I consider myself to be someone who has been very lucky when it comes to the career I’ve had in journalism. There have been moments to me that have stuck out more than the rest, one of which being my amazing afternoon with television icon Susan Lucci at The Plaza back in January. I normally don’t write about my experiences with celebrities, as the fanboy aspect can come off looking very cheesy, however my time is something that will remain in my heart and mind for the rest of my life.
I got the idea to interview Susan after the clip of her winning the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama for All My Children came up on my YouTube page. This is footage that I’ve watched repeatedly yet never get tired of. In my opinion, it’s the greatest award show moment to ever exist, as the thrill of her winning after 18 losses was nothing short of amazing to witness over and over again.
It was 1999 when she scored her first Daytime Emmy, so the idea surrounding my interview with Susan was about it being 20 years since it happened and what she remembered from the night that was. I never expected anything to happen from a simple email that I sent to her publicist regarding having some form of communication with Susan over the matter and am still in shock today that our sit down took place.
Susan happened to be available one Wednesday in January and decided to do the interview with me at The Palm Court inside the historic Plaza Hotel. I almost fell out of my chair when this became a confirmed thing. The only thing stopping me from meeting her was if I were to have a heart attack or someone close to me was dying, and even then I would have to debate the severity of both. 😊
I made sure to arrive 20 minutes beforehand, as there was no way in hell I was going to be late or make Susan wait. She arrived 10 minutes later, looking fabulous and chic as ever.
Here’s the thing. I can spot pretention from a mile away. Living in New York gives you that kind of talent. Someone like Susan, given what a star she is and how millions of people look up to her, could easily be pretentious… and unapologetic for it. Heck, I wouldn’t have minded at all as sitting down with her was thrilling enough for me.
Susan was the exact opposite. She was (and is) a delightfully kind, sweet and warm individual who makes you feel welcomed the instant you meet her. MY nerves going into the interview melted away after our first interaction and from there it was smooth sailing as we talked about that Emmy moment, our lives on Long Island, love, food, laughter and so much more.
Something I try not to do, as hard as it can be, is discuss personal things with celebrities. I try to leave each situation with an anecdote that goes beyond the fanboy aspect that I previously discussed. I did, however, bring up that my late mother used to love watching All My Children prior to her passing many moons ago. She was extremely grateful after I told her about that, which made me quite emotional as it brought my mother back to life for a moment.
The talk with Susan ultimately was more than an interview for me. It became a life moment and something I’ll always look back on with a smile.