Monday, April 4, 2011

J’aurais voulu être un artiste...

Sometimes in my dreams, I am a cabaret singer. I sing and dance (with little talent for the last one) to entertain my public. I love to sing. I sing in my shower and while I am cooking, and I think that I can carry a tune… Singing is a wonderful therapy.

Though, I am not an artist – per say, since in my day-to-day work as an account executive at PubliGestion, I juggle between QuickBooks, job orders and client emails. I am the link between my clients’ and PG’s happiness. You could say that I am the semi-salted butter between the Brie and the baguette.

Even if my job consists of the purely business side to an agency’s dynamics, I have a creative side. Remember how I said that I love to sing? Well, I also love it when, from time to time, our studio coordinator lets me work with the graphic artists, and encourages me to give my personal touch to artworks… It helps me get in touch with my inner Picasso – though; saying that there is a Picasso in me is… exaggerating my talents.

I like to pretend that I am an arstist, and most of all; I admire the talent and the work of real artists. My full-time at PubliGestion lets me do just that. And also, I am an activist in the cultural world that is Haiti.

Living here, I am faced every day with raw talent. Our young people can sing, dance, paint, and act - so naturally, but often, their talent remains raw; mainly because of the absence of arts’ value, and the scarcity of art and public performance schools in the country’s structure. The few art schools that exist are private and very highly priced. As a result, our young talented artists cannot learn the techniques, and their capacity to improve and become good performers is slim.

This is why when my friend Bertrand Labarre asked me to join him for the creation of Haiti en Scène, I immediately said yes. This nonprofit association has one main objective: to give the young dancers, singers and actors of Haiti the necessary training via the preparation of a show… usually a musical comedy. It has trained over 100 young artists, and these youngsters are giving back. To commemorate the January 12th you-know-what, they’ve animated theatrical activities with children in the camps (tent cities). Under supervision of our professional artists, shows were organized with the kids. Some of the productions from Haiti en Scene have proudly been presented to the public in Haiti, in Canada and in France.

As the song says: « J’aurais voulu être un artiste… pour pouvoir faire mon numéro…». But, I am not an artist, so to earn the right to be very close to such wonderful people, I do some public relation work, I help with communication and supervise the door and tickets sale on paid performance days, but mainly, I enjoy the show… And, because I know all the lyrics, I sing my heart out during the performance…And on days like these when I am sitting at my desk with a view of the west-side of Pétion-Ville, buttering up a storm, I'm grateful to have been surrounded by those we call "creatives" at work, and in my personal life.

- Jacquemine Léon, Account Executive at PG

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