Last Night I met Oprah’s director…

Dear Vulnerabites,

Last night in New York City… this is what happened to me…

She held my hand with a slightly firm grip, smiled and said, “It’s nice to meet you. I’m just trying to get back to my seat.” Of course she was, just like everyone else in the room.

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Our intermission from the Broadway play “Jitney” had come to an end. Last night was my first experience with the work of playwright August Wilson (he also wrote “Fences“, the new movie with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis).

But my greatest lesson didn’t come from the show, it came from my interaction with Ava Duvernay.

You may not know her name, but you’ll know her work. Her most recent work is the Netflix Documentary, 13th, and the movie Selma…and not to mention she writes and directs shows for Oprah Winfrey. Just throwing some big names around—because that’s how we value people, right? By who they know and affiliate with.

Moving on, I walked to the back of that auditorium in hopes of getting a selfie with her… and instead got her very polite version of, “Honey, I’m just trying to watch the show.” As I walked back to my seat, selfie-less, my first thought was, “No one is going to believe I saw her,” and then my next thought was, “Why does it even matter?” It matters because somehow in that moment I attached my value to being “seen with a celebrity.” As if, my stock market value goes up because of this selfie that I would share with my non-existent social media following.

So, here’s what I learned…

  1. It’s selfish to ask celebrities for pictures.

Unless they’ve allotted time at an event just for that.

It was a selfish move for me, because I didn’t care that she was trying to watch the play.

All I cared about was being able to take a picture with her to show my “non existent social media” following that I bumped into this “famous” person. Why? Because in that split second, I thought it would make me “more cool” to be in a room with this person.

Here’s what I should have done instead…

  1. Thanked her for her work.

I should have walked up to her and said, “Ava, I know you’re trying to get back to your seat, but I just wanted to thank you for all the intentionality you put into carefully creating your work. Thank You for giving a voice to the “delicate” issues. Thank You for Selma, I took my mentee to see it and we learned so much together. Thank You.”

… Walked back to my seat and watched the show with her.

You know what they say, hindsight is 20-20!

If I ever become one of those “influential public personalities”…. I don’t want people capitalizing on the “impression of meeting me,” but rather “sharing with me how my work has changed their lives.”

So Madam Ava Duvernay, if you ever read this… Thank You.

Yours Vulnerably,

The Naked Writer.

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PS. Thanks for journey-ing  through life with me! If you know someone who might enjoy this, share my heart with them and remember to subscribe so we can keep in touch (top right corner)! Oh yeah and comment (top left corner)! You’d be surprised how your comments encourage other readers— because other readers, do read the comments! Don’t you? lol

10 Comments Add yours

  1. iamvernice says:

    Having experienced the “celebrity ” world when Carl was a model and actor in NYC, we schmoozed with Spike Lee, Michael Douglas and others…Carl was even Denzel’s stand in for a movie 🎥!
    I was you Mac. “Starstruck” Carl was the new “this is what I learned Mac”
    About 8 years ago I was watching a play and someone came up to the me during the intermission and said, “that’s the prophet” to her friend. As if she wanted me to give her a word right then and there!
    Whatever a person is “known for” in this label-identification-selfie-pop-culture society dims in comparison to who (not do) we are in Christ. I no longer want to desire, follow, gain or be seduced by the things of this world- a daily process of surrendering self to die daily on this journey. Valuable lessons come from costly experiences. We overcome by the word of our testimony, the blood of the Lamb and by not loving our life in this world above God, the things of God, His Gifts & or Promises.
    Mac continue to share the truth of your journey for freedom of self and for the freedom of others! God is Ready! You are Set! Now Go!
    #2017readysetgo Mac! 💖💖💖 Vernice

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whatever a person is “known for” in this label-identification-selfie-pop-culture society dims in comparison to who (not do) we are in Christ.

      It absolutely dims! 🙂

      Valuable lessons come from costly experiences.
      #Mmmhhh #TwoSnaps

      Liked by 1 person

      1. iamvernice says:

        Keep Going Mac! 💖💖💖

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We would all do the same thing in your shoes at the time, don’t beat yourself up about it though. I’ve had so many times where if I could have gone back and done it differently I would have. We live and learn. Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best things this year! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! We live and we learn 😌

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joelle says:

    I like the response, thank you for what you do, it makes a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joelle… You are warming my heart with all your comments! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow 🙂


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