The Writer

IMG_0998 - edited
Hi, I’m Eira Joy Aringay, the writer behind Dear Future Boss and host of our affiliated podcast.
Thank you for being here and taking interest in this project, it really means a lot to me.
 
Whilst you will eventually get to know me and hear about my experiences being young, creative and unemployed (only if you are subscribed to our blog and podcast of course!), I thought it important to have a place here on the website to summarise who I am and where I’ve come from.
 
You should know that the seeds for Dear Future Boss were planted from a rather dark place (read here for the main story), but I’ve had a chance over the last few years to really reflect and deepen my understanding about life  and what I’ve done and still want to do with mine.
For most of my youth and beyond my unconditional love for music, I remember being incredibly focused on pursuing a professional career as a journalist.
 
I’ve always loved to write and constantly sought opportunities to use my voice (on paper and otherwise) to tell stories and relay interesting and important information.
 
Yet my burgeoning passion for directing in my later teenage years eventually led me to a Media and Communications degree with a major in Cinema Studies and specialising in Film and TV Production.
 
Upon graduating in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, I had a three-year stint of trying to find myself in every possible creative production avenue; from filmmaking to radio, magazines and theatre, hoping to build enough experience and networks to land a stable gig.
 
After years of rejection and tiresome shifts at my casual retail job to get by, I somehow found myself in the corporate world of media sales at a major television network, kick-starting my career in advertising.
 
Working across the Australian media industry over the last decade has been incredibly eye-opening and helpful in uncovering and developing new interests and skills in things such as project management, marketing strategy, client service and leadership training and development.
 
Although my initial plan was to continue to ‘climb the corporate ladder’, the universe somehow led me to depart my full-time marketing job in 2016, causing me to confront and finally take action towards my bigger dreams as a multi-passionate entrepreneur.
 
Thus in 2017, I took a leap of faith into the start-up world and founded my core business The Mentorship, a social enterprise supporting young creatives in Melbourne.
 
And now here we are, 2020 – a new year – a new decade – a new opportunity to live more courageously and creatively!
Whilst like a shark, I’m not a fan of swimming backwards, I do see the value in retrospective thinking, especially when it enables you to share lessons that could be useful and inspiring to someone else.
 
So if you’re a multi-passionate creator like me, often feeling directionless, inadequate and uncertain about where you’re going – trust that your every experience is shaping you somehow – even if the reasons aren’t immediately apparent. 

Below are a few snippets from the journey I’ve been on so far – my failures as well as successes. I know that without having gone through it all, there would be no way I’d be sitting here, writing this right now.
 
I’m sharing this because what I once saw as a weakness (ie. being passionate about so many things but not fully competent in any one of them), I have now learned to embrace as one of my greatest strengths.
 

My hope is that you will be encouraged to take the time to reminisce your own life, writing down all of your failures, experiments and achievements up until now. Because creative people more often than not, criticise the quality of the outcome rather than celebrate the growth that comes from progress. 

Making progress, no matter how small, is in itself a success.
 
Okay, here it is – a brief overview of the life and times of a multi-passionate creative who only now in her thirties, is finally learning to embrace every part of who she is and how far she’s come. For it is not in what we’ve done or what we’ve been through that defines us, but who we choose to become along the way.
 
The Life & Times of
a Multi-Passionate Creative

A brief look into some memories, achievements, experiments and failures thus far.

There was simply no possibility of me not falling in love with music as soon as I was born. With Filipino parents, singing and dancing was embedded in my DNA! (PS. Mum added the walkman and headphones for photoshoot purposes only – no real music was playing into my baby ears!).


I loved writing and drawing from a very young age. This was my very first self-published book – torn edges and staple-binding were all the rage back then.
Words have always fascinated me – I found rhyming poetry especially satisfying.
I loved being able to play piano but committing to regular practice and studying the theory was a huge challenge. I eventually bombed one of my exams. Not quite a fail, but really felt like one to me.
 

I’m so grateful to Mum for giving me to the opportunity to take ballroom and latin dance lessons for several years. I truly loved performing and wish I could have competed, but due to height discrepancies, no boys at my school were suitable partners. 34-year-old me relates.

My parents nurtured my passion for singing by encouraging me to sign up for local talent contests. ‘Reflection’ by Christina Aguilera became a signature competition song for me, but this was the first and only time it helped me win. I guess there is such a thing as beginner’s luck.
 
Thanks to Avril Lavigne, I went through a punk-pop phase during my later teenage years. Cue heavy eyeliner, black nail polish and dark, angsty song lyrics:

Blogging was a very new thing when I started my Media degree – who knew it would become such a powerful medium all these years later! This was one of the first ever blogs I started as part of my university coursework and I am quite proud of myself for coming up this creative title. Let me know if you get the play on words 😉
 
At uni, I developed a strong interest in broadcast journalism and jumped at the exciting challenge of presenting on local radio. I started off reading the news headlines before getting my hands dirty with producing stories, segments and interviews. It was a thrill that I’d like to re-visit one day.

I missed being on stage and part of high school productions so I was hungry for opportunities to perform throughout my uni years. I came across a fellow student on campus who was producing his independent musical Tower of Wow as part of his Masters degree. I auditioned and was fortunate to become part of the original Melbourne cast. However I’ve since realised that I am a terrible actress. Honestly, this scene. I cringe.

