There are many stories which teach you not to get discouraged and believe in yourself and the story of Merlyn is no different. Called a black sheep in her school and college days, she came out to be a winner and proved those people wrong. The journey of Merlyn began right from the time she started college. She took part in college events and went on to win the title of Miss Summer Tulip India Pageant in 2014. Today she is a very well-known name in Goa with a few Konkani movies to her credit besides acting in few video albums. How did she reach so far? Let’s hear from Miss Merlyn.
“Everything began with the confidence that I developed within me after I climbed the stage for the first time during my college days,” said Merlyn adding that stage fright is the biggest monster that haunts people at some time in their lives but if we overcome this monster, nothing can scare you. The stage presence gave her more confidence to take up the bigger projects. “I was known as a black sheep in my group and nobody would believe that I could do something. People used to think that I was short so cannot make entry into the glam world but I prove everyone wrong when I took part in the Miss Goa Pageant in the year 2013,” said Merlyn.
“When the opportunity of going for the Miss Goa Pageant came up before me, I did not inform anyone at home except my brother,” said Merlyn. Although she picked up the form for Miss Goa, she never expected to get through the process until one day she received a call from the organizers saying that she had got selected.
“The day received the call saying I am selected for the auditions it made me feel more positive and knew that it is happening,” she said adding that even till that time only her brother knew about the Miss Goa Contest. “When I went for the audition, I realized that I was one of 24 girls who got selected for the next round, and following the auditions I got selected in the top 12, the news of which appeared in the newspaper and everyone at home came to know about my new venture.”
In Goa, village life is completely different compared to city life and Merlyn’s parents being very conservative as no-one from that village had ever taken part in a beauty pageant, so it was difficult for them to adjust. “All this made them little upset and they even stopped talking to me but not for long, because, in the contest, although I did not get the title of Miss Goa I won the title of Miss Beautiful Smile which made my family proud of me,” she averred.
The winning of the Miss Beautiful Smile title in the Miss Goa Pageant opened Pandora’s box for her and she started getting calls for the events and happenings around Goa. “This opened the doors of all new opportunities to me and I started participating in the fashion shows which I had never dreamt earlier. I also walked on the ramp with many famous fashion designers,” said Merlyn adding that she had worked with almost all the big designers in Goa.
Walking on the ramp was not an achievement for Merlyn and she feels that it just added a few more feathers into her portfolio. “I never took ramp walking as a career as I had completely different dreams and aspirations about my life,” she said. According to Merlyn what changed her life was her participation into the national pageant which came on her way soon after the Miss Goa event.
“The participation in Miss Konkan Princess pageant and winning the title of Miss Konkan Princess became the turning point in my life. Winning the continuous titles made me the centre of attraction within my friends circles which caused lots of backlashes as people did not believe in me right from the beginning and when I won the title of Miss Konkan Princess everyone got stunned,” she said adding that in the village of Assolna, where she comes from, no-one had ever tried to participate in any such Pageants. “That made an icon in my village.”
Despite winning the titles like Miss Beautiful Smile at Miss Goa contest and winning the title of Miss Konkan Princess, the fame did not go in her head as she always believed in remaining humble no matter how many achievements came her way. “I believe that I do not have competition with others but with myself. I realized that after achievement many accolades it only made me a better person.”
Many people work in nine to five jobs but Merlyn always believed in working on her own terms and that made her choose a career as an MC. She was always good in stage presence and with the several titles to her disposal, this step only resulted in boosting her confidence to the next level. “I always believed in doing something more than the ordinary, and that is how my journey towards hosting began,” said Merlyn.
It doesn’t matter what career you choose to be in, things don’t come easy and it all begins with something small. “However small it may begin but it is up to you as to how you take up the opportunities coming on your way. For me, it all began with the small events that started coming from my close friends and relatives, those who had faith in me and wanted me to host their events. Looking at my work people from outside of my family started booking me for their events and shows and from there the journey began,” she said. Soon many opportunities to host the events came in her way and she kept improving her skills.
More often than not, the skill of performing comes from two sources: one from the family and second by learning and with Merlyn, it was the case of former. Her father comes from an acting background and he used to work in Konkani Tiatr. Merlyn’s talent on the stage is credited to her father. “For me, the acting and speaking on the stage comes from my father, he was the stage artist during his youth and used work in Tiatr,” she said.
For Merlyn, everything comes from the hard work and she never takes her work lightly. “I always work hard on my speeches and do mock practice before going for any event so my job becomes easier. When I conduct events many things I have to do is spontaneous and as every audience is different, I tailor my next steps,” she said adding that she loves corporate events more than anything else as that brings out the real spark in her.
When Merlyn is not working, giggling, she said that she learns new skills. “I love singing and dancing is when I get time from my work, or when I don’t have work, I attend dance classes, and I don’t do all this for any competition but to make myself happy,” she said adding that in today’s world there are so many things that make you unhappy in life and many people even resort to taking extreme steps in their life and hence I believe in taking life easy and enjoy every bit of it since you never know what tomorrow has in kitty for you.”
Merlyn has hosted many big events in her career and she feels proud of doing the same. “I have done events like Harley Davidson, Toyota and Axis Bank which I have done recently”. Besides hosting, Merlyn has also worked in two Konkani films where she had a lead role. “My first film was Nosha, and it was based on the drug-related issue that is being faced by the Goan youth. It was the first action film in Goa and it did very well,” she said.
The opportunity to work in this film came to Merlyn through one of her common friends. Merlyn didn’t particularly like acting, but she took the opportunity when it came her way. Following the Nosha she got another break in a film called ‘Fake’. Merlyn believes that one should try not to have expectations because they can lead to disappointment hence she made it her life Mantra. “For me getting the role in the film was something that I never expected and that gave me more happiness. Nosha and Fake gave me tremendous fame and a fan-following,” she averred.
Although she received a lot of fame from the two films, she still does not want to make it her career objective as she wants to continue to be an anchor and she also has some plans of getting into the business arena. “My next big project is starting my own YouTube channel which I am working on at the moment along with two of my friends. After Nosha I received many film scripts but I did not take them up because I found them unsuitable and I believe that one should not grab everything that comes on their way: one needs to be prudent about what to take and what to leave.”
Merlyn wants to enjoy every bit of the moments of her life instead of working all the time, chasing for something that does not belong to her and that is why she made up her mind that she will continue to be an anchor for the rest of her life while taking limited projects as far as films and other things are concern.
“I do not believe in making money all the time because sometimes it is about peace of mind which matters the most. We never know when our last day is and hence I believe that we need to enjoy our life and make best of it so I sometimes take a day off to spend time with my family or my dog – taking him for walks and so on…
Sometimes it’s just my time and sometimes its’ friends time and I feel that we all need to balance our life. According to me, the world has become a rat race and everyone seems to be running after money and success. I just want to be a person who enjoys the work and life in balance.” Merlyn gives the credit of her success to her mother who has been a strong support system throughout.