by David Borzo
The 2012 Smart Talk Connected Conversations Season came to an impressive end with Marie Osmond, who impressed and delighted the Des Moines Civic Center SmartTalk crowd with poignant humor and insight. She started out talking about growing up and her mom’s many wigs, a story about hiding pencils in her mother’s beehive up-do, because the hair was just so tall. Think Marge Simpson tall. Those were the days, the ‘60s and ‘70s when Marie grew up; beehive hair couture clashing with the hippie tie-died culture.
Marie was performing at three years old, both with The Osmond Brothers, and then on her own. A decade later she became the youngest female artist to have a debut record go to No. 1, when she released Paper Roses, a huge Pop-Country crossover hit. Then came the hit ‘70s TV show Donny and Marie, and she became the youngest person to host a national television variety show.
But as she grew up, the hard times came: the inevitable falling out in the music industry, and later serious post-partum depression (which she wrote a popular book about). She had 15 of the 16 risk factors for post-partum depression, and along with serious weight and emotional fluctuations she had difficulty following through with expectations in her very public life. She shared stories about her struggles over these years and the mean-spirited things that her producers would say about her. Things were never easy, and then tragically just two years ago, one of her sons, Michael, committed suicide.
She talked about how society can hammer women down about themselves because they are supposed to “have it and do it all.” Marie found that she couldn’t have it all, at least not all at once. Challenges continually drew down energy levels, and it was difficult but imperative to continually replenish herself.
The forces of depression impacted her for years, forcing continual evaluation of herself. She responded by staying involved in many major projects, from Dancing with the Stars, to promoting Nutrisystems; from doll design, to representing the Children’s Miracle Network to writing a second book; from performing for years in her successful show with brother Donny at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, to planning a new talk show on the Hallmark channel. Keeping busy was her answer. “If you argue in favor of your limitations, you will get to keep them.”
Marie closed with four 4 thoughts that summarized her hard fought philosophy;
1) Be still and listen to your intuition. Learn to trust your inner voice and don’t limit your thinking: instead, take action.
2) Be active in learning. As adults we are not encouraged to continue our education, and we end up feeding our bodies, when it’s really our minds that are hungry.
3) Be willing to serve – find out how you can best serve and also what service feeds you.
4) Be open to prosperity and humor.
She made the audience laugh a lot. A consummate entertainer, it’s clear how Marie has become a presence across generations. After almost five continuous decades of performing – a rare accomplishment in the entertainment business – Marie Osmond has lived the life, and survived to tell about it. A consummate SmartTalk experience!