Ever wondered how it feels to be known, to have random strangers greeting you by your name, or feeling conscious that everyone is looking at your every move? You know, the kind of attention that celebrities get?
Well, I got my dose of fame (and attention!) last week at the Friso Gold media launch. And I am soooo not kidding. It was such a surreal experience that after it all ended, all I wanted to do was to go back to my engineering job. Hahaha I'm so not cut out for Hollywood!
Mind you, this is not a bragging post so if you've read this far and you feel like I am bragging, please feel free to scroll downwards to my other blogposts. (Hahaha bukan menghalau tau!)
So anyway, back to my train of thoughts. The Friso Gold Say 'Yes' To Experiences Media Launch was organized to introduce the Yes Experiment to the media. And as one of the lucky mommies who got subjected to the 5 week experiment, I was invited to share my journey with them. Not only did Friso Gold invite TV reporters and newspapers journalists, they invited bloggers too! And coming from a pool of bloggers who had attended similar events, I knew the press release would have been circulated earlier, prompting the bloggers to view the videos before the event.
The event was due to start at 11am but my stated call time was at 9am! Silly me thought that I would have time to go to the salon at 10am to blow my hair and get to the event by 11am. But no such thing okeh! So I ended up blowing my hair the night before, rolled it into a tight bun to maintain the curls and slept on my tummy so as not to squash them. Aaahhh the things I do for decent pictures.
And so I arrived just five minutes after the stipulated call time. To my surprise, Serena C was already there. Waaahhh such an experienced emcee and she arrived even earlier than me. *amazed* I guess what they say about discipline in the entertainment industry is true. It's what makes and breaks them. Anyway, Serena was super duper friendly. We then sat down with the PR & Event agents and went through the entire flow of the event on paper. Yes, I might as well declare that I was given an on-stage guide script to be 'recited' on stage, but honestly, they were mostly cues and come the actual stage interview, I ended up using none of them and just rattled off stuff that came into my head! *grin* After that, I was allowed to take a break so I went strolling around the hall taking pictures.
|The event was held at a beautiful gallery by the pool bar and grill of Le Meredian Hotel.|
|Ian's favourite milk - Friso Gold Step 3!|
|Product presentation at the back of the hall.|
|Photos with my PR & Event agents and of course, the emcee for the day - Serena C.|
While I was busy snapping photos, a lady walked up me and said "Hi Liz!" Wow that was shocking. Random stranger acknowledging me by name! Thankfully my years of talking to strangers at work paid off and we started chatting. She was very friendly too! She raved about how it was great to finally meet the lady in the video, and I finally deduced that she worked for Friso. Our great chat got interrupted by the media agent, who wanted to introduce me to some big shot in Friso. Wow! Second shock - people making an effort to introduce you to influential people! At work, we struggle to get close to people who run the company, to create an impression. But this time, I'm being introduced freely to one! Oh the power of fame! *chuckles*
The other thing that was interesting for me, was that people had predetermined assumptions about me. I guess that was the effect of the videos which portrayed me as an over protective mother. I'm not saying that assumptions are bad; for instance I know some people at work tend to assume I'm a 'firm' project engineer hence I play it to my advantage. But this parenting assumption was completely new to me! They also asked how Aiden was enjoying his pet, whether Ian was liking his new found freedom... It was quite impressive to see how a few videos can tell people so much about your family.
|The stage in the hall. They were playing my Friso Gold videos on a continuous loop throughout the morning. Erk... I was quite self conscious about it!|
|Two screens flanking the stage. *hides face*|
Then I got dragged to do a photo shoot for the product. I was told to pose... Shoulder up, chin down, hair to the back, hair to the front... Uhuh easier said than done. If this is stardom, I really miss my fire retardant coveralls and safety boots!!! *chuckles*
|The beautiful glass gallery by the pool. Several activities booth were featured here, many which were the brainchild of mothers who had embraced saying "Yes" to their kids.|
|Creative outdoor experiences.|
|First photo for the two 'Yes Experiment' mummies!|
Later after I had warmed up to her, I asked her nervously. "Will the stage interview be exactly the same as the script?" To my dismay she answered "No!!!" An anxious me retorted, "Yuen, you're not helping!" And she said "Just answer what comes to mind!" Ooookayyyyy! Well she is definitely a pro at this cos throughout the time before the event, never once did she view the stage script given to her. I guess she didn't need it at all because she did so well on stage too.
