As a pundit once said, Hesitate and you are lost. Why do most people hesitate? Fear! The fear of not being good enough or the fear that comes from thinking too much. We are afraid of those things we don’t understand, but the true visionaries jump right into those fears and they magically disappear.
Fear was the fuel of the passions of Elvis. In the case of director Steven Spielberg, he had a deep-seated fear of the dark. The only time he wasn’t afraid when in a theater where he escaped into the fantasy of make-believe. What did that have to with his accumulating two billion dollars? Plenty! As he told the media, when he was in his twenties he would get sort of nauseous stage fright—and his insecurities were the fuel for his stories.
With examples ranging from Judy Garland to Bob Dylan, Madonna to Jack Nicholson, this book shows how fear can be the catalyst for ending up in the penthouse or the poorhouse, depending on how we deal with it.
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JUDY'S TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY
Zing went the strings of my heart — 1934
Over the Rainbow — 1939
You made me love you — 1935
My Man – 1947
Meet Me in St. Louis – 1945
Easter Parade — 1948
Old Man River — 1960
The Man that got away — 1961
Judy at Carnegie Hall Album – 1961
Major Movies – 45 in total
The Wizard of Oz – 1939
For Me and My Gal – 1942
Meet me in St. Louis — 1944
Easter Parade – 1948
A Star is Born — 1954
The Judy Garland 1963 TV Special
Judy Garland – Tragedy Triumph
"We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality."
– Judy's introspective catharsis.
GARLAND'S METAPHYSICAL MINDSET
Judy trekked down that Yellow Brick Road looking for the security of home, but it would be a lifetime search for salvation from so many downfalls. She did not grow far beyond that world of Dorothy on a trek to find Wizardly and Worldly empowerment.
Judy and her wayward pals took that journey to Emerald City in what they thought was a cure for what ailed them – a heart, courage, a brain, and finding home. It was a metaphor for finding the solution to inner frailties that has been lost on many watching this magical film The Wizard of Oz. Often we believe that learning a lot makes us successful. Not true! Irving Berlin wrote the song Easter Parade just for Judy Garland for the movie of the same name. It became an instant standard for both the composer and the artist. Ironically, neither of them could read nor write a note of music. This is strange since Judy's mother was an accomplished pianist.
The Externalization of Internalized insecurity is the driving force for failure and anxiety. The majority of life's dilemmas are self-induced. Unrealistic expectations stress us out and make us feel bad. When we fail to reach our internal expectations, we feel as if we failed, when often those expectations aren't logical. In Judy Garland's case, she had a Venus Complex in the body of Little Orphan Annie as a teenager. Unfortunately, she found herself as a teenager in the MGM lot with some of the most gorgeous women in the world. As most teens, she wanted to be a sex siren to attract boys and find leading parts in films. She was seen as the "girl-next- door" type and placed in films with Mickey Rooney, and as Dorothy Gale, the Kansas girl chasing a rainbow.
The self-delusion we all have can be debilitating. Golf pros instructing beginners find that women beginners are less stressed than men. The reason is that the women show up expecting to learn to hit the golf ball off a tee. Macho men show up with unrealistic expectations of hitting the golf ball out of sight. When that doesn't happen, they ostracize themselves, throw the club down, and curse at their ineptitude. Judy Garland was a little girl with a big voice, but that was never enough. When her unrealistic expectations came to the fore, it led to a number of suicide attempts and pill-popping that would prove far more debilitating than her lack of physical beauty. The life of Judy was beset by her self-induced anxieties. Without knowing it, Judy turned to lyrical metaphors to assuage her inner feelings of inadequacy. Singing songs like Get Happy and Over the Rainbow were to entertain, but in many respects, they were to assuage her own inner inadequacy.
Aristotle was the first to tell us about catharsis – the inner release of emotional ardor that can prove positive or negative. It can sate our need for acceptance, but in Garland's case releases pent up zeal in singing and dancing. It also relieves the inner emotional distress, as Judy did. Aristotle first concocted the concept using the Oedipal theory of purging feelings of angst through external actions. In the Greek tragedy, Oedipus unknowingly killed his father and married his mother, only to find out the truth and would scratch out his eyes. His mother then hung herself in despair. Judy attempted suicide many times, but her fears led to overindulging in booze, food, and drugs to assuage her inner turmoil.
