Do you hear that sucking sound Toronto? It’s the sound of Oprah leaving our air space with her pockets full of Canadian money. Last night, at the second taping of Oprah’s Lifeclass which aired live from the Toronto Convention Center, 8500 people learned the importance of forgiveness. The topic was spot on considering the audience seemed none too pleased by the time we hit the auditorium.
In line for the first couple of hours patience was a necessity. Blocks and blocks of women chatted, got to know each other and had great fun staring down judgemental men who had to do things, “more important than Oprah.” We terrified them. It was fun.
Approaching the third hour, the sun occasionally ducked behind clouds, rain threatened, shoes came off and we huddled to escape the wind.
Going into the fourth hour and way past 3:15pm when the doors were supposed to open all politeness went out the window. People who just arrived in cabs were hit with the harsh reality they might need another one to take them to the back of the line. So, they tried the old merge technique.
Perhaps it would’ve been overlooked if there was just a couple, but alas, they just kept coming. Let’s just say when you’re in any line for that long you’re well aware of who’s been on the journey with you, so when a newcomer steps in at the last minute it’s an invitation for trouble and these people were not having it.
Not up in here, Flossy.
Things got tense. People shouted and actually sang when the police came to make the offenders take the long walk of shame to the back of the line.
“Na na na Na, Na na na na, Hey hey hey…Goodbye.”
This crowd had no forgiveness.
Finally the doors opened. Do you remember the pushing and shoving of a general admission concert? Well, this was a toned down, better dressed version. In body we moved fast and efficiently but in our heads we were maniac and ready to throw down at the first sign of trouble.
The front section was full. It was painfully obvious no matter how long we had waited we weren’t going to see Oprah we were going to watch her on big monitors. So my friend and I claimed seats and watched the insanity unfold.
At 5pm Deepak Chopra began as people were still being herded in. The live taping part was to begin at 8pm, which meant they had three hours to get through four amazing, inspirational speakers. Under the best circumstances I have an issue understanding Deepak, so after trying to hear him over the echoing sound of hundreds of high heels across cement, I gave up. Inner peace couldn’t have been further away.
After everyone had settled, Iyanla Vanzant swept into the room and there was a noticeable shift. I admit I had no idea who she was, but now I want to know more. She instantly won everyone over. Her energy was undeniable, her message clear and articulated through a smile that took up the entire room. When she left we missed her.
Tony Robbins continued the momentum and literally made the audience closer by having us do some body language exercises. Whenever I see Tony Robbins and his chest beating intensity I’m reminded of The Hulk and I imagine him just ripping off his shirt. Yes, he’s over the top, but the man knows what he’s doing.
I missed most of Bishop Jackes because of an overwhelming need to pee. And can I just say this real quick off topic? If there is one thing I took away from all the years of the Oprah Winfrey Show it is this;
Ladies, please DO NOT HOVER AND PEE…SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN. If we all did we could limit the splatter. Of course I realize Oprah has never birthed a baby and doesn’t have the amount of urine range some of us do, but in the end she’s right.
By now I’m going into the seventh hour of my Oprah experience. No food or drinks were allowed inside so needless to say I was starving. So I slipped into the concession area with the rest of the people awkwardly standing around inhaling food because there wasn’t a chair to be found. Ten hours from start to finish and they can’t put out some chairs in the eating area?
Finally, I’m back burping up sushi just in time for Bishop Jackes to make me pregnant. He says we all have a baby inside us dying to get out. The baby represents our dreams but in order to give birth to our possibilities we must endure some pain. He ended his speech with us all holding hands and pushing to birth our babies. You really had to be there.
Finally the time came. The energy was electric. Chants of Oprah vibrated off the walls. I know you’ve all seen her show and the experience was just like you’ve imagined. It was interesting to see her interact with her producer during the commercial breaks. She was charming, engaging and professional. She kept telling the back she was coming to see us. “I’m going to need a car to get me back there.”
We all laughed. Silly Oprah.
As she began to wrap up, the back rows left their seats in anticipation filling in the aisles and blocking exits. Needless to say, she never came. She would’ve been swarmed.
I waited for people to file out because I knew my blistered feet wouldn’t move me as fast as I would like. I searched the expressions of the crowd as they moved toward the exits. No longer were their faces painted with frustration over long line ups, no food, bad seats and missing their chance to touch Oprah. They seemed content, tired and dare I say…forgiving.