OK, this is more than you ever wanted to know, AND more than I ever thought I would expose. It is true confessions combined with book promotion. Haha. Grab a coffee! Here goes…… When I was in my 30’s, I moved from a relatively small southern town in Georgia to Los Angeles, California. July 1968. All hell was breaking loose in the world. No matter. I was consumed with trying to find a reason to live. I can give you the reasons that I believed at the time and that I told everyone, but the real reason motivating me was that I was very unhappy. I wanted to die and had fantasies of throwing myself out a window or out of the car. I did not really want to die. I wanted change. Change of everything I knew at the time. I won’t bore you with what I had come to know, but I will tell you about my attempts to change.
First of all, I discovered that I could not “change” without “changing. Haha. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Like, “duh”. No. Rather like, how? I did not know. At that time, I knew nothing about much of anything. I had lived a comfortable – rather sheltered – life. Now, if you had told me that then, I would have tried to argue you down. Not true. I had traveled. I had gone to the Midwest to college. I had experienced life in its entirety. NO! NOT TRUE!!! I knew nothing. OK, maybe a little. But, not much.
It became especially painful when Gregory Peck helped me to get into The Actors Studio and my acting coaches did not know what to do with me. I was very uptight. That is how it began. As time went on, I began to change. Verrrrrrrry slowly. First, I tried gestalt therapy. And when my therapist asked me what made me happy, I didn’t know. I said, “snowflakes, the smell of jonquils, and the smell of fresh-mown grass”. And, in 1969, an acting friend introduced me to Ira Progoff, a leader in a journalistic approach to depth psychology. He had studied with Carl Jung. At the time, that meant nothing to me. I just knew that I was unhappy and making my family unhappy. Oh, great! Ugh. I had succeeded in making ALL of us unhappy. Not funny!!!
I started going to weekend retreats every now and then in San Jacinto, California. People were very patient with me and my naivety. My acting coaches were very patient with me and my naivety. Little by little, I began to change. And, I began to keep a journal. I vowed to write a book one day. Maybe I could help other desperate women and/or men see a way out of unhappiness.
Many years later, in 2012, when I was 75, I published my first journal “Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 1. In it, I used real names. It was a literal transcription of what I had written when I was 33. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect what happened as a result of that publication!
Needless to say, it was a negative reaction from people I had known all my life because I had used real names. I lost many “friends” as a result. So be it. It wasn’t about them. It was about me. But, I was not deterred. It has now been carefully edited for the time being. The good stuff is still there.
I then wrote Journal of Janet Tallulah, Volume 2. Every time I edited something out, I felt like I was “betraying” the integrity of my Journal. But, I did it anyway. As I said, the “story” and good stuff is still there. And real names.
Then, I wrote “Janet Tallulah”, combining the two journals into a unified whole, adding material to flesh it out, and showing how I was jumping out of the frying pan into the fire while beginning to “make it” professionally in film and television. Ugh. What painful, wonderful memories.
Oh, to be young again!!!! Haha. “I told you so”. Sound familiar??
I am very proud of my Journals . Many readers have told me how much they have enjoyed reading them. I agree. I still enjoy reading them.
In total, I have written and published seven books: The three Journals (listed above); “The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy”; “Moments in Time”; “Capturing Beauty”; and “JAYSPEAK on the Cote d’Azur”. In paperback and e-books. I am currently working on another book, with the working title “After Steve Died”. It will be based on the journal notes that I have written here in Nice, France, since August 31, 2016, the day that my life took an about-face. Reminds me of “Hedda Gabler” – for you theatre history folks.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ― Gilda Radner