Since studying Media at high school, I fell in love with filmmaking and dreamed of being a director one day. For my final uni project, I produced a short film with original songs and score. I was ambitious trying to write and produce music as well as direct the thing. I wanted to impress a local director who inspired my work and I was so nervous knowing she would be attending our student showcase. I didn’t get the reception I was hoping for but as I look back now, I’m proud that I poured everything I had into that project. Maybe that was courage.

I got the fancy photos done but in a ditzy move, I completely forgot to register for my graduation day. I was incredibly down on myself for robbing my parents that special moment of pride and celebration. I also missed out on celebrating with my friends. But as fortune had it, I was able to compensate in 2008 at my Honours graduation parade and ceremony:
 

My sister and I have always bonded over music, performing together at family parties and local events became somewhat of a natural thing. Perhaps the untapped entrepreneur in me was excited by the potential – I started to make things official by coming up with a band name and organising a photoshoot. This was our first picture as ‘Eziah’, the first iteration of our acoustic duo:

Returning to uni after a year off was incredibly challenging, I probably wouldn’t break the momentum of study if I had a do-over. Honours felt like a PhD compressed into one year and I felt a little out of my depth. Nevertheless, I chose to focus my core project on documentary and blogging – you can find out more here or read my thesis here if that interests you at all.
I was adamant about working in film after uni and realising that opportunities were scarce, I said yes to a lot of things! Independent feature film Taj was one of them, where I was hired as assistant to the Executive Producer. For the first time, I was hands-off the creative side and hands-on with integral business responsibilities. Phone calls and emails were my life for a good few months! I value this experience as it gave me a taste of what it’s like to produce independent work on a large scale.
My love for the stage kept bringing me back to musical theatre and upon unsuccessfully auditioning for various shows, I eventually met some great people to work behind the scenes with on a production of  ‘Edges: A Song Cycle.’ This was an early work of the now popular composers Pasek & Paul of The Greatest Showman and La La Land fame! The lovely friends I met through this show opened my eyes to the possibilities of authentic creative collaboration. I’m so proud to have helped produce this show and grateful to have worked with such talented people.
Being around amateur theatre circles opened me up to the niche world of cabaret. This art form interested me as it combined my passion for music with writing and storytelling in a way that didn’t necessarily rely on refined acting skills (which I have always been insecure about). The opportunity to craft and produce an original show was also a major drawcard – I loved having creative control! Somehow, when my sister and I teamed up for a cabaret show, we ended up as finalists in the Short & Sweet Cabaret Festival – such a fun memory and proud moment for us both!
The biggest turning point for my media career came fortuitously in 2010 – starting work at Channel 10. After hundreds (and I mean, hundreds) of applications, I finally got an entry-level job as a Sales Coordinator working for the business and advertising arm of the TV station. There are countless highlights and learnings from my time here, which you will get to hear if you subscribe to our podcast and blog! 😉 For now, here’s a fangirl pic of me with one of the original Masterchef judges:
 

On a weekend trip to Sydney, my sister and I came up with a new project idea where we could bring together our shared passions. We soon launched online platform Sisters & Stuff where we could express everything that motivates us in life and where we could help empower other women through creative storytelling, inspired conversation and social purpose.

One of the key things I learned doing gigs with my sister was the sheer hard work it takes behind the scenes to be an independent performer and musician. You are effectively running your own business – managing and marketing yourself to get ongoing work. At this stage of my life, given I was working full-time, I sought opportunities where I could just sing and not have to worry about everything else. So after several auditions, I landed a gig as the lead vocalist for Voodoo, a corporate covers band. I was happy to be able to sing in an established band managed by someone else, but I was wrong to think that just being the singer wouldn’t be hard work.

After departing the media industry in a full-time capacity, I suddenly found myself with ample time to reconnect with my creativity. My first year out on my own, I poured into my writing. It was both healing and nourishing to sit with my words – it was the respite I never anticipated but truly needed. In effort to do something with my writing, I published my first eBook, a collection of poetry I’ve written throughout the years. Even though the eBook only made a few sales (mainly from friends), I’ve realised that its main purpose was to show me what I’m capable of as creator – that I have the ability and the opportunity to share my work. Now more than ever, we are blessed with the resources to do it – and we should!
Writing and music are my two greatest non-human loves and in every season of my life, I find myself going back to one or both of them. In fact, both are interconnected as most of what I write is music. In 2018, my sister and I decided to record an original song to submit to the International Songwriting Competition. The track is completely self-produced and imperfect and even though we never heard back about our submission, we are proud of Little Bird and the great meaning it holds for us as artists.
 

I am so grateful to have had the last 3 years to reconnect with my  passions, to learn, grow and accept myself as the multi-passionate creator that I am today. I’ve also had the pleasure to collaborate with other young creators who I feel a great affinity with and through this brand new passion project, I hope to meet more of you! I often quote this but it really rings true that “Creative living is a path for the brave”, so if there is anything at all that is calling you to create it or become it – you must lean in and bring it to life. That is what courage is.