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Up Close and Impersonal with the Original Dr. Feelgood
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Saturday, October 28, 2023


Having access to the otherwise inaccessible can bring you face-to-face with some pretty awful people.

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The jobs we have may sometimes provide us with unusual access to places and people; I have had that access. A job I had gave me a police press pass, even though I wasn’t technically writing for any publications. No, it was all legal because I was editing newspaper articles at the time.

A friend and I had received complimentary tickets to a Broadway production, and the star was someone we both admired, so it was a “go” for both of us. We never expected that a surge in my hutzpah would result in more than just viewing the show. But sometimes you can push yourself through your reluctance when something truly unique comes your way; this was my moment.

After the show, instead of waiting at the theatre exit where all the autograph seekers were gathering, I pulled my friend along to the door where a policeman stood guard. He was to refuse entrance to everyone, but I had a police pass, and he pointed to the staircase leading down to the bowels of the old theater.

Yes, “bowels” is the correct word because I’ve seen two of these theater entranceways where actors go to their dressing rooms. The walls are sorry, old, repainted, and poorly placed bricks; the floor is uneven cement; and the doorways are all wood, too old to hold much up, much less a theater above it. They are dreary, sorry places that have no hint of luster or excitement, and actors must view them as a commentary on their job; at least that’s how I saw it.

This day was to be memorable because of the two people I would meet, one I expected and one I did not. The unexpected person, Dr. Max (aka Dr. Feelgood), would slip in quietly and signal the end of our conversation with the star.

An older woman standing with the star announced, “You’ve got to go now because he has to give a vitamin shot so she’s ready for her second show today.” Vitamin shot? Years later, after another theatrical performance, I would wait once more for a star (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and the large man at the stage door would say, "He's taking a nap, which he always does between performances." That star would likely overdose on heroin in a year or so, so I assumed that something other than a need for sleep caused him to "nap."

We had met the infamous doctor who, it has been reported, was instrumental in providing amphetamine shots for people in JFK’s administration. One individual, allegedly, became so addicted that he overdosed, but that hasn’t been widely reported, as far as I can recall.

The day we spent that quarter-hour beneath the theater is memorable, and today I wonder how many in entertainment may have found their Dr. Feelgoods. Draining as the work may be, it often requires inordinate resolve to continue and diminished energy despite providing a demanding public with what they pay for and banishing the negative media and reviews that may come their way. How do they do it? Perhaps they can’t without these shots or pills, and that is not simply unfortunate; it is sad.

Are entertainers supposed to give up everything for fame and fortune? Do we demand too much from them, and do we share in this downward spiral to addiction? Fame has a dark side, even if we don’t see it.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

Author's page: http://amzn.to/2rVYB0J

Medium page: https://medium.com/@drpatfarrell

Twitter: @drpatfarrell

Attribution of this material is appreciated.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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