Artist Living

Walking Through the Curtain. Today is the Day!

Me Ra Koh

the warning you all know…it’s a long one! 🙂

There are single moments in life when we find ourselves standing at the threshold. Across the way is what we have been preparing for since our first breath. And yet, we have never come face to face with this place, this dream…with such intensity. The adrenaline races through our veins, and in that single moment before it’s time to stand up, to give it our best shot, we are flooded with doubt. We doubt every dream we’ve ever had, every wish we’ve ever made at every birthday…were we silly to dream this big…selfish to want this much…or did God in heaven really believe we were worthy of tasting the Promise Land. The fear coincides with all the doubt and rushes through our veins, pooling acid in our belly. Maybe the fear is there because that slight possibility that this turning moment will prove our dreams are wrong, not meant for us…simply out of reach. Or maybe not.

I’m standing behind a curtain on set at the Nate Berkus Show. One of the sound guys is checking my microphone. He thinks we need to get rid of my necklace. I smile and say, “Think of my necklace as a tie. Would you really take away the main color in a man’s suit?” He shrugs, half smiles, and keeps fidgeting with my necklace pendant, finally deciding to tape it down because somehow I have won him over. I needed to win him over. I needed that extra bit of confidence that I could win the audience on the other side of the curtain.

I hear the audience go into a roaring applause. A simple veil separates us. I picture Nate Berkus smiling, waving, thanking them, and I feel the countdown in my heart begin. The applause will have to stop, and that will be his signal to introduce me. I look over at Brian. He is standing under the Exit sign. Tears burn in my eyes when I see him. The very place he is standing gives me freedom. I know that if I went to him now, and asked him if we could run from the opportunity, he would open the Exit door and never push me to try again. I know that. I know that he is in love with me, not because of what I can do or say, but just me. And eighteen months ago, when we shared our secret dreams to really go for TV, to go big, he promised we could stop at any time if it didn’t feel right…I know he really meant it. Even if it meant now. Only moments before, he whispered his last bit of encouragement. “The audience out there is just like your old 7th grade classroom. Be the teacher Me Ra, and love your students as you’ve always have. You know this.”

He is only forty, fifty feet away from me, but I feel like he is oceans away. I know that I’m the only one who can walk out on this stage. He can’t hold my hand and walk out there with me, but I know that no matter what happens in the next thirty minutes, he will be here to hold my hand when I am done.

The sound guy messes with my necklace one last time. The makeup lady enhances the eye shadow and reapplies the lip gloss that I’ve managed to eat away in the last two minutes. I have never felt so scared and excited in my life. I hear my name. Nate Berkus is introducing me. He is talking about a woman who inspires and empowers people. He is preparing viewers to meet their “new best friend”. Their documentary video of my story plays. I hear my kids laughing in the video, and I’m comforted.

The cream colored curtain standing in front of me begins to shine brighter and brighter as the spotlights look to my place of entrance. All the energy is on the other side of this curtain, only a few feet away, and yet I feel like I’m going to burst with energy before I even get my cue. And then it comes, and somehow I find myself on stage, waving at the audience, smiling, waving at viewers and feeling like I’ve come home.

The night before the show, when I couldn’t sleep from all the butterflies, Brian kept saying “Enjoy the fact that this is the last time it will ever be your first time. Ride the adrenaline Me Ra. It will never be this new again. Just enjoy!”

I’ve been enjoying ever since!  The whole family has!  Our segments air today on NBC!  I still haven’t seen the edited versions, so I’m super excited and nervous to watch with all of you!  Click here to see what channel and time it’s playing in your hometown!

And when you see me walk out from behind the curtain for the first time, you must know that I took all your love and support with me on to that stage.   And all of it combined gave me the courage to GO FOR IT!

See you on the other side of today’s show, on the other side of the curtain!

Here we go!


Me Ra

p.s. Winter Workshop Registration for San Antonio, TX, LA, Seattle and Scottsdale, AZ are now LIVE!

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  1. I am so proud of you! I am sure I am going to cry when I see you. So without waiting any longer, I am off to make a new coffee and sit on the couch to watch!

  2. Tara Bradford says:

    Bravo, Me Ra! So thrilled that more people get to learn about you, your wonderful photography and the amazing, encouraging woman you are! xo

  3. Kris says:

    Wow!! You are such an encouragement to me Me Ra! I feel so blessed that I had the chance to be taught and inspired by you and Brian. I am learning how to dream and seeing your Big Dream come to life is just amazing! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I agree with Brian, “Enjoy!” Enjoy everything today and the days ahead in your dream!” Much Love <3

  4. Katie J says:

    I can’t wait to see your segment today. I already know it will be fabulous.

