“I have to give everything, my everything, and that’s exhausting…But I’m going to have to figure out how.” Fiona Apple
Intensity and passionate commitment are part of why we enjoy the performances and creative work of talented actors, musicians, and many other artists. It is a central personality quality of many gifted and talented, creative people.
In her post Tips for Working With Emotional Intensity, Christine Fonseca notes: “Emotional intensity refers to the passion gifted people feel daily. It also refers to the extreme highs and lows many gifted people experience throughout their lifetime, causing them to question their own mental stability from time to time.”
Fiona Apple and intensities
In her article Fiona Apple Faces Outward, Béatrice de Géa (The New York Times, May 30, 2012) writes that Fiona Apple “was angry. Very angry.
‘Angry, angry, angry,’ as she put it during a long, unguarded conversation on a Friday afternoon in SoHo.
“About a year and a half ago, after she had completed the album she’ll release on June 19 — a collection of stripped-down, percussive songs that’s as passionate, smart and cutting as anything she’s done — Ms. Apple got so angry that she started walking up and down a hill near her home in Venice, Calif.”
“The album was in music-business limbo. Ms. Apple was delaying it until her label, Epic Records, found a new president.
“She had not made a new album since 2005 and didn’t want her work to be mishandled amid corporate disarray. And she was in deep personal turmoil.
“I just spiraled downward, and everything looked bad,” she said.
The article notes that she “started to climb that hill for eight hours a day, day after day, until she could barely walk, until she was limping, and then until she could not walk at all. Her knees required months of therapy.”
“Something about that was a rite of passage,” she said. “I think it’s really healthy to lose things or to give things up for a while, to deprive yourself of certain things. It’s always a good learning experience, because I felt like it really was like, ‘I must learn to walk again.’ I had to walk out all that stuff, and I knew it was stupid, and I kept on walking.”
The article continues, “Solitude, mood swings, compulsive actions, catharsis and regeneration: it’s the kind of story Ms. Apple often told about herself in conversation. They are also at the core of the songs that have made her pop’s emblem of trauma, neurosis, seething resentment and self-laceration.
“Ms. Apple writes metaphor-laden outpourings set to music that pulls rock, show tunes, classical piano and jazz into her own realm of brooding and bravado.”
She has “spoken openly about being raped as a 12-year-old, about her obsessive-compulsive disorder, about heavy drinking, about public meltdowns and private insecurities. Now, she insists, she is finding a little perspective.”
“I’m a very stressed-out person, a lot, because still everything is so important,” she said. “I have to give everything, my everything, and that’s exhausting, and how the hell am I going to do that for the rest of my life?
“But I’m going to have to figure out how.”
The photo at the top, by Daniel King, is from the post: Fiona Apple’s Return: Idle No More, by Zach Baron, SPIN, May 31 2012, which explains that, according to Apple, the concept behind her album title ‘The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do‘ is hard to explain but has to do with the idea of “being still in the middle of everything else but being able to feel everything.”
“It doesn’t look like it’s doing anything, but I feel like it’s connected to everything,” she says.
‘It’s about how she feels inside the machine of her own life and career. It’s about how she marks time.’
Image of “Every Single Night” lyrics (one of the songs on the album) is from www.fiona-apple.com.
Lower photo: “Singer Fiona Apple Performing”
Premium Photographic Print by Dave Allocca
Christine Fonseca quotes at top from my post Channeling Intensity Through Creative Expression.
The topic of Intensity of emotions, imagination, thinking, physicality and other dimensions is covered in many books and posts on the TalentDevelop sites. Here are a couple more:
Christine Fonseca, quoted at the beginning, is an author of educational titles focusing on the social and emotional needs of gifted children and their families, including Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings.
A related book: Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults – by Susan Daniels and Michael M. Piechowski, Editors.
Another article: What do you do with your intensity?