What My Experience With Lenny Kravitz Taught Me!


Cool Dude with a GSH (a good sense of humour!)

The other day one of my clients asked me … “Can you remember a defining moment in your career?”

Hmmm I thought, there have been so many.  I’ve interviewed hundreds of major Hollywood Celebs including;

George Clooney, Samuel L Jackson, Danny DeVito and Sharon Stone!  (Yes I can name drop shamelessly)

Coming from a background in showbiz and live producing at the BBC, there are numerous Boris Moments, and times, when the talent (Cliff Richard on one occasion) gets stuck in traffic, live on air! 

Then I remembered first starting out when I knew very little about interviewing, journalism, seizing opportunities and what makes people tick (now my specialty).

My very first assignment when I was on unpaid work experience at Virgin Radio in London, was to interview a bare-chested Lenny Kravitz!  

It was a press launch at the Rock Café in London.  It was a typical cold rainy day and everyone was wrapped up in coats and cardies. 

I remember Lenny Kravitz standing on this podium wearing leather trousers and a skimpy leather waistcoat open at the front revealing a slightly hairy chest, jewellery, and nipples!  That's seriously rocking’n’roll for us Brits – what, no jumper in this weather?

I couldn’t believe my luck when I was chosen to ask a question (the only one that wasn’t strictly “sensible”) 

“Will you be buying a T-shirt while you’re in London Lenny?” I asked slightly cheekily!

All the journalists and PR people laughed and Lenny Kravitz replied…

”Gee, yeah babe, will you take me shopping in London, please?  What’s your name?….”  (He carried on chatting to me in front of the whole press conference about Carnaby Street and my favourite shops)

I ended up becoming the story!   The journalists started interviewing me (I didn’t tell them I was only on work experience and that I felt as if I shouldn’t really be there).

My Lenny Kravitz experience taught me so many things; 

  • If you ask a normal human (humorous) question – you get a normal (often humorous) answer – so guess what – you never have to be boring!
  • If you put yourself out there and build up the courage to speak out (even if you’re junior) you get results
  • You have to be in the right place at the right time – even if it means working for free – seize the opportunity
  • Enjoy the journey and the moment – it’s good for business to have a bit of a laugh, why not?
  • Say to yourself each day ”What have I got to lose if I’m a little bit brave?"
  • Dare to have a personality and ask the questions everyone else is thinking about.
  • Big ‘names’ are normal people – that goes for CEOs and business leaders too, so treat them like a normal person, don’t be afraid!

So here’s your dare for today.  Step outside your comfort zone, speak up and say something daring (it’s got to have a touch of humour) in a meeting. 

Come on you know you want to!

If you want to a massive confidence boost that will help you speak up, get noticed and ultimately add to your bottom line, contact me now so we can set up a chat.  esther@estherstanhope.com


patrick Volavka