Day 71 – 300 Steps to Greatness


Here’s a story that needs to be told:

When the Oprah Winfrey show filmed their season opening in New York, I got tickets for me and my son’s Godmother – the biggest Oprah fan I know.

I was working at MTV at the time and after I left work the night before the show, I went home. She went to Madison Square Garden and stood in line beginning midnight. I joined her around 6 am and learned that she was the first person in line. By that time, the news was there and they got her on camera and photos, etc.

In addition to covering her, the press covered the second person, a young man. Since they had spent so much time waiting, she learned that he was an aspiring singer and prior to my arrival, she suggested that he give me a copy of his CD, due to my previous work in the music industry. We exchanged phone numbers and I told him that I would contact him later.

For the sake of this story, I will call him “John”.

When the doors opened, we are told to stay in line, the order in which we arrived and told that we would be separated into groups, based on where our names, ticket numbers, etc were on a Master List.

MUCH to our surprise, “John” did not have a ticket.

He stood in line all night, because he wanted a chance to see the greatness of Oprah.

Stick with me.

About 4 months later, I had been promoted at MTV and was on my way to my new office for the first day. I was on the phone excitedly speaking with the SAME friend who had gone to the Oprah show with me and walking up 8th Avenue, and who did I see? Yup, “John”. I then remembered that I had never listened to his music, apologized and promised to give him a call.

I listened to his music and let him know that I didn’t think it was a fit for any of the relationships I had, but, encouraged him to keep singing.

There’s more.

Another year later and I get a Facebook invite to a showcase in NY. The headliner? “John!”. I declined the invite, however, I contacted the person who sent me the invite and asked how they knew “John” and told her about the first time I met him. It turns out that “John” was her best friend’s cousin! Her best friend happened to be a member of a church I formerly attended.

There’s more.

Another six months or so goes by and I attend a Wyclef Jean concert in NY. Wyclef had his security guard lift me out of the crowd and walk in with him (another blog post). As we walk down the escalator, whose face is the first I see at the bottom of the stairs! “John”.

Wait, there’s more…

Last week I worked on the X-Factor during their Newark, NJ auditions. It was the largest number of people auditioning to date – 20,000!

I was given numerous responsibilities and one of them was to direct people to one of MANY audition booths, containing judges.

Did I say 20,000 people?

I was not the only person showing contestants to judges, I was one of many. Of ALL of the lines, you would NEVER guess who was in the ONE line I was responsible for. Yup, “John”.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned about the entertainment industry: you MUST be persistent and consistent.

I’m not sure where I will see “John” next, but, I’m SURE I will. He’s consistent, persistent and DETERMINED!


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