Chicago has great food, great people and great energy. But something very strange happened when I got to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” studio. After all my research and planning about what I might ask Oprah – the Harpo security staff confiscated my list! I know! Crazy, right?
They announced they would take our cell phones and cameras. I get that. But they also took my reporter’s notebook, my favorite mechanical pencil and my business cards! Maybe they thought I would rush the stage and ask for an autograph? Please – I’m a harmless list maker!
A few days before getting to Chicago– we were told we’d be viewing the new documentary called “I Am” by director Tom Shadyac before the show taping. We would be able to ask questions in an open-mic forum to Tom and OPRAH!!!!!! So I read as much as I could about the film on my flight from NYC to CHI. What can I say? I’ve always been an overachiever – which my husband will say is a euphemism for a nerd.
Questions for Oprah
The night before the taping Danielle, Jessica and I came up with our best questions for Oprah. Of course, it was over a bottle of wine and some champagne at Riccardo Trattoria (a fabulous northern Italian place in Lincoln Park.)
2. You’ve accomplished so much in your life already – what else is on your life list?
3. What will you do the day after your last show tapes?
4. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself – how old would you be and what would you say?
5. Are you a list maker? What kinds of lists do you make?
6. How many hours of sleep a night do you get?
After screening “I Am” at 8 a.m the audience got ready for the show. Basically we danced around with strobe lights and then practiced asking questions in case we were asked to speak. My stomach was in knots without my list – but it turns out – I didn’t even need it.
Change of Plans
Working in TV I know how quickly things can change during production. But that still didn’t help the disappointment of being told that we wouldn’t be doing the open-mic forum because of time constraints! Ick! But I’m OK with it really because I’ll get another opportunity to talk to Oprah at some point in my life. I’m not worried about it. It will happen. The experience of just being in that studio was amazing enough.
When I first announced that I was going to the Oprah show the first thing people would ask is, “What do you think she’ll give away?” My response was always the same, “Oh just getting to go is enough for me!”
After the taping I feel the exact same way. Being in that particular audience was life changing. Not just because I was in the room with my idol but because I was placed in an audience for a documentary that will help people evaluate their sense of self.
“I Am” is a call to action for each one of us to consider the “power of one.” How one person can literally change the world. One of the main themes is about how the things you do directly affect those around you.
Think about it – if you smile at a stranger you can change their mood for the better. Even if it’s just for a second. That’s super small scale — but imagine if you considered that with each thing you did every day.
I’m talking up this documentary to everyone I meet – so go see it if you can. This Oprah Show will air on Wednesday, April 20th – so be sure to check it out for a sneak peak of the film and hopefully a look at me smiling in my red dress!