Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be pretty fearless when it comes to booking celebrities for my storytelling show, Yum’s the Word. Rather than go the traditional route through IMDB Pro or their publicist, I have been known to ask them in person. The fact that I approach any celebrity in New York City is considered a cardinal sin. Much less ask them to appear on my show.
So when I found out that someone, who we’ll call Nancy, was going to be doing an appearance/talk at my co-working space, I was ecstatic. Not because I wanted to have her on my show, but because I wanted to thank her for helping change my life. In my eyes, that meant so much more.
When I told my friend, Amy, about possibly meeting Nancy, she said, “You’re going to meet her. There’s no question.”
I appreciated her confidence, but I wasn’t convinced. I was nervous there’d be a chance I wouldn’t get to talk to her. I didn’t know what she was like or how approachable she’d be. Plus, the fact that I had a week to overthink this was not in my favor.
Usually when I meet celebrities, I have no time to think about it. I just have to act because they might be getting off of the next subway stop, they’re passing by me on the street or their nails are almost dry at the nail salon. (Yes, I have asked celebrities in all of these places and more.)
I thought about this potential meeting with Nancy all week long. She was someone I never dreamt I’d meet, but who had a huge impact on my life.
Finally, the morning came. I arrived almost an hour before and managed to get a seat in the front row. The space usually reserves the first few rows for guests and VIPs, but not on this day. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.
My friend who I was hoping would take a picture or two of me meeting Nancy couldn’t make it because she was sick, but then in walked Claire – a woman 20 years my junior who I affectionately call “My Mini Me.” She and her friend sat right next to me, I told them about my unique connection to Nancy and they agreed to not only take pictures, but shoot video as well. Score!
Then, one of the women working the event asked me if I was going to ask Nancy a question. I wasn’t planning on it. I thought sharing my story privately with Nancy would be more appropriate, but then I told her I might do it.
The event began and over to the side, I saw Nancy. I’m not usually star struck, but I couldn’t believe we were in the same space. I couldn’t believe this woman who doesn’t even know of my existence was, as Auntie always says, “breathing the same air I was breathing.”
They introduced her and she sat directly across from me only mere feet away. I was stunned and thrilled. The interviewer asked her a series of questions and then they opened the floor to questions.
I knew that if I was going to tell her my story so publicly, I needed to do it right away otherwise, I might chicken out or wait too long to raise my hand and not get called on.
I shot up out of my seat, introduced myself and shared my story with her. She was kind, compassionate and understanding. So much, in fact, that she gave me a huge hug and I held her so tightly as tears streamed down my face.
I was farklempt. We spoke some more after the event and she was so approachable and caring. She even gave me her business card and that blew me away.
Even though I knew I was capable of meeting Nancy, the whole experience was a good reminder that I don’t need to control so much and that I can trust the universe to work out some of the details. And boy did it ever. The way everything unfolded so beautifully was so much better than anything I could have ever planned or imagined.
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