The Life Of A Writer – My first Oprah experience
Chicago has been home to some of the most popular talk shows and I can guarantee you that I’ve been to a taping of most of them.
Talk shows were just beginning to gain popularity when I was a child, so as a little girl I enjoyed watching them.
One day, I was watching an episode of Oprah. I was around 11 or 12 years old.
And even in the early days it was very difficult to get tickets to her show.
There was no Internet. It was just a telephone number you’d call for show reservations. And believe me, there was ALWAYS a busy signal.
At the commercial break, they announced Tempestt Bledsoe (Cosby Show), Tracey Gold (Growing Pains), and other teen celebrities would be guests on the show.
I ran to my mom’s room.
“I’m going to get us tickets,” I told her.
And she gave me that look. The one where she didn’t want to crush my dream. Because everyone knew it was impossible to get tickets to Oprah’s show. But I KNEW I was going to get tickets. So I called and left a message. Days passed by and the show called just as I knew they would.
Talk about HAPPY.
They gave me four tickets, so I was even able to bring family.
I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was. Do you know how huge that was? I was going to see all of the popular teen celebrities at that time. AND I was going to get on camera if it was the last thing I did.
My mom took me over to JC Penney and bought me a blue paisley skirt and sweater. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t looking good. I had a fresh new press (read: hot comb) that couldn’t quite take the humidity. It was not quite a press and not quite an afro. Lol. Fierce I tell you!
We get to the show and they seated my mom and I away from my sister and nephew who’d come with us.
But I couldn’t let that throw me off, because I had to get ready for my first Oprah appearance. Lol
My mom helped me prepare questions the night before so I was armed and ready with three good questions that could possibly get me on air.
During those days, they had someone walk through the audience to scout audience members with questions. I told them my question and they told me to pull Oprah’s skirt as she walked by. In the earlier days, Oprah was in the audience taking questions.
Once I got Oprah’s attention by pulling her skirt, she leaned in with the microphone. I asked Tempestt Bledsoe, “Do you have any input on what your character says?”
Now I don’t even have to tell you that my mother gave me that question. LOL. Tempestt answered and I can’t even remember what she said because I sat there beaming from the few minutes of airtime I’d secured.
That was my first Oprah appearance.
And in the words of Kanye, you couldn’t tell me nothing!
Oprah even told me she liked my skirt.
Told you I was sharp! Hmmph! *crosses arms*
After the show was over, we ran into Oprah Winfrey and her boyfriend Stedman Graham in the hallway and I was able to take a picture. Even back then, she had a PRESENCE and was just as I’d imagined her to be.
That was my first Oprah experience and I’ve had quite a few since then that I’ll share in the future.
Have you met Oprah? If so, what was the experience like? Please share in the comment section below.