LOS ANGELES: Barbra Streisand gets no kick out of performing live.
Stage fright, feeling “like a show off,” and an aversion to the trappings of fame have limited the double Oscar and 10-time Grammy winner to singing just 100 public concerts since 1963.
So, at age 75, Streisand took the opportunity to capture on film the Miami concert from her 2016 US tour for a Netflix special. “Barbra: The Music… The Mem‘ries… The Magic!” is set to be released on Wednesday.
“I don’t enjoy getting up on stage and prancing around. I feel like a show off. I don’t like being a show off. I like to be still. I like to sit in my chair and sing quietly to the audience. It’s hard for me to be too theatrical,” Streisand told Reuters.
“You put in a lot of time – like three months to prepare a concert, figure out what you are going to sing. It takes me as long as it does to film a movie, so you want to document it for posterity,” she said.
In the Netflix special, Streisand sings many of her best-known songs from her 11 No. 1 albums, including classics like “The Way We Were,” “People” and “You Don’t bring Me Flowers,” mixed with film clips and behind the camera footage from movies including “Yentl,” and some of her recording sessions.
It also captures some of the “Funny Girl” star’s private moments – doing her own make-up backstage, rehearsing, and nerves.
Apart from occasional benefits, Streisand says stage fright kept her from performing live in public for 27 years after she forgot her lyrics at a 1967 concert in New York’s Central Park.
Overcoming it was a challenge and was partly behind her series of farewell and comeback concerts in the last 20 years.
”I tried all kinds of things. Then they invented teleprompters, which at least had my lyrics in front of me, so I could look and see what I am doing.
“I really envy those who enjoy performing in front of people. I just don‘t, that’s why I love recordings or doing movies,” she said.
“When I got more well-known, I really started to dislike stardom itself. I really am only focused on the creative process. That is what intrigues me.”
Film also has a way of stopping time, she said, noting that she lost her father when she was a little over a year old.
“Maybe because my father died so young – he was 35 – I just believe in capturing moments, I guess.”