In 2002 I was working as a lighting designer with Lightswitch at the Concert for World Children's Day sponsored by the Ronald McDonald House Charity. I was 23, engaged (to not-Stephan), and working my way steadily up the design food chain. During production it was my job to adjust the lighting for backstage interviews. I got to stand shoulder to shoulder with Celine Dion, Enrique Iglesias, Nick Carter, and Michael Bublé. It was a cool job. I wore glasses at the time.
I watched all of the interviews with the artists with an artistic eye toward the lighting. And then Michael sat in my chair. This is what I remember of the interview (which never made it on-air or onto the DVD):
Interviewer: Michael, why did you agree to do this concert for charity?
Michael (totally paraphrased): Hey. I'm just a guy who likes to sing. I'd be singing no matter what job I was doing. But God gave me the skill to sing well, and if I didn't use my gifts to give back, then why have them?
There might have been more to the interview. But I didn't hear it. It was the most honest, humble thing I'd heard all day. I was brought to tears. Later that day I saw him walking down the hallway by himself. It was totally against the rules, but here is what happened:
Me: Um, Michael? I know I'm not supposed to talk to the talent...
Michael: Hey, no problem. What's up?
Me: I, uh, I heard that interview you just did backstage. I was the lighting person. And I just wanted to tell you that what you said was really touching. I heard a lot of interviews, but none of them were as personal and honest as yours.
Michael: Well, I meant it. I'm so lucky that this is my job. I LOVE my job!
Me: Me to! Doesn't it make it so much fun to go to work when you love what you do?
Michael: Yeah. [Shakes my hand] It's nice to meet you.
Michael: Wow. You have beautiful eyes.
Michael: And your hands are freezing. My limo is right outside. I can warm them up for you out there.
Me: ..... I'm working. I mean, I'm on the clock. I'm... I'm at work. I can't. But, um, thanks?
Michael: No problem [walks away].