What would you do if someone rushed up to you and asked, “Are you available to interview actor Lavar Burton . . . right now?”

Well, that happened to me recently.

If you don’t know who Lavar Burton is, he is the actor who played Kunta Kinte in the popular 1977 miniseries based on the book Roots by Alex Haley. He also played the character Geordi La Forge in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. And he’s known to most millennials as the host of the PBS series, Reading Rainbow.

At a conference I recently attended in Salt Lake City, UT, Burton was a keynote speaker. Thanks to a client — Bernice Bennett — I had temporary access to the Media Hub for the event, and happened to be merely observing, standing around watching the bustling activity, and awaiting my chance to interview an author.

When the Media Hub coordinator hurriedly approached me, I was momentarily shocked, then quickly went into reporter mode. “Sure, I’ll interview him,” I said, glancing questioningly at my husband, who followed behind me as he set his Android phone to record the conversation.

“You can ask two questions.,” the coordinator said.

Honey, that’s all I needed to hear.

As the crowd cleared, and I approached Mr. Burton, my mind raced with options. What would be two compelling, thought-provoking questions I could ask? I don’t want to sound like a star-struck fan, but a serious professional digging for his insight to help others.

As I asked my questions, I was in a zone. He and I were equals. We glared into each other’s eyes, and all of the onlookers suddenly disappeared.

Was I a bit nervous? In fact, I was not. It was Burton and me, face to face, chatting it up about books and storytelling. And it was fun. Much to my surprise, I was ready.

Have you ever had the chance to be ready at a moment’s notice? If not, take it from me, it’s exhilarating and scary. But if you ever push through the fear and step up to the plate, you’ll find out what you’re made of.

Tap here to watch a clip of the interview.


AnitaAnita Henderson R. Henderson helps entrepreneurs and executives enhance their platforms, and build their brands by becoming published authors. Through her  Write Your Life program, new authors overcome the struggles of writing, publishing, and marketing books, and learn to leverage their books to achieve success.

Anita is the author of three books, and co-author of five books. She owns The Write Image, LLC a boutique book publishing services company that created the proprietary Write Your Life book production process. She is also creator of The Genealogist’s Writing Room, an online community targeting genealogists and family historians. Her freelance articles have appeared in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also co-creator of the Write Books That Sell Now online course for aspiring authors, and co-host of the Write Books That Sell Now weekly podcast.

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Writer, storyteller, The Author's Midwife. Founder of Write Your Life and The Genealogist's Writing Room.

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