Barbra Streisand’s perhaps biggest career setback happened in 1967. Or not. In Central Park. In front 135,000 people. She forgot the lyrics to a couple of songs.

She found the experience crippling. Debilitating.

It is a well known that Barbara did not perform live for the 27 years that followed that 1967 concert. Until the teleprompter was invented, I read.

Two things:

  1. 27 years is a long time. Really she didn’t perform live for that long?
  2. In 1967 the teleprompter had already been invented and was being used for television. Did it take 27 years until it was used in live performances?

If one searches, it seems as though, well, Barbs wasn’t out of concert commission for that long. In fact, a month after her flub in Central Park, she played the Hollywood Bowl and performed at many benefits after that.

From many other examples one can plainly see that Barbra Streisand performed live following her Central Park performance.  It didn’t take 27 years. Whether she used the teleprompter in those performances, I have no idea. She could have.

What is important to note is that in Barbra Streisand’s mind, forgetting the lyrics to her songs in front of so many people affected her profoundly. So much so, that she believes she didn’t perform for 27 years.

In everything we do, wherever we go, with whoever we interact. We should always take care to have at least a pinch of humility in our pockets. Sometimes things will go as we plan them. Sometimes they won’t. But if we’re humble, we’ll be able to laugh at ourselves. Something Barbra Streisand was clearly incapable of doing.

Success doesn’t mean the absence of failure; it means the attainment of ultimate objectives. It means winning the war, not every battle. –Edwin C. Bliss