Dorothy's trek down that yellow brick road to find a brain for the Scarecrow, a heart of the Tinman, and daring for the cowardly Lion, was really written as a reality-check metaphor. The moral was to stop letting inner fears and insecurity warp your performance in life and work. In the story of Oz, even the Wizard turned out to be bogus, just as our inner fears are often unreal. The savvy Wizard was really the sage to offer advice to those living life in fear of having been dealt a bad hand. Oz was true to his word when he offered metaphysical magic when giving an emotional fix to the scarecrow in the form of a Doctoral Diploma; a heroic fix to the Tinman in the form of a medal of honor; and an infusion of intrepid power to the lion in the form of a Testimonial Award. It was a shame that Judy didn't see through the allegorical magic, as it would have kept her from wasting so much of her talent on the chase for spurious cures and lovers to sate her emotional needs.
Dorothy Gale was similar to the majority of the world that looks for a quick fix for personal problems. They listen to physicians trained to offer a quick fix and treat symptoms. That is insane. Treat causes not symptoms. This author is convinced eighty percent of prescription drugs are without need as they are given to treat anxiety when the cause should be found, not masked by some drug. Stop drugging our hyper-active kids with Ritalin to quiet them down. It's a tragedy that in today's world Napoleon, Einstein, and Walt Disney would be drugged to keep them "normal" — but another word for mediocrity.
Judy was emotional. It led her to salve her anxieties as "feeling types" tend to do. She ate to feel good, popped pills to feel normal, and drank to mask her personal insecurities. She would spend much of her beguiled life chasing happiness — personally and professionally. It was no accident that many of her greatest hits were songs like, Come on and Get Happy with the refrain, "Happy Times and Days are here Again." Such lyrics express the story of a woman desperately chasing love that eluded her to the very end. The self-induced solutions led to temporary happiness, but the food, drugs, and romantic soirees led to obesity, addiction, and many failed marriages. Her obsession for that elusive fantasy rainbow or for some magical prince on a white stallion never worked. Her fantasies had emanated from a youth without a normal family. Thus, she escaped into too many movies, too many poetic wanderings to ever become real. Excess defined her teen years when she resorted to writing poetry and excessive movies. At 17, Judy saw the movie Dangerous starring Betty Davis fourteen times. Fantasy escapes would become her reality. By 18, she could be found sitting through movies three to four times.
Her zealot mother, Ethel Gumm, and MGM used Judy for their own ends. They drugged her to stay sharp in front of the camera, and then drugged her to get to sleep. They convinced her to have an abortion by her first husband David Rose, so as not to interfere with filming. This all led to debilitating ups and downs, and by age 21 she was seeing a psychiatrist. By her mid- twenties, she was institutionalized after an attempted suicide. Her rainbows were fleeting, and she didn't have the emotional stability to deal with the rain that accompanied them. She was a hapless, but loveable, little girl with a big voice and fears of failure. Judy lived life on the very precipice to find happiness. Instead of placating her, the inner fears and drugs scarred her for life. Some day a great movie could be made on the tragedy of talent on a trek to find solace. It left Judy Garland an emotional cripple.
GENESIS OF A TRAGIC LIFE
Fearless, Judy Garland had to be pulled off the stage when she was three. By 30, she had to be pushed onto the stage. What had intervened to change her? Rejection! When we're rejected, we're imprinted with fear of a repeat. Judy was rejected by many men, fired by MGM, and was intimidated by the likes of Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, and other gorgeous young starlets that got the men she adored. As a love-crazed teenager, Judy fell madly in love with bandleader Artie Shaw, only to have him swept away by Lana Turner. It paralyzed her. Lights and greasepaint had started out as a positive force, but would leave her with vast insecurities. It became apparent that she had chosen an industry where beauty reigned supreme and looking in the mirror each morning showed her to be average, at best. She would tell friends, "Beauty is the standard in this business and I don't have it." After a few years, she was told she was a legend, but replied, "If I'm a legend then why am I so lonely?"
