I’ve been sitting and staring at this short video of Conchita Wurst, filmed by her social media manager during a meeting I had with her on Monday. Staring at it because I’ve been trying to decide did I want to publish it (because, frankly, I could have talked a lot less) and, if so, what did I want to say about it.
Obviously, if you’re reading this, you know the video has now been published, and I did it for one specific reason. Because, Conchita Wurst is so delightful and so beautiful here, it would be a shame for me to keep her to myself.
So, I thought I’d use this opportunity to add a few comments to the article I wrote about meeting her on Monday. Things I noticed while I was with her. Because she is one of those rare people who is so utterly lovely, I could comment for hours.
Plus, while still not as perfect as I think she herself would like to be (get over that, Conchita, it’s not the perfection we love so much in you), her imperfections don’t ‘spoil’ her at all. But, instead, make her lovely beyond compare.
Meet and Greet time
The first thing that struck me three minutes in to meeting Conchita Wurst was at the fan meet and greet that took place before our meeting. Because, when she went around the room saying ‘Hi’ to everyone gathered there, being a writer and having written so many articles about her, my first goal was to see if she was who I have been saying she is.
So, while everyone else seemed to be struck dumb by their first encounter, I was in ‘test mode’ (and, sorry, Conchita, to still be analyzing you the first time I met you. But, then again, you’re too smart not to have already known that’s exactly what I would do).
And I wanted to see how she would react to me if I said my name. Was she on the ball enough to connect me with the person she knew she was sitting down for a conversation with in half an hour – the one who has written endless articles about her? Or was she just another air-head celebrity relying on her team prepping her with the information she needs so she appears smart?
So as she looked into my eyes and stretched her hand out, and I took it, I said, “Michelle. Nice to meet you”, and I saw the tiniest of double takes flash in her eyes and an almost imperceptible glance back at me before she moved on, indicating to me she knew exactly who I was, while saying absolutely nothing to show she did.
“Oh this girl’s smart” was the thought that shot through my head. Test number one? Passed.
A few minutes later and it was photograph time. And, as always happens in things like this, most people stand around on the side lines desperately trying to pluck up courage to get close to the celebrity they have adored from afar.
Me? I hate my photograph being taken but, with test number two being how does she respond to me the first time I’m anywhere close to her being my next goal in mind, I walked up and stood next to her. And her social media manager said to her, “This is Michelle”.
As quick as a whip, Conchita responded “I know exactly who this is”, and I replied “And she’s going to be stuck in a room with me for 30 minutes soon, whether she likes it or not”.
And, in a tone that was ever so slightly defensive but certainly intending to put me in my place, she fired back “Well, I can talk. So there’s no problem there”.
And that’s the split second in time I knew I had not wasted thousands of hours of my time paying her so much attention, or schlepped from Bangkok to Vienna for no good reason. Because, that girl? She’s a fighter.
And even in a situation where she’s just met someone who has analyzed her to death for a year and a half (and you’re not telling me she wasn’t a little bit nervous because either I was an absolute nutcase — and that’s scary in itself — or I was going to be making her uncomfortable by analyzing her, but this time in her presence), she was still going to let me know I would have to work for it.
Test number two? Passed with flying colors. And no more tests now necessary, as I’d already found out exactly what I needed to know.
A conversation with Conchita Wurst
As for the conversation itself, I made a couple of deductions about her just a few minutes in.
First, she is very hard on herself and, even though, she told me she was hard on herself when it comes to her singing, I could immediately see that reality actually occurred in every part of her life. Then again, that characteristic is what will get her to where she wants to go. Because remember I told you she was a fighter? Well, she’s fighting herself to gain perfection even more than she could ever fight me.
As for her English skills? Jesus Christ.
I speak fast. Very fast (as you’ll see when you watch the video below). And I think very fast, so I’m often miles ahead of the non-native English speaker I’m talking to who is struggling desperately to keep up.
But with her, for all intents and purposes, she might as well be a native English speaker, as I have never met anyone who has been able to keep up with me like she can – in both English ability and intellectual capacity. So when I say Conchita Wurst is smart? Smart isn’t even a good enough word to cover what she is. Brilliant is more like it.
Interestingly, however, she also has an absolute inability to accept a compliment. Because I’m a very complimentary person, no matter who you are, as I think it makes interactions so much nicer. And, although I will never say to you something I do not absolutely mean, you will get told if I think you are special in any way.
With her, because she is so incredible, she is ridiculously easy to compliment. But every compliment I threw at her either didn’t connect at all, or got immediately deflected off from that armor she has built around herself.
But even here, I have to say I loved that about her too. As it told me she would never end up arrogant, conceited and full of herself, like so many well-known celebrities do. And that makes her so incredibly sweet, I swear, if she hadn’t been radiating such an amazing aura of power and strength, I probably would have reached across and hugged her.
And, as far as Conchita Wurst and hugs go, unlike me, an American, who hug close and with our bodies as tight as they will go, Conchita Wurst hugs like a Thai girl. A lovely hug, but with her ass stuck out.
Then again, as she does have the finest ass in Europe, it’s a definite advantage. As, if you are ever around her when she’s hugging, do make sure you watch.
And finally, there are very few people I would write an article this honest about, as it’s definitely slightly invasive. But, after meeting her on Monday evening, I have no qualms at all.
Because Conchita Wurst? She can take and respect honesty, as long as it’s not mean. She has an amazing sense of humor, and definitely seemed to get mine (which is interesting, as it’s British and a lot of people don’t), and she now knows me well enough that she understands nothing I do for her is ever meant to hurt her.
So was my schlepping 8,000-and odd kilometers to meet Conchita Wurst for half an hour worth it? Oh please. I’d do it again in a heartbeat for a second of her time.
Now watch the video of this delightful woman below, which begins about 10 minutes into our conversation, and see how brilliant she is. Because she is brilliant in every conceivable way. (And turn the subtitles on or, with the slight microphone problem, you will only understand half of the conversation).
Finally, thank you to the incredible and absolutely lovely André Karsai, who not only filmed the video but spent ages editing it so he could find just a few minutes where poor Conchita actually got to speak at all.