“I love performing, it is where I am most comfortable. My first on stage performance was when I was five years old, I sang “climb every mountain” and got a thundering applause that moved my grandfather & mother to tears. They said “we can’t believe how beautiful you sound’”.
"It is scary to see im on stage, and the metamorphosis that takes place... Because when he is at home he is very soft, he speaks sweetly, calmly and humbly, and then one goes to a concert and on stage, he is a totally different person, he is outgoing and total commander."
Sammy Davis Jr.
"He was two different people, I think. He would whisper, if you were interviewing him. But then, the moment he hit the stage, he was something else then. It was just extraordinary really."
Molly Meldrum, Australian "pop guru"
"Everybody has many facets to them and I’m no different. When I’m in public, I often feel shy and reserved. Obviously, I feel differently away from the glare of cameras and staring people. My friends, my close associates, know there’s another Michael that I find it difficult to present in the outlandish “public” situations I often find myself in.
It’s different when I’m onstage, however. When I perform, I lose myself. I’m in total control of that stage. I don’t think about anything. I know what I want to do from the moment I step out there and I love every minute of it. I’m actually relaxed onstage. Totally relaxed. It’s nice. I feel relaxed in a studio too. I know whether something feels right. If it doesn’t, I know how to fix it. Everything has to be in place and if it is you feel good, you feel fulfilled."
Michael Jackson in his book "Moonwalk"
"He is very modest, shy and pure man. When you see him on stage, hitting the moves and doing his thing, you think 'wow!' That's all very spectacular. But face to face he's a sweet and soft man. Very easy to talk to, down to earth but also a very, very shy person.
I learned a lot from him. About dancing, about life experiences....everything. My goal is to go try to inspire other people like Michael did with me. He is very humoristic. He loves to laugh and he enjoys life."
One of Michael's dancers, Timor Steffins
"Personally, he seemed to be a very quiet, shy and nice person and then, when I saw him at the concert in the evening, I did not believe that it is the same person."
An employee of the Intercontinental Hotel in Prague, where MJ stayed for a few days at the beginning of HIStory tour in September 1996
"Girls, they like cake, so to make them happy, I will give them some cake."
Michael Jackson refering to act of briefly flashing his chest at some point during concert performances. As told by Michael Bush, clothes designer. (Who made easy rip shirts for Michael's cake sharing activities.)
“As I think back to all the musicians I’ve done music videos for, I cannot think of anybody that has had that electrifying a presence when they kick in.”
Nick Brandt, Fine Art Photographer and Film Director
"The filming of BEAT IT was the first time I experienced Michael Jackson actually performing. Up to this point, our work together was quiet and in the more intimate surroundings of photo shoots. It was 1983. Michael was extremely shy, soft spoken and gracious.
Our first scene took place in a smelly hotel room in Skid Row in LA. Cameras, lights and speakers were all crammed into a small space. Michael’s position was first lying, and then sitting on a grungy bed. He was wearing a cute little white t-shirt with what looked like piano keys on it, and red jammy bottoms. Then he was directed, by Bob Giraldi to rise, walk and then stare into the camera lens located in the narrow doorway. Being Michael Jackson’s make up artist required me to stay close by. The only space for me was sitting on a chest of drawers, next to the camera. The lens was actually crossing above my legs and barely missing my nose.
Michael nodded his head, in acknowledgement that he was ready and understood his marks. Playback began. The music was deafening and the beat vibrated the entire hotel.
I would have fallen off of my seat, if there had been room to fall. The shy guy I had known for all these month suddenly turned into someone I hadn’t met before The look he gave into the camera, the sexy snarl, was nothing like the person I knew up to that point. He became the music.
This was my first lesson of what a true artist was. I was fascinated by the transformation. How could someone’s nature be completely altered? When we talked about it, he explained, “it isn’t me”. He said it was God, coming through him.
This brings me to the journey. My journey at least, and maybe you would like to take a stroll down this path for a moment.
Echart Tolle said “What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am.
After my experience with Michael, I realized when I was creating, whether it be doing makeup and hair, or painting, when I was using my gift, I was in a state of being that was totally present and connected to what could be termed as God, (as Michael explained it) or plugged into the universe. I experience the most blissful, peaceful, and perfect place of being in this transformed state.
That explains why Michael was more at peace in front of thousands of people on stage, than he was in his daily reality.
I find that my mind, “the voice in my head” often stands in the way of my joy.
What a wonderful realization (gift) Michael put in my pocket at such a young age. You are now meeting me at the intersection. I am passing the gift to you. LYM."