I can’t believe that was my last night of the notables! To be honest, the Eminent project is one of my favourite TALONS projects that we do every year. It’s one of those assignments that is completely unique to TALONS, and it isn’t something you would likely find in any other classroom. The project provides challenge for everyone, whether for you that is in the performance, the interacting with visitors, keeping on top of your time or the research portion. At the same time, what is a challenge for someone else might be your strength, and the place within the project where you excel. The night of the notables itself is an evening of unity, love and support all through the program. Everyone is there to cheer on their peers and to make the evening as memorable and as special as possible. Its a truly amazing experience!

In my introductory blog post, I stated; “Through Eminent 2017, I hope to get the most out of my opportunity to understand topics that are fundamentally unfamiliar to me, and learn how to emulate someone in a respectful and constructive manner, doing a service to their achievements all while expressing their eminence and my admiration. I want to explore how someone comes to be as successful as Rihanna, whether it can be credited to fortune or if you can build exponential success through determined work and a powerful identity.” How much of this did I end up achieving?

In terms of emulating someone in a respectful and constructive manner, I think I did fairly well. I ensured to discuss the topics that Rihanna has identified as important, such as those regarding people of colour, and I was very aware and careful to not overstep my bounds. I felt that it was really important not to address myself as a woman of colour even though for that evening I wasn’t myself, because I believe that that discomfort and insensitivity would not only create tensions but could also block my audience from the experience of my speech and learning centre.

Can Rihanna’s fame be credited to luck? There are of course many things that have happened in Rihanna’s career that were very fortunate for her. Having a talent scout come to Barbados, landing hit songs from writers like ‘Umbrella’, and the reception of her transition to authenticity (the Good Girl Gone Bad period) are all examples of this. But can Rihanna’s work be disregarded as simply strokes of luck? Absolutely not. Success does not come easily to performers, as I have come to further understand through my interview with Mathew V, and this success would be especially challenging to achieve for a woman of colour. Rihanna has had to push to be taken seriously in the industry, and to have her success directed to where it belongs, not on her relationships or her body or any excuse that degrades her character.

In the future, I would like to draft multiple, completely different speeches, and from there choose which one to refine and edit. I feel as if having more options to work off of would help me to feel less trapped with the speech I choose. Regardless of how good my speech is, if I say it enough times it will cease to be significant or enjoyable for me, and I will want to change it. This could perhaps be mitigated with other drafts to fall back on, and then the realization that I have in fact picked the best suited one and it’s just my brain that has twisted it.

The most memorable part of this Night of the Notables for me has to be the atmosphere that we created backstage. Even though we were all nervous and in many cases concerned, everyone backstage was ready to be supportive and congratulate everyone who walked off of that stage! The evening was so much more enjoyable with that natural support system and all of the compassion that filled the backstage area.

I would like to thank Mr Salisbury and Ms Mulder for all of their hard work in making this event a success, as well as for all the support during and after the night. I would also like to thank Mr Morris, because even though we were all trying to figure this out together, it ended up being extremely successful and enjoyable. I’m so excited to see how things will go when Mr Morris adds his own flare to Night of the Notables! I know it will be fantastic.

 

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