Thursday, April 11, 2013

Katie Couric - The Story, The Experience, The Dream Come True

If you know me at all, you know I tend to dream big.

Well, this past week has reaffirmed my faith in the whole "dreaming big" thing.

So, last week, I went on the Katie Couric website to finally submit my YOLO video. YOLO=You Only Live Once and it's a segment Katie has where she fulfills people's dreams if they submit a video indicating why they deserve it.

Anyway, so I get on the website but quickly get distracted by all the other STUFF on it! So she has all these different prompts (i.e. "Are you going through a divorce?" "Are you going through a rough time?" etc.)... well, one of the prompts was about how / why you deserve your "big moment".

I was like - oh my heavens, this is just calling my NAME. So I quickly whipped up a little essay explaining how I would like my "big moment" for reasons x, y and z... once I set my mind to something, I will execute accordingly. You better believe I submitted my little essay right then and there (it was rather therapeutic given the day I'd had! Haha.)

WELL! I get home from dinner on Wednesday to a missed call from 212 area code (New York) and a voice mail... from one of the producers on the Katie show!! They found my story interesting enough, I guess, because... they wanted me to come UP TO NEW YORK TO BE ON THE SHOW FOR A SEGMENT!!!!

The past week has been a WHIRLWIND! I got that call on Wednesday, a camera crew came to my apartment to tape my "bio" on Friday and then I was flown to New York (with car service and everything!) on Sunday and taped on Monday!!! Isn't that CRAZY?!?!?!?!

Sure, I mis-read my flight itinerary and only realized I had a noon flight at 10:45 on Sunday morning... when I was definitely still in my pajamas and not packed in the slightest... but professional traveler that I am, I literally just dumped a HURRICANE of clothes into my suitcase and hoped for the best...

After the speediest cab ride ever and a bit of luck thrown in for good measure (this has GOT to be the only day in recent months that I did not encounter any traffic nor security lines in the slightest), I made it to the airport in one piece and, believe it or not, with about 20 minutes to spare before boarding!

Let the adventure begin!!

The Katie show had a car service waiting for me once I arrived at the airport (and for the rest of my time in New York) - I was in complete awe with the Lincoln Navigator that greeted me, complete with tinted windows... I didn't grab a good picture though, otherwise you better believe I'd be documenting the hell outta that pimped out ride!

After arriving at the Algonquin Hotel (talk about cozy, quaint charm in the midst of midtown Manhattan!), I quickly dropped my stuff off and then headed to 34th Street because I simply HAD to do some last-minute shopping considering I still had yet to decide on what to wear for the show the next day. Just FYI - I HATE shopping (no exaggeration) so this definitely was not the "fun New York shopping experience" that many girls dream of. Rather, it was a bit stressful and, to be perfectly honest, frenzied.

Oh well - I ended up buying a couple of pieces just in case.

Then, I was back to my hotel to prep just a touch for the next day and get a good night's rest - I had no idea what to expect so I wanted to be up by 7 although my car service (I love saying that ;)) wasn't picking me up until 9.

Well, good thing I woke up at 7... because as I was getting ready I realized two crucial items I had completely forgotten to pack in my haste: my makeup powder brush and... well, my Spanx. If you know me at all, you know I am OBSESSED with my Spanx and of ALL days to forget my pair, it would HAVE to be the day I show up on national TV, right? Right.

Sigh, oh well. I guess a girl's gotta wing it from time to time. Anyway, so the car drops me off and I'm still a bit confused - I had no idea what to really expect during "my" segment but, let's be honest, I was just so darn excited about the experience that I brushed that aside. I was immediately ushered to the Green Room which was essentially a pretty large, lofty space for guests to chill in until they needed to get onstage. Well, I had quite some time before my segment, so I took advantage of my time by... well, documenting every inch of that green room of course ;)

Then! I was whisked off for hair and makeup - two things that I pay very little attention to on a daily basis (this is why you'll see pretty much a different looking person on that stage itself). But it was actually kind of fun! The hair and makeup people were just so NICE! And I have to admit, it was kind of fun getting all fussed over ;) (I'm only saying this because I usually HATE being fussed over.)

Well, it was during that time that I learned that I was going to be seated in the first row audience section, where questions would be directed toward me.We needed to figure this out at least by this point, since that was driving the "type" of makeup they were doing for me.

Well, after a bit more waiting, I was escorted right behind the stage to get all mic'ed up.. and that is when people realized there was a last-minute change and... get this, I was actually going to be put ONSTAGE with Katie (who I am OBSESSED WITH!) and Daymond John (CEO of FUBU and on that Shark Tank show). I found out I was going to be onstage just a few minutes before actually having to GO out onstage - God, it was such a chaotic frenzy that I didn't even have TIME to be nervous!

And you know what's so funny? I thought I would be nervous as soon as I saw the large audience, but I was unusually calm. I have a feeling Katie's persona had something to do with the lack of anxiety though - honestly, she couldn't have been a more welcoming and calming presence. Her smile was absolutely infectious and I just could NOT believe I was face to face with one of my role models. I mean, talk about a dream come true. (Understatement.)

And then... well, then the segment happened. Basically, Katie and Daymond were providing me insight and advice on how to live out my dreams and "have my moment"... you know what's funny? The nerves NEVER kicked in. (I can't get over that!) I honestly think Katie's personality and demeanor really have a calming effect on people, because that interview could have gone so terribly downhill otherwise.

When it was over, we chatted for a bit more and took a few pictures (which, by the way, I'm definitely following up in a friendly fashion with Katie's crew for - I want my picture with my role model!!) and then I was whisked offstage! I couldn't believe how quick it all was! I didn't even get a chance to tell Katie how much I adore her (I'm pretty sure that was apparent in my reaction when I first met her - it took all my self-restraint to not just give her a big ol' bear hug) and how my tweet appeared on her show and... well, I could go on and on.

And shortly after that, I was whisked off to the airport!

Like I said, it was a legitimate, frenzied whirlwind.

And I loved every, single, fleeting minute of it.

All I have to say is - dream big.

So, without further ado... one of my favorite moments - ever.