The only thing you ever hope when interviewing a celeb is that they give you that ‘thing’. Sometimes it’s a personal anecdote, a story about their celeb relationship or a fun moment from a serious star. But when you interview Oprah, your only wish is that she gives you OPRAH! And believe me, Oprah gives you Oprah!
Lady O landed in Toronto along with her expert ‘teachers’ and entire Life Class crew, for two sold out shows for OWN. The red carpet was tucked in the farthest, deepest, most secure corner of the Metro Convention Centre. We checked in 90-minutes before she was scheduled to ‘walk’ (that’s industry speak for ‘show up’) and right away THIS carpet separated itself from all others. I along with a handful of other reporters (all regulars on the circuit) abandoned our normal hostility. Today was different. Today there would be no complaining about who got the better spot on the carpet, or who was getting the most time – because today we were meeting Oprah! I’ve never been on a more kind or civil red carpet in the 15 years I’ve been standing on them. In short, the Oprah red carpet was very, well… Very Oprah.
Waiting for Oprah is like the 15 minutes before the puck drops during a playoff game, mixed with an oncoming storm and the days before your 30th birthday, all rolled into one. It’s not here yet, but you can feel that it’s coming. There was tension and excitement every time her publicist would inform the group ‘10 more minutes,’ then ‘5 more minutes,’ then ‘places, we’re bringing her in!’…
Believe me, I’m far from an Oprah super fan, but I don’t know how else to say this – the woman is magic! So much so, that half of me was expecting three wishes after our meeting.
Today was a day to learn something, and learn I did! I learned that Oprah’s formula is far simpler than I had ever thought. Treat people with respect, give them the space and opportunity to feel special, and understand that what you say matters – so make it count.
Oh, I also learned that no, my palm did not smell like money after we shook hands. Which was a sad lesson to learn – I was really hoping for that one!