It was almost time to leave the audience and hit the green room to get ready... I had time for one more talk before I left though.
Andy and his wonderful wife Linda. Let me tell you, Andy looks like a teddy bear, his mild manner and friendly disposition did not prepare me for his talk. You see Andy is a felon. Honestly, the word itself kind of scares me, felon. There arn't many people that can say they hear the word felon and don't flinch a little inside. As their talk went on I realized that we all make mistakes, the gravity of these mistakes varies. I listened to them passionately talk about how we were dooming children by seeing them through their family history, especially those who had incarcerated family members. How people (including me) were guilty of felonism (a term Linda and Andy coined). It definitely made me think, a lot. Especially with my brother and his history. Has my mind changed about him? No. I do however see that not every ex-con is my brother.
Time to leave my seat.
Wave to Jacki and Gord.
And walk away from the stage of the 92nd street Y, knowing the next time I saw it, it would be underfoot.
Surprisingly calm I found the amazing (and fabulously organized) Melissa Pierce, who took me back to the greenroom. On our way there I got to see Jeff Pulver for the first time that day. I was wrapped in a loving hug and asked if I was ready. I told him I was as ready as I was going to be, he reassured me I would rock and I continued into the back.
My first thought entering the greenroom? "It's actually green". My second thought? "Oh good, Andrea and Joe are here." Andrea I had met months before at a 140 get together in Toronto. We instantly connected and I was lucky enough to have been a guest on a taping of her documentary for OWN Canada. Joe I met the night before at the hotel but immediately took a shine to. A sweet quiet woman from a small Kansas city. Minutes after I walked in it was Joe's turn to take the stage to talk about surviving incest in a small town, I was honoured to be able to be the one to tell her she was going to kill it and give her a hug before she hit the stage. Unfortunately due to the commotion in the greenroom I missed hearing both her and Andreas talks (I will be going back to watch, promise!). I knew they were both going to be amazing.
In a incredibly surreal moment Andrea and I started chatting, small talk, conference talk, neither of us showing the nerves I'm sure we were both feeling. People came and went in the room, Lil Jaxe (a 13 year old rapper out of Toronto) and Eric Alper (A music producer (Producer? Eric? Right? CRAP! Dude I just like YOU, havn't paid attention to your title lol) and friend also from Toronto). And then, as I'm putting on my makeup, in walks Carlos Delgado. Andrea beside me leans over and says "I don't ever do this but for my dad I need to ask for a picture with him.". The fact that Andrea, a celebrity in her own right, was having a humble moment for her father made me smile.
I looked up into the mirror, ready to put on mascara and caught Mr. Delgados eye. We gave each other warm smiles before he was distracted by another person and I went back to my face. Yup... in this surreal bubble I was living in for the moment I was putting on make up and smiling at Carlos Delgado. Never in a million years did I think this would be my life.
I hugged Joe as she came back in from her talk and then was called over by the mic guy, Anthony. Now, I suppose I should get used to getting mic-ed, but I still find it amusing to have a mans hand down my back fiddling with my bra for a reason unrelated to removing it. Andrea returned to the greenroom, signalling me that I had 10 minutes. 10 minutes until the stage was mine... and I had to pee. OMG I suddenly had to pee worse than I had ever had to pee in my life, and I was attached to a microphone. Someone asked if I was ready, all I could say was "I have to pee". Thank god for Andrea, who looked at me and said "I've pee-d while mic-ed a hundred times. Don't worry about it, just go." So I pee-d... and then it was my time...
I walked backstage, shaky and wiping sweat from my brow, and into another hug from Jeff. Terrified but confident, I was ready...
I was ready.
To Be Continued...