As a jack of all trades and coming from a tech background, one of my regular gigs later in life has been show directing, tech directing, stage managing or production directing at the famed Beverly Hilton Hotel…
Barbra Streisand was a part of numerous events I have worked on. If I recall correctly, Ms. Streisand’s rider included flower petals in the toilet, needing to be “surrounded by beautiful things” which included countless bouquets of white roses, something about carpeting wherever she walked, and if any of the program was being televised, a very specific camera lens … a lens that they no longer make, but who’s going to correct Barbra’s overly-hyper team? Not me.
The lens effect they required was not dissimilar to the later years when Mary Hart had become a sort of glowing, golden hostess at the desk of Entertainment Tonight. We had to create an unfocused, golden hue on camera so basically Barbra was a fuzzy, golden Muppet with eyes and pearls.
Funny enough, she and Seth Rogen were on KTLA’s morning show promoting the movie, Guilt Trip, when Seth outted her and her filtered camera on the air! Hilarious.
I will tell you one charming moment. After one show, I walked back into the dressing room thinking it was empty. She and her entourage were still prepping to leave. She looked older, a little tired, and it was clear her heels were causing discomfort.
She was surrounded by her “people.” the group moved in unison toward the exit with her husband, James Brolin toddling behind. The herd stopped. The hand of the “Funny Girl” reached out from the crowd. He put his hand in hers as she pulled him into the center of the circle, holding his arm, they continued out the door. So charming. Really nice to see.
Oh — and she said “thank you” and “goodnight” to me as she went by.
I worked with her again a year later after my book came out … this time, due to a dermo blemish on one side of her face, we had to set up her walking route where she would only turn LEFT the entire evening.
“BREAKING OUT OF SHOW BUSINESS: What I Discovered by Not Being Discovered”
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