124: Travis Payne Special

Travis Payne, one of Michael Jackson’s most significant, long-time collaborators, joins host Jamon Bull for a very special interview. A world-renowned choreographer, director, and producer, Payne worked closely with Jackson beginning in the “Dangerous” era, all the way until Jackson’s tragic passing in 2009. Over the course of his career, Payne has been honored with the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography four times, and is the recipient of a wide range of other nominations and awards, many of them related to his work on seminal Jackson projects, such as “Dangerous”, “Scream”, and “Ghosts”. Payne toured with Jackson on the “Dangerous” and “HIStory” World Tours, and was involved in many special performances as well, including the phenomenal 1995 MTV Music Video Awards and the ill-fated HBO Special, “One Night Only”. In 2009, Payne was brought on board as Choreographer for “This Is It”, working directly alongside Jackson and Kenny Ortega to conceive of the much-anticipated comeback concerts. After Jackson’s passing, Payne was extensively and intimately involved in the making of the “This Is It” film, serving as its Associate Producer.

In this in-depth discussion, the guys chat about Payne’s experience working with the King of Pop, choreographing some of music history’s most iconic videos, and getting to know MJ well over the course of many years. Plus, Payne gives frank insights into the “This Is It” era—a time which still remains shrouded in mystery and controversy for many fans.

Additional Links
• Travis Payne’s TwitterInstagram and website.

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If you have feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Keep Michaeling!

5 Replies to “124: Travis Payne Special”

  1. Kerry Hennigan

    What an excellent interview. I’ve seen and heard Travis on many shows, as I’m sure have most other Michael Jackson fans, but this has been the most informative, in depth interview of all of them. I especially appreciated all he had to say about This Is It, since that movie is so special to me as a fan, despite the tragedy that prompted it. Thank The Maker we at least have it to show us a glimpse of the old magic and new innovations Michael had in store for his fans at the 02 concerts. Travis comes across as one of Michael’s creative personnel and friends who hasn’t indulged in blaming and shaming others for Michael’s death, at least not that I’ve heard. I particularly appreciate his emphasis on the important message Michael intended with the This Is It shows and which were encapsulated in Earth Song. I worked for Greenpeace in the late 70s/early 80s and how I wish we’d had Earth Song back then! It’s relevant to all the issues that were, and should still be of concern to the whole of humanity.

    1. Elise Capron Post author

      Thank you, Kerry! So happy this one resonated with you. And I bet it was a really interesting experience to work for Greenpeace–how amazing! -Elise

  2. Rachel

    Dear Jamon and Elise,
    Words can not express my appreciation for this episode. You truly gave all of us in MJ Global Family the best gift in 2020 Halloween. For the 6 hours conversation that you had with Travis , would it be any possibility to have a second part ? It is unbelievably eye opening hearing the stories from Travis. I thank you both for your love and dedication and preparation that goes behind the scene to ask all the right questions as well as the editing process. Thank you very much. Loads of love from sunny Dubai 🌻🌻🌻

    1. Elise Capron Post author

      Thank you so much, Rachel. To answer your question: YES, we will be releasing more of the interview as an exclusive on our YouTube channel. We’ll be announcing that soon. 🙂 -Elise

  3. Kerry Ann Hennigan

    Dear MJCast, further to my initial comments above would like to quote some of Travis’ answers to your questions in my next MJ Studies Today column for the Journal of Michael Jackson Academic Studies. I am just wondering if you have a preference for being referenced? The moment I have as follows:
    The MJCast 124. “Travis Payne Special” podcast. 31 October 2020. https://youtu.be/Ya2R60qDkHc
    You can email me using the address entered on this form.
    Best wishes.


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