April 19, 2012

Oprah in T.O. and I was there!

Late Saturday night I received a call from my son Phil.  Very excitedly he shouted, 'Mom! You're going to see Oprah on Monday!'.  What??!! I had just returned from Kitchener and had barely caught my breath and then I had to try to comprehend what he told me.
Tickets sold out very quickly to her show and I just couldn't justify the high price for the ones that were available, so that was the end of that; or so I thought.

Phil was having dinner at a wonderful Toronto restaurant, 'Gusto', and the table of ladies sitting at the table nearby turned out to be O's production team. Phil went over, introduced himself, handed her one of his cards, and told her that (his) Mom wanted to go but couldn't and was wondering if there was any way to get (me) a ticket.  She gave him 2 Executive tickets (!), declared him to be the 'best son ever' and tweeted a picture of him.

I started to worry though, "How am I going to not only get downtown at that time, but get up that early?"  The solution was to drive down to Queen's Quay where Phil lives on Sunday night, sleep at his place, and then 'cab it' to the Metro Convention Centre.  This turned out to be a most excellent plan.

The show started at 9 am and I had to be there before 8.  I met up with my 'date', Candice, for the morning, a lovely PR woman who runs her own successful PR business, BestPR, found our way to the end of the long snaking line to get in and finally took our (excellent) seats by 7:50. 

Jessica Holmes, a hilarious comedian, warmed up the crowd.  Her impersonation (including singing) of Celine Dion was fantastic.
What followed were talks/presentations by Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Tony Robbins and then the 'taped show' started.

The big message I got from my attendance was that I already knew everything - if you know what I mean.  I 'get' it.  Every so often someone would say something that stuck with me or I thought, 'hmm...that's a quote I can sink my teeth in to', but on the whole the experience was an affirmation; that I am on the right path, that I have grown a lot as a person/woman/mother/wife/friend etc., and that I am OK! 

My impression of Oprah
She's the real deal.  Period.  She went into the crowd many times and tried to get all the way to the back and include and touch as many people as possible.  There were approximately 8500 people in attendance! She oozes compassion, curiosity and humility.  I watched her as she spoke to people and her sense of humour was so refreshing and honest.
I observed her as she addressed her esteemed panel and marvelled at the questions she asked and the way she interacted with them and the 'live Skypers', especially when I realized she was not reading from a Teleprompter. I am grateful for having had the chance to go to this event.
Life is good :)

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