Friday, November 29, 2013

Biggest Boss

I’ve had the date on my calendar circled for a long time. It’s the date Chris Hadfield visited our studio for an interview! He arrived Wednesday at least an hour before his scheduled time slot of 8:40AM. He had begun his day’s media rounds long before arriving at Global Montreal.When I heard he had arrived, I dashed down the hall to welcome him and to thank him for coming in to our station!

I introduced myself. He locked his eyes on mine, then slowly and deliberately stood up. I could swear that as he extended his hand, the theme to “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” began playing nearby. He graciously thanked me for the invitation and introduced me to his son, Evan, who, as he put it in his New York Times bestselling book "An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth", helped him “corner the market on wonder”.

I hurried back down the hall to our studio, jumped into my chair beside Camille, turned to her and remarked, “He exudes cool!”

After so enthusiatically commanding the world's attention from space for 144 days, Chris Hadfield, scientist, author, teacher, pioneer, master tweeter, retired astronaut, former ISS commander and planetary inspirer, was right there in our office and I figured it would be much more compelling for viewers to see Chris Hadfield on the television with us, than us alone; besides, he appeared to be chilling. In fact, whatever he does, regardless of its complexity, simplicity, predictability or unpredictability, he always seems to be chilling! In truth, he had phone interviews with other media outlets lined-up, which he did in our edit suites.

Our producer agreed we could get him to do some other stuff on-air, like the weather with Jess! After he’d finished his phone interviews, Jess and I eagerly asked him if he would be willing to do the weather. He agreed. He came into studio as we were starting the last half hour of our show. As I got a 30 second cue in my ear, I grabbed a spare chair, dragged it to the desk, urging Chris to sit between Camille and I and that’s where he was as our last half hour opened!

To her credit, Jess didn’t give him any more information about the morning's weather maps than he needed and, not surprisingly, his performance as guest forecaster was stellar! See for yourself:

With massive humility, Chris Hadfield has done and continues to do so much for science, education, music, communication, social media and Canada! I got to ask him many questions and his answers were always sincere, thoughtful and captivating. On and off air, it was a privilege for us to be able to sit with him in our studio and ask questions.

Chris Hadfield admits thinking like an astronaut is counter-intuitive because instead of visualizing success, he says you must sweat the small stuff and visualize defeat. He also says he doesn’t live retrospectively, longing for the past. That’s probably a useful perspective on things, although it’s one I have yet to master!

As soon as the interview was over, his son, Evan, pushed open the door to tell his father they were behind schedule. I had kept him on-air longer than expected. I’ve never seen anyone take pictures so efficiently! In the space of what seemed the next thirty seconds, he posed for four or five pictures with different people, including myself, before being whisked out the door!

For the picture I posted on Instagram, my son commented, “biggest boss”. No argument here. Through his dedication, vision, hard work and willingness to invest in his fellow human, Chris Hadfield has made the world a better place.

The Global Montreal Interview here: 

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