“Hi! … it’s Olivia!”

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John shares showbiz advice with writer Matt Chandler.

For a lot of Live! Starring … You! fans, your dream would be to interview Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, maybe Rihanna. For me, I have two dream entertainment interviews: Steve Perry, former lead singer of Journey, and Olivia Newton-John.

My list got a bit shorter as I spent 20 minutes interviewing Olivia Newton-John in advance of her trip to New York to perform next month.

I grew up on Olivia’s music. I was 6 years old when “Grease” came out.

I fell in love.

As Olivia’s career grew, so did my admiration. After four decades in the music business, Olivia has sold more than 100 million records, has won four Grammys and starred in the highest grossing musical of all-time.

Oh yeah, and to reach into an arena most of you will relate to, she made a guest appearance on “Glee.”

I reached out to her publicist last week to try and arrange an interview. To be honest, I was expecting to get turned down. I was shocked when he offered to get me a phone interview and two days later, my cell rang.

“Hi, this is Matt,” I said, my heart racing like a kid on Christmas.

“Hi Matt, its Olivia.”

No publicist making the call, no handler. Instead, she sounded as though we were old friends, and she was calling to chat. And that is exactly what we did. Sure, I was nervous enough that I wanted to throw up, but we professional journalists have to fake it, and so I did. I stumbled a bit over one question, and as you will hear in the clip below, I got a bit wordy with my next question, but all in all, I did OK.

As OK as can be expected considering I was interviewing easily my all-time favorite female vocalist and childhood crush!

We talked about her career of course, but we also talked about her passion for giving, her business ventures with her husband John, and her philosophies on love, heath and the proudest moment of her career.

In the meantime, I want to leave you with two bits of advice, one from me and one from a woman that has had 10 number one singles on the Billboard charts, and, it bears worth repeating, has sold 100 MILLION records.

From me: As a writer, I had a dream interview. I have had it for years and it was to interview Olivia Newton-John. I have been turned down far more times for celebrity interviews than I have ever succeeded. The reasons why her people would say no were plentiful, but I didn’t let it deter me. If you have something you want, go for it. If you get rejected, shake it off, don’t take it personally, and move on. But if you are willing to take the risk, who knows, you may just end up landing your dream interview.

As for Olivia’s advice, take a listen.

Matt Chandler
Author & Journalist

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