims: Ballads of Babylon; Forgotten, etc.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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