I’m human. And like every other human on this planet, I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. I’ve mispronounced a word while talking with a group of writers, tripped and slammed into the ground walking over a completely flat surface, temporarily misplaced the name of a GOOD friend. Normal, uncomfortable stuff. But one in particular just happened to transpire in front of dozens of reporters. In fact, for months after, I found myself chasing YouTube to see if I was captured in all my glory. Now, it certainly wasn’t skirt-tucked-into-the-top-of-my-pantyhose embarrassing, but still . . .
About 10 years or so ago, I was a writer for the Southeast Outlook, a paper published by a Christian mega-church in Kentucky. One of my beats was the worship ministry, which included any musical news throughout the city. And that is how I came to be sitting at a press conference for Michael W. Smith. He was recording a live album at Southeast Christian Church . . . and he was my beat.
There were quite best online casino a few of us there, but I was determined not to waste what might’ve been my only opportunity to interview a celebrity. After all, I was living in Louisville, Kentucky. I was most definitely going to participate. I remember that it took me quite a while to formulate a question, one that hadn’t been asked already but wasn’t out of left field either. When I found one, I spiked my hand in the air with the other reporters, falling just short of shouting, “Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!”
Two things happened. The first is that it took him 10 minutes to acknowledge me. Ten minutes is a long time when you have Attention Deficit Disorder. A loooong time. I forgot my question. I had nothing to say. Nothing.
Secondly, when Michael W. Smith finally called on me, anticipating the question that I had forgotten, oh, I’m guessing, about five minutes earlier, I got starstruck. The closest I’d ever been to a celebrity was the time Gene Hackman followed my husband into a liquor store in downtown Los Angeles one night while I was sitting in the car “watching it all go down.”
When I think back on that press conference, it was a blur. I don’t remember much, but I believe my participation in it went something like this:
“Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!”
“Yes, woman in the back who now looks both stunned and nauseated at the same time?”
“Oh, me? (giggle). Uh, hi, Michael W. Smith . . . uh, Mr. Smith . . . (giggle) Michael . . . Um, well, um. Yes. Um, did your wife come with you to Louisville?”
Yes, that was my question. And it took me several awkward minutes of hemming and hawing to ask it. I had one moment, one question to make the difference between “That one time I sat in on a press conference for Michael W. Smith” and “That one compelling question I asked that left the entire room breathless with anticipation.” And I failed. Monumentally. I didn’t ask, “What made you decide to use Southeast Christian Church as a recording venue?” or even something with a little edge to it, like, “Is there ever a concern with live recordings that the audience participation will somehow disrupt the audio on the tracks?” No. I froze and asked the first ho-hum question that popped into my mind while giggling like a teenager. Cameras were flashing and videos were rolling.
I never found myself on You Tube, but I’ve since stopped looking. And while it’s probably a distant memory, if even that, for the other reporters in the room, to me it happened just this morning after breakfast.
And THAT was one of my most embarrassing moments. All six or seven of you folks following my blogs are invited to submit your own.