• Neenah Pickett

April 25 - Oprah's Bump in the Road


Because of the recent CNN article about me, I was inundated with emails, including many from very notable TV & Film people, but none more impressive than Oprah... Here is my account of the last 48 hours: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 CNN article runs on their website. My Blackberry is pinging like crazy. 3:35 PM Hilary, a producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show emails me. My world comes to a halt. 3:37 PM I’m on a stupid train and I can’t get phone reception. 3:54 PM I receive a message on Facebook from Oprah’s people. They really want to speak with me. 4:17 PM I place a call to Hilary at Oprah’s camp. She tells me how wonderful I am (really she does) and asks if she can call me back in 5 minutes. 4:26 PM That was the longest 9 minutes I’d ever experienced, but my phone finally rings. We spend 43 minutes, to be exact, where she asks me a gazillion questions and I answer them like a pro! She loves the story, is going to share it with her people (Oprah, herself, maybe?) and will get back to me. 5:11 PM Hilary contacts me and tells me her boss heard that I wrote something about Gayle King. She asks me to email it to her. It was my blog entry. Thank God I said wonderful things about Oprah’s best friend. 6:02 PM They want me! (who doesn’t, duh!) They are going to Skype me in for LIVE Fridays on Oprah. The live broadcast actually happens at 10:00 AM EST. They need my address to send me a “Skype Kit” 6:04 PM I call my friend Kendra who is a designer and tell her to start sketching my bridal dress. A wedding is coming soon! 6:54 PM Brian, from Oprah’s camp, contacts me and needs my specs for the Skype Kit. It was like he was speaking a foreign language. I happen to be at a client’s who has amazing offices and I decided that I will be Skyped in from their location. I get the IT guy and the technical guy to answer Brian’s questions. That Night! I email everyone I know that I’m going to be on Oprah, including my dead loved ones and my ex-boyfriends (because they are filed in the same category in my address book). 12:02 AM I just finished answering the 97 other emails from people who read the CNN article. I have a panic attack when I think of how many emails I’ll have to answer after my Oprah’s appearance. But I smile when I realize one of them will be from my husband! Thursday, April 23rd I talk to the two VPs and everyone at my client’s office about my Oprah’s appearance. They are all onboard to help me in anyway they can. (They’ll be sorry for that later)! 10: 12 AM My Skype Kit arrives. It’s a large plastic, black suitcase with a mysterious combination lock. The UPS label reads “Harpo. Inc.”. I smile. 1:27 PM I hear from Hilary. She says they are discussing the order of the show and when I will appear. The day is looking more hectic than she thought. They won’t finalize things until that evening, but she will call me later that day with the details. All I really want is the combination to the Skype Kit lock. (I’m convinced there’s gold inside). 4:22 PM The guys at my client’s offices are setting up the VIP room to make it look like a living room. They are moving heavy furniture in and out and being very gracious when I can’t make up my mind where I want things to go. 6:07 PM We are putting the final touches on my fake living room. I have to leave to go shopping for my “on Oprah” outfit. A couple of the guys work late to set up the professional lights so I’ll look fabulous on Skype (still haven’t received combination for the lock. But Brian from the Oprah camp did contact me and ask me to read a mysterious number off the suitcase). 8:03PM I’m at the mall and driving my friend Lescena crazy with trying to find the perfect outfit (I’m the worst person to shop with). I finally settle on a dress I can’t afford and figure I can join the ranks of the hundreds of thousand of people who won’t pay their mortgage this month. Being on Oprah is definitely worth facing foreclosure (is it in poor taste to make jokes about foreclosure these days?)! 9:04 PM I return home and cut the tags off my new dress (boy, will I regret that). 9:12 PM I hear from Hilary. It’s not looking good. There were some things that happened in the news that they think are more important. “What could be more important than finding my husband,” I scream (inside my head)! She’ll contact me in the morning. 10:38 PM Before I hop into bed, I pray and ask God for a power outage in every city except Chicago and this small town in Central New Jersey. Friday, 7:45 AM I arrive at my client’s office. Everyone is treating me lock a rock star. I tell them to line up for autographs. The line remains empty. 8:26 AM I hear from Hilary. There’s a tone of sadness. (This is never good). “Sorry,” she says. It’s not going to happen. I’ve been officially bumped. She does offer hope for a future broadcast. 10:00 AM, Friday, April 24, 2009 A Moment of Silence


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