"Every artist has their own style. The key is pursuing that passion enough to discover your unique fingerprint or style." That's what would make you an Artist for LIFE!
“Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen! Heartiest welcome to the grand sangeet ceremony. I am Dixika Vanvari, your host for tonight!” One second wait! Dixika Vanvari is what? Puzzled right? Many of you have seen me blogging day in and out, talking about fashion, giving out advice on makeup do's and don'ts, tying up with various brands and curating the list of benefits to you. But what most of you are still unaware of one major part of my job is that I am an Anchor, by profession, by heart, and by the soul. You will be even more surprised to know that it’s been now more than a decade in this profession, which constitutes a major part of my living.
Through this blog post, let me give you guys a sneak peek into my past and tell you how I decided to take up this as a career while my other friends were busy studying to get into corporates.
So it all started while I was still in school and worked part-time on weekends at mall activations of new product launch projects. (Fun Fact - Yes, I was an independent child too!). I continued this for about a year even after I finished with my school. It was after a week of entering into a college that I received a call from a friend’s friend, who again was an anchor, by the way, asking if I know of anyone who could anchor a show for her. Unfortunately, or fortunately I had no reference as such and in turn, she quoted that opportunity on my table. I was in a fix, I was not so confident of it that time, I had all of a sudden become aware of my limitation. But looking past through all of it, building up some guts and pondering for a while, I grabbed the opportunity!
September 13, 2008, was the first time I held the microphone in my hand as an anchor! With so many people around, their eyes locked up on me, I was nervous and how! Before getting up on the stage, I remember vividly how I literally mugged up the script, like going through it over and over and over. This project was spread over 4 weeks, 2 days in each. So this gave me the time and comfort to get a hold on my script with each passing week and also made me secure in the environment. With each audience interaction and announcements, I only got better. (Fun fact – I was paid Rs.1500/- per day. Pretty awesome for a college student, right? One after the other, projects kept rolling up and this is how people from the related industry started noticing me and got me various opportunities. And it was then when I took a decision of not looking back. I kept rocking and rolling with each assignment may it be a corporate event or stage show, fashion show, college fest, celebrity meet and greet, conferences or any random event for that matter and gave me chance to travel the world And, simultaneously doing graduation from a fashion school. You can say that I had signs of a multi-tasker too! After trying my hands at assorted events, I finally found my niche in weddings nearly 5 years ago. This gave me a wide exposure in terms of hosting big fat weddings across the globe – sharing stage with top-notch celebrities, meeting new people, making new friends (some of whom I am still in good bond with), and on the flip side, met some not so pleasant humans too who made me question my career choice! But then, taking it positively, I surely got to learn something from them. Let me tell you a secret, Weddings surely gave me the luxury of staying at some of the best properties, I mean, who wouldn’t like that right? And not to forget, I got some big hand on my pockets as well!
Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to visit Paris and I knew one day I definitely would! I still remember being selected for an event in one of the most beautiful countries in the world - Zurich (by the way it was my first international travel where all my expenses were paid for #wink) and of course while I was there I extended my trip and went to Paris to live my dream. Well then I went to Nigeria for a concert with Daler Mehendi, and also did a number of events in Dubai and Thailand over the years.
I remember those days when I had no fancy clothes and didn't know a thing about stage presence or the art of makeup. I would just wear presentable clothes, put some kajal and lip balm and get on stage because back in the day it was more about the voice and audience interaction than the glamorous outfits or perfect looking makeup & hair (I blame social media for this). At times it gets hard to keep up with it especially during the peak season when you have back to back shows and you need to wear a new outfit each time and glam up every day. It’s not always pretty and it’s not as easy as it might look in the pictures because a lot of preparations goes behind the scenes to create such looks to feel like a part of the party yet still be exclusive enough to be on stage. Thank God for wine on those hard to get through days! And also Stage 3 who has been my saviour for years in moments of fashion crisis, a brand new avatar is just a click away. I love how they let you dressup in your favourite designer outfits without burning a hole in your pocket. It's such a smart and sustainable way to consuming fashion. Now I don't have repeat my outfits and look glamorous at all occasions.
However, looking behind the scenes of this glamorous life, like each one, I had my share of downs too. Choosing this path was not so easy. Especially you know when you have that one relative who would want to bring you down by questioning on your career choices, relatable right? And you have absolutely no explanation to give them. I guess that is everywhere, people are yet not ready to accept different career line and believe only in the streamlined ones. But then if you are really passionate about something, and if you really believe in yourself and trust God’s plan, you must follow your heart blindly, giving a blindfold to all those questioning you or proving you wrong. That’s exactly what I did. Anchoring was not just my career aspiration, it was something that defined me, made me immensely happy, gave that Goosebumps to me whenever I received compliment and applause, and most of all made me proud as an individual. I had days when I ran two-three projects in a day against having absolutely no work for two-three months, I had days when I was sick, upset, felt blah, but that just did not stop me! Because beyond passion, my work is an addiction to me that I just cannot get rid of. Its not just name, fame, travel, and money for me, it is the unconditional pleasure I derive from being a part of people’s lifetime memory – the wedding, being able to uplift the guests in merriment, being able to restore the trust and faith the couple shows in me to make their ceremony a joyous event. It is about small things which matter more than the worldly things, isn’t it? And in this journey of being a part of other's big days, I've missed so many of my own family and friend's precious moments like birthdays and weddings.
When I started this journey I knew little to nothing about the job of an emcee or the showbiz. And honestly speaking I had no mentor, never got any guidance from anyone. I had to do it all by myself and while on this, I have learned it all through my own experiences. I have even fallen a few times, have handled rejection, humiliation, criticism! It took me a while to be confident about my exclusivity, to embrace my own charm, my voice that people love and all that I am today. My uniqueness is what works for me and I had no one to push me when I felt low or felt like maybe this is not what I am supposed to do when I thought of giving up. I had to do it all on my own to pick myself up to push myself to not say no to work ever and I am glad that I had to because now I feel immensely proud to call myself #SELFMADE
Even though I have achieved a lot in my career both financially and spiritually but I am still craving for the real success which I will only achieve when I wouldn't need an introduction well at least for now in my country.
So yes, that’s my journey! I hope I have inspired at least some of you by narrating my story of following your heart and doing what you love the most. Trust me I never wanted to be an anchor this is not something I dreamt about when I was a kid but look at me now I still don't know if this is something I want to do for the rest of my life but all I know is I am an artist for life and I am going to keep the faith alive in God's plan for me.
A piece of advice to all the aspiring artists out there "Just follow your instinct and have faith in your uniqueness there is no one else like you and moreover, you cannot figure out everything since the beginning, the journey will make you understand that you need to, so go on and give it a shot"
Not to forget I’ve had amazing support so far from my clients who've repeatedly chosen to hire me and give me another opportunity to be a part of their lives precious moments, I would also like to thank the event companies who showed faith in me and introduced me to these clients I've worked for and most importantly my family to let me do it all.
I can’t wait to take you all along with wherever this journey takes me next! #TMIWITHMISSD.
Stay tuned on my Instagram for the updates and inside news.