The good thing about having a 'celebrity' as a companion throughout the event, was that I learned so much from her. I was observing her all throughout the event and picked up oh so random things:
- Say thank you. All the time. As a celebrity you are expected to be nice and courteous.
- Phones away as soon as the event starts. I was still fiddling with my phone when the Friso folks were giving the welcome speech, not because I was not interested nor replying messages but because I was reading my script cues! (Which was a waste because the minute I was on stage I remembered nothing anyway and did all of it impromptu!) Until I noticed that Yuen had chucked her phone in her bag and placed it underneath the chair and was listening enthusiastically to the speech. Then I realized. With so many cameras trained your way, a picture with you fiddling with your phone would not be nice for your sponsors!
- That being said, smile! You never know when some reporter is taking your photo.
- Pose well. You won't get a chance to retake your photo, and the reporter won't bother showing you the picture to see if your smile is acceptable to you. And if the reporter wants a picture of you at level with the product, take off your shoes!
|See, this is how the pros do it!|
|Heh - I think I looked like a tunggul kayu if compared to the sifu on the right.|
- Make an effort to greet the media and bloggers. Even better, remember their name! One trick that I noticed from two celebrities from previous events - when someone from the floor asks a question, remember to approach the person later and comment, "That was a great question!" Or "Thank you for participating". Stuff like that. Make them feel appreciated.
- Never give interviews without your agent saying okay. Well don't be rude about it too, but at the very least check what the ground rules are for answering questions. I made the silly mistake of entertaining a reporter as I was making my way back from the ladies to the event hall, and she ended asking me about something unrelated to the event. Thank goodness my agent spotted me, waited patiently by my side and later asked the reporter to kindly delete the recording.
- That being said, unless you're a complete pro like Yuen - practice your interview cues... in BOTH languages! I went through my cue cards a couple of times before the event and practiced my lines. But unfortunately, I failed to realize that AFTER the stage interview, the media would approach you to record a live interview. Coming from Bulletin Utama, RTM and Astro Hlive, all of them wanted interviews in Malay! And it was at this point that I realized that I couldn't answer interviews in Malay to save my life! Oh I struggled like crazy to speak smoothly in formal Malay... My mind was so busy trying to translate English words into Malay and unfortunately my panic showed!
- Here's one big boo boo that I did during the event... when you are invited to go up on stage, make sure everyone is already on stage before you sit down! To my embarrassment, I had plonked my backside on the very comfy chair on stage before realizing that Yuen was still standing, waiting for the Consultant Paediatrician and Corporate Nutritionist to walk up, and then sit simultaneously with them. I was absolutely mortified! *cue red face*
- Be prepared to give your phone number/email details to be reporter after the event. They may want to ask for additional quotes for their article.
Anyway, I did not manage to snap any photos during the actual stage interview as I was busy on stage (duh!) but I managed to get these shots from Instagram. Do check out #yestoexperiences for more pictures!
|The onstage chit-chat session led by Serena C, and media photography session at the end of the session.|
|Product photo shoot and interviews.|
Before I end this post, thought I should share an anecdote of something that happened to me at the end of the event. As I was waiting for the lift down to the hotel lobby (to go home), suddenly two ladies, who were obviously from the media launch, joined me. Usually, the introvert part of me would just pretend not to see them or I would act busy on the phone just to avoid having to make small talk. However, I got so conscious about the fact that they knew who I was - hence I made the effort to tegur them. Oh my... I bet this is how celebrities feel all the time - torn between wanting to just do your own thing but worried that fans would label them as sombong if they don't play nice.
But I'm glad I did say hello to them because they were very friendly. We parted ways at the elevator, and the warm feeling of knowing that I did the right thing, stayed with me.
Tapi, cukuplah sehari jadi 'celebrity'. I'm happy to stick to my job as an engineer. I don't think I'm cut out for the high heels and glamour. Coveralls, safety boots, and sweat; those are still what I'm most comfortable with.