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Meeting Oprah

I had the good fortune of showing up on the taping of Oprah’s Lifeclass with Deepak Chopra via Skype. It was a life long dream, well, close to it anyway. My life long dream is to meet with her in person on the set of her show so when I woke up one morning in March to see an email from one of the Associate Producers at Harpo, I didn’t know what to feel. The feeling was surreal – both expected and unexpected at the same time.

The taping of Lifeclass was scheduled for Tuesday, 3rd April, 4 a.m. Melbourne time and I had to be ready an hour and a half before then. I went to bed at 6 p.m on Monday, thinking I would squeeze in a few solid hours of sleep so that I would be fresh for the show. But that didn’t happen. By 11 p.m, I decided the tossing and turning was futile, so I got out of bed and fixed myself something to eat instead – a salad with crumbled fetta cheese dressed with balsamic vinegar, and half a chicken parmigiana. In between getting dressed, putting on my make up and doing my hair, I put a pot of chic-kut-teh on the stove to simmer for lunch the following day. It was a rather productive night.

Then the Harpo team called me via Skype just before 3 a.m to make sure all the technical stuff were taken care of – sound check, camera, lights – the whole shebang. While waiting for 4 a.m. to roll around, I sipped my double dose Trung Nguyen Vietnamese coffee through a pink straw while trailing through my Facebook feed. The thing was stagnant. Nothing was happening at 3.15 a.m.

Finally, the show started and I got a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes to make a show of that magnitude happen. Not divulging any secrets here. :-) Truth be told, a lot of people worked really hard to make it go as smoothly as it did.

Oprah was really funny and down to earth. During the commercial breaks, she wandered down the aisles of Radio City – where the show was held – to meet with and talk to the large audience. She was hilarious. I laughed so hard during the commercial breaks I could’ve sworn I was at the Comedy Festival. I wished she showed more of that side of her on TV. It was so warm and so human.

I was the last Skyper to appear on air. The Associate Producer who was watching my screen had been feeding my comments to the other producers throughout the taping of the show. When the show was almost concluding, the camera focused on me for one last point. I asked Deepak Chopra a question and in 60 seconds, it was all over. The producers thanked us all and told us we could log off when we were ready. That was the end of the many weeks of build-up, the end of over two hours of taping and also the end of my Oprah experience. I looked out my living room French doors and saw that daylight was upon me.

I had a shower and tried to sleep – to no avail. I was exhausted but sleep evaded me. Lying in bed, I thought to myself that after all these years of writing her fan mail, something actually came out of it. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, Oprah and I will actually meet in person. That remains a life long dream, but not an unattainable one.

My Skype shot for Oprah's Lifeclass

Posted in Chiao Kee's Blog | 14 Comments

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