Day One: Part Two
There is another story about our first day performing together in Atlanta, Georgia in 1993. While the day was excruciating for me, Michael experienced an unexpected thrill. In between our shows, Michael noticed a camera crew setting up nearby. With an insatiable lust for performing, Michael wandered across the park and approached them.
As he got closer, he realized that the crew was not just a local station, but an NBC Today Show crew. Not intimidated, he asked, “Do you want to film me juggling fire?”
They all looked at each other and said, “OK.”
He sprinted back to me where I stood guard over our equipment. He grabbed his torches and smiled as if he had seen Santa for the first time before sprinting back toward the crew.
I watched from across the park as he lit up his torches and went to work charming all of America. With each new take, he used his signature expressive face and talent for performing while projecting his lines, “Hi Bryant. Hi Katie. What a difference Today makes here in Atlanta.” This 5 second Today Show promo aired nationwide in conjunction with others for about a month with the most notable airing during the NBA playoffs.
Although he didn’t get paid to do the promo, the director did give him a $10 tip. It was nearly 1/3 of the total we collected that day street performing and worth the couple of hundred dollars we spent on the plane ride for the story alone. It is said that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Michael is destined for a few minutes more.