#Heartblog // Eight Minutes With Meryl
It begins with an email from from work.
“Are you available to fly to New York this weekend to interview Meryl Streep?”
My weekend instragram feed is consistently filled with people at boozy mimosa brunches reminding me that part of having the dreamiest job on the planet is that, you are expected to do dreamy job 24/7. News never stops, and thus, neither do I.
So, I fly to New York to interview Meryl Streep.
Thursday / 3 Days Until Meryl:
After a full workday that began at 7 am, I arrive at the Arclight to attend the press screening of the current Meryl Movie at 7 pm. I like movie screenings at the Arclight theatre in Los Angeles because they always have super hot, fresh popcorn. I saw three movies this week. Perfect popcorn matters. The movie is good. Meryl is great. I get out of the movie at 9:30 pm and drive myself home. I’m tired, and I start to think that maybe I should wear my hair like Meryl did in the movie to the interview. I am glad I forgot that stupid idea when I wake up the next morning.
Friday AM // 2 Days Until Meryl:
Meryl prep day. I’m doing another press junket for a different movie I saw this week in the afternoon. So, in addition to my show duties, this is my day for Meryl preparation. I start by googling her. I watch 15 of the last interviews she has done. I see that she is a lovely interview. I am 5% less nervous which puts me at 207884% nervous. I read as many print interviews as I can. I read her Wiki page. Did you know Meryl has been nominated for 5 Grammy awards? Is there anything Meryl cannot do? Clearly not. After about 2 hours of prep, I head over to my producers office to pitch my interview ideas to him. We spend 30 minutes talking about ideas. One of my ideas involves having her talk about her hair in all her iconic roles. Back in my office, I spend another hour goggling all her famous styles. Send an email off to our photo editor requesting the photos. I realize I am going to be late for my interview across town. Get in my car. Drive like crazy. Pull out my questions for THAT interview, and literally practice fake conversations and asking questions the entire ride to Beverly Hills. I do this all the time. If you ever pull up beside me at a stop light you will see me talking to fake a-list movie stars.
Friday PM / 1.5 Days Until Meryl:
Home from afternoon interviews. I do a face mask and pack for Meryl. What does a person ever wear to interview someone like Meryl? Someone once told me that the secret to dressing for television is to wear a “Skittle Color”. I pick a yellow dress. Yellow is a happy color. I want Meryl to be happy when she sees me. I pack the rest of my bag, backup makeup, books, computer, medicine, favorite pen, curling iron. Leave my bag by the stairs. If I fall asleep RIGHT NOW I can get 5 hours of sleep. Please fall asleep. I dream of Meryl. Nice Meryl, not “Devil Wears Prada” Meryl.
Saturday AM / 1 Day Until Meryl:
Car to the airport picks me up at 4:50 am. Drive to the airport in a record 22 minutes because Los Angeles is not awake yet. Board plane. As I am walking down to my seat I am almost convinced that I am seated next to Joe Manganiello which would be awesome because I think I am one of Joe’s favorites after that time I let him stick dollar bills down my shirt on a red carpet. I’m a cool girl like that. When seat neighbor looks up, it’s not Joe. Same hair though. I say a polite “hi”. I plan on doing my normal resting bitch face don’t you dare small talk me vibe, but neighbor is kinda cool. Asks why I am going to New York. I tell him “I am going to interview Meryl Streep.” I’m literally the coolest person I know in this moment. Reminds me how lucky I am. He says “Should I know who you are?” and I am taken right back down to un-cool land. Nope. He shouldn’t.
Spend a lot of the time on the flight thinking about Meryl. Do I fawn over her? She’s probably used to that. Do I tell her how great she is? Is she secretly annoyed by all the ass kissing? What does Meryl really want the world to know about her? What can I do so that Meryl Streep thinks I am the Meryl Streep of television interviews. Land in New York. Someone steals my iced green tea order at starbucks. They write your name on the cup for a reason.
Saturday PM / Half a Day Before Meryl:
In New York I screen ANOTHER movie that I will be doing interview for on Meryl Streep day. I spent the entire screening being mad that there was no popcorn available. After the screening, I meet friends for a late dinner and tell them I will be interviewing Meryl tomorrow. They freak out. I can’t sleep. Meryl on my mind.
Meryl Day AM:
Wake up, and instantly google Meryl. Wondering if she has said anything to the press in the last 24 hours that would change my entire interview. Just a bunch of articles about how Meryl’s new Meryl movie is the best thing since Meryl’s last Meryl movie. Meryl is perfect. I iron my skittle dress. Makeup artist arrives at the hotel and wants to small talk about life since she’s last painted my face. I close my eyes while I get cheekbones painted on and run through my Meryl questions in my head.
Arrive at Meryl’s hotel and begin looking over my interview questions and decide that everything I spent hours planning IS COMPLETE CRAP AND IN NO WAY WORTHY OF EIGHT MINUTES WITH MERYL. I have 10 minutes until my interview and I hate myself. I start writing new questions in blue pen all over my note cards in-between the questions I had typed out. I can’t read anything on my card anymore. I am called down to wait for Meryl and I start pacing. I hold my hand out and I realize that I am shaking. I literally say to myself “Calm down Keltie, it’s just Meryl!” Doesn’t help. “IT’S JUST MERYL STREEP THE BIGGEST MOVIE STAR IN THE UNIVERSE!”
My Eight minutes with Meryl:
Walk into the room and Meryl is talking to someone else so I keep trying to make eye contact and introduce myself but I can’t interrupt Meryl. The clock is already ticking. Haven’t even started my interview and I only have 7 minutes with Meryl left. Meryl is insanely gorgeous in real life. She literally looks like someone took the facetune app over her entire being and she’s sort of floating and fuzzy and perfection. She’s incredibly calm, and her voice is as I would image Gods voice to sound like when you reach the pearly gates on heaven. I’m so tired her sweet lullaby voice could put me to sleep, but someone in the corner is holding up two fingers to signal that I only have two minutes left. I’ve only gotten through 4 of my questions. She’s giving me lovely Meryl answers, but I’m going to have to start cutting her off soon. Can one even cut off Meryl? I wouldn’t dare. When my interview is wrapped, I know that I need more Meryl so I just keep asking more questions, and I am continuing to be shuffled out of the room. I thank her for the interview and she shakes my hand. I have to tell you that Meryl and Oprah have a very similar handshake. Warm, but they shake with an a special vibe. They know this is the best moment of your life. You. Are. Welcome.
So, what did I learn from my eight minutes with Meryl?
Well, There are going to be those out of the universe dreams that are so big you have to talk yourself out of them. Your little inner doubt will say “Nawwww…no way.” Your gut will tell you that big dreams are for other people to realize. Your mind will tell you that you are not special enough. This is little me, from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada. With a mechanic Dad and a school teacher Mom telling you that everything your brain is telling you in wrong. The good stuff has to happen to someone, and that someone can be you. You have to work hard. Harder than anyone will ever give you credit for. You have to sacrifice. You have to dream it, and following up that dream with a whole bunch of belief in yourself which is almost impossible because the world is going to want to tear you down. The world is yours for the the taking and many people are going to constantly tell you no, and no matter what you have to keep telling yourself yes. It took Meryl until she was 28 years old to have her “Breakout” moment in film. Can you imagine what would have happened if at some point she had decided that she needed to “grow up” and get a real job, and give up on her acting dreams?
Don’t give up. Maybe you are the next Meryl.
Just kidding, there is only one Meryl, but still! Don’t give up!
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