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EXCLUSIVE PEEK: Reflections on Bette Midler

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You can get even more Fail Better with Lemonada Premium, where I share the extended thoughts I have after each interview. Here’s a free peek at what you could be getting: After my conversation with Bette Midler, there are many things I’m still wondering about because I couldn’t find a way to bring them up, including what I wished I’d asked her about parenting. Subscribe to Lemonada Premium now in Apple Podcasts.

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Stephanie Wittels Wachs, David Duchovny

Stephanie Wittels Wachs  00:00

Hi Fail Better listeners. You can get even more of the show each week with Lemonada Premium. Today we are giving you a free preview of what you might hear where David reflects on his interview with Bette Midler. If you like what you hear, subscribe now in Apple podcasts.


David Duchovny  00:23

Here’s another episode of Fail Better premium. Each week, subscribers get to hear an extended version of my personal reflections on my most recent interview, here you go. Just some random Voice Memo thoughts, got the Bette Midler interview, because I’m still afraid of the technology over there on the table, just kind of hold my phone near my mouth, I can trust that you can hear some street noises, for free, yeah, the thing like to me she was she just hasn’t like in sports, like, you talk about somebody’s motor. And it’s just like somebody who who never seems to get tired, you know, they can just play all day, they got a big motor. And that, to me has, she’s got a big motor, you know, and just, it’s still firing, you know, now, and she may not be, you know, doing as much professionally, but the motor is still there, the motor is still firing, and it’s the what I said about enthusiasm, you know, being Greek, Greek derived, you know, for having God within you. And in […], would be the, you know, theocratic God, as a state of being maybe. So yeah, just really impressed by her enthusiasm and, and, in a way envious, you know, when she said she was an optimist, and I said, it was a pessimist, I was like, god dammit, I wish I I wish I had that enthusiasm, you know, towards optimism. And I feel like I understood what she was saying about always knowing she had a knowing that, that she was had something to say something to express some talent to share. And I related to that, and I think I have felt that way too, you know, not, obviously, not in any way, similar to Bette. But there was something in me always that thought. I’ve got something to put out there, and it’s going to be recognized as having some kind of value at some point. And it’s hard to say without arrogance, you know, it’s hard to not sound arrogant when you say something like that. But I will say that it gets you through periods of failure, it got me through tons of rejections when I first was, was acting my first manager, Melanie Greene used to tell people how many shows I auditioned for, and I used to get, you know, he’s not right for our TV show. He’s a movie star, and I’d be like, yeah, and a movie star. I can’t pay my rent, and so that was one way I get rejected, but I knew, I knew there was something I was doing, even though I’d get you know, he’s flat, he’s low F actor whatever, but I knew inside I was feeling inside I was expressing and that they’d catch up. Somehow they’d catch up. And I think, talking about I was put in touch with that, and myself again, you know, that young part of myself where I quit graduate school, and I was in my late 20s, and didn’t have a career and all of a sudden, I was acting a fairly soft, spoken, shy seeming person. People very confused, especially my family, why? Why is David doing this? And yet I had this knowing, as my friend Jason McKay says unknowingness about what I had some talking about me after Bette but what I, what I feel that I missed, and again, I feel bad about this was getting into her failures as a as a parent, as a mom. As a spouse, I don’t like pushing on those buttons because I don’t want I’m not looking for people to confess sins or you know, that’s not what this is about to me. But I know that failures, you know, are legion in one’s personal life so we got to go there and I I think I missed I missed the spots with that about getting into that. And I think why I’m so interested in it and why I’m surprised that I didn’t press or prod or take the time was, it’s two part it’s like, what I wanted to ask about was what is failure? Like after success is different from the failure when you’re starting out, you know, what was the failure of Bette, like, compared to maybe the rejection when you’re young? When you’re guarding something, you’re guarding this career, and then the failure, it’s different from guarding nothing, I got nothing to lose failure okay, well, I didn’t lose anything, just an audition, and then it’s like, oh, I’ve got this thing, Bette Midler and now this failure is jeopardizing that, does it feel that way is is the failure different. But again, to get into the personal failures of, of family, parenting, spouse. And also, the the hurt of whatever our parents that does, you know, she clearly touched on her father is not giving approval and her mother is almost like a fantasy just, you know, living in a Hollywood world way out there in Honolulu so very interesting place that she came from, created her mind. Fascinating, I find and beautiful, and what a reaction that she created almost in opposition and in love with those two parents that she had. And I guess I wanted to ask, you know, how did that affect your parenting if you grew up with a father who didn’t easily give approval or applause? What kind of a mother were you? You know, even saying that out loud right now, I don’t like myself, what kind of a mother were you? But this is where sometimes we have to go or allow I needed to allow her to go there. Or if she wasn’t readily going there, I maybe could have pressed more. Because that is what everybody can relate to. It’s hard to relate to, oh, you’re a Bette Midler, and you have, you know, jinx comes out and it does badly for you. Not a lot of people can relate to that. But everybody can relate to. I had my daughter and I didn’t want to raise her in Hollywood. I kind of left showbusiness and I wonder. I wonder what I mean, you kind of you kind of know what somebody’s thinking, you know, they don’t want to raise somebody in Hollywood, well, I did it myself. We took my kids out of Los Angeles when my son was about three and my daughter was about seven and we raised them in New York now. Still a big city with a lot of people looking but different from Hollywood when you have to to act your parents and self entail. So I don’t know why I didn’t go there and I beat myself up for it, we’re gonna I guess we’re gonna have to have a back. Bette, you’re gonna have to come back. That’s it for Fail Better premium. I’m back with more next week from Lemonada media.

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