One of these days, I’ll believe my job allows for the amazing ways to explore the world and the people that live in it. It also allows me to randomly tell Oprah about that time she gave me a car on her show. Yep. That one. Last month found me in Los Angeles again for the world premiere of A Wrinkle In Time and the after party that culminated the entire event.
Fact – I can’t stop crying. For a little bit of background, you’ll have to know that February 25th has been a bit of a buzzkill for me since 2002. That’s the date that my sister passed away and I always try to find myself away from people so I can avoid the questions about how I’m doing or if I’m okay. When the publicist from Disney sent me the invitation for this particular press junket, I powered through my feelings of fear at being somewhere other than the comfort of my home and replied in the affirmative. Little did I know that this year, February 25th would be life changing.
I met Oprah. And she gave me one of those deep, enveloping hugs as I told her how that show that I was on so many moons ago changed my life. Oprah then remembered me and asked me my name at the after party as her bodyguards were trying to patiently get her out of the space. Y’all the patience of these folks is admirable. Ava spoke to making our passed on family members proud, and Mindy spoke to making sure we continue to see folks who look like us on screen. Storm – that young lady is amazing. She put a “Miss” in front of my name when she asked it, and I felt like the world has so much hope still. She’s a beautiful young lady, and wise beyond her years!
I walked the carpet with my buddy Tatanisha from This Worthey Life. She’s good people. A little story – I met her last year at the Chicago Auto Show and immediately felt like we wouldn’t be more than friends because she was SO QUIET and I was…not. I’m that way. If I’m out, I’m laughing. This time though, I did laugh, but I did a whole lot of crying, and she did a whole lot of supporting, and tissue giving. Friends for life now. You can’t snot yourself silly from crying in front of someone and then not consider them your friend.
I brought two dresses to choose from (no worries, they folded down SMALL) and ended up in an eggplant floor length gown that I got from Burlington or Ross. I can’t remember. It was $12 and I absolutely loved it. Yes, I’m telling you how much it costs because I want you to be great like me. I did go against the color of the dress and wore sensible and comfortable Clarke heels that were black. You couldn’t see them so I wasn’t worried.
We walked the carpet and really took in the sights this time. It was bright. It was blue. It was bustling. Definitely different than the last junket I went on, but just as exciting. I saw Storm Reid, Chris Pine, Bellamy Young, Rowan Blanchard, Deric McCabe and others being interviewed. We met Levi Miller at the end of the carpet and he looked just as amazed as we were. Sometime after this I caught a Charlie Horse and had a wonderful time trying to play it off. Seriously, we laughed like loons walking to the theater. There were 25 of us there and I’m pretty sure most of us felt swept away into the mind of Madelein L’Engle and the people who were able to bring this to the big screen.
After securing our phones and getting into the theater to grab our popcorn and drinks, I was able to rub elbows with a couple more of Hollywood’s finest. Traci Ellis Ross who I thanked for playing some of my favorite characters on television. Issa Rae – WHO REMEMBERED ME from the Black Panther Premiere and Don Cheadle. Janet Mock made an appearance as well, and everyone looked so beautiful. Whether they chose to dress up or down, everyone looked like they were ready to have a good time.
The movie played – after a warm up by a DJ and the hype man, and we were transported to the land of Meg Murray’s for an hour and some change. Afterwards, we headed to a local hotel for the after party, and that’s where things got relaxed. We were able to talk and selfie with all of the folks that we could (respectfully of course – at least I hope that I was) and tell them how much we enjoyed their work. I was able to tell Martin Lawrence how much he causes my husband and I to laugh so hard our bellies hurt. Then the fact that my mom, brothers and I use lines of his daily in our text chats.
I ended the night with Oprah asking me my name. Yes. She asked ME for my name. Because she wanted to remember the person who she gave a car to, and she didn’t have to do that. Oprah is a Chicago staple, and we will always claim her even if she does live in California now.
I’m just so happy and full, and motivated to keep doing this work – which is hard, even if we make it look like we’re have stupid fun. I hope that you all are able to snag tickets to go and see the movie as soon as it comes out next Friday. Take every kid and kid at heart that you know, because the message hasn’t changed. We need to believe in ourselves, and become the light. And this night? I was surround by hundreds!
A Wrinkle In Time premieres March 9 – here’s something to hold you over.