  5. Andrea j says:

    Oh my, I felt nervous for you reading this, as if I were in your shoes! I’m sure you did an AMAZING job. I am SO excited to watch today! Thursday just couldn’t come soon enough this week!

  6. Jen Armstrong says:

    That is what I’m talking about!!!!! Sooooooo excited!!!!!!!

  7. Steph Mason says:

    Oh Mera, I have been so excited ever since I heard of your news! I am kind of ashamed to admit that sometimes when others do something like this I might be one to say “Oh, that figures” and brush it off with a slight jealousy. BUT when I heard that YOU were going to be on the Nate Berkus show I cried. Not out of jealousy, but out of pure joy and excitement for you. I love you and am so proud to see somebody so deserving get to taste their dreams! Keep shining and I am setting my DVR right now!!

  8. Natalie Johnson says:

    Wow, you have a gift of putting into words what we all feel at times. I was very touched by your first paragraph and know the “feeling of doubt and the acid in the belly”. It is encouraging to know someone else goes through doubt, but keeps pressing towards the Promised Land. We are so fortunate in this country as women to be able to dream big and to pursue those goals. Today, you not only help to empower me but will do that for a whole television audience. You must have been so proud of yourself to walk through that curtain and to see your dream begin on the other side. I know I am excited for you at this very special time in your life. Thanks for empowering all of us to DREAM BIG! Love and hugs!

  9. kara says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to watch your show! 🙂 I loved the comment “first time it will be your first time!”

  10. Linda says:

    Simply beautiful. I can’t wait to watch you today but I have too 🙁 James has asked me wait until we can watch it together after work. We’ll see if break or not…

  11. Rhonda says:

    Woooo Hoooo!!!!! I am so excited for you I was even dreaming about it last night. 10am can’t come soon enough.

    By the way the link for “Click here to see what channel and time it’s playing in your hometown” isn’t there.
    Here is where you can find out…
    (It’s on FOX not NBC in my area.)

  12. Wow MeRa, beautifully written as always. SO inspiring my friend- this lesson is so universal- every single person experiences that veil of fear between our dreams and ourself…. though yours was (literally) a curtain and thanks so much for sharing what strength it took to walk through that fear to your dreams. It seems that the greater the fear, the greater the reward/experience.
    I am so very happy for you! Can’t wait to see you today!!! Congratulations!!

  13. Michelle says:

    Sitting here crying as I read this and know I will cry when I see you on TV today. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  14. Lynda says:

    Lynda says: well, what does Lynda say? So many emotions in me right now … your post about brought me to tears … can’t put my finger an exactly why? So excited for you; but also the hope & encouragement that you & Brian bring to SO many … {selah} powerful. Thanks Mera! THANKS MERA!

    Much Love to you & Brian – soak in your day!

  15. Jennie says:

    Loved your segment on The Nate Berkus Show today! You had some really great tips. I hope you’ll continue to share your tips with Nate’s viewers.

  16. So so excited to see it!! Can’t wait!! So happy to see your dreams coming to life!!

  17. Melinda says:

    I have GOOSEBUMPS reading your story. It is so exhilarating to watch your dreams become reality Me Ra. Thank you for being so inspiring and sharing your journey. I can’t wait to watch the segment.

  18. kelli says:

    Me Ra- you were wonderful! So excited that you have this opportunity, and even more excited to meet you in San Antonio! Enjoy this amazing day!

  19. […] story, her heart and her genuine desire to empower others. Well today the beautiful and inspiring Me Ra Koh will appear for the first time on the new Nate Berkus Show. I know this is the start of an […]

  20. Amanda says:

    Hi…think you are wonderful, what I wanted to know was, are there any tricks to making people look “well”. Perhaps black and white or sepia? My husband and I are both very ill, he with kidneys and me with my liver. It is our 20th wedding anniversary on Dec 1st and both our daughters 18th (Oct 5th) and 16th (Dec 5th) birthdays..our family are in England and all they want is a picture of all 4 of us to keep, we have had some done at ‘various stores’ let us say and we both(my husband and I) look bloated and ill…please any ideas? Thank You xxx

  21. rachel says:

    I’m watching you on Nate right now – congratulations!

  22. Nickie Mullin says:

    I’m so excited for you and your family!!!! Can’t wait to watch the show.

  23. Christy says:

    Me Ra, thank you for all your tips on the Nate Berkus Show, you really help more people than you will ever know, I hope the tips keep coming and hope one of your visits can me to Missouri.

  24. Monica says:

    You were great!!!! I would never thought such turmoil was going through your head. Sweet and funny 🙂 I admit I got a little choked up. Congratulations!

