He felt that the creative process suffered if an act was ingrained through repetition. Jackie Gleason felt that rehearsing was detrimental to the creative process. It would drain the element of excitement, the need for risk and a quality of energy that improvisation would force on the performer. Gleason felt a safe life was not a life at all and there was no point of being comfortably successful.
He championed the idea that minimal rehearsal was the key to avoid the stale, and exaggerating the fresh brought on by the challenge of improvisation in the era of live television. There was a thrill of uncertaintly.Stand-ins did the routines and choreographed moves for him before the show. He apparently read a script only once, and then on a cursory basis only.
Gleason possessed a phenomenal memory and unbounded energy, both of which required unlimited freedom to create within his comedic empire. Completely unchained, yet minute attention to the smallest production details and presentation of gave the show a quality impossible to replicate by rivals.
”Mmmm boy, thats some good coffee ” he would tell the television audience while drinking from a teacup. Gleason not only drank hard liquor on the set, he would imbibe spirits while in front of the camera. The propensity to spend money and soak up booze in prodigious quantities seemed to be part of a larger make-up involving a seeking of sensation and ideation of risk.
Gleason amassed one of the largest libraries of paranormal research and findings in the world and the link between his creativity and the paranormal may not be coincidental. ”Fascinated by Flying Saucers and the unexplained, he ultimately assembled one of the world’s greatest parapsychology, UFO and occult libraries. The bulk of it resides today at the University of Miami Library.”
Almost as if Gleason was channelling an energetic force or was an instrument for these forces to manifest themselves. His ability to compose music and issue best-selling records without any known predispositions is a case in point that may indicate for Gleason, that the dimensions of his paranormal belief may have been a pertinent factor in his creative process. His conception to create albums of lush orchestral music; romantic and sentimental themes linked to drinking, was heretical and contrary to the popular trends. His first album, For Lovers Only, sold over 500,000 copies and he went on to sell over 10 million copies over 20 albums.
One notable two record set called Lover’s Portfolio comes with a guide book describing what cocktails you and your amour should drink while listening to each side of the records. The first side is called Music for Sippin’, the last (rather optimistically) is titled Music For Lovin’. Nineteen different drinks are recommended, recipes included, and if the two of you weren’t lovin’ by the final song it was most likely because you were both passed out.
” There have nonetheless been suggestions that parapsychological phenomenon are associated with the creative personality. Perhaps then the cognitive domain of creativity has some significance for a paranormal belief. The empirical literature provides some indicat
that characteristics associated with the creative personality correlate with paranormal belief… reported ESP belief to be high in artists than in non-artists, a result that might be attributable to creativity.”
”… also found a difference between paranormal believers and non-believers on a test of verbal creativity. The relationship is supported further by observed relationships between paranormal belief and a close correlation of creativity known as sensation seeking; the individual’s need for stimulation and variety of experience. … Possibly related to the association between paranormal belief and creativity are findings of electroencephalographic studies that indicate paranormal believers have higher right hemisphere activity and reduced or ‘atypical’ hemispheric asymmetry. … Believers in extra-terrestrial aliens may also be fantasy prone. Two studies established that proneness correlates positively with global paranormal belief…”
Great post! Tiny Tim was also a flying saucer fanatic.
When I saw the pic. I knew it was special. I did not know that about Tiny, but its an interesting thread to follow up on.