The rise in show business is similar to success in the stock market. Both are destined to be roller coaster rides that are never linear. Some individuals have expectations of instant-gratification. For those the falls can prove devastating. Few people in history had such a furious up and down existence as Judy. As a teenage, she experienced the brass ring with The Wizard of Oz. By age 30, she'd hit bottom. Judy hit the top and bottom more than most could tolerate. She told the press, "My life has been like a roller coaster. I've either been an enormous success or just a down and out failure." When she was "up" she was invincible. When "down" she was debilitated! Often, she would just walk off the set of a movie and it would only add to her reputation as an emotional flake. Judy was a ticking time bomb that could mesmerize an audience like few others, but could also disappoint them by not showing up. Judy was a tormented soul. But like many with a bipolar lifestyle, she would reach the very top at age 40 in one last big comeback at Carnegie Hall. In this Big Apple setting of entertainment icons in the audience, she transfixed them with what one New York critic said, "One of the great triumphs in entertainment history." It would be ranked in the Grammy Hall of Fame for performances.
FEAR & FAME
Alan King told media, "I never met anyone who feared going on stage more than Judy." This was the same woman that as a child had to be pulled offstage. Judy was infamous for attempting to remake her body as a teenager wannabe beauty. It would prove too tough a task, and she escaped into a fantasy life of pills and vicarious romance. An example of her inner grief over not quite measuring up came one day in her forties when a fan told her, "Judy, Never forget the rainbow." Judy responded with cynical candor, "Madam, how could I forget the rainbow. I've got rainbows up my ass."
Garland was bipolar, suffering from wild mood swings of euphoria and depression. When depressed she was debilitated, and questioned her ability to live, let alone perform. When she was in a euphoric stage, she was able to mesmerize audiences like few entertainers in history. Lithium is now the drug of choice for leveling such wild mood swings. Medical studies show that when in a manic state an individual feels invincible. But when depressed they feel inept and unworthy. An example was Judy's comment, "Behind every gray cloud there's another gray cloud."
Judy often admitted that she went into hiding when things went asunder. That was a common trait as seen in other bipolar personalities including: Mozart, Beethoven, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, and those in this work: Elvis, Sinatra, Richard Burton, and Robin Williams. These types are introspective and know when they're not functioning normally, with swings from ecstasy to despondency. That's when they retreat into an inner- sanctum.
In a moment of candor, Judy admitted, "My life, my career has been like a roller coaster. I've either been an enormous success or just a down and out failure." Biographer Clarke said, "She laughed more than anyone else and cried more than anyone else."
Just 1% of the world suffers from bipolar disease. Many are visionaries who altered the world like: Alexander the Great, Sir Isaac Newton, Napoleon, Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Adolph Hitler, Hemingway, Howard Hughes, and Ted Turner. In the 150 visionaries studied by this author, about 30 % were so afflicted. In this work, 38 % — five of the thirteen subjects were manic-depressives. Kay Jamison of Johns Hopkins Medical Center has written extensively on the subject of bipolar disease saying, "nervous affliction runs through certain families, especially highly successful ones. Who would not want an illness that has among its symptoms, elevated and expansive mood, inflated self-esteem, and abundance of energy, less need for sleep, intensified sexuality, and sharpened and unusually creative thinking." Wow!
"Hypomanics have increased energy, intensified sexuality, increased risk-taking, persuasiveness, self-confidence and heightened productivity all linked with increased achievement and accomplishment."
