Wednesday, Aug 21st

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Hotseat - LaRich

804_HotseatLucinda Chana Audain (29) is a dreamer and I believe in making her dreams a reality. This ambitious youth returned to the island after studying in the US and the Netherlands and now runs her own Arts Entertainment Management Company under her artiste name, La Rich. From spoken word events to living and dancing statues to clowns and mimes, she has introduced a new breed of entertainment to the island and keeps busy inspiring other young people to join her cause.

Where were you born? Tell me a little about where you grew up.

I was born in St. Maarten in St. Rose Hospital. I grew up in town and like any typical town kid, I loved the beach; it was practically my back yard. I grew up in a large family, though I am my parents' only child. I lived in a house with all my uncles, aunts and cousins. Philipsburg has changed a great deal since then.

Where did you go to school?

I attended the MAC school in Betty's Estate and later went on to St. Maarten Academy where I graduated in the class of 2002. After that, I attended Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and was an exchange student at Northern Arizona University in the United States.

What was college life like?

College in the Netherlands and college in America were completely different experiences. In Europe, I was taught to be more independent, which was a challenge in itself as I was only 17. College life in the States taught me to become more social. That university had more team-building and social activities to engage in. I am very appreciative to have had the opportunity to experience both.

What was the hardest part about returning home?

There were a few reintegration problems of course such as adjusting to island time where everything slows down and then speeds up just before a deadline. When I came home, I was fortunate to get a job within my profession in the Department of Facility Management where I worked for three years. I left government to prepare myself to finally leave to study and I got a job opportunity as a creative designer at Artemia where I worked for another two years. Both opportunities were blessings as they gave me skills and knowledge and allowed me to build a network of professional and creative individuals.

What is your current profession?

I own my arts and entertainment Management Company where I function as the creative director and main booking agent.

What kind of art do you do and why?

Because of my business, I have been subjected to producing mostly digital art for advertising and marketing tools. There is a pretty consistent demand for body-painting for festivals and events. I also have quite a bit of requests for maternity belly painting and belly casting as its something different for first-time mothers. Besides that, I am focusing building my portfolio in fashion body art, which is pretty trendy in Europe. I have a few ideas I want to explore that actually fuse body art and fine art canvas work.

So what are Funtopia and MADE?

Funtopia by La Rich is actually a spinoff from my company La Rich Arts & Entertainment Management that caters specifically to family and kids entertainment. It started out with just face painting at events and has development to a full-service company that provides out-of-the-box entertainment, such as our hip hop dancing clowns, dancing statues and cultural icon statues. The movement company for Music, Art, Dance & Entertainment (MADE) has been around since 2010. It is a concept which promotes local entertainment and has tapped into St. Maarten's underground and undiscovered artistes. We have created events based on this concept such as spoken lyrics – a poetry festival that fuses music and poetry.

What is it that makes you good at what you do?

Being consistent and resilient; never giving up even when discouraged.

What/who motivates you the most and why?

Being a young local, there are some things I value the most; and ownership is one of them. Having my own business that will allow me to build my own home is a big thing for me; and being able to sustain it takes a lot of encouragement. I keep a small circle of close friends and family, who will continuously encourage and support what I do, and in return, I support and encourage them in whatever they are doing.

What is your biggest fear?

Honestly, I try not to focus on my fears because they are doubts, and doubts prevent progress.

What are your ambitions for the future?

To be continuously happy and lead a self-sustainable life are my top priorities. In my profession, I hope to be able to franchise my business concepts in surrounding islands. This will enable me to retire as a manager at 45 so I can travel the world and just focus on creating art, i.e. painting and writing.

If you could invite three famous people (dead or alive) for dinner, who would they be? What would be the one question you would ask and what would you prepare for them?

I would like to invite Dalai Lama and ask him how to achieve eternal peace; Donald trump and ask him what would be the best business practices to capitalize on my investments; and Oprah Winfrey and ask her what tools I would need to develop a strong network to build a stronger net worth. I would prepare them the best local dish so they could taste a bit of St. Maarten culture.