“On stage is the most magic place I can be. I can’t put it into words. IT’S ESCAPISM. It’s like walking on air. For me, it’s the safest place in the world to be. I can’t be hurt on stage. I can sleep on stage. I hate to leave stage. It’s wonderful. I was raised on stage. I LOVE IT. When I say magic, I mean wonderment, excitement, ESCAPISM, another world. And, there are people who do that sort of thing, like Steven Spielberg or Walt Disney…and for the spectators, it’s exciting, its entertainment, it’s joy, it’s love. It makes my eyes light up when I see E.T., when they fly in the sky, or, a great concert. I like to create magic myself, I love magic.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I had dreamed of creating the biggest-selling record of all time. I wanted to do something special. I’d stretch my arms out, as if I were sending my thoughts right up into space. I’d say to myself, ‘THIS IS MY DREAM. THIS IS MY WISH,’ every time before I’d dive into the water. I believe in wishes and in a person’s ability to make a wish come true.”
My retreat into magic comes when I enter Michael’s world. In essence, he has become my LIFE COACH turning me into a believer…someone who embraces the notion, where you believe there is magic, you will find it. His is a style of teaching in which enchantment is the reigning character. When in his company, I abandon distrust and offer myself up entirely. I shift my fixation from MUST do, to WANT to do…allowing myself to simply enjoy. Escapism absorbs my mind in irresistible play.
Michael understood the power of play. “It’s all meant to be play. Keep to your course, but dance while you do it.” MJ “Wonderment and magic are things I’ve just never grown out of.” Laughter is immeasurable and Michael’s giggles are legend. He helped to quell the pressures of living, as the most famous person on the planet, bonding with children and nature, animals and art, escaping his realities with playfulness. His inner child intact, he teaches me how to nurture mine. Michael’s life embraced his friend, Katharine Hepburn’s philosophy, ‘If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun!” Or, from William Butler Yeats, “Fairies come take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind, run on top of the disheveled tide, and dance upon the mountains like a flame.” When the world made things hard, Michael did what was hard…and, in my memory, I know of no one who was expected to face hardship more. That is one of the reasons I marvel at Michael…seeing him so thoroughly enjoy the moment, embracing everything and everyone…the quintessential role model. These are the experiences that expand, slipping into my psyche and taking up residence there. MAGIC RULES. I escape.
In my articles, I feature Michael and those who love him. This second group numbers in the millions, growing daily…there is so much inspiration and infectious charm to go around. For me, I have made what I love a part of what I do. The result is healthy indulgences into research, musical and live performances, books, articles, speeches, interviews all evoking joy. In satisfying my creative spirit, I am at play, walking on air in my very own fairyland. “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But, most of all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach Michael shows me what a dreamer who does looks like. All who are kindred spirits understand that we occupy a single soul. My interpretation of fun wraps around everything Michael. Michael lived this line from Hans Christian Anderson, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” Michael told us that he would never stop being Peter Pan in his heart. The garden that was Neverland was not there just for him…it was there to be shared in an awakening of the human spirit…a fantasy scape meant to heal those children whose lives were overtaken by terminal disease, by poverty and lack…healing that brought with it laughter and play and joy. Michael’s loving words to and for children defined a diplomacy that needed all the words and actions it could get. These large thoughts were wrapped in giggles and escapism and pure love. It’s excitement, it’s entertainment, it’s joy, it’s love.
“I have so many memories of him pranking me onstage. Our quick-change tents shared a side, and as we were rushing to change our wardrobe in between songs, invariably a grape or a carrot would come rocketing over the top of me. I could always hear him giggling through the wall. He rented out amusement parks a lot. I remember riding a swinging-pirate-ship ride with him somewhere in Germany and because we were the only ones on the ride, he wouldn’t let the operator stop the ride, as I got sicker and sicker. He thought is was hilarious. When we were in Tokyo, I got a call from him at night inviting me to come to his hotel-where we watched Amos and Andy Shows. He laughed and threw popcorn the whole time. My most beloved memory, however, was watching him perform HUMAN NATURE every night from the side of the stage. There was something so genuinely vulnerable in his voice in that song and watching the freedom with which he danced, doing the moves he invented, only made me more keenly award of the greatness I was blessed to be witnessing.”
MICHAEL JACKSON THE MAKING OF THRILLER 4 Days in 1983
“If you couldn’t have fun or you didn’t want to, then Michael didn’t want you around him.”
KING OF STYLE Dressing Michael Jackson
“That’s Michael!” Obviously he had watched us fans enjoying his park and he probably thought that the dark corner from where he looked would be perfect to watch. Of course, that was typically Michael. He loved being a fly on the wall and probably had watched us since we entered Neverland. Convinced by the guards that Michael could hear, all one hundred fans began to sing, ‘ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL!’ The song was repeated in four languages. What a sound echoed through the usually peaceful landscape that night.”
Marina Dobler, Germany
MICHAEL JACKSON NEVERLAND VALLEY
Dreams are living things. They exist outside time and space, yet they help us understand and fashion our own worlds. When carefully nurtured, they have the unlimited capacity for growth and change. Dreams are generous, forgiving and life-long companions. They urge us to reach beyond our very best efforts, to seize something greater than ourselves. The happiest feeling imaginable is when a dream embraces reality. You have shared your dream with us and taken us into its special world of delight and fulfillment and happiness. We, too, have shared our dreams with you…to create one of the most beautiful carousels ever conceived. Thank you for enabling us to realize our dream and may all your dreams find fulfillment.
Chance Rides Inc., October 29, 1990
My ESCAPE today came in the luscious form of Michael’s newly released demo “LOVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD”! (the solo demo version). Suddenly, I was singing and dancing…that familiar feeling of ecstasy mesmerizingly soothing and energizing at the same time. I thought of the line from Albert Camus, “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” The genius in Michael’s freedom to create astounding music presented rhythms and melody and harmonies only heard in Michael’s studio…until now. And, again, I escaped into Michael’s magical world. I haven’t stopped smiling. It was play, it was fun, it was escapism…walking on air in my own fairyland. THE DREAM CONTINUES.
ONCE THERE WAS A CHILD AND HE WAS FREE
DEEP INSIDE, HE FELT THE LAUGHTER
THE MIRTH AND PLAY OF NATURE’S GLEE
BEAUTY, LOVE WAS ALL HE’D SEE.
“A child’s mind needs the nourishment of mystery, magic and excitement. I want to work to help people rediscover the child that’s hiding in them.”
DANCING THE DREAM