I wasn't always a social butterfly. I wasn't always this confident in front of large crowds.
I don't know how or where this confidence came from. I have been an MC and have hosted events now for over 10 years! Wow, that is almost a decade of my life! I don't know how the time flew by so fast, and it all started in such a simple way. I remember that I was at a friend's birthday party and they needed someone to get on the mic and play some games. No one volunteered to do it, so I thought I would give it a try. I got up and just started talking. At first I was so nervous! My palms were sweaty and my voice was cracking. As I started talking and I could feel everyone's eyes on me and I realized that I was either going to rock it or bomb it. I just kept going and my performance turned out to be pretty good. After the party I remember that the hall owner pulled me aside and said that he was willing to pay me a small amount if I was interested in doing this more often. I was only 19 at the time, and at that age who wouldn't want to make a few extra dollars on the weekends!
I embarked on this new initiative at the same time that some of the now famous and thriving DJs were first entering the scene. I became friends with these DJs because we were always around each other at parties, high school parties and cultural events back in the early 2000s. Through their networks, I got a chance to host more events. I was an MC at a range of diverse functions. Everything from birthday parties, highschool events, cultural events, university formals, talent shows, and finally wedding receptions. I loved being able to control and entertain large crowds. After every event my confidence rose substantially and my ability to think on the spot also grew. Every event and every experience was different. Even till this day I get butterflies right before I start talking on the mic! I know it's hard to believe but I still get nervous and shaky before I start. Maybe this is due to the adrenaline rushing through my body or the excitement of what I'm about to do.
I have been hosting wedding receptions now for almost 7 years now. It is truly a blessing ot be part of someone's special milestone. From Toronto to Montreal and south of the border NYC, I have become friends with so many couples over the years and some have even become like family. I have experienced so many beautiful moments unfold in front of me; some of it was planned and some has been unplanned. One of the most satisfying things about being a Host for a wedding is knowing that you are able to engage everyone who is attending the reception to ensure that they are having an enterainting time. When the families or friends go the couples come to you after the wedding reception and they say "OMG YOU WERE AWESOME" or "THANK YOU SO MUCH", it means a lot to me because this how I know that I have really rocked the night.
Some of the highlights of events that I have had the pleasure to be part of are University Formals, Talent shows, Cultural shows, CANTYD awards of Excellence, the Attam Dance competiton,and most recently Thalami 2017. There are a few people who I would like to mention who trusted me and gave me the opportunity to do what I do best. DJ Brownsoul & DJ Soundcrasher, thank you both for giving me the Mic! I also have to give credit to Jesica Mahalingam. When I was starting out, she was one of the York TSA Execs who gave me the chance to be one of the MC's for York's Talent show Thoorhai 2007. Little did I know that 10 years later, I would be the MC at her wedding reception .
There are times my career can get quite busy, time consuming and draining. Many of you will only see the glory of attending parties and being part of so many fun events throughout the year, but what you don't see in the entertiantment and wedding industries is the other side to the coin. We often spend time away from our loved ones, families and friends. I have missed many family events, many birthdays and even family vacations because of previous commitments that I have made for couples and special events. Often I sacrifice my time with family just so that I can entertain and impress my clients.
It is really important to have a support system and someone to go back to at the end of each day and that person for me is my lovely wife Sindy. I know the moment that I met her that she loved me for all that I am. She said this is to me on one of our first dates; "I would never ask you to change or be someone that you're not for me. I want you for everything you are and for everything that you do because that is what makes you unique and special to me". There are times when I doubt myself and ask myself how am i going to get through this event or find the courage to face such an challenging crowd tonight. She is the person that calms me down and often says exactly the right things to fill me up with confidence again. So for that, I will always be grateful to her.
Because of my experience as an MC, I was given the opportunity to be one of the TET HD show hosts. It has been 2 years now and I have enjoyed every second of it. Due to this opportunity, I have been able to attend and participate in many community events. Thank you to Prem CEO of TET HD for giving the shot to take up the mic in front of the camera.
To anyone looking to pick up a mic for fun or for professional reasons, all that I can say is make sure to enjoy yourself and do the best you can. If you are starting out as Emcee, show host, or even trying to pursue public speaking, remember the following tips:
- Always be confident in your role. No one else knows what is inside your mind except you.
- Prep before the day, look over notes and details about the event beforehand.
- Try and look into the crowd and look at people as much as possible when you are speaking because this gives a more personal touch to your performance.
- One of the golden rules, if you screw up or say something wrong (because it WILL happen) just remember to laugh it off and make it part of the script.
Mic Check 1..2 1..2