IN THE END, ALL THAT MATTERS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
Who knew an introvert kid would be one day speaking in front of thousands? I still get cold feet and agitated before delivering my performance. Once I am on stage, I close my eyes and then just open to my audience and that boost of energy I receive in my adrenaline goes sky high.
I KNEW I WAS GOING TO GOOF UP:
From my childhood, my mom would leave no family occasion as a chance for me to perform. I would sing a line or two and go blank. Around my mid-school, I was given an opportunity to host a school function. I was nervous but saw this as an opportunity to overcome my fear. I was so jittery I knew I was going to screw up and so I mispronounced my principal’s name. Guess I deserved the earful I got for that.
By the time I got in higher secondary, my teachers thought I had a good command over my language. They perceived that I had a scope in doing something with strong fluent communication. They talked to my parents about auditioning me for an RJ. My parents didn’t support that field of work as they didn’t see it as a serious career option.
HOW DID IT ALL START:
In college, I did the same thing, started hosting a lot of college functions. This time the audience was noticing. In the 2nd year, a man from the audience approached me for work. He was a part of an event management team that was going to host a cricket league, and the mayor of that time was going to pay a visit. He was in desperate need of a host but had no budget. He told me about it and I agreed to work with them.
It was my first host show in the real world. It actually went great and the exposure I got after that was to a whole new world. The audience was so happy, they gave me Rs.500 as a token of appreciation. It meant a lot to me, it was not just a note but a souvenir of my victory.
In my initial days of work, the thought ‘who’s is going to even listen to me kept revolving in my head. There are so many people in this field who have excelled, how would I be any different. But the feedback I got from my clients was the only thing that kept me going. They were so satisfied with my work and the word of mouth grew my client base.
The main hindrance I would say was the reluctant behavior of my family towards my field of work. My dad never wanted this career, he was overly concerned about my safety, as any daughter’s father would be. The reason why he never allowed me to take up late-night events or anything outside Ahmedabad. I thought this was it for me, and that I would never be able to grow with these conditions imposed on me.
I DID IT EVENTUALLY:
But I still didn’t lose hope and kept going. It took me a year of hard work and proving myself, my dad is really proud of me and allows me to take any event I want. The only thing he keeps warning me about is my safety. I don’t think that will ever stop, no matter how old I get.
THE ONLY WAY TO EXCEL IS GLAMOUR?
People perceive hosting as an opportunity for pleasing the audience with glamour. The only thing I hate about this line of work is that there are still people out there who think this way. I have been replaced many times for declining their requests to wear something revealing. This is not who I am or I ever will. My art is my weapon and I am not going to support any sort of skin showing.
Hosting is all about how well you connect with the audience, how engaged you are with them. And more importantly, being in the limelight with all eyes on you, and making your audience feel the same way. Every time there is a new set of audiences with new expectations from you. In the first 10 minutes, I trial and error my way through understanding what they really want and carry the rest of my show accordingly.
EVERY FORM OF WORK IS RESPECTABLE:
All my hard work got me associated with Happy Streets, one of the most popular events of Ahmedabad, which was covered by The Times Of India. I still can’t believe that happened to me.
The only thing I would like to say to the people who don’t respect other forms of work except for what society has told them to is please try and be into one. Only then you will know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of disrespect. When you put so much effort, energy, time into something, and people overlook your work as if it’s worth nothing, is purely heart wrenching.
Instagram Handle of Roma Manglani
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