The limelight has always made me uncomfortable. I hate performing, giving speeches and even answering questions in class. But where I thrive is behind the scenes. When the world turns its head, you can think clearly; you can strategise, flesh out your message and create the thing you set out to do in the best, and most efficient way.
There are two types of artists. Some retreat into their studios where they’re free to roam the canvas with their paintbrush, without the fear of being under the microscope. That’s me. Bring on the time constraints and uncertainties of Public Relations. But at the same time, I need space to breathe without a thousand eyes on me.
Then you get artists like Anh Do who literally paint portraits on TV every week. This is where he thrives. When he’s not painting, he’s a stand up comedian. A role that requires you to think on your feet, and adapt within seconds. He was born to be in the public eye.
There is nothing wrong with either, it’s just a preference. But everyone knows about the perks of fame, and very few acknowledge the beauty of working behind the scenes. The first is collaboration.
Being able to make someone’s vision come into the world is a beautiful thing. Working through the intricacies, mapping out the targets and designing is all part of the fun. You become attached to the project on a personal level because you understand the person behind it and what they’re trying to achieve.
The next is hardly surprising, but I don’t have to censor myself. Behind the curtain there are no bad ideas – you can be as creative as you like! Trial and error is in my eyes the most practical learning curve. You have to know what doesn’t work to find the winning formula. But you can’t do that in the public eye – if you mess up, you get crucified. The spotlight is a hindrance, and can even hold you captive.
The last one is, I like to be surrounded by friendly faces. An unfamiliar crowd is a nightmare. Navigating through a sea of bodies who I will never get to meet feels pointless. In a tight knit collective, where you know each others limits and talents, some truly incredible things can happen.
It’s no surprise that I reside backstage with a pen and a tape recorder rather than standing on an stage, clutching a microphone and hustling the crowd. I know where I belong.