Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Some Wednesday Lightness: My History with Barbra



At the young age of 18, I became a true Barbra fan. That’s Barbra Streisand. After viewing The Prince of Tides, I was hooked. I fell in love with her music and her films and did my research about her, as a person. I was instantly impressed with her charitable giving and felt her feminist activism was powerful.

When I went to college in New York City, it was important for me to go by the sites that she had been to and I would frequently experience New York while she sang into my earphones as I walked down Broadway. 

When I learned she would be filming a movie on my college campus, I knew I needed to be a part of it. I was able to sign up to be an extra and was lucky enough to get called. In the weeks leading up to my film date, I would see her on campus and get very excited. I so wanted to talk to her and tell her what a positive influence she was for me. I really just wanted to talk about anything with her, I didn’t care about the subject. I wanted to tell her how I didn’t realize how short she was and on days when she was not filming scenes herself, she looked so casual and comfortable. But, I remained quiet.

The big day came and I wore all brown. We were told not to wear black but to wear neutral colors. I was given a pink scarf to wear by wardrobe and I was ready to go. The scene is toward the end of the movie when Barbra is walking through campus with Pierce Brosnan. I am seen for a split second. Filming that one scene took several hours and was a very cool experience. I was asked to stay while they filmed another scene, indoors, but was not used. I was able to watch the process and really appreciate the work.
At the end of the night (after 12 hours of work) I knew what I had to do. As I got my stuff together, most of the extras had left, probably needing to return to their dorms to study. I took a chance and waited by the front door of the building we were in. I heard someone yell, “Rose is coming,” and knowing that was Barbra’s character’s name in the film that Barbra was coming downstairs. I waited. 

As she walked past me, this was the interaction:
Me: “Barbra?”
Barbra: “Yes.”
Me: “I really enjoyed watching you work today.”
Barbra (smiling): “Thank you.”

Cue her bodyguard who pushed me away from her…

And with that, I walked to my dorm as tears began to flow down my cheeks. I was overwhelmed by the entire experience, but the fact that I was able to have a brief conversation with her sealed the deal for me. I was 20 years old and I felt as if I had lived a dream.

Fast forward 20 years and I am now living a dream with my husband and daughter. I do feel as if Barbra has been there through good times and bad with me. Her music can be haunting and uplifting, depending on my needs. Her films are all wonderful and I highly recommend the little known, Up the Sandbox. My love of Barbra will continue and is now shared with my daughter. 

And really, there is nothing like hearing your 4 year old daughter sing, A Quiet Thing/There Won’t be Trumpets at the top of her lungs while riding to preschool in the morning.

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