  25. Tammy Snyder says:

    Just finished watching you on the Nate Berkus Show in southeastern PA! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your smile, kindness to other women and much needed encouragement to everyone of us who learn from you. They were great tips for all. Keep on keeping on…

  26. Jill Hansen says:

    My sister just called from Portland telling me that she saw you on TV this morning! She loved it! Says she can’t wait to buy one of your cameras! She says she noticed her Little Lark “build a bot” T-shirt in one of the photos! I am guessing that was little Blaze! 🙂

  27. ron storer says:

    Me Ra- Big day for you so just want to say way to go. I am so proud of you for so many reasons. Hugs to your whole family and kitty too.

  28. Susan from Maryland says:

    I just watched you on the Nate Show and you were great!!! I immediately had to look up your website and blog. Those were great tips and you confirmed a couple that I had guessed about, too. I’m a very untrained, self-trained, budding photographer myself and to hear someone who’s as talented as you give advice and encouragement really helps someone like me. Hope to see more of you in the future and I will be following your blog. Wish I could have come to your DC workshop this week, too!

  29. Charisse says:

    MeRa…simply WOW! I felt your excitement, your joy, your fear right along with you when I read this post. You are such an inspiration. It could not have happened to a more deserving person. Way to go…I too, am crawling out of my hole, to follow my dreams…not as quickly and publicly as you…but definitely inspired by you!

  30. jeramy says:

    yahoo! overjoyed! today is a great day for the koh’s. 🙂 see you soon.

  31. Freida Hall says:

    Me Ra,
    You made me tear up (again!) 🙂
    It is SO exciting to watch YOUR dreams happen. You did wonderful on the show today… the lady you helped called you her “angel” even. 🙂
    So, So, So proud of you for walking through to the other side of the curtain! 🙂
    Much love!!!
    Shine On!!!

  32. Julie Watts says:

    omg happy tears reading your emotionally vivid description of how it felt behind the curtain. Positively verclempt just imagining you looking over at Brian under the Exit door!

  33. Hanifa says:

    you. inspire. me. 🙂 thank you! soooo excited!!1

  34. Amanda says:

    As an OC10 workshop attendee, I can say “I knew her when….”

    So very excited to watch as your dreams come true!

    Thank you for inspiring me in so many areas of my life!

  35. Karen Casey says:

    Me Ra I am so proud of you! I am just watching the show now, had to DVR it. You are as natural in front of the camera as behind. I think Oprah needs to get YOU your own show!

  36. beautiful post, Me Ra! this just brought tears to my eyes! again, so proud of you and excited for you =)

  37. Kim Curran says:

    You were such a natural on the show!!! I’m completely surprised (& in tears) to read of such nervousness. I am rooting for you…
    oxox, Kim

  38. Pam L says:

    I could actually feel your anxiety and adrenaline reading this post. Let me tell you that it certainly didn’t show when you walked out past those curtains. YOU WERE FABULOUS! It was like seeing an old friend! I could tell that Nate and the audience loved you. My hat is off to you, Me Ra, for your bravery, insight, talent, and the encouragement & inspiration you share with all of us.

  39. Sue Christianson says:

    YAY!!!! It was so fun watching with you tonight and especially watching your excitement as you watched!!! We are so happy and excited for you MeRa! Can’t wait to see you more on there!!!

    Love you!

  40. Stephanie says:

    This is incredible. I’m so excited for you. It’s inspiring to see you living your dreams and seeing them come to fruition in your life. I’m inspired to dream bigger. You are such an inspiration. I missed the show!! :0(… Is there a way to see if again? Will it air again? I meant to set our DVR to record the series, but was doing it daily instead. Ugh! I’m sure it was fantastic. Bless you and keep flying! You have so much love and support and we’re standing with you. Can’t wait to see what’s on the horizon for you!

  41. Robin Fuehrer says:

    I read this verse today and immediately thought of you and this exciting new opportunity!
    “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

    My mom recorded the show for me so I hope to take a break from unpacking boxes in our new house and go watch you soon:) Better get back to work now…

  42. ajira says:

    Reading this I felt like I was right there with you, experiencing the magic. Thanks for sharing your heart so openly with the world. I see you and I am grateful.

  43. Jenelle says:

    I’m sure you are getting comments left and right, and don’t have any time to actually read this. But I’m going to say it anyway…..This was great, the whole thing. But I have to say, I think the part I love the most, is Brian. What encouraging words to hear from someone so close to you. I love his support, and how he helped you to fully enjoy every second of such a big day in your life. With all that you have been through in the last several months, I am so glad you were able to have a day just like it was!

  44. Me Ra says:

    Thank you so much for all these wonderful comments. Believe it or not, I do read every single one, and you have no idea how much they inspire and encourage me. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s going to be a wild Fall/Winter…hang on to your seats! 🙂

  45. […] In those categories lives the stories of all the nerves that were pulsing through me before my first Nate Berkus Show appearance. Or the posts about taking the kids to Thailand to live in the jungle (and how that has TRANSFORMED […]

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