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 in just 100 public concerts since 1963.
So, at age 75, she 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 Nov 22.
“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 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 for 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 added.
In the Netflix special, Streisand sings many of her best-known songs from her 11 No. 1 albums, including The Way We Were and You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, mixed with film clips and behind the camera footage from movies including Yentl.
Apart from occasional benefits, Streisand said 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.”