I have to say that the single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people was that there is a common denominator in our human experience. Most of us, I tell ya, we don’t want to be divided. What we want—the common denominator that I found in every single interview—is that we want to be validated. We want to be understood.
I’ve done over 35,000 interviews in my career, and as soon as that camera shuts off everyone always turns to me and inevitably in their own way ask this question: “was that ok?”
I heard it from President Bush. I heard it from President Obama. I’ve heard it from heroes and from housewives. I’ve heard it from victims and perpetrators of crime. I even heard it from BE-YON-CÉ in all of her Beyoncé-ness. She finishes performing, hands me the microphone, and says “was that ok?” [x]
“There’s a big difference between taking a break, a vacation, as an artist and taking time to recharge. I couldn’t imagine a break. What is that? Is that some gilded cruelty? 24 hours, 6 minimum to sleep, and I’m going to pause the road? But a recharge, that’s a necessity. Every piece you do, every poem, every song, every whatever, it takes your mind and your emotions and your physical frame. You gotta get that electricity back. You gotta build a recharge into your daily grind. But this “take a break” stuff, that’s crazy talk.”