A couple of weeks ago I fulfilled myself a long time dream seeing Barbra Streisand live in concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Ever since my early years in musical theater has she been an inspiration of mine. I read her biography many years ago, and it had a deep effect on me.
What I admired most about her was her audacity to be authentic. She lived in a time where women had to look like Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner in order to make it in the acting business, and Barbra’s look just didn’t fit in at that time. When she approached talent agencies, they’d slam their door into her face, not wanting to take a meeting with her. So Barbra started singing in bars, and within a short period of time agents and managers were lining up to see her. She finally signed on with Marty Erlichman who has been her manager ever since. Supposedly he told her to change her name as it sounded “too jewish”. So she did. And she called him up saying “Hey, Marty, I changed my name.” And Marty said “Great, to what.” She said “Barbra, I took an A out of Barbara.” That’s one of the stories from her biography. 🙂
When I first moved to Los Angeles I met Alan Miller who was Barbra’s first acting coach. Alan told me the story of how he went to see her perform in one of the bars in New York. Barbra was dressed in feather boas right out of a second hand shop, walked on stage and just looked at the audience. The performers in these bars were expected to sing background music. She refused to. She looked at the audience patiently and waited for everyone to be quiet before starting to sing. And she was incredible.
When she did her first movie, “Funny Girl”, she often told Billy Wilder what to do, from which angle to film her, and she’d sit down with the editor and director every night looking at the dailies. Here is an actress on her very first movie set ever telling an Academy Award Winning film director how to make his movie. Well, she won an Academy Award for her role!
So, what does that have to do with Indigos, you may ask? Well, here it is: when I speak to Indigos (adults or kids) and being an Indigo myself, we don’t really fit in. We don’t fit the status quo, and that is good so, because we are here to change it, raise it, transform it. So whenever you feel out of place, misunderstood being different, remember the story of Barbra Streisand. Don’t allow others to define you, define yourself. Whenever you feel you don’t fit in because you are not like everyone else, see it as a gift. If there’s one community who doesn’t accept you because you don’t fit the status quo, find another one who will, find your tribe, find your soul family.
And most of all: have the audacity to be authentic!!
(P.S:: Picture from “I can get it for your wholesale”- me playing Miss Marmelstein which was Barbra’s first Broadway role)