Hear him out

04 Jul 2019 / 11:50 H.

LONG before becoming a TV host, Aaron Al-Fateh had wanted to be an actor ever since he was 11. In fact, he wanted to be everything; a policeman, fireman and even a train conductor.

Later, he realised the only job that would allow him to fulfil all these diverse roles was acting.

He shares: “At 13 years old, I decided to put my plan into action with the help of wikiHow.com, so I followed each of the written steps on How to Become an Actor.

“But throughout this journey, I’ve never actually gotten any acting roles, except for hosting.”

Despite his acting dream not going according to plan, Aaron, now 22, feels his experiences certainly paved the way to where he is today.

Along with two other co-hosts, Aaron now helms the all-new E! News Malaysia, and has also recently expanded into emceeing at events.

What does it mean to be a TV host?

“The most important aspect of a TV host is that you really gotta be yourself, and it took me quite a while to get the hang of it because I was struggling. Some people have it easy and others, like myself, don’t.

“It’s like a journey to discover who you really are. The job forces you to discover yourself, at times pushes you out of your comfort zone, but it brings out the best version of yourself.”

Were you always so charismatic and good at public speaking?

“Absolutely not. Growing up, I’ve always been an introvert.

“However, I recently discovered there’s a whole spectrum of the personalities, one of which is an ‘extroverted introvert’; where on a daily basis I’ll be really shy, but when it comes to talking in front of the camera, I would be comfortable with it.”

Do you get stage fright?

“Whenever I get stage fright, I tend to talk faster with inconsistent sentences, so whenever that happens, I’ve got to take a moment to calm down. The key is to be in the moment.

“It’s important to feel nervous, but you must not get overwhelmed by it. Stage fright is supposed to push you to do better.”

What is one most memorable interview you’ve done?

“This is a secret that I’m about to reveal. I wouldn’t say I grew up watching or [following] the Malaysian entertainment industry as much, therefore when I interview local celebrities, I don’t get as nervous speaking with them.

“That being said, I did an interview with Yuna recently, and as usual, I did my research prior to the interview but I did not look her up on Instagram, in which she has been teasing snippets of her new music video.

“Without knowing that, I asked her: “Will you be releasing just the song or will it come with a music video?”

“She so kindly replied that she’ll be releasing both the song with a music video.

“Much later on, I decided to go on her Instagram, only to find out she has been releasing these snippets, I felt so bad and embarrassed for asking that question and it clearly looked very bad on my side.

“Despite asking that question, she still politely answered it, which was so nice of her. I’m now a huge fan of her.”

Tell us about a time where things did not go according to plan on live TV.

“There are many times, but the first time was when I hosted the first episode of Pop! Express on ntv7. I realised I had a wardrobe malfunction [about] 10 seconds before the show was about to be broadcast live.

“To be honest, all live shows are chaotic even though [they appear to go] smoothly on TV. When unforeseen circumstances happen including technical difficulties or unintentional mistakes made by TV hosts, we just have to act and play along by putting on a calm persona as if nothing happened, so that the audience wouldn’t notice the awkwardness.

“But it is harder than you think and I struggled with it for some time because we have a small earphone attached to our ears so that we can listen to what goes on behind the scenes, which is difficult when you’re hosting a show.”

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