He knew the names of tons of crew and staff members of all levels. It seemed like if he’d met them, he knew their name. He was friendly. He walked around and gave hugs. Just so lovely.
So, we’re in a late rehearsal. And I know the day is gonna be busy.
I don’t know when or how I’m gonna get to meet him. I thought maybe after the full staff picture. But figuring I didn’t have any time to lose, I just left rehearsal between acts 1 and 2, then I sprinted upstairs, grabbed my card and came back down.
At that point, I could still get in the back/side stage area that we see whenever we go in the studio, but with cameras and everything now in place for act 2, I couldn’t really go to the seating area – which is actually fantastic, because now I’ve just accidentally trapped myself side-stage with Jon Stewart (and other people).
He’s talking up/backstage to the contributors who are about to go out. Once they all leave, he’s standing there alone. And they’re just showing a clip package in the studio, so I’m not interrupting much to talk to him.
I walk up to him. “Hi, you don’t know me. But I’m an editor here,” I say a little nervously.
“What’s your name?” he asks.
“Oh my goodness. Not only did I forget to include my name. Jon Stewart wants to know my name!” – I think in my head.
“Aurora,” I tell him.
Then he says, “Aurora, it’s nice to meet you.”
“I wrote a card to everyone on staff, and since you’re our EP, here’s yours.”
He makes this fantastic big facial expression. “I get a card?!” he says enthusiastically. “I didn’t do anything though,” he adds.
“Well, you helped make the show possible!” I tell him.
Then he tells me he’ll humbly accept the card.
And this is the best part!
I tell him, “I say this in the card, but I also want to tell you, I’ve said to many people now, ‘Jon Stewart changed my life,’ and I’m so happy I finally get to tell it to you.”
He told me that was very sweet, “But no. You changed your own life. You earned your spot here.”
He then went on and told me every one of us in the building was incredible and one of best in the biz, and we all worked exceptionally hard to get to where we were. We did it ourselves. We earned it.
And I almost cried because it was the most beautiful mini-speech I’ve ever heard.
Then I asked for a picture and we looked around. Everyone was a little busy, so he suggested we selfie it. He thankfully took beautiful angle so my face didn’t look humongous – because he seems to be one of the sweetest people on the planet.
I have built up meeting Jon Stewart in my head for ages. To have the meeting exceed my expectations was beyond wonderful.