Motivational speaker, author, and public health specialist Michael H. Forde was invited to interview with Hollywood TV Host James Lott Jr. for his show, “In Between The Pages”, where they discussed comfort, positivity, humanity, and manhood amidst COVID-19.
During the interview, Forde, author of, “Success Begins From Where You Are”, spoke openly about his experience during the pandemic on a personal and work level, opening up about his encounters with celebrities and describing his journey to manhood and success.
James: How are you doing with what’s going on where you are?
Michael H. Forde: I’m doing really well. Better than I deserve, right? (Chuckles) I’ve been at home. This is week five for me, almost week six. I’m doing my public health work at the NIH. We’re working together as a response team to handle different inquiries that we receive from the public, including healthcare professionals, researchers, and scientists, about COVID-19.
I do feel like being at home during the first week or two is very difficult. You’re not really used to staying inside for 24 hour periods, so it’s all about learning how to get exercise back in there, diet back in there, things like that. It’s been a journey. But I’m doing well!
James: That’s good! Now that you’re home – is your place like you’d like it to be? Is it comfortable for you?
Michael H. Forde: I’m very comfortable. I think part of it is because I recently moved to a new house a few months before COVID-19 started. If I was in my old place, I would not be as comfortable.
James: People are now finding out that in their home, certain things don’t work. They are not comfortable. They don’t live near a store. All these things that they didn’t realize then, they’re figuring out now. My kitchen is too small or my closet is too big – it makes me curious about how people are feeling at home. Well Michael, you’re responding to this COVID-19 pandemic; how has this been for you?
Michael H. Forde: We have been inundated with work. By the time you find out something new about the coronavirus, it changes – just like that.
James: So, I guess for you the whole thing is about staying calm, because you’re helping other people. You have to be calm so you can actually give the most accurate information.
Michael H. Forde: That’s exactly right. You have to be calm. What I’ve learned during this time is to be patient. Especially when finding the information to give to the people – the correct information – because sometimes you may feel stressed or rushed, especially with all of the changes surrounding the COVID-19 situation.
James: Michael, what have you learned about the human condition during your experience while dealing with the public health side of the coronavirus?
Michael H. Forde: Personally, it’s taken a toll on me. I’ve had friends and family members who have had the virus. The human condition can be fragile in times of despair and sadness; but together, we unite for strength in finding a solution.
James: Michael, who’s someone you’ve met that has shocked you, in a good way?
Michael H. Forde: I went to the 2018 Emmy Awards and was seated next to Letitia Wright, the actress who played Shuri in Marvel’s Black Panther. I was shocked. I was not able to get much out of my mouth except for, “God bless you.” She responded and said, “Thank you, God bless you too.” So that was a really cool thing.
James: And now how about somebody that surprised you that wasn’t really a good surprise?
Michael H. Forde: Hmmm… Well, right after the 2018 Emmy Awards, I accidentally bumped into Jason Bateman, the actor from Ozark. And I bumped into him hard, very hard. He gave me a look that would make no one ever want to do that to him again – and that’s probably why he’s so great in Ozark today! (Chuckles)
James: Where is your family from originally?
Michael H. Forde: My dad is from Saint Lucia and my mom’s from an island called Dominica. So the cuisine in my parent’s home is a real Caribbean treat!
James: In today’s world, what does being a man mean to you?
Michael H. Forde: For me, there are three parts: Being the best version of yourself – that means growing as an individual. Two, being willing to take a deeper look into what it means to get your point across, to communicate. And the third one is being able to have a vision and stick to it. There are 24 hours in a day. What are you going to do with those hours? It’s one thing to say that you’re going to do something, but are you actually going to follow through?