(Kay Jamison, Touched With Fire 1993 p. 87,103)
EPIPHANY & SUCCESS
Judy often admitted that her life changed when signed by MGM and her beloved dad died suddenly as she was singing on air to him. Later in life, Judy told the media, "I was born at the age of twelve on an MGM lot." In another moment of candor, she admitted, "I can live without money, but I cannot live without love." Less than a year after signing the MGM contract, she was singing on a Los Angeles radio station to enhance her film career, when her dad suddenly died of heart failure. Devastated, she coped by searching and singing for love. From this point on, Judy was in love with love, and like Edith Piaf, was incapable of sleeping alone unless drugged. This unabated passion came through in songs that revealed a seething soul. "The Man That Got Away" and "You made me Love you" cry for a father's love. Many men attempted to fill that void, but never did. It's no accident that she married two gay men, who were like her dad, who was also bisexual. Judy had a unique ability to opt for emotional words to cope, singing, "For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul." The roller-coaster ride that was her life was beset with super highs and agonizing lows, due to manic nature. It led her to bewail, "We cast away priceless time in dreams, born of imagination, fed upon illusion, and put to death by reality."
CHARISMA & DELUSIONAL SECURITY
Judy was guilty of viewing the world through rose-colored glasses. It was an honest imprint from a girl bred on stage with the Gumm Sisters act. That fantasy life began when she was just three. For her, the world was a great big bowl of cherries, waiting to be eaten voraciously. Judy starred on stage prior to learning to read or write. Even her schooling was unique, attending classes in Hollywood with child stars Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, and other MGM stars. It was all a fantasy life. The screaming fans and adulation of audiences can warp one's sense of logic. For Judy, life was one big movie part, a vicarious adventure that kept her from any chance at a normal life, where reality is found grounded in family life. Being captivated by fame at an early age, she was never grounded. Success came with a price, a high price. The price she would pay is found in her statement, "The most nightmarish feeling in the world is suddenly to feel like throwing up in front of four thousand people." When she wasn't so scared, she was mesmerizing.
As Judy grew in stature and experience, she also grew needier. Excess and obsessive behaviors soon dominated her life and work. One biographer offered insight saying, "Judy was a laser beam of pure emotion, on the right note, perfect pitch." In the next sentence he described a woman in a desperate search for love. "In the night I often wish for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people." Judy often slept with the Hollywood elite, like Sinatra, who could identify with her mood swings, as he was also so afflicted. Both used one-night stands to sate their need, but it was a temporary fix. The delusional search for love left Judy with five broken marriages, starting with David Rose in her late teens. That was followed by Vincente Minnelli, Sid Luft, Mark Herron, and Mickey Deans. The last two were bisexual, as was her beloved dad.
Biographers described Judy as manic. She seldom walked anywhere. She ran. Judy was in a hurry to find a man, to do a show, to eat dinner, and to find success on stage. Life for a bipolar is double-time, as seen in Sinatra and Robin Williams. This is also true of highly successful entrepreneurs and leaders like Napoleon, Churchill, and others who finish their meals before their mates have finished their salad. Speed is essential for such individuals. Just look at the lives and work of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, or Michael Dell. One thing they have in common is speed with very short attention spans. They walk, talk, think, work, and drive very fast. They get things done faster than others, and are often working on their next deal prior to finishing the one they are presently involved with.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Paranoia & Power"
Copyright © 2007 Gene N. Landrum, Ph.D..
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERCISES FOR ICON BEHAVIORS,
INTRODUCTION OF FEAR & FAME,
PASSION – A Panacea for Paranoia,
ONE – Judy Garland's Triumph over Tragedy,
TWO – Robin Williams' Comedic Cathartic Creativity,
THREE – Elvis – Sexual Energy is Seductive Power,
FOUR – Sammy Davis Flash-Danced to Fame & Fortune,
FIVE – Irving Berlin Saw Effete Expertise as Myopic,
SIX – Shania Twain used Tenacity to Trump Traditionalism,
SEVEN – Frank Sinatra Dared to be Different to make a Difference,
EIGHT – Bob Dylan: The Philosophical Muse of an Icon,
NINE – Bono's U2 & Charismatic Power,
TEN – Richard Burton Used Excess to Empower,
ELEVEN – Madonna: Synthesizing Sinner Styling for Success,
TWELVE – Jack Nicholson Walked the Edge, to Have One,
THIRTEEN – Steven Spielberg Led a Magical Make-Believe Life,
FOURTEEN – Paranoia & Power – A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,
DR. GENE'S LAWS OF ICONIC EMPOWERMENT,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR,