I found Conor at the beginning of the year on YouTube, where most people discovered him – including Ne-Yo, NBD. (Maybe this is your introduction and to that I say, “You’re welcome!”) There’s a good chance you’ve heard me mention him… I am a fan. Okay, fine! I’m a “Mayniac”. As you’ll see me tell him here, his music is filling the void that Justin Timberlake has left behind for six. Long. Years.
Needless to say, I was beyond excited to have him as a guest on Lunch with Lea – I couldn’t even eat my Frosted Flakes that morning. I felt like this was a proud moment for 13-year-old *NSync fan Lea – I wanted to speak to this pop singer as a fan AND on behalf of all his fans. I’ve heard a million interviews with teen idols, from standard to exciting, and I was sure I could do one that was super fun for me, for him and for the fans. So I had it all planned out, right down to my little quips that would seem silly and flirty, but totally planned.
Something unplanned? Lack of Internet. I know, even in 2012. A full 40 minutes after we were supposed to start the UStream, we still weren’t up and running. Turns out an Internet connection is a pretty integral part of broadcasting live. I was sweating and swearing. How could this be happening? One of the biggest guests I’ve ever dined with and NO Internet connection? Including the backup Internet! Nothing. I’ve been doing Lunch with Lea for months and never ran into this scenario. The only thing going through my head was, “Nah. This can’t actually be happening. There’s no way. I’m too excited, too prepared. Can’t be.”
Torre is my angel and sent me a text that said “Just record it as a video and we’ll put it up on YouTube”. I know. So basic. Common sense! But in my panicked state, the thought never even crossed my mind. All I could think of was the thousands of Mayniacs waiting around the world to watch Conor, separated by a dumb Wi-Fi connection.
So I opened iMovie and just started recording. Earlier in the week when I recorded the intro to the teaser, the microphone wasn’t turned on and I had to do it over, so I could only pray that wasn’t the case in this scenario. (In other news: my ear buds broke the next day, so technology was just not on my side.)
I felt like such a dummy in front of these people that work in/on the Internet every day (And I’m pretty sure 19-year-olds speak Internet as a second language). Sure, it wasn’t my fault it didn’t work, but I still took it pretty hard. Plus! Imagine this all happening in front of a boy you want to make a good impression on (hey, Cameron Diaz is eight years older than Justin Timberlake and they dated. So everyone relax. Our age gap is only at seven… and a half).
After our chat, where he hopefully answered a lot of your questions, I finally had a chance to sit down, finish eating all the tots I didn’t have a chance to at Big Daddy’s, and reluctantly opened my laptop. I’m proud and shocked that you really can’t tell all of the above had happened. I didn’t embarrass myself (too badly) or cry in front of Conor and his whole team, but know that I did come VERY close. You can’t tell how sweaty many parts of my body were. You can’t tell how frazzled and shaken and unsure of myself I was. But now the secret’s out!
I share this story with you because the lesson I’ve wrestled with but now accept is that it is awesome and smart to be prepared, but it’s even better to be prepared for things to completely fall apart. In an important business meeting, in front of pop singers, and any other situation imaginable. Remember: deep breaths are your friend!
I’m proud that this came together, exists, and generally wouldn’t be classified as a disaster. Hope you enjoy and are ready to be a Mayniac!