There's Nada that can stop you

I have been trying to stick to subjects that relate directly to Production Design in this blog, but the more posts I write the more obvious it is to me that my inspiration for Production design doesn’t only come from the field itself, but it comes from all place, specially from inspiring people. One of these inspiring people is Paula Arenas, or as she’s known now, Paula. She is one of the great examples of how people can change your life with small details and short encounters, maybe without them even realizing they are part of the change.

Ever since I can remember Paula has been one of the strongest female role models that I have looked up to. Never was she short of words, or shy to speak, or, specially, shy to share her amazing singing talent with the world. Even though, she’s short and tiny there has never been an occasion where she has entered a room and people don’t stop to see what’s the next thing she is going to do. She just has this spirit that attracts people. A charm in both her and her voice that commands attention, and leave people in love of who she is and thirsty for what there’s next to come.

There’s three major memories that I can attribute to Paula and how she changed the way I view myself and life. The first one, is basically the first time that I remember seeing Paula. She and her family, which I also love dearly for their undying support, came down to Manizales to visit us. We were sitting in the dinning table and Paula started to sing “música para planchar”. I had never really heard that genre of music but hearing Paula belting the songs had me in a trance. It wasn’t the music that had me captivated, it was her who I couldn’t take my eyes and ears off of. First, it blew my mind how a voice so strong and powerful could come from a small package. Second, I admired how she was able to, by the sole power of her talent and presence, make everyone in the room stop and notice what she was doing. Third, her delivery of every lyric had an immense emotion to it and engaged whoever she was looking at. From that day on I knew that: how I looked in the outside would in no way affect the talents that I had, if you have the talent people will listen, and what is done with passion is worth sharing.

My second great experience was one night when we were singing karaoke at Paula’s house and my timid self decided to give it a go and try to sing. Panicked, I was barely whispering the words to the song, but when I saw Paula walk by I knew I had to show the voice that I knew I had. I still struggled to maintain the courage to finish the song, but having her there as a drive helped me sing the best that I could. When I finished singing I could feel the nerves running down my body, until l heard Paula in the back saying: “he’s got a good voice”. That moment changed me, I now knew that if Paula, my greatest singing role model, thought I had a good voice I owed it to her to pursue that talent and to not let nerves stop my love for singing. This led to me taking voice lessons, studying and loving musicals, and, nowadays, pursuing a career where music floods every fiber of what I do.

My final memory came this weekend. Paula has been for the past year and a half, I think, rediscovering her voice and finding the true artist inside of her. This search led to the creation of Nada, the beautiful song from the top video. Once again I could see in this song the power and tenacity that I’ve always seen in her. The song has been doing greatly in the charts and is being listened all around the world, which is a great accomplishment by itself, but the culminating achievement was her being chosen this weekend to open Alejandro Sanz’s concert and to sing along with him. One of her biggest dreams has come true and its all due to her talent and perseverance. She was brave enough to full headedly follow her dream and was able to make it come true. This helped me see that, no matter how impossible and great a dream seems, its up to me and to my talent to make it happen. Dreams do come true, but you have to be the driving force to make them happen.

As she comes down for the rush that I’m sure she’s feeling after her great accomplishment, I hope that she looks around and sees all of the people who she has inspired. I want to thank her for showing me that talent will always prevail and that there’s Nada that can stop me.

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